Author Topic: Please Help Me With My PC  (Read 8605 times)

clarion

  • Tyke
Please Help Me With My PC
« on: January 23, 2012, 11:16:07 am »
As you may have noticed, I'm not well versed in IT.  Can't get to grips with it.  But I do have a PC, which forumites kindly advised me how to set up a few years back.  I haven't really had access to it for over a year, but, even before that, it was a bit sickly.

This could be a long thread, and I shall be very grateful for help provided by the collective wise and knowledgeable counsel of the forumites.

It's XP, and I use it for the interweb (via BT), watching DVDs and Photoshop for my pictures.  I store files on an external hard drive.  I would like to use it to support our GPS.

Problems:

1.  Very slow

2.  Sound on DVDs utterly unusable

3.  Memory Map (which I had on the PC before we got the GPS) misbehaving

There might be other things which I come across in my archaeological excavations.

First thing when I login is an error message, which appeared a while ago:

Quote
SmartBridge Alerts: BTHelpNotifier.exe - Entry Point Not Found

The procedure entry point GetProcessImageFileNameW could not be located in the dynamic link library PSAPI.dll

This gets on my pip, but I usually just click OK, and it goes, without seemingly affecting anything.  But it is dispiriting for the first thing you encounter to be an error message.

Can anyone advise how I can get the PC to relax on this issue? ;D
Getting there...

Biggsy

  • A bodge too far
  • Twit @iceblinker
    • My stuff on eBay
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2012, 11:25:57 am »
I can't help with the immediate problem.

Slowness: could be down to the XP installation being in a mess, or you could do with more memory, or the CPU is just too slow.

DVD sound quality: should be good via a hi-fi or decent-but-inexpensive PC speakers with subwoofer via the line-out socket of an average sound card.
●●●  My eBay items  ●●●  Twitter  ●●●

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2012, 11:30:44 am »
The sound problem isn't the quality, it's just completely fucked up.  Just horrible noises. :(

I was previously advised to download a new programme to play on, but that didn't work, and the PC was unavailable soon after before I could try anything else.
Getting there...

iddu

  • Are we there yet?
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2012, 12:09:19 pm »
Can anyone advise how I can get the PC to relax on this issue? ;D

http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061229130855AAmrnaG

Basically, it's finding a 'wrong' pile o'code in preference to what it should be using.

>Not used for some time...
If you have stuff you want to keep saved and verified off PC, then I'd seriously consider just reformatting and proceeding from there on.  The amount of time you spend sorting dross accumulated over time is usually > time spent putting just want you want back
I'd offer you some moral support - but I have questionable morals.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2012, 01:11:31 pm »
I have a number of files called psapi.dll, two Psapi.dll and one called PSAPI.dll.  That is in the folder for the epson 'creativity suite scan assistant', not the BT connection.  Is this right?
Getting there...

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2012, 01:14:13 pm »
Memory Map's problem is an error message reading:

Quote
The application failed to start because the application configuration is incorrect.  Reinstalling the application may fix this problem

I don't know if I will be able to find the original disks (I've moved twice, and some stuff is still packed in boxes and not very accessible).  Is there an alternative?
Getting there...

iddu

  • Are we there yet?
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2012, 01:35:16 pm »
I have a number of files called psapi.dll, two Psapi.dll and one called PSAPI.dll.  That is in the folder for the epson 'creativity suite scan assistant', not the BT connection.  Is this right?
Very possibly; installations may have placed release versions of their own at installation folder locations at time of installation.

Generally, rename the non-Windows folder ones ".old", reboot, suck it and see; the only thing you're likely to break is the given application (it being insanely reliant upon a specific version of said supporting file - which you can recover by reversing the rename).

If it's not happy with the one it (consequently) finds from Windows folders then life gets more interesting...
I'd offer you some moral support - but I have questionable morals.

Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2012, 01:39:30 pm »
As for the speeding up:

How much disk space do you have free?  Check from Windows Explorer, right-click on C: and select properties.

Give us the figures, I'll send you a small application that helps to find out where all the space has gone, and remove it. After that, it is well worth running the defrag utility.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

iddu

  • Are we there yet?
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2012, 01:42:00 pm »
Memory Map's problem is an error message reading:

Quote
The application failed to start because the application configuration is incorrect.  Reinstalling the application may fix this problem

I don't know if I will be able to find the original disks (I've moved twice, and some stuff is still packed in boxes and not very accessible).  Is there an alternative?

