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This may not be the proper place to post this bu I'm sure one of the Moderators will resolve the issue should it become one.


Recently, my computer has been acting up. It's not important what it's doing, only that it has become unstable. My thoughts for a fix (at the moment) are to 1.) remove the HD and replace it with a new one. 2.) reinstall the OS on the new drive. 3.) Place the old drive in a USB case. 4.) erase the OS from the original HD. 6.) purge the old HD of viruses and corruption issues. 7.) Install FS9 on the new HD, 8.) overwrite the new FS9 install with the old, thereby preserving all the many years of work it took to create what I currently have.


Does this approach make sense? Will I get the desired result? Any other thoughts? Where are the flaws in my thinking?

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Download AVG Rescue Disk on an uninfected computer and burn it to a DVD or USB-stick.


Scan the infected computer with it. Select all the scanning options. All disks, all types of scanning.


Then install Panda Cloud Cleaner.

Scan the PC with that too.



If you do decide to use your method afterwards.


disconnect old drive,


connect new,


Install OS,


Update Windows all the way,


Install a Virusscanner that has a USB Protection and switch that function on. That will desinfect any USB drive that is connected. It disables autorun virusses from executing as soon as a drive is connected. It prevents the computer getting infected from the drive in the usb enclosure.


Don't delete the OS first. Instead, Scan the drive fully. As soon as it is connected. Don't go messing around in the files first.


Do a full scan with Panda Cloud Cleaner afterwards. Do it while the drive is still connected. So Cloud Cleaner scans both the whole pc, and the drive in the enclosure.


Then do a full scan with SuperAntiSpyware. AV programs don't check for spyware all that well.


Maybe do a full scan with MalwareBytes Anti Malware afterwards.



Then you're clear to start working with the files on the drive.

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After you have everything back up and running, invest in an external harddisk.

Use it to store System Images on.

A System Image is a snapshot of the harddrive. You select what partitions to include.


It can be restored, overwriting the harddisk or just one partition, as you choose.

The restoring takes less then an hour, and afterwards the whole harddisk or partition is exactly as it was a month ago when you made the Image.

That way, if your pc has a virus, you just restore the Image you made when the virus wasn't there yet, and everything is hunky-dory again.


Usually a virus infects the C drive, or damages a program on there.

I store my own files on a separate partition. All programs on C:\

all my files on D:\ (pictures, important docs)

I had a virus once or twice that I couldn't remove. It was easily fixed by restoring only the C:\ drive from the last Image.

Virus gone. All my files on D:\ still there.


(of course, with the C:\ drive set back a few weeks, the last programs I had installed were no longer there. They weren't on the pc when the image was made. One or two installed aircraft, same thing. But that is easy to fix. Just install the aircraft again.)


I make a System Image every two weeks, at least every month.

I store them on an External harddisk.

The size of the Image is about 60% of the size of the data on the drive you backup.

My C:\drive is 238gb, with 120gb of data on it.

An Image of just the C:\ drive is about 70gb.


There is a tool to create System Images built into most modern Windows versions.

There are also some programs that do this and that give much more control over the restoring proces.

I use Acronis. But I can also recommend the freeware AOMEI. Great little program that.


Really good for peace of mind.

Imagine for example the Internal harddisk dies. Horrible right, everything gone.

Not with a System Image. You just replace the Internal Harddisk with a new one, restore the System Image, and one hour later you're up and running pretty much where you left off.


The restoring is easy. Even to a blank HDD.

Because After installing something like AOMEI you make a bootstick that contains that program.

You install the blank HDD,

you plug in the External drive that holds the Image

you plug in the bootstick with AOMAI on it,

You boot from the bootstick,

AOMEI starts automatically,

And you restore the Image.


It's important to make that bootstick before disaster strikes.

Acronis works the same way,

(Make bootstick is a simple menu option inside those programs after you have one installed. Make bottstick--Insert empty usb drive--click OK---done.


With the Windows System Image Function you need to make a disk too. Hat would be the "System Restore Disk". You can make that from within "Windows Control Panel".)

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Both the original post and the replies by il88pp seem to assume the (undisclosed) problems lie within the software or the hard disk drive. If that is true, then the suggested processes/remedies may well fix the problem. However, if the problem lies outside of the software/hdd, such as a motherboard, memory, or power supply issue to name but three, then there is a lot of effort being suggested which will have zilch effect.

That aside, and while it won’t help KCD’s immediate problem, il88pp’s talk of system images on external drives is worthy of “sit up and take notice”. It is simple to do (at least on Win 7), just make sure you create the System Repair Disc once the image is created. I’ve done a couple of image restores and, apart from having to sort out the boot sequences so the machine could boot from the Repair Disc, the process was pretty painless. Sure, a couple of things (and I can’t for the life of me remember what they were) didn’t appear on the reimaged machine as I expected, but that didn’t take much to fix. Also, be aware that a reimage is all or nothing – you cannot select individual folders/files to restore. I (endeavour to) create a system image once a month, and alternate between two external drives.

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Just a thought. Does it act this way after it gets hot?


I have a laptop and on a warm day if the ac is not running I get some problems. If I turn it off for a whileand start it again, it seems to work fine. How does it run first thing in the morning after it has been off for a while?




Right now it seems to be running fine. First thing in the morning.


I have a program called speedfan which I just ran and the temps are HD0 42C

Temp 1 49C

Temp 2 49C

Core 0 55 C

Core 1 54 C

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Laptops are notorious for having cooling problems. Anything you can do to improve the cooling for them is hugely beneficial. Heat is the arch enemy of electronics. Making sure the cooling fan(s) is clean and unobstructed, blowing the dust out frequently, getting a "cooling pad" (a couple muffin fans n a pad the laptop sits on), anything. I found that setting mine on a baking sheet helped, giving the on-board cooling plenty of unobstructed room really helped.

