Category Archives: Computer Problems

Replace Laptop Screen

A few days ago something fell on my laptop. When I turned it on there were some lines in it, I could see most of it but some areas I couldn’t make out. I could still use it but certain things I had to guess at. Now I don’t like doing repairs on laptops because everything is small so I was just going to buy a new one. I usually look on Amazon so I went there from my sons store at OverHome Marketplace , the cost is the same so I figured I’d let someone get a commission for it. A low end Laptop was about $350.00 and it was a smaller screen than mine so I did a search for a replacement screen for mine and it was only $69.87 so I took a chance and ordered it.

I figured I should read up on it or watch a video or something and found a site that gave pretty good directions on it at . Took me maybe an hour, the main problems I had were plugging the cables back in because I had trouble seeing them (they are small and the pins are even smaller). I did manage it and tested everything out and the camera and microphone works, display looks better than it did when the machine was new.

Problems with WD external hard drive

I ordered a 3TB WD external hard drive. When it came in I hooked it up and it did not work (tried it on two different computers). I called where I bought it (no names as I have generally had a good experience with them), this time all they would say was I had to call WD which I did. They never contacted me back.

I decided to just exchange it as there are times you get a bad one. The replacement came in and it didn’t work either so I called WD again. Rather than dealing with the problem they were focused on the fact they couldn’t find my address. Needless to say I had no more use for talking to them.

I started checking the drive and it appears they use a cable that must be the cheapest one they can buy, it seemed to be loose, a few times I would hear the sound when I plugged it in but it would lose connection, again appeared to be the cable. I called where I bought it and asked if they would send me a different cable. They said no so I simply said I wanted a refund and I sent the drive back.

Needless to say I won’t buy another WD external hard drive and under the circumstances I won’t buy any external hard drive from that reseller because they didn’t seem to care that it didn’t work and their main concern was to just get me off the phone. When I buy another manufacturers external hard drive it will be from a different reseller.

Sometimes the best price is not the best deal. It may be that all of them use the cheapest cables they can buy and if that turns out to be the case I will simply buy an external case and put the hard drive in it since I have been able to do that in the past.

Let me know of any problems you have had with these things.

Fake Tech Support and Phone Scams

A friend called me today after falling for a scam. She would not have even realized there was a problem if her computer had not started acting strange.

She told me she got a call apparently from India. They told her that her windows was expiring and her computer was at risk and claimed they were from Microsoft. WINDOWS DOES NOT EXPIRE, unless of course you don’t have a legal copy to start with. We will assume you are legal for this.

She admitted she followed their instructions and let them access her machine remotely and paid the $29.00. Since I had no idea what they had done and she said she couldn’t boot the machine I walked her through restarting in safe mode which worked. I then had her run a system restore from a command prompt “rstrui.exe” and restore it to a couple of days prior. Had I been looking at it myself I might have tried to figure out what they did but since I didn’t have the machine I figured the safest thing to do was restore it.

First piece of advice: Microsoft will not call you that way. If someone does it is most likely a scam, HANG THE PHONE UP. If you do talk to them ask questions, get their information and write it down then report it to the local authorities. Second thing: Never give anyone remote access to your computer, unless you know them and trust them, you initiated the call for support to a legitimate support (ie Dell, HP, Microsoft etc.).

If you want to read more you can check Windows Security Blog , ZdNet , the guardian. That is only three but if you search you can find many more.

I had not seen this myself. A friend contacted me and said he had been infected with it. I started doing a little research.

Seems to be adware more than anything. I personally despise adware, viruses and malware. When I see it on my computer I get rid of it and anything associated with it.

The first thing you could try if it hasn’t been on your computer long is to restore your machine to a previous date (before you were infected). Even if you do that I would suggest scanning the machine to make sure.

Rather than duplicate everything that is already out there about it you can check this page for detailed information. They have a lot of details about it and links to all the tools to scan and remove.

Hope it helps.


Machine won’t boot

Windows XP Pro

Worked on a machine that wouldn’t boot up. The message it gave was “A problem is preventing windows from accurately checking the license for this computer. Error Code:0x80040017”

My first thought was a virus or malware but since I couldn’t log into the machine I managed to log into safe mode and did a system restore to about 10 days earlier, that didn’t work so I tried a different restore point and that didn’t work either so I started searching the internet and trying all the different things I found. None of that worked.

I had read some posts by people who ran chkdsk /r and it solved their problem so I tried that, found problems and corrected them still had same problem. Ran defrag and chkdsk again. Booted into windows normally and thought I had it till it gave me the blue sceen we all hate to see, tried booting into safe mode and it just froze and wouldn’t do anything. Turned it off and back on and it ran chkdsk on it’s own and found some more problems (some of which were in the restore folder) after which it still gave me the original error. Went back into safe mode and picked a different restore point again and it worked this time.

Scanned for Malware and fixed problems then did a deep scan for malware and fixed those problems.

From this point it would be a matter of making sure there are no other malware items, viruses or spyware but the machine seems to be fine now.

Zango Spyware

Windows XP


Over the weekend Sept. 8 2008 while working on a machine I ran spybot. It found some adware called Zango. Spybot said it had to reboot to remove some of it and that is where the problem starts. When it reboots you will see

The parameter is incorrect.” Clicking it keeps reporting error message over and over. The system never really goes beyond that point.

Took a little research but here is how I corrected it

Log on to the system in safe mode. Start regedit. Navigate to the following registry key and see if there is an entry with “c:\windows\system32\ …” in the data portion of the entry:
It had several entries to run Spybot and remove things so I deleted those entries and restarted the machine. Ran Spybot again and undid the changes to that section and it seemed to work fine.

I didn’t do it because it wasn’t my machine but they say you can remove it instructions here.

Laptop Hard Drive not working

Just recently a friend brought a laptop to me because it wouldn’t boot up. When I tried it the machine said there was no hard drive in it.

I was going to pull the hard drive and try it as and external drive on my machine to see it it could be salvaged as they needed some of the data if I could get it back.

When I took the panel off the bottom to remove it the hard drive had come out of the connector. I assume it had been dropped, knocked off the table or something of that sort. I plugged it back in, turned on the machine and it booted up. Since that took care of the first problem I tried a few things and the machine seemed to stop responding. I didn’t know if there was a problem from the initial disconnect of the drive or what. It was acting strange with the anti virus (Avast) so I uninstalled it and scanned for spyware and malware, there were a few so I removed those, then I did an online scan at Trend Micro which said it was clean at which point I downloaded a fresh copy of Avast and installed it.

So now the machine is clean of viruses, spyware and malware but it still kept hanging up, taking a long time to do anything so I looked at what was loading at startup and found there were a lot of things loading. Since I didn’t install the programs I had to determine what was actually needed (my rule of thumb is if it will load when I open the program I don’t need it to be running all the time) so I started disabling startup programs and the machine started working much better.

Most problems end up not being hardware. I don’t work on computers much anymore but the main thing I find when I do is spyware and malware, startup processes, a fragmented hard drive or something along those lines.

Most of the software I use for those things are linked from the anti virus page at