As in this product -  http://www.az.co.uk/?nid=172 ? Maybe (installer) downloadable, subject to your current version / needs
I'd offer you some moral support - but I have questionable morals.

iddu

  • Are we there yet?
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2012, 01:43:34 pm »
As for the speeding up:

How much disk space do you have free?  Check from Windows Explorer, right-click on C: and select properties.

And PC spec. r/c "My Computer" -> Properties -> General tab...
I'd offer you some moral support - but I have questionable morals.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2012, 02:03:38 pm »
Seems to be plenty of space.  I think clearing a load of old stuff of has helped with speed anyway.  It used to take an age to start up, but is now faster.

Just looking at all the Properties info.  Seems there are quite a few things I can optimise there.

How do I get rid of Windows Live Messenger, and it's incessant demands for updates?
Getting there...

iddu

  • Are we there yet?
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2012, 02:09:24 pm »
How do I get rid of Windows Live Messenger, and it's incessant demands for updates?

http://help.uk.msn.com/livemessenger/userguide/article.aspx?cp-documentid=4414273

Generally, try GOOGLE FU first[1], with obvious phrasings; if it's all Sanskrit to you, post [ed: sigh ::-)]URLlink used or ask, but most things have been encountered and ranted on by others in the first instance ;D

[ed^2:][1] Obviously, clicking "Yes" to random questions may take you to interesting places that you'd prefer you didn't need a stock of mind bleach for ;D
I'd offer you some moral support - but I have questionable morals.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2012, 02:16:39 pm »
A lot of the answers I've encountered mean absolutely nothing to me. :-[

I trust people here to be able to guide sensibly.

But I'll search more anyway...
Getting there...

iddu

  • Are we there yet?
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2012, 02:26:38 pm »
A lot of the answers I've encountered mean absolutely nothing to me. :-[
They're no more 'intelligent' than yer average washing machine; a lot faster, yes, but just as dumb - and the babbage boxes are about on the same level ;D

It'll come, in time. Mostly, just stoppinghaving a cup of tea and thinking[1] sorts it out.

[1] e.g.

"I don't want Messenger" ->
"How do I get rid of it?" ->
"How may it have been added?" ->
"Add/Remove Programs" ->
"Peruse list(s)..."->
"NUKE NUKE NUKE..." :thumbsup:
I'd offer you some moral support - but I have questionable morals.

Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2012, 02:33:06 pm »
Seems to be plenty of space.  I think clearing a load of old stuff of has helped with speed anyway.  It used to take an age to start up, but is now faster.

Just looking at all the Properties info.  Seems there are quite a few things I can optimise there.

How do I get rid of Windows Live Messenger, and it's incessant demands for updates?
How much is 'plenty'?

You need more than 10% free for XP.

I'll try to send  you clear instructions for preventing crap from starting up - will have to wait till I'm home and using an XP machine.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2012, 03:21:39 pm »
The smartbridge/BThelp... error seems to be related to some sort of BT broadband helpdesk support via the web browser, which works with earlier versions of Internet Explorer but not later ones:
http://forums.windrivers.com/showthread.php?t=75854
 - see post #6

Annoying mebbe, but I wouldn't worry about it unless you're wanting to use whatever the bt helpdesk feature was. I'd guess the reason it stopped working would be that as part of the windows automatic updates, it's updated from one version of Internet Explorer to the next one. There may be a later version the BT helpdesk stuff and installing that might fix the problem, or 'just' uninstall/disable the helpdesk stuff

http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/12349/~/what-is-bthelpnotifier.exe%3F

"We recommend you allow BTHelpNotifier.exe to run all the time and do not try to remove it. "
Yeah, yeah, yeah... ::-)

The latest version of the helpdesk stuff is here:
http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/12980

But it sounds like they're not good at keeping it up to date:
http://community.bt.com/t5/Forum-Guidance-Ideas/BT-Broadband-Desktop-Help-suddenly-stopped-launching/td-p/217571

If you want to uninstall it (I'm guessing you never use it, and certainly not of late !):
 
1) Start > Settings > Control Panel (opens control panel window)
2) click 'Add or Remove Programs'
3) once the new window has finished updating, look for smething along the lines of BTHelp.. and select uninstall.

Or if you click through Start>Programs> (Program list), there might even be BTHelp listed, with the option to uninstall it.

Re speed - XP really needs a complete reinstall every few years or more - I've just done mine after about 6 or 7 years and it was really groaning during startup - McAfee antivirus seems to make things worse too..

