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to format or not to format?


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so, my computer has been giving me a real shit kicking lately. im not a computer guy by any means, so i dont know what the explanation could be. i talked to Willy about the problem and he suggested it could be virus activity.. after doing a complete virus scan on my computer, i found nothing.

so, a few questions..

1) are there viruses that exist that not even the Almighty Norton can detect?

2) has anyone formatted their computer before, and what are the pros and cons? from what i've heard its really hit or miss.

3) does formatting typically void a warranty?

lastly, i should explain the problem. basically, it started that whenever i would be ripping a cd into my computer, the thing would just shut off. then it evolved into even when i was burning a cd that was already on my hard drive (ie: a downloaded show). then the internet started acting all funny, with really weird pop-ups and such, so i took some advice from a previous thread and followed the steps to stop the messenger service thingy, and i also installed the google toolbar to block the pop-ups... that worked for a bit until magically the google toolbar switched to the "IE" toolbar, and i began getting bombarded with pop-ups. whats worse, is the IE toolbar wont let me un-install it. it tells me that it's write protected, and i dont have the access to remove it? i dunno whats up with that, i never installed it in the first place. and lastly, and most recently, and easily the most annoying of all, the XP Error Report window constantly pops up, regardless of what i am doing. it started only when i was in my Windows Explorer, then went on to whenever i started up the internet, to now, where just about anything i do triggers this error report screen, and whether i send the report or not, it closes whatever it is i am doing. this will happen 3 or 4 times in a row, and then it seems to work ok for a little while.

any thoughts?

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1) Absolutely. Norton can only protect what it already knows about. So if a new virus comes out, Norton can't do anything about it until they write a fix/protect for it.

2) Pro's: Avoid troubleshooting; if your registry is farcked, you get a clean install.

Con's: loss of data; time-consuming; depending on what hardware you have, it could be a bitch trying to find drivers, etc, etc, etc

3) ?, but I don't think so. Never dealt with warranties

What version of IE are you running? If it's not 6, download and install the latest version of IE from microsoft.com

Delete your temporary internet files and cookies. (From IE, go into the Tools menu --> internet options. In the second section, "Delete Files" and "Delete Cookies." If you don't have a delete cookies button, click "Settings" and then "View Files" select all the files in this window and delete.)

As for burning CD's, try disconnecting your internet connection while burning a cd. Does it still shut down?

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Are you getting a message similar to this?

"This system is shutting down. Please save all work.

This shutdown was initiated by NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM

Windows must now restart because the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service terminated unexpectedly."

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By the way, ANYONE (including you, Kung) reading this, that does not DEFRAG their hard drive on a regular basis.

Do it now..............

Right click one of your hard drives (ie: C drive), choose PROPERTIES, choose TOOLS and find that Defrag tool. Get offline and do it now. Do it religiously. It doesnt guarantee success, but it helps.

Ole, ole.............

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thanks for all your help guys... i'll try downloading some of those programs that were suggested, and see if it helps.

bouche: havent seen that error message yet, but i wouldnt be surprised if its in my near future.

booche: i agree, defragging helps a lot. i try to do it once a month. (done it twice this month.)

thanks again everyone...

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I say format, but only after you've made the proper backups. It'll make your computer feel like new again. Also you'll get rid of so much clutter that you don't really need and you'll have a better idea of what programs should be on your computer.

Make backups by burning CDs and make sure you have the proper installation CDs before wiping all your programs out with a format. You could also back things up by putting them on a different partition.

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yep... its been a slow and tedious road, but everything i need is backed up... and some things im sure i dont need... i think i am going to format and re-install over the weekend... it's actually good timing, because i wont have any internet hook-up until somewhere between monday and wednesday... that great 2 day window from bell sympatico... so, i'll have a good opportunity to do the proper maintenance... again, thanks for taking the time..

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