Computer failure fix-it challenge

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robcat2075
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Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by robcat2075 »

My Windows 10 computer was operating normally, then I noticed that clicking on icons stopped having any effect. The mouse cursor still moved correctly, I could still right-click and drag a bounding box around things, but no left-clicks were making selections and even hovering over icons no longer caused them to alter their appearance.

Switching mouses didn't change anything.

I thought perhaps some process was hogging the CPU so I called up the Task Manager. Nope, nothing I could see.

However, after I closed the Task Manager, the mouse function was back to normal. For about ten minutes... then left clicks began failing again.

After several iterations of the Task Manager ritual I wondered if there might be a virus or a problem with a recent Windows update? I used a "Restore Point" to set my computer back to a state of several days earlier. No improvement however. So I reset to an even earlier restore point.

Now the computer wouldn't boot into Windows at all, just a blue "Your PC needs to be repaired" screen! I clicked the button (now left click works!) to have Windows repair itself but that only returned a message "Your PC can't be repaired"

Fortunately none of my data is on that corrupted OS drive and I have an image of the OS drive so that can be restored... but that doesn't solve the original mouse problem.


What do you suppose the solution was? I'll reveal it after five people venture a guess.
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Elow
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by Elow »

I heard the new shires mouse fixes that problem
jorymil
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by jorymil »

With just about any computer problem, I have a saying: "the logs don't lie." You might check out Event Viewer and see if anything occurred at about the time you started having mouse issues.

I'll preface this by saying that I'm not a professional Windows admin: I've had to deal with them enough for work that I'm dangerous, but that's it.
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JohnL
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by JohnL »

Any time a computer behaves "weird", I start wondering if the RAM has gone bad. I've seen all sorts of random troubles that looked like other hardware going bad that turned out to be glitchy RAM.
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by Burgerbob »

Usually this is because my cat is sitting on my keyboard somewhere.
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by MrHCinDE »

I’ll take a guess for a Monday morning puzzle. Isn‘t there some sort of power management setting, which allows Windows to automatically turn off the USB ports? If this option is enabled but the devices do not fully support it there could be some weird behaviour after a few minutes.

Other guesses would be a stuck key which changes the behaviour of left click, clicklock or another mouse/touchpad inadvertently connected e.g. by Bluetooth which conflicts with the mouse you are using.
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BGuttman
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by BGuttman »

I've found that thermal problems make for odd behavior. A fan that is clogged with dust will allow the CPU or GPU to get very hot and its behavior becomes erratic. Seems to especially be a problem in laptops.
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by Burgerbob »

BGuttman wrote: Mon May 30, 2022 12:36 am I've found that thermal problems make for odd behavior. A fan that is clogged with dust will allow the CPU or GPU to get very hot and its behavior becomes erratic. Seems to especially be a problem in laptops.
Any modern computer (within the last 10 years at least) will just thermal throttle and run slower. If it can't do that satisfactorily, it'll just turn off. It won't run erratically.
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by TromboneTallie »

The new M2 SSDs can get unbelievably hot.... Especially in a laptop.
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BGuttman
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by BGuttman »

Burgerbob wrote: Mon May 30, 2022 12:40 am
BGuttman wrote: Mon May 30, 2022 12:36 am I've found that thermal problems make for odd behavior. A fan that is clogged with dust will allow the CPU or GPU to get very hot and its behavior becomes erratic. Seems to especially be a problem in laptops.
Any modern computer (within the last 10 years at least) will just thermal throttle and run slower. If it can't do that satisfactorily, it'll just turn off. It won't run erratically.
You would think that, but I have practical experience to the contrary.
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Matt K
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by Matt K »

Tablets and phones will turn off, but some laptops will be able to sustain weirdly high temps but then cool themselves down after throttling enough that they can potentially hang in that state for what feels like an eternity. I had a laptop that needed to have the thermal paste reapplied to the CPU that did that. It was really, really dry when I took it off so its possible that it happened over time. I got it preowned and noticed it pretty quick but it was only after I stated really using it; during the install and setup which is not particularly CPU intensive for the most part, I didn't notice it at all.
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sacfxdx
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by sacfxdx »

If it is a desktop with a battery then try replacing the battery. In 40 years of computer work I have only had to replace one. The symptoms were all random.

Good luck.
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robcat2075
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by robcat2075 »

That was fast!

Those all would have been plausible suggestions to me. I shall be looking for a Shires mouse.