One thing I found that helped briefly (may have got worse again with my OH generating lots of documents - I dunno) was moving stuff out of My Documents (ie C:\Documents and Settings\<user> to somewhere *not* in the docs+settings folder.





Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2012, 03:26:01 pm »
Regarding the BT utility:
I'd simply un-install it.

I'd never install ISP-specific software on any machine.
'Setup' disks provided by any ISP should be dealt with as if they were AOL CDs: disposed of immediately.

IMHO.

Biggsy

  • A bodge too far
  • Twit @iceblinker
    • My stuff on eBay
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2012, 04:41:25 pm »
Re Windows Messenger: I think Outlook Express wants it kept installed, otherwise uninstall or disable it via the usual means, or via this utility (that I highly recommend anyway for tweaking Windows XP):

http://www.majorgeeks.com/download4083.html.  X-Setup went bust, hence the free and legal key published on Major Geeks. The program basically rounds up all the Windows settings, including many hidden ones.  You can make your system run faster and smoother with it, by turning off various crap and tweaking certain values.  It lets you know what is and isn't safe to mess with.
●●●  My eBay items  ●●●  Twitter  ●●●

TimC

  • Old blerk sometimes onabike.
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2012, 04:55:30 pm »
If you don't use it, you can uninstall Live Messenger (or any of the Live apps) in the usual way. I seem to remember that it's not possible to uninstall OE on XP, but it can be deactivated and replaced with, say, Thunderbird - though I can't really see the point of using local email software when web mail is so good now! I'd echo the sentiment that a complete reinstall of XP is the best answer to any performance problems, coupled with a selective install of your favourite programs with none of the makeweight crap!

Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2012, 05:10:47 pm »
Problems:

1.  Very slow

Hold down the left Control and Shift keys together, and while doing so press 'ESC'.  The "Windows Task Manager" will appear on the desktop.

Click the "Performance" tab. A graph of CPU usage will appear - watch it for a bit, and note the average percentage.

Below the graphs, there is an area titled "Physical Memory" - note the 'Total' and 'Available' fields.

If you can post these numbers, it'll help with finding the the reason for the slowness. You can also click on the "Processes" tab to get a breakdown of how the CPU usage percentage is made up (hint: click on the top of the CPU column once or twice to sort it in order - this will help show what process/application is using the CPU the most).

Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2012, 05:14:27 pm »
I don't know if I will be able to find the original disks (I've moved twice, and some stuff is still packed in boxes and not very accessible).  Is there an alternative?

You can download the memory map program from the memory map website - the valuable bit is the map data, which you've already got on your PC somewhere.

So I'd expect you can just download MM5, then use one of the options (something like "Refresh Map List") to point to the maps already on your PC.

TimC

  • Old blerk sometimes onabike.
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2012, 05:45:53 pm »
You can probably re-download the map data too, having proven the bona-fides of your account.

tonycollinet

  • No Longer a western province of Númenor
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2012, 06:22:14 pm »
One of the most useful utilities for getting rid of things at start up is:

start-up control panel
http://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml

Install it, then look in your control panel for the new icon. Run it, and look in all the tabs, disabling (un-ticking) anything you don't recognise, and stuff you don't need even if you do recognise it. (although don't assume if you disable something relating to a program that it will stop the program running. Many programs load stuff at start-up which are not needed, but just speed operation of that program - while slowing everything else down)

This doesn't un-install, it just stops it loading at start-up. You can't stop your PC working with this, but you may unintentionally disable a program you need. Most likely would be something like iTunes, a virus checker, or a graphics card tray application.

Restart PC - check everything works - if something doesn't  you'll have to work out which item you disabled stopped it (Google the .exe file names from the path column). You can easily re-enable by re-ticking the item.

Speaking of virus checkers - disable any security bloat ware (esp macaffee, but also now, sadly AVG, and also possibly Avast). Replace with Microsoft security essentials.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2012, 07:32:33 pm »
Uninstalling Live Messenger: I don't have it in the list of programs.  I do have:

Windows Live Essentials
Windows Live Sign-in Assistant
Windows Live Sync
Windows Live Upload Tool.

Where does that leave me? ???

Instructions are all very well until you're presented with different options.
Getting there...

TimC

  • Old blerk sometimes onabike.
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2012, 07:37:19 pm »
Live Essentials covers all of the Live family of programs - the other items are subsidiary. You may find an uninstall link in the Programs list in the Start menu, or just use Remove Programs in Control Panel.