My uncle's computer freezes whenever he tries to connect to the internet.
July 27, 2007 6:47 AM   Subscribe

My uncle's computer (a fairly old PC with Windows XP and a dial-up connection) freezes whenever he tries to connect to the internet. It gets as far as verifying the username and password before freezing up completely. Any ideas?
posted by Andy Harwood to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
 
Who is the internet service provider (ISP)?

By "freezing up completely" do you mean that the whole computer freezes and you have to reboot, or just the connection box / browser?

Has he ever connected to the internet? With this ISP?

What security programs are running on the computer?

Has the computer recently been scanned for spyware and viruses?
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 6:57 AM on July 27, 2007



"Who is the internet service provider (ISP)?"
BT I think.

"By "freezing up completely" do you mean that the whole computer freezes and you have to reboot, or just the connection box / browser?"

The whole computer freezes.

"Has he ever connected to the internet? With this ISP?"
It stopped working about two weeks ago. Before that it worked but it took a really long time to connect and it would disconnect itself fairly often.

"What security programs are running on the computer?"
AVG.

"Has the computer recently been scanned for spyware and viruses?"

I think it's been scanned for viruses but not spyware.
posted by Andy Harwood at 7:20 AM on July 27, 2007


Reinstall the modem/modem drivers (if it is a dial up modem). If that fails, try another modem (preferably a hardware based modem, not a 'soft' modem).

If this isnt a modem issue, disregard.
posted by SirStan at 7:21 AM on July 27, 2007


Maybe a hardware conflict? Did this problem coincide with the installation of any new hardware (mouse, printer, etc.)? You may want to go into control panel and look at the settings for the modem to see if any conflicts exist.
posted by Otis at 7:36 AM on July 27, 2007


Have you tried booting into safe mode yet?
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:52 AM on July 27, 2007


Could be viruses, could be spy ware, could be bots. In the end it might be faster to just reinstall Windows. It's a PITA but I had similar problems with my mom's laptop. I spent days trying to remove all the junk that had attached itself to her computer and ended up just reinstalling.

Burn a copy of SP2 and upgrade before you reconnect to the internet. If you have a faster connection you might want to get the latest updates too, that part can take up a long time on dial-up.

Tell your uncle to stay off of those warez sites. ;-)
posted by Bonzai at 7:56 AM on July 27, 2007


Safe mode will be worthless for troubleshooting this problem. If I recall correctly, dial-up is on the list of things that don't work in safe mode.

First thing to do go into the network setup wizard and create a new instance of the dial-up network icon for BT. If that doesn't work, run MSConfig and uncheck everything in the "Startup" list that isn't AVG or Grisoft. Reboot. Try to dial out again.

If it still doesn't work, then (from another PC) download the Spybot Search and Destroy install executable, and install it on your uncle's PC. Hmm - you'll need to update Spybot prior to running a scan, which you can't do because you can't dial out. Is there any way to transport this computer to a location with a high-speed connection to the internet via an ethernet connection? Like an office, or something? From there, you could download all the antispyware tools you could want, and run Windows updates etc. Otherwise, you're really limited in what you can do.
posted by BigLankyBastard at 10:44 AM on July 27, 2007


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