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Major problems


larocket83
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My girlfriend's family computer suddenly stopped connecting to the internet a few days ago. Her dad and I tried everything I could think of, and I consider myself pretty computer savvy. Anyway, after the basic troubleshooting, I looked at his IP address, and every once in a while it would change itself from an automatic private address to what looked like a linksys router address. (I recognized it because I use a linksys router). However, they don't use a router. He tried calling their ISP support, but they couldnt help. They said they could ping his computer, so they couldn't help him. In the connection status it shows both recieving and sending packets like normal. I couldnt figure that out, except that maybe a virus or spyware was sending and receiving info, but disabled the ability for other programs to use the connection. So, after unsuccessful spyware and virus scans (found stuff and removed it, but nothing that was critical, and didnt solve the problem) I reformatted the HD and reinstalled windows. Internet still doesnt work, and so I did a scan with Ad-Aware. Found Alexa, an amazon.com toolbar. How could that still be there after formatting the HD? After that, I was stumped. I left it last night feeling defeated, because I've never had a problem that I couldnt solve within a day or 2. I'm thinking its something dug down deep in the HD that the regular reformatting didnt get to. Is that possible? And if so, I recommended trying a new HD. I would think that there is no way anything could remain after that.

Sorry for the long post, but I had to let you know what all I tried. What do you guys think we should do?

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Reinstalling windows has two options if I remember correctly, one does not reformat the harddrive, and will remember some settings - hence things like the correct system time will still show even after a OS reinstall.

If any applications (such as the toolbar) are still present after an OS reinstall it's because the drive was not reformatted as part of the process. I don't know how else to explain it still being there, unless after your clean install something was installed that included the toolbar without letting you know.

What is their internet connection? A plug and play cable modem, or ADSL with an installation disk from the ISP?

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Plug and play cable modem. I definitely know the difference between the repair and reformat options, and we reformatted it. There was nothing installed except for drivers, and then Ad Aware. As soon as I installed ad-aware I did a scan, but its definitions werent updated because we still had no internet. I'm stumped

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Tried that. The ISP's end is fine, because the laptop worked. I'm just still trying to figure out if this is a hardware or software problem. I'm going to try a couple more things, a different hd with a fresh copy of xp, and if that doesnt work, a new network card. And finally, if those things don't work, I'm going to recommend a new computer, or a smarter computer tech. But I'm pretty sure I've tried everything the Geek Squad would ever do.

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Did this PC come with the software installed?

A lot of pre-built PC's have a seperate partition with the cab files for all the software and apps.

formatting from the startup disk doesn't really format properly as it only formats the main volume of the drive on these machines.

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Maybe the toolbar was included on the installation CD? I know the Dell laptop my Father got has a bunch of junk on it preinstalled and I would venture a guess that if he ever has to reformat it, it'll all be there again...

If the system comes with XP pre-installed plus a rescue disk, there is a way to make a clean XP cd. Read he article in a Danish pc magazine so suppose it's legal.

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Thanks for all the replies, guys. I finally got it working. I ripped out the HD from their PC and stuck it in mine, and then formatted it through My Computer, as opposed to using the XP CD, which I tried twice with the same result. I don't know if its a fluke or what, but I'm posting this using their computer, so I got it working somehow, and thats the important thing. Thanks again.

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