John is on the right trail here...
JohnL wrote: Sun May 29, 2022 9:19 pm Any time a computer behaves "weird", I start wondering if the RAM has gone bad. I've seen all sorts of random troubles that looked like other hardware going bad that turned out to be glitchy RAM.


The suggestion from one of my 3D friends that immediately ended the problem was...

"Snap the RAM sticks out and snap them back in."

I guess that, after years of thermal cycles, they had crept in their slots just enough that when they reached a certain temp they no longer made proper contact. I presume that calling up the Task Manager had the effect of slowing the computer down and cooling them back below the cutoff point.

Firmly re-seating the RAM ended that borderline state they were in.

It is also possible that some other component on the mother board was loose and the jolt of snapping the RAM sticks back in knocked it off the fence. I have since re-seated the graphics card, just to be safe.

I'm surprised the computer worked at all with incompletely seated RAM and that it exhibited the exact same problem even after multiple re-boots, so it remains a bit of a mystery.

But it does work properly now. Thanks for playing!
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by JohnL »

In the Commodore 64 days, it was called "chip creep".

I'm not sure it's quite the same thing in modern computers (since the RAM modules are snapped into place); maybe it's more a matter of something (dust? oxidation?) interfering with the contacts.
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by timothy42b »

after years of thermal cycles
You might be able to keep a computer running long past the time the OS is supported, printer drivers available, new software will run. Depending on what you use it for, they do become obsolete. (I'm running some pretty old ones but then I don't use them hard.)

I have one laptop that behaves like yours. The mouse button left click will select some things but not others. It has a touch screen that works, and the track pad left click always works, so I just assumed an incompatible mouse. It's my wife's laptop, used only for facebook and jigsaw puzzles, so not worth exploring.

My laptops will run without the battery if plugged in, so I don't see why we would buy a new battery if you're not moving it.
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robcat2075
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by robcat2075 »

JohnL wrote: Mon May 30, 2022 9:41 am In the Commodore 64 days, it was called "chip creep".

I'm not sure it's quite the same thing in modern computers (since the RAM modules are snapped into place); maybe it's more a matter of something (dust? oxidation?) interfering with the contacts.
The gold contacts on the parts shouldn't be oxidizing, should they?

But there's no shortage of dust in this house, even with the cats gone.
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by BGuttman »

timothy42b wrote: Mon May 30, 2022 10:01 am
after years of thermal cycles
You might be able to keep a computer running long past the time the OS is supported, printer drivers available, new software will run. Depending on what you use it for, they do become obsolete. (I'm running some pretty old ones but then I don't use them hard.)

I have one laptop that behaves like yours. The mouse button left click will select some things but not others. It has a touch screen that works, and the track pad left click always works, so I just assumed an incompatible mouse. It's my wife's laptop, used only for facebook and jigsaw puzzles, so not worth exploring.

My laptops will run without the battery if plugged in, so I don't see why we would buy a new battery if you're not moving it.
I have a left click mouse button on my Thinkpad that doesn't work. It sustained a liquid spill and I suspect the Trackpad module bit the dust.

As to the battery situation, the battery can be useful in case of a power outage (even an unintentional one like pulling the plug from the wall). The battery will keep the computer running for anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours: plenty of time to gracefully exit whatever programs you have been using.

I like running "old iron" with Linux. Seems Linux is much more tolerant of old computers and seems to have a better record of self-configuring than Windoze. Only problem with Linux is that I'm still trying to figure out how to run an old DOS game using one of the DOS emulators (like WINE).
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by jorymil »

Depending on the game, Bruce, try dosbox. I had a great weekend a few years back playing Railroad Tycoon non-stop. And some older DOS games have been released on Steam as well. Though Steam could get you addicted....

As for RAM, I haven't had to reseat any modules in quite a while: pretty much everything I run uses the smaller form factor DIMMs--I don't do enough high-performance things at home to justify a full-on desktop.

In servers, RAM reseats are fairly common: so much so that if you have a hardware error, one of the first troubleshooting steps the vendor will put you through is a RAM reseat. Whether this is due to ordinary dust, oxidation, or something else, I don't know. Tin whiskers in the atmosphere?

I'll say this: when reviving old video game cartridges, it's somewhat common to have to lightly scrub the contacts with a pencil eraser if rubbing alcohol isn't sufficient.
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by TromboneTallie »

The old take it out and blow into the cartridge trick.

My cousins used to have a Dreamcast when we were kids. They would put a cloth over it when they weren't using it to keep dust out of it.

