Mom's computer problem

slowlaneApril 12, 2011

My 74 year old mother is having computer problems, and even trying to talk to anyone about fixing them is hard for her, so I'm hoping ya'll might help me help her.

Mom has a pc from Wal-Mart, maybe four years old. It worked fine until recently, but now, if she shuts the computer down or lets it sit, turned on, overnight, the computer "forgets" that it has ever been used before. She gets the "Welcome to your new computer!" screen when she tries to use it, and the computer won't accept any of her passwords, etc., saying that the password is already in use.

A son-in-law worked on it once and got it to work, but now it's back to it's old tricks. He claims he doesn't know what he did, just that he "played with it." I don't know much about computers myself, but it seems that some memory or something might be bad.

Any ideas?

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zep516

Vista or xp?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 2:49PM
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owbist

So is this a laptop or desktop?
Make and model?
Are you close enough that you can make any needed changes or will you relay any info to Mum via the telephone?

Did mum get any recovery CD with the computer when it was bought?
Or did anyone burn a set for her from the recovery partition?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 9:33PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

being bought at walmart really has no bearing since they generally sell name brands like HP, Compaq, etc same as you can buy at most other electronics stores. Do you know which brand it is and the info that has been asked for above?

I would make sure to run some scans to see if possibly it has been hacked and someone else does have control over it causing the passwords not to be recognized. Is she using a wireless network by any chance?

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware (Win) - Detecting and Removing Malware
install the free malwarebytes and follow directions to update and do full scan. It may have to be tried in safe mode if you can not gain access, if you can get into safe mode. Let us know what happens.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 12:42AM
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slowlane

Thank you all for your willingness to help. Sorry for the poor information. Mom's 2.5 hours from me, and if the solution is easy, she may be able to do it herself. Otherwise, I'll go there and try to help her.

Here the info Mom just gave me:

Compaq Presario
Desktop
Vista Home Basic

Ravencajun, great name :) Thanks for the link. I'm going to try to talk Mom through that one when I get home today. Wish me luck, and I'll be sure to update with any results, good or bad.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 10:31AM
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owbist

Slowlane are you comfortable around computers, in the fixing sense I mean.

If so and you both have high speed internet you can use a program called Teamviewer to take control of Mum's machine and her screen is seen by you on your computer. While you are fixing she can see what you do and you can talk to each other as well.

Her privacy is protected because each visit has a new password.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 12:08PM
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slowlane

Oh, that's great, Owbist! Could that be set up, though, if she can't get online to do it? Or via safe mode, maybe?

I'm not really "comfortable" with fixing computers, but I can run scans and things like that. If I have instructions, I can follow those, so if I could make Teamviewer work, it could save me a long drive. And I have used that program before when a friend was working on my computer, so I know the concept there.

Thanks for the suggestion :)

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 1:16PM
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owbist

Hmm, getting ahead of myself wasn't I. Does Mum have any data she needs protected? If not she might use the recovery partition and re-install the operating system to factory defaults. I think with a Compaq one presses the F11 button as soon as the computer starts.

If she has data, address boos or Favourites then she might like those saved first to make life easier afterwards.

Take a look at the link below, it might be the answer but it would seem you might have to visit Mum to get it fixed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vista self repair

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 1:38PM
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