1. Computer problem? Tech Support Guy is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations. Click here to join today! If you're new to Tech Support Guy, we highly recommend that you visit our Guide for New Members.

Solved: Computer illiterate trying to save an "inherited" computer

Discussion in 'All Other Software' started by webtvgal, Nov 28, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Advertisement
  1. webtvgal

    webtvgal Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    16
    Hi:
    I hope someone can help me. My 84 year old neighbor moved in with her daughter last week and I bought her computer because she didn't need it anymore. This is my first computer, I'm on them all day at work but only have webtv at home to surf the net and email friends & family. It is an IBM Aptiva E series 275 that had Windows 98 and Lotus Office Suite Millenium pre-installed. She was only using it to email friends and family and play a few games. Several months ago she switched from AOL to Bellsouth DSL and had to hire someone to come show her how to make it work. He stripped a lot of programs off and set her up connecting to the web through Firebird and then to Bellsouth and finally to internet explorer. She could never get it to work so she gave up and stopped using it. She did say she used to have dozens of games but he only left her with solitaire and freecell, it's hard to say what else he removed. The computer had originally been purchased new in 1999 by her son for his Real Estate business and he removed a lot of stuff when the business closed in 2002 and he gave it to her. She has kept up the Norton antivirus software and there doesn't appear to be any hardware problems. I deleted some files and set up with MSN for my internet service as soon as I set up the system. That was no problem. Since then I haven't been able to get anything much to work. MSN messenger works, but I can't get either of my digital camera's to connect. Yahoo Mesenger won't work at all. It keeps saying my password is incorrect. (my boyfriend has several Yahoo accounts and gets the same message with all of them.) This happens at my job ever since they installed more strict protocols on the firewalls last year...could there be a firewall? I've searched but can't find an obvious one. Also trying to open many of the programs I getting a message saying components are missing. I can read spreadsheets but can't open new ones. The only error that was specific on what component was missing was when we tried to bring up a Hebrew newspaper in Hebrew (my boyfriend is trying to learn several languages) it said the "Hebrew language support" was missing. I went to windows update and downloaded what looked like the correct file but it still won't work. It does say "hebrew text support" not "language" support, but it was the only one I could find. We also downloaded Russian support and it shows up in my programs list but the Hebrew doesn't even though it says it successfully downloaded. I'm very frustrated and confused. I'm sure I should either, 1). throw it out and go buy a new computer for $500 (but I'm a poor person) or 2). wipe the hard-drive and start over. I would wipe the drive but I don't have the set up disk only the boot disk. (she doesn't think her son ever gave it to her but she can't remember.) What would my best course of action be? I had hoped to borrow a Windows 98 set up disk from someone but all my friends and co-workers have thrown theirs out and the ones the Tech guys at work have are pre-coded with the license number and you can't change it so they can't loan them out. Should I keep trying to find someone who has one or can I solve these problems some other way?
    I'm sorry for going on so long, but I wanted to give enough information. If I've given the totally weong info please let me know. One last question...I have the product key and ID #'s is the license number different from the key? I just want to make sure I have all the numbers I need if I do wipe the hard-drive so I can re-load Windows 98. Or should I just buy a Windows XP and load that and solve the whole problem? (would it?)
    Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions you can offer!!
     
  2. mstoumba

    mstoumba

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Messages:
    11
    One of the thing's you could try is to check your IP setting. You might have a static address on the computer because of the DSL line she was using. Go to the command prompt ( start, run, cmd and hit enter. Type ipconfig /all.) If on your network interface you see a address like 192.168.1.19 or 65.150.1.21 then whoever set it up may have installed a static address to the card.

    XP home would solve your problem. However make sure you have enough ram.
     
  3. jamesh2923

    jamesh2923

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Messages:
    135
    What are you trying to save? The computer or the data/programs?
    Best to wipe the HD and start over when dealing with used equipment.
    Go get a copy of WinXP Pro/Home.
    In the end it will save time and effort.
     
  4. webtvgal

    webtvgal Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    16
    Hi Mstoumba: I tried to check the IP setting. when I type "ipconfig /all" a black box comes up for a split second that is scrolling something but it's too fast to read. Any way to get it to stay on the screen???
    Thank you both for answering! I really appreciate it. The main thing I'm trying to save is money. I've been happy with just webtv since 1996 but the more time goes on the slower it gets. If I can just get a few programs (mainly the ones I mentioned) to work I could be happy with this outdated computer for a few years. I don't need to run any fancy programs.
    Thanks again.
     