... They also would use the cloth as a sort of absorption material any time they had to rip one during an intense session of gaming "Shenmue". Well, over the years their Dreamcast finally died, and it was dust free. I think it finally had just had enough of being covered in the fart cloth every single day.
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by timothy42b »

I bought a new (new to me - it's used) Dell Latitude at a very low price. That's the business class model and should be a little better built than the consumer line. It will replace my main home laptop, the one with a broken hinge, DVD drive, and overheating problem, once I get it set up.

And that's a problem. It came with Win 10 Pro. I'm not adept at that because at work we had IT support. I've been struggling a couple days to get it to find the printer. My Win 10 Home was plug and play even though that printer is very old but this one can't find it.

It also could not find my external hard drive to transfer files but that turned out to be .....sigh....... operator error.
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by Matt K »

timothy42b wrote: Fri Jun 10, 2022 4:59 am I bought a new (new to me - it's used) Dell Latitude at a very low price. That's the business class model and should be a little better built than the consumer line. It will replace my main home laptop, the one with a broken hinge, DVD drive, and overheating problem, once I get it set up.

And that's a problem. It came with Win 10 Pro. I'm not adept at that because at work we had IT support. I've been struggling a couple days to get it to find the printer. My Win 10 Home was plug and play even though that printer is very old but this one can't find it.

It also could not find my external hard drive to transfer files but that turned out to be .....sigh....... operator error.
Your it person may have just setup the printer for you. Find the model number of your printer (usually on front of printer) and google that model + driver. Your manufacturer (hp, brother, etc) website should appear high in the search results and should have the necessary drivers and other software needed to connect.

In one rare circumstance I’ve observed, a manufacturer stopped supplying the driver to windows. That’s not a fault of windows… but of the manufacturer. It’s unlikely but not impossible.
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by BGuttman »

I have set up two Latitude and three Precision laptops with my Brother printer and I needed to install a printer package that included the driver and some kind of interpreter for the WiFi connection. If the printer has been setup for your home network, you need to "teach" the new laptop to "find" the printer. If the printer is new, it needs to be "taught" the WiFi network you have in your home.

Of course, if you just want to attach the printer by a cable, sometimes you an just let Windoze manage the connection.
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

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My workhorse computer has been an HP pavilion, donated when a middle schooler moved up, running Win 7 and with the screen propped at the right angle, the bricked battery removed, the CD drive half out because if i push it in it runs forever, and the occasional overheat shutdown syndrome. But I use it for music notation, scanning, recording, internet browsing, a little music, etc., i've been planning to replace it for a long time. It talks to my old Canon MF6530 laser printer, a huge thrift shop item that took two of us to carry down the stairs, and has worked reliably for years, and to my M-Audio interface. I remember some issues finding a printer driver but eventually getting one to load.

I had Dell Inspiron for a special type of work travel, running Win 10 Home, and that one printed fine, and I don't remember loading any drivers so I think plug and play must have worked. To my surprise.

Anyway, I plugged the Cannon MF6530 into the new Dell Latitude. (yes, cabled direct to USB. It doesn't have wifi.) Got the message "setting up MF6500." Got excited. Nope, can't print, no printer shown. I went through the "find my printer" screens, I went to Canon and downloaded what they claimed were drivers, long story short no progress in two days.
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by Doug Elliott »

If you can find the downloaded driver file in the other computer you could try transferring it.
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by JohnL »

Sounds like maybe it installed the wrong driver when you first plugged it in.

Uninstall the drivers you downloaded from Canon.

Delete the device(s) associated with the printer in the Windows Device Manager. I usually switch to viewing devices by connection to do this. The printer needs to be on and connected; if not, the devices will be hidden.

Once you've deleted all of the devices, turn off and disconnect the printer.

Reboot (maybe not necessary, but it keeps the computer gods happy).

Install the driver you got from Canon. With a little luck, there will be a point during the installation where it asks you to connect and turn on the printer.
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by sacfxdx »

since it's a refurb just be sure the port you are using actually works. If you plug in a USB memory stick and it does not recognize it I would be suspect.
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by timothy42b »

sacfxdx wrote: Fri Jun 10, 2022 3:37 pm since it's a refurb just be sure the port you are using actually works. If you plug in a USB memory stick and it does not recognize it I would be suspect.
I tried the mouse in all three USB ports and they all worked.

That was unintentional. Embarassing as it is, I thought I had my external drive cable in my hand, and was going to transfer files, but it kept recognizing a mouse. Then an unexpected injury caused a pause, and when I came back I realized it. The port worked, it transferred my files with no problem.
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by robcat2075 »

When I look at the Canon page for that printer I read
OS Compatibility

Windows XP, 2000, Me, 98, and Mac® OS X 10.2.8 & up (print only)
But it worked with Windows 7, none-the-less. Win 7 might be the end of the line.

