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Old 10-13-2008, 06:15 PM   #1
vanessa adderley
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Question Daughters laptop won't charge, hard to connect to internet, chooses wrong sites


My daughter is away at college and is frustrated with her 2 yr old Acer laptop I purchased for her. She is away at College and I am unable to get to her until the weekend.

This is her message to me via text: Mom my laptop is a piece of crap, and I don't know what to do about it. It doesn't take a charge from the charger, it'seriously slow, internet cords don't fit in it right, it turns off randomly and when i try to open things it doesn't work or it'll open something completly different. SHould i take it somewhere to have it all erased? or will you buy me a new one?

I can not return it nor do I have the funds to purchase a new one. Is there anyway you can help?

THank you,
Vanessa
 
Old 10-13-2008, 06:54 PM   #2
jiml8
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Get your daughter to sign up here and post. We probably can help her, but only when we can get her to go through an appropriate diagnostic procedure. Having you in the middle will make that far more difficult.
 
Old 10-13-2008, 07:52 PM   #3
crenclan
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Sounds like multiple problems. #1 a problem with the dc jack, #2 an abundance of spyware, malware and/or viruses.
 
Old 10-14-2008, 02:50 AM   #4
salasi
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Grateful little so-and-so, isn't she? (OK, maybe this isn't your first communication on the subject and maybe this is the culmination of a dialogue). Particularly as there is often a 'user contribution', even if its just lack of care, compounded by lack of understanding, to these problems.

You would need to say what software she is currently using.

Quote:
It doesn't take a charge from the charger
That sounds like a hardware problem and it may actually need a repairer to do something about it, but lets see; some cheaper laptops don't effectively charge when they are active; the charger is only powerful enough to keep the laptop running at full speed OR to charge the battery, not both simultaneously. Equally, a replacement battery might be the thing as the batteries do lose capacity over time (partic if mistreated).

Quote:
internet cords don't fit in it right
Errm, that's a bit worrying. The most obvious thing that comes to mind is that someone is trying to plug an ethernet cable into a 'phone socket; they look similar, but don't fit. Unless you use a hammer or, maybe, a boyfriend. Most laptops would have both connectors. I guess that looking in the manual isn't an option here...
(I suppose it could be a confusion with cross-over ethernet cables, which do fit, but don't work.)

Quote:
or will you buy me a new one?
(mumbles into beard...) In my day, pen and paper were t'only option (mumbles incoherently)
Even if you could afford it, this would be a dangerous option (although it may already be too late). The principle that if something goes wrong, mum finances a brand new shiny one is a bit of a slippery slope. If you can avoid getting on to it, that would be advantageous in the long term.
 
Old 10-14-2008, 10:21 AM   #5
vanessa adderley
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Smile Thank you

To all who have replied to my S.O.S.
I am most grateful to all your suggestions. I have emailed her your sight as suggested. What she does with it is up to her. She was a bit disappointed I did not volunteer to replace the laptop! BUT she was open to your suggestions.
I can only pray she follows your instructions and has patiences with her laptop. Thank you all again, I will use this sight again if needed and will be telling my co-workers about your knowledge and assistance!

Sincerely,
Vanessa
 
Old 10-14-2008, 10:35 AM   #6
jiml8
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While the battery might be bad, it is unlikely (though certainly not impossible) that there are other hardware problems. Most likely a spyware/trojan cleanup followed by some lessons on safe computing.
 
Old 10-14-2008, 11:09 AM   #7
jschiwal
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Some batteries can be tricky recharging fully the charger can stop too soon. She could try shutting down the computer and removing and then reinserting the battery. This will reseat the contacts. Maybe the next attempt to recharge will be successful.

If she visits peer-to-peer sites, she most likely has been infected with malware. Does she run a firewall. Some of the virus scanners put too much of a load on the computer. Using a light weight alternative like Nod32 may help. There are free ones as well.

If the computer came with a bunch of trialware (HP is the worst), she could visit the http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/ website to remove it.

She should enable the firewall if it isn't already.

About the NIC cable, perhaps the tab on the cable broke off. That can cause the cable to pull out or pull out partially. This would appear to be intermittent network problems.
 
