Technology Sucks - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Technology Sucks

I think theres someone out there out to get me. I don't know what I did wrong or who I pissed off, but its obvious I'm not well liked.

So about two weeks ago, I got myself a new computer. A laptop, HP 5120, nice computer. Got it on ebay, first big mistake. Guy had it for a week, and then sold it. Something should have clicked here, it didn't. Anyway, got it for a steal, about half of retail price. A few days after that, it started acting weird. Would boot me off line, would crash every once in a while. I thought nothing of it. I was anal about using spybot and adaware (great spyware prgrams, highly recommend them, sort of) Anyway, it got progressivly worse over the past few days, until I finally broke down and called up my uncle, who's a computer engineer. He came and had a look at it this morning. Someone had obviously gone to a great deal of trouble to make sure that it wouldnt work. msconfig wouldn't pull up, spybot was disabled, and every time you got online, the computer would crash and restart. He dubbed it beyond him, so we brought it to the geek squad at Best buy. There having a look at it now. In 10 days, I may, or may not get my fixed laptop back, for as little as 200 dollars. There goes my new camera.

Lessons learned:
1. no matter how good of a deal, never buy a used comp online.
2. the geek squad is well worth your time
3. my mother was right, my life is always going to suck.
4. Technology Sucks!
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 09:18 PM
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heh... I'm a computer geek... its what I do.. (I'm a senior technical/network analyst) and I "Never" buy used computers.

You will always end up with something you arent sure about.
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 09:23 PM
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The first thing I would have done would have been a complete reformat and reinstallation of Windows. It's as easy as sticking the CD in the computer and rebooting, and this way you'll find out if it's the software or if something is broken hardware-wise. You're probably going to pay through your nose for the Best Buy work (and they aren't exacly the most knowledgeable either) -- while reformatting and resinstalling would have been easier and you would have a "fresh" system to boot (haha, no pun intended).

I also would never buy an HP (at least not at this time). But, that's up to you. Anyway, live and learn..

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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Was going to try and reformat, but the disc it came with wouldnt let us wipe the hard drive and start over, and it was actually cheaper to pay to get it fixed, then to buy another version of XP. Other then that, my HP has proven to be worth while. Also have a HP printer that I love.. I've had good luck with them.
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 10:00 PM
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You can always format a PC.. If it's a windows/IBM Compat based CD you can go in on a DOS floppy and format it. Then once you get windows up you can convert it over to NTFS or whatever you want to do with the partition. Programs like Partition Magic are awesome as well.


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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 11:17 PM
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I hope it works out well with Best Buy but like the others are saying a simple format of the hard disk with a clean install of XP could have saved you a load of trouble and money. I would never buy an used computer unless it was from a trusted friend.


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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-03-2004, 01:14 AM
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A reinstall of the OS might have fixed it, unless it is a hardware issue. Could be overheating, could be a chip set issue, could be a number of things related to hardware.

Do other parts / programs on the laptop work fine? Is it only an issue with going online?

The bad thing about buying it 2nd hand is I don't know if HP will honor the warrenty. I'm guessing that they won't, but you can always try.

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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-03-2004, 03:09 AM
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OMG!!!!! Man... Best Buy is screwing you.. it is not thathard to format the drive (even a win98 boot disk has enough util to do all that for you).. and then boot off the HP disks and restore the image (i hate those image disks.. but only a really adavanced person can clean install from them.. its just easier to get a copy of xp from a friend and use the serial and activation codes that came with your comp ..or crack the damn thing)

If best buy can't fix it DON"T PAY THEM!!!! ...make a stink.. call for the manager.. refuse the bill.. they will give in to get rid of you.

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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-03-2004, 04:02 AM
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Hmm..... Maybe you should look into becoming a Luddite.

If you don't have a boot CD that allows you to format the drive then you should have headed over to and gotten one.

And has been stated borrowing a copy of WinXP from someone and using your codes would have worked. I would head down to BestBuy and see if you can get the machine back. To format/reinstall is only going to take an hour or so at the most.
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-03-2004, 04:05 AM
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How about dissertation is due on September 24...I'm half way done and two nights ago my Dell 5100 laptop crashes!! Its a good thing I backed up my work, but it kept crashing and giving me the annoying crash screen. Needless to say if you have a Dell 5100 SELL IT NOW or get rid of it. It turns out since it has a P4 chip (not P4m or centrino), a regular p4 chip...that it heats up and basicaly is melting the motherboard. I went to Dell support and there was a forum post there with over 900 posts regarding the heat issue and crashing. Yeah, I had the option at the time to get a different laptop with the P4m chip, but it was $500 bucks more, so being a poor grad student I got the "better deal"...ha...good thing for tax-free weekend here in GA...I just got a new HP desktop that's working fine and dandy (knock on wood).

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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-03-2004, 04:29 AM
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My experience with a used laptop:

I bought a used laptop on eBay...again, for about half the going price...and it was fine. Best advice is to shop around and examine eBay sales for a few weeks. Also, make sure the seller has a high feedback rating and has experience/history dealing with pricey items. Make sure to read posts THOROUGHLY. Just because the computer is the model you're looking for doesn't necessarily mean it's going to come with all the same parts.

My laptop (which I purchased a good 5 years ago) is still kickin' and I use it all the time for programming, word processing, and photo editing. Can't play games worth @!#!, but it's good enough for a laptop (toshiba).

And...yeah, Best Buy is severely ripping you off. I can't believe they're charging you that much. Also, for future reference, Windows XP has a feature that allows you to restore to a "previous good" state (what is it called? can't remember). This is where I would have started...

Finally, you PROBABLY got ripped off by the seller. He/she probably stripped the laptop for parts (hard drive, memory, etc.) and replaced them with inferior parts. This is a fairly common problem, from what I hear, and it could explain the difficulties you're having. Good luck.


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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-03-2004, 06:04 PM
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The problems almost sound like a virus/worm infection.
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-05-2004, 07:13 PM
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reason I won't buy a used PC from someone - hackers.
very easy to hide an application that's recording every keystroke you make, and then send that data across the net back to his PC.

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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-05-2004, 07:19 PM
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That can be done without having physical access to the PC if you are good, especially with the hacker assistant tool known as Internet Exploder.
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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-14-2004, 01:51 AM
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