  5. webtvgal

    webtvgal Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    16
    Hi:
    I just realized I didn't mention something that may be important. I frequently get an error message that says "thunkconnect32". I looked it up and it apperently has something to do with converting between 16 bit and 32 bit programs??? Is this important? Could it be part of the overall problem? Thanks again for any help you can offer.
     
  6. mstoumba

    mstoumba

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Messages:
    11
    Sorry I should have told you to do a start - run - cmd - enter. And then do a ipconfig /all at the command prompt. That will give you the IP addressing info. . As for the other comment about reloading the system I would agree with it except I think you said you did not have the disk's for the system. Is that correct ?
     
  7. webtvgal

    webtvgal Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    16
    Hi:
    Thanks again for responding. Let me tell you where I am now. (back on webtv actualy). After 2 weeks the computer suddenly had a "norton internal problem" I followed the steps to fix it and the compuer shut down and would only come up in safe mode. I had a Windows 98 disc I got from a co-worker and I had my license # and key, so I decided it was time to strip the hard-drive and re-load. I followed directions I printed from another thread and everything went pretty well. Now I have 1 big problem and 1 challenge. The problem is I can't get the computer to recognize the built in modem so I can't get back online at all. Do I need to find recovery discs specific to Aptiva? Do you know any place I could look for them? I would love to get a set (borrow, rent...anything) so I could also re-load Lotus which was pre-installed and is also gone now. (that's the challenge, getting everything re-loaded it had originally.) Any suggestions on getting this machine back online? Thanks again for any suggestions or help you can offer.
     
  8. RSM123

    RSM123

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2002
    Messages:
    5,531
    webtvgal,

    Can't add much here - however in the event you need it, you might like to check out this site for Aptiva related help / downloads (scroll down as there are drivers for modems under the heading 'Download Dept.')

    http://members.aol.com/don5408/aptiva.html

    Also to replace Lotus, I can recommend Suite 602 - you can download it as a freebie here :

    http://www.snapfiles.com (Click Freeware tab at the top - then search by category.)

    They have, as you will see lots of other programs that you may find useful.

    Also try here for similar

    http://www.freebyte.com

    As regards the modem - if you go Start > Settings > Control Panel > click the 'System Icon' > Hardware > Device Manager .. look at the profile of your computer hardware thats detailed there ... what is listed under modems ? Furthermore are there are any red / yellow ? or ! marks displayed ....?
     
  9. webtvgal

    webtvgal Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    16
    Thanks so much!!
    When I look in device manager there is no modem listed.There is a yellow ? that says unknown device. It's apparently from my trying to force the computer to recognize the Modem. My internal modem is from Conexant and there wasn't an option for that brand so I used a friends driver for a similar model of Conexant modem but obviously that didn't help. I set it for the Com2 port not the printer port because that seamed right. I didn't want to mess around any more without asking the experts. I am computer illiterate, but I'm not afraid to try. At least I got it stripped and re-loaded with Windows, w if I can get back on the internet I can probably stop bothering you guys! Thanks again for any help!
     
  10. RSM123

    RSM123

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2002
    Messages:
    5,531
  11. webtvgal

    webtvgal Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    16
    Thanks for the suggestions. I haven't tried my IS provider, I may call them this afternoon. I figued I needed to solve the problem first, but they may have some suggestions. So does it sound like I'm going to have to find some way to download the Conexant driver? (which I can't do with webtv or the computer at this point.) Or is there something else I can try?
     
  12. RSM123

    RSM123

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2002
    Messages:
    5,531
    webtvgal,

    Unless you have the driver you need on a CD some place ... you will need to download the correct one from the net. (If you can't do it - then get a friend to do so once you identify the one you need - they can then burn to a CD.)

    Or :

    1)Get another modem (with a CD.)

    2)Get DSL / Cable and enter the 21st Centrury :eek: :D

    - Even us Brits are getting hooked on Broadband ... and we hate change :D
     
  13. rennyg

    rennyg

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Messages:
    26
    Here's my two cents worth:

    Could not find the model of Aptiva you listed in your original post.

    Did find modem driver for Conexant 56k modem for Win98 at the following link:
    http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?lndocid=MIGR-4DGUP9

    Personally, I've had nothing but trouble with Conexant And PC-Tel modems.
    I would go out and purchase a U.S. Robotics modem. May save you headaches down the line.

    Good luck.
     
  14. webtvgal

    webtvgal Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    16
    Thanks to everyone for all your help and suggestions.
     
  15. Sponsor

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 733,556 other people just like you!

Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Short URL to this thread: https://techguy.org/301888

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice