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I'm running a Compaq Presario 2100 laptop. It is just about 1 year old.

It came shipped with XP Home for the OS.

After 3 months the OS crashed which necessitated a reformat/reload. Approximately 4 months later the same thing happened. This time I upgraded to XP Pro. Yesterday I turned the computer on and saw a error message that there was a problem with the registry and windows fixed it. Well, it didn't. Most of MS Office didn't work. Tried to use system restore and all restore points we're wiped out however, XP has a nifty little program on the cd which will let you repair an existing installation, used that option and it worked like a champ.

I know it sounds like a virus but it isn't. I use Norton and always keep up with the latest definitions. After repairing I ran Norton and no virus was found.

I've never had this much trouble with a computer before. Anyone else had problems with Compaq?

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Terence,

Not so long ago I monitored performance data in a shop with several hundred each of Compaqs, Dells, IBMs and Toshibas. Not a nickles worth of difference between the brands regarding reliability.

Usually when a machine crashes a simple reboot will fix it. I'm wondering about why you needed to reformat/reload. If the hard-drive itself was damaged, but not inoperable, then a reformat/reload might be necessary to isolate the damaged sectors (assuming the damaged sectors contained critical os files).

If that has happened several times in a year perhaps you do have a dud, or the machine is being stressed by environmental or usage factors.

Even if the machine is out of warranty I suggest talking with Compaq, sometimes a tech can give you some diagnostic help, even if the company won't make good on a defect.

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Put me down for a tick on the I don't like Compaq list. As someone who did repairs to ALL brands of 'puters, I'll say that Crapaq (not a typo) was BY FAR the worst to work on. Everything from their bios to their propriatary OS files made it a nightmare. We would draw straws to see who had to work on them. I'm not even gonna start with their funky cases and layouts. Alas, I digress....

Terry, It sounds like Mike may be correct in thinking you have bad sectors on your HD. Have you downloaded a program to test your Hard Drive for faults? If not, you must find out which brand your HD is and pull the prog. off their website and run the diagnostics to determine if you do indeed have any bad sectors or if you HD is about to crash and burn.

NORTON 2004 has a bug in it that (on some computers)(mine)[:D]looks like everything is fine and the autoprotect is functioning normaly... it's not. Open Norton 2004 and check to see if the autoprotect is running, if it isn't then open the options tab and check if the box next to autoprotect is checked. If it is unchecked then check it, close that windowed tab and reopen the options tab again. If you find that the box is unchecked then Delete Norton 2004 an get a good Anti-Virus program. By the way there are evil programs other than

virus out there that will kill your computer and destroy OS files. Trojans and some Mall/spyware.Norton won't find everything nor will any other program.(There is a free one that is better (IMHO) than Norton anyway) Do a Google search for Avast! Anti-virus. Its free with updates several times a day sometimes.

Laptops are a bugger, no if ands or butts about it. They all run hot, are built tiny with tiny parts and just a bitch to work on in general.

Miker47 you posted you monitored perfomance data on several hundred of each? Wow, what type of "shop" buys quantities from different manufactures? Seems it would be better (read cheaper) to buy all from the same brand, large volume discount comes to mind. What programs did you use to monitor the the perfomance? I have found a 1-5 fps difference just in Mobo's from different makers with similar parts, ram, hd size,cpu speed. How many months of data were collected to determine their reliability? 300 computers each with 50 hours is not the same as 1 computer with 15,000 hours.

Not lookin to pick a fight but I have experiences that differ greatly from yours.

Ron

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Originally posted by Renron

Crusty,...yer not helpin.

Ron

Sorry, I have no personal expertise. I have a brother who is in the computer biz, quite knowledgeable and experienced. He advises me. He loves Toshiba for their reliability and service and speaks poorly of others.... Crapaq being one of them. I wish I could offer more detail but I'm relatively sure they have earned their bad reputation just like e machines, packard bell and others. I am just getting ready to switch from my word template to software and a tablet PC and am buying a Toshiba.

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While it is true that most of the internal workings of notebooks are made by toshiba,(HD,CDrom,ect.) I do know that not all notebook motherboards are alike. Take a look at the capasitors on an ASUS compared to a Crapaq, if they are different then do you suppose that other components could be as well? I personally would rather have a 6 layer Mobo than a 3 layer. Trace routes between the CPU, Ram and chipsets Will play a role in the speed and quality of the notebook. They may all have the same maker of the add on parts, but the quality of a Toyota Camry is not the same as a Lexus LS400.

Almost forgot....[:-ashamed]I agree the problem could very well be from a type of spyware.(see previous post)

Ron

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I am a computer idiot. If anything goes wrong with my computer, I run screaming like a little girl, for my tech guy. (I actually have one on retainer)

At the present time, I own four computers. Two laptops and two desktops. They are all Dell.

The old desktop is a Dell xps e600 and I deeded it to my kids. Other than eating video cards, it's been bullet proof for 4 years

The new desktop is a Dell 4600. That's my wife's computer. She does all the book keeping, and other crap. six months, no issues

The older laptop is a Dell Inspiron 8200 with a pent.4, that runs on XP. I have a flat screen, keyboard and mouse hooked up to it. I keep it in a docking station and use it as a desktop. It has all of my other peripherals plugged into it. I never back it up and rarely turn it off. Yes, I am an idiot. Had it for over two years, and absolutely no problems.

The newer laptop is a Dell 2650. I take this in the field and beat the crap out of it. Not a glitch for over a year.

I like Dell! Tried Gateway, IBM, and some clone piece of crap, and they all pissed me off.

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"Wow, what type of "shop" buys quantities from different manufactures? Seems it would be better (read cheaper) to buy all from the same brand, large volume discount comes to mind."

A shop in the midst of several different purchasing orgs, each buying 2-10,000 machines on a variety of budgets and with a variety of different requirement sets and installation schedules.

"I have found a 1-5 fps difference just in Mobo's from different makers with similar parts, ram, hd size,cpu speed."

I must confess I have no idea what a "1-5 fps difference" has to do with laptop reliability.

"How many months of data were collected to determine their reliability? 300 computers each with 50 hours is not the same as 1 computer with 15,000 hours."

We calculated the probability of failure, median time to failure etc. during the first 1800 hrs of use following the first 100 hours, and during the second 1800 hours. At that point we stopped collecting data and so our data was right-censored. The numbers of computers involved was several hundred for each of the brands I listed earlier.

Performance monitoring was done largely with in house software and done on much smaller data samples than those I mentioned above.

BTW, I've got a couple machines at home (out of 6-7) that each has about 15,000 hours on them (never seen a laptop with 15,000 though.)

Now I suggest the thread drift back to Terence's problem.

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The primary difference between machines that have good reputations vs. machines that have bad reputations is quite the opposite. Of the ones that have good reputations lower end does not always equate to lower quality. The better products like Toshiba and Dell use higher quality components that may be smaller capacity or speed like HD's or chips but maintain integrity of the components and workmanship. Lower end products like Crapaq, the old Packard Bell and e machines use a lot of cheap components including the mother boards throughout their product line, from the biggest to the smallest.

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Originally posted by hausdok

Hi,

I dunno about all of this. It kind of remindes me of back in the 60's when guys used to sit around talking about all of the aftermarket stuff they'd put on their cars to make them "perform" better and the Chevy vs. Ford vs. Chrysler debates. Back then, I could soup up just about any engine with off the shelf parts and beat the pants off of most folks around.

In 1997, I bought a Microworkz brand computer for $499.99. It had a 3 Ghz hard drive and 32 Mgs. of Ram. These were the first desktop computer ever sold at less than $500. and were basically midi towers containing a lot of generic inner workings. 18 months after I bought it, the company went broke. They'd gotten more orders than they could fill and their officers had spent so much on perks that they didn't have money to purchase parts to fill all of their orders.

It ran 24/7/365 for 4 years and then it started to bog because I'd never done any scandisk maintenance or any of that other stuff. About that time, the power supply burned out. I didn't know what was wrong, so I took it to a local computer shop owned by a Nigerian immigrant. He installed a new power supply (generic third world manufacture of some sort). I bought an off-the-shelf 30Gb drive at Office Depot, installed it myself and transferred all of my data to it. She ran great for another year and then wouldn't boot one morning. I took her back to the Nigerian. The chip had burned out. He put in a new Athlon 500Mhz chip and additional ram, bringing it up to 164Mb. That was nearly 3 years ago. She still runs 24/7/365 and only gives me trouble when the chip gets hot because of too much dust. When that happens, I just take a vaccuum and suck all of the dust out of the case and she's as good as new.

It processes some tasks - like opening and closing MS Office - kind of slow compared to my 2-1/2 year old laptop, but coupled to a cable modem it tops out the data exchange speed checker devices and has more than enough zip for what I do.

What's my point? I dunno if there is one, except to say that I don't understand why folks spend so much time worrying about all of the various computer doodads, when we really don't need high-performance computers in this business. Just about any home inspection program out there will run great on just about any computer, so why would anyone care what's inside the danged things?

OT - OF!!!

M.

Pretty much like the difference between the old Renaults and Volkswagons Mike or between Mickie D's and and a good steak on your grill at home. While state of the art performance isn't necessary, especially if the need to utilize it isn't there, IMO dependability is a huge issue.

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Big Mike,

I am glad to hear of you good fortune with your oldest computer and it's few replacement parts.

If all I did was open a word doc. on my computer I wouldn't care if I owned a Billybob special. But I enjoy playing games on mine and pushing everything to its limits, then back off alittle. Back in your hotrod days I'll bet you didn't start hotroddin with a Rambler.[:D]

A quality platform with quality parts is why your 1st computer is still running and why they went out of business. Ever buy a Sony DVD player? Is it still working? Mine's not. I now own an ONKYO.

Computer parts are the same as software >>> $hit in = $hit out

Ron

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