Just a note.



Had a thought...then there was the smell of something burning, and sparks, and then a big fire, and then the lights went out! I guess I better not do that again!

Sgt, USMC, 10 years proud service, Inactive reserve now :D

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Hey, guys, thanks for your replies. I cannot tell where the problem lies, all I know is that for a variety of reasons, I have a very unstable machine. I have it running at the moment, although how long that will last is a mystery.


My last attempt to get it going again was interesting. All icons on the desktop disappeared; I waited and waited, but they never returned. I knew if I rebooted the system, I would bring back the original problem (which is a MSInstall issue). Something is corrupt there. So, I went for a safe mode boot, got nothing but a black screed that said "SAFE BOOT" in the upper corners, nothing else.


After a great deal of tinkering (honestly, I cannot say what caused the thing to miraculously boot, but it did). After it finally rebooted, I did a repair to a prior date. I hadn't added anything in over a month, so I went back that far. When it finally came back up, I ran "Repair It" (available from MS), followed the instructions for install program issues, guessed at the program that was giving the problem, sat back and waited.


It seems to be running OK, but for how long? I still cannot say where the problem is, although I suspect a corrupt registry file or two (for me an impossibility to diagnose).


So, your suggestions are all good; the have all been taken to heart, and I will continue (if able) to check to see if any additional suggestions have been added.


Many thanks...



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What OS?


What do you mean by unstable, describe what happens, not what you think is the cause.


What System restore does is undoing all installs since that date. Those programs are no longer installed, even though the files remain.


Icons disappearing is probably the result of windows file explorer crashing.


To fix that you can try 'sfc /scannow'

if that's part of your OS. Google what it does and how to run it.


Virus can cause weird things. Start by running AVG Rescue Disk. To rule that out.

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KC, echoing what someone else has said, checking overheating is your first priority. It is unlikely that your laptop will catch fire, but if it is overheating, that can and and eventually will cause permanent damage. Speedfan is free and works well. Alternatively, if your Windows install is the original one, you may have hardware management tools already there.


To repeat, this is your first and most urgent priority. If only to eliminate that this *isn't* the problem.




Your second priority is to make an image backup, as il88 suggested. Do you know what an "ohnosecond" is? It's that fraction of a second between the time your laptop fails to boot and you realize you don't have a backup.




Whilst of course I wouldn't presume to attempt to prioritise your non-FlightSim activities; FS wise, there is *nothing* you have to do that is more important than these two activities. :D

Steve from Murwilllumbah.
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I had a similar problem several years back with my old PC. Instability would appear about 15 - 20 minutes of boot up. Turned out the machines interior was full of dust. I blew it all out with a can of compressed air and the problem was solved. I now blow the dust out of the interior twice a year. Might also make sure your cooling fans are working.


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OK, back after a few days of frustration! Here are some answers... 1.) Unstable: I get flashing message boxes that say "MSInstaller cannot find the program" messages, although there is no need to find the program as it is already installed. 2.) I also get memory messages that basically say can't find the memory at xxxx.xxx, etc. 3.) There are items that when access is attempted, trigger above, like trying to access the expanded tray from the bottom left of the screen.


This is a desktop machine; it is not over clocked. The machine is an older, custom built Dual core Pentium E5700 @ 3GHz, w/3.00GHz Ram. The machine runs Windows XP Pro, so III out of personal preference and because I have software that I'm not willing to let go of that won't run on higher variants.


I've got a slight degree of stability and may be able to keep it up and running for a while. When it goes down, I have a very hard time bringing it back on line. Thanks for all your suggestions and help, I'll be back!

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"MSInstaller cannot find the program" messages, although there is no need to find the program as it is already installed.


What program?

What is the exact message?

You need to be more prcise.


Also, you do realise that the "system restore" you did, undid at least all program installs you have done the last month, right?

Those program's files are still on the drive, but, the programs are no longer installed.


can't find the memory at xxxx.xxx, etc.
Again, be more precise.




I asked what you meant by unstable.

Normally people say that about computers that randomly shut down, that give bluescreens, or that crash in the middle of all sorts of programs randomly.

Is any of that happening? Or do you just get the occasional error message?


And where are you seeing these error messages? Do they pop up? Or do you find them in the Event Log?



Have you tried sfc /scannow

If not, do so.


Open a conmmand prompt as Admin,


sfc /scannow

and press >Enter

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The MSInstaller errors do not have the decency to tell me what program they are trying to install, just that they cannot install it.


These messages pop up and when they start, theey do not stop, one after another so it's impossible to get anything done.


As far as the memory errors are concerned, they simply pop up at random, when the do, they offer a number too long to remember anf basically freeze the machine until you close it out.


The machine has never shut down on me, but it might just as well have. The icons on the desk top have all vanished and the only way back is a reboot. It could take a day or longer to get past the MSInstall crap as you try to boot, I keep it running as long as I can.

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That sounds suspiciously like a virus.

If you can't do sfc /scannow on the system because it doesn't let you do anything, then do that virusscan instead.


AVG rescue disk runs from a CD or DVD.

Download it and Burn it on a different commputer.

Put t in your dvd drive, and boot the pc from the DVD or CD.

Check all drives and all scanning options and let the scan run.

Takes a long time.

Then let it remove all that it found.


Windows does not run during any of that, so the scan can run.

It would even run if no OS is installed.

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