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Troubleshooting One of Many Ways to Keep Your PC Alive

Discussion in 'The Sims 2' started by Rhaevyn, Sep 30, 2004.

  1. Rhaevyn

    Rhaevyn New Member

    One of Many Ways to Keep Your PC Alive

    This just recently happened to my daughters' computer and I thought I would share this with everyone.

    A few months ago my daughters' computer died. My first inclination was that the hard disk crashed, as they had burned up another one the previous year. I try to keep them from going to KaZaA and similar places, but will they listen?

    Turns out, the hard drive was fine. What was wrong was there were 2,147 spyware files on it and it just finally gave up trying to fight it. I had downloaded a couple of programs on MY computer and was going to have them do the same, but apparently it was too late.

    I can't express enough how important it is for everyone, anyone with a computer and an internet connection, to get these 2 FREE programs and USE THEM OFTEN!

    Spybot and Adaware. I don't have the links right now but just search for them. They are free and they are wonderful. They will find more spyware on your computer than you can imagine. And will get rid of those annoying popups that we are all plagued with when doing multiple searches and while downloading our Sims gear.

    Another point that is also very important, you MUST have some sort of anti-virus on your computer. Get Norton, or secondly McAfee. Spyware programs will NOT detect trojans and worms and the like.

    Keep the junk off your computers and you will have better performance. Make sure you always turn your computer off when you don't use it, and do it correctly, from the start menu. Do regularly scheduled scan disks and defrags and periodically go through your computer files and get rid of old stuff. Peruse your Add/Remove Programs in your Control Panels and see what you have installed.

    And when in doubt... do a SEARCH. Google and Yahoo are a good start. There is a lot of info out there geared for the not-so-technically inclined. Learn about your computer, just like you needed to learn to drive, get the basics of how they work and how to take care of them and you will have a much better gaming experience and they will last longer.

    Happy gaming everyone!
     
  2. Gebbinn

    Gebbinn New Member

    Actually, turning your computer on and off frequently is not good for your system. Every time you turn your computer on and off, the hard drive has to spin up or down, and the read/write heads contact the platters. This will eventually destroy the r/w heads in the hard drive. Also, each time you turn on your computer, a power surge is sent through the motherboard. This power surge, though nominal, will eventually cause damage to the caps on your motherboard. When the caps go, the motherboard goes with them, and frequently I see processors, memory, video cards, network cards.. pretty much anything connected to your motherboard can be affected when the caps go out. I strongly suggest that you do NOT turn off your computer, unless you are experiencing an electrical storm. Get an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) also called a battery back up. Surge protectors are NOT sufficient to protect your computer from power surges. Get a UPS, and plug nothing into it but your CPU. Monitors, Printers, Speakers and the like can be plugged into a surge protector, as they are much much much less susceptible to electrical charges.

    If you must turn off your computer, as was suggested, turn it off correctly, Via the Start Menu.

    If you are connected constantly to the internet, IE.. Broadband DSL/Cable.. and are concerned about leaving your computer connected to the internet unattended, it is a simple matter to disable your internet connection while you are not at your computer.

    To do this, go to "My Network Connections" Either through the Start Menu, your desktop, or via Control Panel.

    Once in Net Connections, find the connection you use to access the internet, then right click on it and select Disable. When you are ready to reconnect to the internet, simply go back to that connection and enable it.

    Everything else suggested by Rhaevyn was excellent advice. Spybot and Ad-aware are great programs. I use them myself, and my company installs them on EVERY computer we service, as a general practice. They both have free programs, and you can even get more from them if you feel like paying. Spybot has realtime protection, which works wonders, but you have to pay for it.

    Antivirus programs are critical. You can always get a 3 month subscription to Symantec\Norton antivirus for free. Even 3 months is better than none if you cant afford more. Get it, use it, live it.

    Firewalls are an awesome thing to use as well. There are a variety of firewalls out there to choose from, but again, symantec is also a good company to get a firewall from.
     
  3. Rhaevyn

    Rhaevyn New Member

    Well, Gebbinn, thank you for that very informative response. I have always heard conflicting stories about whether to shut down your home PC or not and in the past the most convincing argument seemed to be to turn it off. With that explanation, however, I think I'll start leaving mine on!

    Thanks again, it's always good to learn something new ;)
     
  4. HelloKit

    HelloKit New Member

    Also be careful about using a search engine to find SpyBot and Ad-Aware, as there are impostors out there which will do more damage rather than actually fixing anything. The real SpyBot can be found at http://www.safer-networking.org/ and Ad-Aware at http://www.lavasoft.de/. Anything you find elsewhere that purports to be one of these programs, is suspect.
     
  5. Vchat20

    Vchat20 New Member

    couldnt agree more. 4 things you need: adaware, spybot, antivirus, and a firewall. keep them running and updated and scan on a regular basis and your saf. i cant tell you how many times ive had friedns or family coming to me saying their comuter was slow. then when i scan their computer for all this junk, their computer is just flooded with it all. although ive never seen a computer die from too much junk, it is very easy for some of it to get so infested into the OS that it keeps windows from loading at all. at that point i just whip out either my windows 2000 or xp cd (depending on the computer and its specs) and just reformat and install. although ive reformatted this computer about 4 times over this past year, its mainly just for cleaning purposes. keeps everything fresh and fast. and having a Celeron proc definitely requires a regular reformat.

    to compare here in terms of sims 2 performance. both my installation and my cousins installation of the sims 2 are sitting at the same configuration graphics wise. both ive played my simmer family on with the exact same house layout on both machines. both have the same graphics card: an onboard intel card. this computer has a 2GHZ Celeron w/512MB RAM. my cousins computer has a 2.4GHZ P4 w/ 384B RAM. hers runs xp home sp2 and mine runs xp pro sp1. both ive played ts2 on i pretty much shutdown every program including explorer. this machine, ts2 is very sluggish in spots whereas my cousins computer, according to fraps (a very cool framerate displayer and video recorder) i was getting on average 50fps continusously. only in tiny occasions did it hiccup on me.

    sorry for blabbering on, but like i said above, those 4 programs, keep em updated and scan regularly. youll be good to go.
     
  6. Cyricc

    Cyricc Goblin Techies

    The bad thing about antivirus programs is that they can slow system performance down by continually running in the background. All antivirus/firewall allows disabling of live scanning, but hardly ever offers the option to actually unload it from memory. Their processes can be ended with task manager, but doing so will usually require a restart to get realtime scanning working correctly again. Antivirus programs are extremely useful, I agree - Norton AV has detected more viruses than I can count from my computer.

    About firewalls - if your computer is hooked up to a router or network hub, you generally don't need a firewall. Routers automatically create a very effective firewall between the internal network and the internet. For example, many games require you to manually open specific ports on the router in order to host a multiplayer server - otherwise, the router blocks other players from joining.

    Reformatting is also good, but can only be done conveniently on a partitioned drive. Multiple partitioning on a single drive requires some more advanced software and can really only be done on a new hard drive. I myself have an old 40GB partitioned into 2 chunks, and a new 120GB partitioned into 6. Partitioning allows reformatting of a single partition while leaving the others untouched, among other things, such as allowing separate defragmenting for each volume.
     
  7. ManagerJosh

    ManagerJosh Benevolent Dictator Staff Member

    Software firewalls do have an additional benefit though..it can help you detect signs of unecessary programs accessing the net...like trojans, spyware, etc.
     
  8. Mikkdc

    Mikkdc New Member

    It runs slower on your pc due to the CPU being a Celeron. These arent really suited to games due to the low L2 cache (Celerons have 128K whereas P4s have 512K).

    I used to have a Celeron 2.0ghz and then noticed a HUGE improvement when i upgraded the CPU to a Pentium 4 2.0ghz.

    Id also advise AGAINST getting SP2 as it causes a lot of problems at the moment. I am going to wait for the fixes before getting it.

    Heres a list of programs that SP2 is KNOWN to affect, there are many more unknown that arent listed. Click the link for more info
    http://support.microsoft.com/?id=884130
     
  9. Vchat20

    Vchat20 New Member

    Yeah. i figured that much. ive been bugging my mom for a while to get me a P4 for this thing, but havent had any luck yet.

    as for sp2, i highly agree. had nothing but trouble with it when i installed it. within a few hours of having it installed, i removed it.
     
  10. Cyricc

    Cyricc Goblin Techies

    I have a hyperthreaded P4 2.6c and it still runs slow when scrolling. :ermm: Actually I don't think TS2 is very CPU dependent, as I upgraded from a AXP 2500+ 333mhz FSB (512mb DDR333) to that P4 2.6ghz 800mhz FSB (dual-channel 512mb DDR400) with only around 2-4 FPS increases. Definitely getting limited by the graphics card there. I'm using a GFFX 5900XT 128mb.

    I agree w/ SP2 as well... slowed my system down to a crawl. Uninstalled it after a week. I'm going to try installing it again right after a reformat and see if it improves.

    Oh and I recommend getting an Athlon64 if you plan on upgrading CPU + mainboard, preferably a juicy Socket 939. One of those can beat a P4 any day.
     

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