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Don Draper

Well-known member
Aug 10, 2008
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This is how long it took me to "debug" our guest computer. It is only 2 years old but it has been acting SO badly lately that I decided to sit down and figure out what the heck was up. We run 2 Macs for ourselves and the business but for the guests we found a nice little Acer laptop at Staples 2 years ago for around $350. It runs Vista which is completely foreign to me so that was a challenge just to get it set up. It never really worked fantastically but it was good enough for someone to check email or print a boarding pass. It never wanted to stay connected to the WiFi, you had to keep clicking the connection button to force it to reconnect.
I ran a few different anti virus and anti spyware/malware programs and they all came up with 0 suspect files. So then I started surfing techie blogs and chat rooms and it was just so sad, there are threads running for over two years on this WiFi problem with Vista...MS admits it is a "known issue" and there are about 10 different home remedies you can try to fix it. I tried them all and nothing was working.
Finally I investigated in the Windows Update registry and came to find that none of the updates had been getting installed because the WiFi kept cutting out...this poor thing did not even have Service Pack 1 installed! So I held its hand for 4 hours, forcing the WiFi to reconnect and let Service Pack 1, Service Pack 2, and 10 other updates go through and now it is running like a champ! It's a nice little laptop and I am by no means a computer person so I'm glad I was able to figure it out...but MAN all that lost time! I do not miss Mr. Gates' products AT ALL!
Yep all those windows updates. I don't do wifi so never had any problems with my VISTA...but I do most of the updates. There is one major Service Pack I have not downloaded and since i am not having problems..I am not going to do so:)
Have you run the disk clean up, scandisk and defrag...that should help things on your system too. And get rid of all the old temp files as well.
We have that same laptop to travel with. You are absolutely right about the WiFi connection problem. Thanks for the info, I will take a look now at the techie boards.
We have had nothing but problems with that trying to connect ANYWHERE we go. And when we come home, it won't connect here again.
Funny you should mention this problem now. My most recent computer runs Vista. I got it this summer and installed the driver for my printer from a download from the printer manufacturer website. Since then, I have been able to get the printer to print, but the print jobs will only delete if I reboot the computer. So, since I had some spare time I decided to delete and reinstall the printer driver last weekend. Guess what? Installing the driver knocked me off the internet. I uninstalled, reinstalled, told the computer to go back to an earlier setpoint, ran troubleshooter all to no avail.
Running troubleshooter showed me that the computer knew that I had both broadband and WiFi, even naming the network. I did everything troubleshooter told me to do at least twice over the course of several days including physically moving the tower from one side of my desk to the other (don't ask, I'm totally not a computer person) ( I included that part of my operation in the cleaning up the office category) I called the broadband provider helpdesk, because that's what troubleshooter told me to do. Of course, that person was working from a script and although she "reset" my box from her end, there wasn't any change.
Since computer was still under warranty, next trip to Staples where the computer geek ( a very nice guy) spent a couple of hours determining 1) By running the uninstall program provided by the printer program the driver wasn't deleted and that I actually had 3 copies of the driver residing on the hard drive. Always use the Windows uninstaller he says.
2) Then by trial and error he found out that the Nor ton firewall settings had been so messed up that my firewall was keeping me from getting on my internet. So after uninstalling and then reinstalling Nor ton I had internet access, but of course I couldn't print anything.
My next step was to call the service desk for the printer manufacturer. I got right on the phone with a guy who used a remote program to take control of my computer from way over in some third world country. He did way more than just installing the program. He went into the spooler files to remind the computer to delete print jobs after they were done and also showed me how to set all the firewall settings. So after 6 days, I'm back to normal!
I wish troubleshooter would have told me to check out my firewall.
We have that same laptop to travel with. You are absolutely right about the WiFi connection problem. Thanks for the info, I will take a look now at the techie boards.
We have had nothing but problems with that trying to connect ANYWHERE we go. And when we come home, it won't connect here again..
I was doing generic Google searches on "Vista dropping WiFi connection" and it seemed the problem I was having was lumped into "WiFi local access only" and that was the problem that had a bunch of home remedies.
I didn't save any of the links (ha, what an optimist!) but if I find the ones that were really helpful I will post them. One big thing was if you had Norton or McAfee preinstalled you should uninstall everything, you can download a free uninstaller that gets rid of all the pieces.
CL, I did the defrag and all the scans first and everything was in tip top shape, I was shocked. I think no one's been able to use the darn thing long enough to download anything!
Yay for you! Doesn't it feel awesome when you resolve a problem like this by yourself?
My laptop had a virus last week... ugh. Pay or we show you spam. Took me a while but I finally got it off. Then another popping up this week, but finally (maybe) have dh trained not to hit anything but Alt-F4 if some weird virus warning shows up.

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