Abort, Retry, Ignore?
Common computer problems, what
causes them, and what to do about it
Misc. Memory problems
Tricks and strange phenomena
Computer will not boot, or will display
error messages such as 'Not enough extended memory'. If it works at all,
it may run very slowly.
Cause 1: Sloppy OS'es
This accounts for 90% of all memory
deficiencies. These OS'es, Windows 95 and MacOS in particular, require
enormous amounts of RAM, and this will only get worse with each new version.
See our conspiracy theory in the Newsroom for more details.
Cause 2: Old age
The remaining 10% of problems are caused
by golden-ager computers suffering from Alzheimer's disease. While there
is no known cure, the computer's useful life can often be extended by feeding
it lots of wholesome fruits and veggies.
Random, excessive and pointless
hard drive activity
Computer will not boot, hangs or crashes
upon startup, or shuts down or resets itself for no apparent reason. Also
may behave in other erratic ways, display strange screens or messages,
or complain of a missing Registry or other important files.
Data gremlins. They sometimes take
up residence in your computer and randomly eat, delete, or corrupt your
most important system files. While data gremlins can live anywhere, they
are especially attracted to particularly powerful or expensive computers.
They usually lie dormant inside either the hard drive or the power supply
(which is why damage is often accompanied by a power surge or outage.)
To help protect yourself against the
work of data gremlins, it is recommended that you create an emergency DOS
disk and Emergency Recovery disk containing the most vital system files,
and back-up your machine on a regular basis. Once infested it is too late;
they have already begun their dirty work and your only hope is to keep
a Recovery disk on-hand and wait for the infestation to run its course.
Randomly-occurring flurries of hard
drive activity that seem to have no useful purpose. May vary in severity,
but symptoms are more or less universal.
There are two common causes for this
The replication activities of a computer
Microsoft products spying on you in
Back to Windows
Hopefully it is neither, but just to
be safe you may want to run an antivirus program on the machine in question.
Many A/V products will be able to remove a virus without deleting the infected
file. Unfortunately, as of yet there is no known way to safely remove snoopy
M$ applications from your computer.