Solved How can I get my Windows 7 computer to respond?

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May 10, 2018 at 22:05:18
Specs: Windows 7, ? 16
Computer running slowly so I decided to try Microsoft Security Essentials. After running, program icons appear on startup screen, but usual clicking did not make programs come up. After an hour or so of waiting, Windows Live Mail and Word 2007 did come up but then would not work -- "Program Not Responding."

I started in Safe Mode and ran System Restore. This resulted in Windows Live Mail, Word 2007, and Firefox running, albeit slowly. These were the only programs I tried. However, after I turned the computer off and attempted to run any of these programs again, the nasty gremlin was back -- nothing is working. I again tried System Restore, this time to an even earlier date. This time I did not begin in Safe Mode, and this time System Restore is not working. Please help. Thank you.


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✔ Best Answer
May 11, 2018 at 06:18:54
Reformat or Factory Restore may be ultimately the best answer but many of us are reluctant to do this.
You can use a Windows 7 Repair Disk to start a System Restore from outside of Windows and use an older restore point. If you did not make the Repair Disk when the machine was newer, you can make one from any working Windows 7 machine as long as both machines are either 32bit or both 64bit and use that.
If you do this, I would recommend as soon as it restarts, restart again into safe mode with networking and then install and run Malwarebtes, making sure that you check the box for 'scan for root kits'. When complete, remove all it finds. Then install and run ADWCleaner by Malwarebytes and run that also.
When these are complete, upload the reports from these programs (copy/paste) int replies here for review and additional suggestions.
Also note that depending on what antivirus program(s) you have had in the past, they are not always removed completely when uninstalled unless you search their web sites for their uninstaller to remove all remains of them. Without doing this, there are often conflicts that cause all kinds or problems.
Another thing I recommend doing is to run Disk Clean Up and clear your browser(s)' histories. Many do this by running CCleaner which is not a bad idea (or you can do it manually and run it anyway). You can also use their registry cleaner and even their Start Up Programs option to manage which programs start with Windows.
Report back results for other suggestions as well.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.



#1
May 10, 2018 at 22:51:29
Time to reformat the HDD re-install Windows 7 methinks.

That should make your PC run as good as it used to, plus, it'll eradicate any virus infections.

If you have a factory-built PC with Windows 7 pre-installed, then the equivalent of re-installing Windows is to run Factory Recovery (that's not the same as Windows System Restore which in my view is a stupid feature for Windows to have).


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#2
May 10, 2018 at 23:32:11
I hope you have a backup of all your important files!!
Could be hardware problems and I suspect HDD.

If still possible try win 7 performance tool:
https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-t...


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#3
May 11, 2018 at 00:12:28
Most definitely be sure that any important files are afely duplicated elsewhere - off the system entirely Typically to dvd at lesst; even better to an external hard drive; include to dvd as well for really important stuff (usually photos etc. of family and friends)?

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Related Solutions

#4
May 11, 2018 at 06:18:54
✔ Best Answer
Reformat or Factory Restore may be ultimately the best answer but many of us are reluctant to do this.
You can use a Windows 7 Repair Disk to start a System Restore from outside of Windows and use an older restore point. If you did not make the Repair Disk when the machine was newer, you can make one from any working Windows 7 machine as long as both machines are either 32bit or both 64bit and use that.
If you do this, I would recommend as soon as it restarts, restart again into safe mode with networking and then install and run Malwarebtes, making sure that you check the box for 'scan for root kits'. When complete, remove all it finds. Then install and run ADWCleaner by Malwarebytes and run that also.
When these are complete, upload the reports from these programs (copy/paste) int replies here for review and additional suggestions.
Also note that depending on what antivirus program(s) you have had in the past, they are not always removed completely when uninstalled unless you search their web sites for their uninstaller to remove all remains of them. Without doing this, there are often conflicts that cause all kinds or problems.
Another thing I recommend doing is to run Disk Clean Up and clear your browser(s)' histories. Many do this by running CCleaner which is not a bad idea (or you can do it manually and run it anyway). You can also use their registry cleaner and even their Start Up Programs option to manage which programs start with Windows.
Report back results for other suggestions as well.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#5
May 11, 2018 at 06:34:55
Thank you, Phil. I appreciate your speedy response. Not sure I have the courage or skill to tackle a reinstall myself. I now remember that the DVD on that computer is also wonky. Hmmm. . . .

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#6
May 11, 2018 at 06:39:43
Thanks, Sluc. I do have a backup of important stuff except photos. Tried several times in the past to put them onto an external hard drive but was not successful. I'm going to think about whether or not I'm up to all the fiddling that computer will apparently require.

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#7
May 11, 2018 at 06:41:32
Trvlr, you make good points. Thank you for your input.

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#8
May 11, 2018 at 06:46:38
Fingers, thank you for your detailed suggestions. You have convinced me that I don't want to tackle this repair myself. I'll see whether I can find some handholding help this weekend.

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#9
May 11, 2018 at 06:50:30
To all who responded so promptly to my call for help, THANK YOU. You are the BEST!! It is so heartening to know that in this crazy and sometimes cruel world there are people like you willing to lend a hand.

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#10
May 11, 2018 at 09:44:18
Before doing anything as drastic as formatting the HDD & reinstalling Windows, try doing a major cleansing. Fingers mentioned it in response #4.

You didn't provide any info about your computer, so we have no idea how old it is or if it's a desktop or laptop. Overheating can cause a system to run slowly, so if you haven't blown the dust out of your system in a while, that's a good place to start. Get a can or two of compressed air - if you have a laptop, give a good blast into the cooling vents. If you have a desktop, unplug the power cord, remove the side panel, & blast the dust from the heatsinks, cooling fans, & wherever else you see it. Whatever you do, do NOT use a vacuum on electronics.

