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Posts Tagged ‘Troubleshooting’

** SNEAK PEEK ** For final state of the problem and its solution, please check comment #6 for this post. Also check this comment.

Let me share a story with you about the most baffling and irritating problem I ever experienced with my laptop. It’s the same machine which, earlier, played tricks like “class not registered” and “hibernation option disappeared” on me (which I have discussed in earlier posts in this blog). The latest one that it threw at me rendered me completely witless. The machine simply stopped the wireless connectivity – and I was stuck with my laptop in one single place of the room where the ethernet cable was hooked up!

I use a HP Pavilion tx1000 Notebook, which they also called an “entertainment PC”. It’s really a nice one, even though a little less powerful than equivalent Intel Core 2 Duo machines (this one runs on AMD Turion 64×2 [dual core] processor), but really a value for money with packed up good features and softwares from HP.

The wireless on it was running excellently well since the day I had bought it, which would be more than a year by now. The machine was reset back to its factory settings in April this year, as I was trying to get the Vista SP1 installed cleanly. And it worked fine for about a month as well, since that was done.

And then one fine day last week, the wireless was simply gone! The Device Manager was not showing the wifi device, reinstalling the WLAN driver wasn’t causing any change, flashing the BIOS and installing the latest one from HP’s website wasn’t curing anything!

As you can understand, I went through a series of attempts in order to resolve the problem, as I was getting various opinions from the forums across the internet:

  • System restore to a point before the problem – Solved it once and got wireless back. After a reboot problem came back again.
  • Complete factory restore (yes, I did it again!) – Solved it once. After reboot problem came back again.
  • Did a complete factory restore once more and checked through “safe mode with networking” – The wireless worked once and then disappeared from safe mode as well after a reboot.

A completely flabbergasted me tried chatting with an HP support agent online. She advised (and as was advised by a particular thread in the internet as well) to remove and reseat the wireless card in the machine. Now I would have tried that out, but the screw was so small that I was lacking a right tool to do it. Thinking of that as the last option (well, the last one in reality will be to go to a machanic and get it fixed by paying for it!), I was willing to wait till I could find a tool, meanwhile my machine was connected to the net via ethernet cable.

Since the machine was rebuilt now back to factory settings, I was installing softwares back one after another. In the process of that, I uninstalled Norton Internet Security that came with the machine with a 60 days trial period (now this is funny – every time I took my machine back through the time machine called “reset to factory settings”, my 60 day period renewed!).

The moment it was done, my wireless came back! And it stayed on even after subsequent reboots.

It reminded me of a particular thread in one of the forums I visited – that another person had the same problem and killing some of the Norton processes running did the trick for him. However, his case was that wireless was working in safe mode (w/ networking) and wasn’t in normal mode – and he could do a process-by-process-comparison between the 2 states of the machine.

Anyway, I now use AVG Free Antivirus, Windows Firewall, Windows Defender, and Norton Security Scan (that came with Google pack). And I use my wireless. Bye bye, Norton Internet Security!

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This is definitely one of the experiences I will remember for quite sometime. I shared here earlier about the problem I had with windows vista’s explorer and “class not registered” error, for which no easy solution was in hand. I was hoping for so many days that the “mythical vista service pack 1” will get rid of the problem. When the first set of discussions started appearing in vista-blog (hosted by Microsoft) and then around the net, my hopes were shrinking as I was reading through the set of “issues” the guys at Microsoft tried to fix with the service pack. My issue wasn’t listed! But still, you know, hopes die hard!

And when it died, there were blood all over the floor!

Service pack 1 got released and I downloaded it from Microsoft’s download zone. I double clicked the exe. It started.

After first set of installs while windows was running, it said more things will be done as I shut down my computer. I was a good boy and I listened to its plea and clicked on “shut down”.

[State A] Up came the blue screen (not of death, but the nice one with green threads of light that’s the treadmark of Vista [well, to be more accurate, of Visa Home Premium]) – and up came the words “Installing service pack – stage 1 of 3”.

[State B] It ran for an hour before saying “could not install service pack – reverting back changes – will try again during start up”.

[State C] While starting up, it was again “installing… stage 1 of 3” for 10 mins, then “could not install service pack – reverting changes”.

[State D] I could use the computer, but since this no further updates from Microsoft were being accepted, as it said “something is pending in the update queue [yeah, your bloody service pack, you idiot!] – so please clear it and then try me again”.

And loop infinite from State A -> D and back to A.

And that was my life for about a month (I even stopped shutting down the bloody laptop – always kept it on hibernate), before I got fed up to no end, and just restored the laptop back to factory settings (i.e., cleared the accumulated dirt of one year off it) – installed my needful softwares one after another – and, of yes, installed Service Pack 1 clean and smooth.

And yeah, my problem of “class not registered” went away!

During that month of dread I searched virtually every forum that talked about service pack 1 and its problems – problems people faced during installation – and their rational solutions. I even saw a site that said “we fix PCs – we remove vista and give you xp”. But it seemed no one was suffering from the infinite loop of installations and reversals that I enjoyed riding in. Lucky lot!

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(Something that I wrote some months back, but publishing now)

Sharing one of the biggest problem and its “temporary” resolution that I experienced with my Windows Vista machine in recent past:

The Problem

One fine day, the windows explorer stopped opening through “windows-key+E” hotkey for me. It started throwing an error popup saying “class not registered”. The similar error was coming in various places, like opening “pictures”, “documents”, “games” from start menu, right clicking on desktop and opening “personalise” etc.

Feeble Attempts

Trying out few of the recent windows system restores did not work, perhaps because I was too late to realise the severity of the problem, and too late in attempting to find the right restore point before it got pushed out of the quota set for SVM (system volume information).

Finally A Way That Worked

After checking what seemed like a million websites, I found a temporary resolution which I since followed – every time I boot computer, I do the following first:

1. Open task manager
2. Kill “explorer.exe” from process list
3. Go to file > new task > launch “explorer.exe”

The “class not registered” error goes away.

But you have do this every time you reboot computer.

Hopefully the mythical “vista service pack 1” will come with a resolution!

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Just to jot down some notes about this strange problem that happens from time to time in my laptop running Windows Vista – for people who might find the suggestion using search engines from here, and more so for me to look back when it happens the next time.

How it happens

Among other reasons (which I am not so much aware of) you may find that the Hibernate option that was there in your Start Menu has suddenly disappeared after you did a Disk Cleanup activity from Accessories > System Tools – if you had chosen to delete off old “hibernate data files” (or something which will read like that) among other stuff that you decided to remove.

How to get it back

1. Open a Command Prompt window from Start Menu > Accessories using Administrative privileges (“Run as Administrator” option using right click on the Command Prompt menu).

2. Type powercfg.exe /hibernate on

3. The prompt should be back without any output. The Hibernate option should be back in your Start Menu now.

4. Wait for the mythical Vista Service Pack 1 to arrive to fix the problem permanently.

Cheers!

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