This non-Canon site claims to have Windows 10 drivers...
https://printerdrivers.com/canon-image ... 30-driver/



I haven't previously heard of "compatibility" options for drivers as there are for programs but here this was

Follow the below procedure to install a driver in compatibility mode.

Run the program in the compatibility mode.

If a program or driver written for an earlier version of Windows doesn't run properly in current Windows, then you could try using compatibility mode on the program to hopefully allow it to run properly.

I suggest you to run the program/game in the compatibility mode and check if it helps. Follow the below steps:

Right click on the program icon, click on Properties.

Click the Compatibility tab.

Check the Run this program in compatibility mode for box and select the Preferred Windows.

Click on Apply and click OK button.

Check if it helps.
I presume this could only work if you are installing the driver from scratch and not letting Windows do it automatically.
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by jorymil »

With printers, a lot of times the drivers are written for the available OSes of the time, and that's it. Forward compatibility costs money.
If you're OS-savvy, something you can do is convert your older system to a VM using VMware Converter, run the VM on your new system with Virtualbox or similar, and run the printer inside the VM as a USB passthrough device. I've had to do this with a Logitech remote, and more recently with my webcam to use Microsoft Teams.
Not the simplest solution, but it should work. To pass files between the old and new OS, virtualization software let's you set up shared folders: export as PDF from the new; print in the old.

I will never buy another non-network printer: these sorts of compatibility issues really are a pain in the neck to deal with.
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by timothy42b »

After much experimentation, I found that my laptop could indeed see my MF6530 but believed it to be an imaging device rather than a printer. After forcing several driver updates it became a scanner.

At this point it is not a printer and now I can't update it, as it claims I have the best driver.

I suspect I need to delete existing drivers and start over but it is very unclear how to do that. Supposedly they are in Windows/System32/Drivers but none of those files are recent.
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by robcat2075 »

Open the Device Manager control panel

There you can uninstall devices, then reboot to install proper ones.
DevMan.jpg
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>>Robert Holmén<<

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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by timothy42b »

Yup, been there, done that, and I have every Windows 10 book the library owned checked out.

I can uninstall the device but drivers remain.

I discovered today that the driver packages I downloaded had an uninstall app included if i drill down far enough, so this morning I went through and tried to uninstall everything.

Printmgr has an update driver command (again gotta drill down pretty far) and i can specify a driver to use. When I do it politely informs me that i already have the best driver, but I can try going to the manufacturer for a better one. Well, doh, where do they think I got that driver?

I think part of the problem is the system identifying the printer as a scanner by mistake. Then it is willing to install a scanner driver but not a printer. Also, Canon has 48 different drivers on their page, and it may take me awhile to luck into the right one. I knew when I bought an old printer i might struggle eventually but it does work on my other Win 10 machine, a Dell Inspiron. The setup guide for the printer says 1995 and it included drivers for XP.

More to follow.
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by timothy42b »

Quick update, still working on this.

I tried connecting a Chromebook to the printer. It correctly identified it but could not find a driver. Canon confirms it is not supported in Chrome.

I ran Linux live on the Dell. It correctly identified the printer and loaded a generic driver, which did not work. It had a process to download drivers which seemed to hang, but running off a 2.0 USB is slow. I may try again now that I know which port is 3.0. (The one the printer is on of course.)

Back to the drawing board. But today I replaced the carburetor on my daughter's lawn tractor and it started. One small success.
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by Matt K »

If that many OSes are having an issue the printer itself might be broken
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by timothy42b »

Matt K wrote: Fri Jun 17, 2022 1:18 pm If that many OSes are having an issue the printer itself might be broken
Good thought, so I connected up the older Dell Win 10 Home laptop. It did print but it was picky about which port, only worked on one USB socket. The print drivers all seem to be 2007 versions. The test page listed the driver version so maybe I can find that. I did copy all the drivers I could find but they seem to be all additional and not the main one.
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by timothy42b »

I found several sites with the same version driver, all of them requiring me to sign up and install their special driver management software. I found one on the Canon site that was close but gave me an error loading over 32 vs 64 bit.

I would have given up long ago if I didn't have a Dell Win10 laptop that prints.
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Re: Computer failure fix-it challenge

Post by JohnL »

timothy42b wrote: Sat Jun 18, 2022 9:26 am I found several sites with the same version driver, all of them requiring me to sign up and install their special driver management software.
I would give those a wide berth...
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