Old 10-14-2008, 11:16 AM   #8
ncsuapex
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Sounds like she just wants you to get her a new laptop

Last edited by ncsuapex; 10-14-2008 at 11:16 AM. Reason: .
 
Old 10-14-2008, 01:51 PM   #9
XavierP
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As this is a help thread, I have moved it to Linux-General
 
Old 10-15-2008, 04:52 AM   #10
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XavierP View Post
As this is a help thread, I have moved it to Linux-General
Umm, yes, but it isn't necessarily a Linux thread, yet.

Let me just summarise a few bits and pieces, as there is a lot of good info here, although it may not be clear how the various bits fit together:

...before you do anything potentially dramatic, make a backup of all of the information that you want to keep...

the
Quote:
it'seriously slow
problem is probably malware of some form and, if so, can be cured. Using the various tools for malware removal would be a help, but the problem will recur unless something about user behaviour changes (and that's even if someone were to buy a new laptop...it would probably take a few months to become intolerable again, but, with the same behaviour, there would be the same outcome).
Details of the computer needed (What processor and how much ram; alternatively, if you can't get those a model id; if the laptop is really old, it will be slow and you may have to put up with that).

and, if we are talking about a windows computer, there is a need to run security software; details of current system software (Windows? Which version?) needed.

Linux could be part of the solution to malware problems; Linux is more secure, although part of this is user behaviour; so if the user believes that they have a right to engage in every dangerously behaviour available without consequence, even adopting Linux would only be an improvement, not a complete cure (...at this point I feel impelled to draw an analogy with the safe sex message, and the likliehood of that taking hold, but, to avoid embarrassment, I'll let you imagine what I might say)

Quote:
It doesn't take a charge from the charger
potentially, more serious; need details: have you tried cycling the battery, re-seating the battery; is there any indication that the charger works; does it charge up if left inactive, but plugged in, overnight?

Quote:
internet cords don't fit in it right
sounds bad, more details please; wrong leads? does the connector look broken? Do you know that you are plugging the right connector into the right socket?

Quote:
it doesn't work or it'll open something completly different
this is probably a symptom of a malware infestation; I don't see what else would be likely to cause it; it will probably go away when the presumed malware outbreak goes away, so this isn't necessarily the most worrying thing, except in the sense that it re-emphasises the need not to get re-infected
 
Old 10-15-2008, 05:13 AM   #11
unihiekka
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Since I haven't seen any information on the linux distribution on the Acer, I will assume it's a laptop with Windows (XP?) on it. If so, this thread does not belong here on LinuxQuestions.org, but never mind.

Is the laptop still slow or is the battery still not able to charge if you use a Live Distribution? Try one (there are really lots of them out there):

Ubuntu: https://shipit.ubuntu.com/
DSL: http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/
Kanotix: http://kanotix.com/index.php?&newlang=eng
Knoppix: http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html

If you need help burning an ISO on CD, we are all able and willing to help. Nevertheless, the link to Ubuntu goes directly to Canonical, where you can order FREE software. It takes a couple of weeks, but after that it's yours to use, change and distribute. Just kick in the CD into the laptop before it goes to Windows (or put it in the player and then reboot) and it will load itself automatically without installing a bit on you computer. There you can see if the battery charges (or if the battery/charger is/are broken) and whether the laptop really is slow or it is slow because of malware/spyware.

Damn Small Linux is especially good if you have an old (or slow) computer, since it only loads the bare necessities. It has lightweight applications, but it can be useful to detect errors (e.g. wheter the battery is broken or not).

Hope this helps a bit!
 
Old 10-15-2008, 06:37 AM   #12
Total-MAdMaN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salasi View Post
Umm, yes, but it isn't necessarily a Linux thread, yet.
It was moved because you posted it in the Member Intro forum, where it will get very little (if any) help, not because it does or doesn't involve Linux.
 
Old 10-15-2008, 08:47 PM   #13
chrism01
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To be honest, if she's away at college, I'd be surprised if they don't have a PC Support dept, or at least a Comp. Sci. Dept.
In either case, its going to be a lot quicker/more efficient to get help from them rather than us, especially if it is MS.
Eg slow could be too many students abusing P2P.
(Obviously we'll help if we can).
 
  


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