After doing that, move on to file cleanup. CCleaner will remove all the accumulated internet garbage & can also be used to clean the registry & manage the startup programs. Many programs add an startup entry during installation & then automatically start & run in the background every time the system is started. Most of these entries are unnecessary & tend to suck up resources. CCleaner-Slim isn't currently available so get CCleaner standard instead, but pay attention during the installation. Do NOT allow any bundled software to install: https://www.ccleaner.com/ccleaner/b...
Here's an explanation about startup apps: https://www.ccleaner.com/docs/cclea...

After running CCleaner, reboot. Then move on to AdwCleaner: https://www.malwarebytes.com/adwcle... It will remove anything your antivirus missed. The system will reboot after it's done its thing.

After AdwCleaner, install & run Malwarebytes: https://www.malwarebytes.com/
Once again, reboot after it's done. Personally, I would immediately remove Malwarebytes from the list of startup apps, but that's up to you.

Next up is your antivirus program. MSE is the bare minimum. It's not very good but it's better than nothing. I recommend Bitdefender Free Edition. It's 100% free but you'll have to register it to an email address. There are other freebies that others may recommend. AVG & AVAST are two that are suggested regularly. https://www.bitdefender.com/solutio...
Here's a recent review: https://www.bitdefender.com/solutio...
Regardless of which AV program you choose, run a full scan after it's installed.

You should also uninstall any programs or games you no longer use.
Hopefully doing all the above will get your system running decently again. Good luck!


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#11
May 11, 2018 at 10:24:49
Thanks, riider. Computer is a desktop Lenovo probably 10 years old. (I did enter that info once, but apparently it got lost.) I'd follow your suggestions, but I can't get anything to run on the system. I think that computer is up for a trip to the local computer hospital. Thank you for trying.

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#12
May 11, 2018 at 12:03:31
Another tip - to adopt at all times...

Whenever you download something off the web, and then proceed to install it... Do NOT accept or use the default/proffered automatic installation/setup routine. Use the manual/custom mode.

Watch carefully for "all" pre-checked boxes and uncheck them all - except the one for the actual utility or application you want. This way you avoid installing all manner of add-ins, system changes, toolbars and the like; all of which can slowdown any system; and some are a true PIA to eradicate.

The utilities suggested by riider (response #10) will get rid of most (possibly all) that are already there; and it's a fair chance there are some...

Wise to run such cleaner utilities regularly...


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#13
May 11, 2018 at 12:42:05
Thanks again, trvlr. My ineptitude saves me from some of the traps you suggest -- I don't download stuff from the web with the exception of the cleaner utilities you and others have mentioned. I try to run cleaner utilities regularly -- but regularly can sometimes be 3 - 4 times a year. If I get the system fixed, I shall try to be more vigilant.

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#14
May 11, 2018 at 14:55:15
"regularly can sometimes be 3 - 4 times a year"

Regular for me is 3-4 times a day (using CCleaner).


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#15
May 11, 2018 at 14:58:28
"Computer is a desktop Lenovo probably 10 years old"
Add the exact name & model into your specs & they will stay there.
https://i.imgur.com/TZnpWS8.gif

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#16
May 11, 2018 at 17:21:58
riider,

Wow -- 3 or 4 times a day! Really??!

I use my computer only for writing (Word) and email (Windows Live) plus a bit of googling here and there -- so not a heavy computer user.


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#17
May 11, 2018 at 19:59:11
Could be riider lves in a dusty area and so needs to clean out the dust/destritus more often than others... mmm

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#18
May 11, 2018 at 20:58:28
Depending on sites you visit and other 'stuff' you do, once a week may be enough.
Certainly no less than once a month to be safe.
For others, more often may be necessary.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#19
May 11, 2018 at 22:52:52
You've convinced me: I'll up my computer cleaning schedule. Thanks.

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#20
May 12, 2018 at 13:31:14
"Could be riider lves in a dusty area"

I think you misunderstood. I run CCleaner 3-4 times a day. For instance, I just got online & expect to be online for about an hour, when I'm done, I'll run CCleaner to clear out the internet junk. It may only be 50-100MB or so, but I still don't want it lingering around. If I'm on for 3-4 "sessions" throughout the day, I clean up after each one.


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#21
May 12, 2018 at 20:06:33
re' #20...

nah... I was postulating that you might live a desert or similarly dusty area and thus need to clean out system very frequently...; as otherwise it might grind (literally) to halt - due to accumulation of dust...

Us Brits and Brit-Canadians doth have an off-beat sense of humour (sorry humor...?)


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#22
May 16, 2018 at 19:50:49
Well. . .You were all correct: The problem was both malware and a hard drive living on borrowed time. Four sectors were bad. Thank you all so much for all your efforts!

Now I have one more problem. How do I SELECT ALL as Best Answer??

message edited by kathat


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#23
May 16, 2018 at 20:26:36
You will just have to do the best you can and choose one.
Great to hear that you are all set now.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#24
May 17, 2018 at 00:45:46
Here is how to change your system specs for future forum use.
https://i.imgur.com/jMnZ6fe.gif
https://i.imgur.com/fPxBDNO.gif

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#25
May 17, 2018 at 06:59:45
Several responses were in the running for Best Answer. I chose Fingers 5/11 post because it took into account the fact that my computer would do Nothing at all (and hence I could not run any of the suggested cleaning programs) and suggested I try Safe Mode with Networking. That proved to work and was useful in diagnosing the system's problem. The system now has a clean new hard drive installed by a local independent computer repair person -- and my local landfill has one less piece of electronic junk.

Thank you all for all of your help!


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