I recently purchased an HP refurbished computer with preinstalled Windows XP professional software (Service pack 3), and Internet Explorer 8. For back up purposes the system was partitioned with an E: drive for user data. Norton 360, an HP 3970 OCR Scanner and NetZero internet software were subsequently installed.
The system is usable, but exhibits intermittent and problematic characteristics. I have included a list of problems which I think are all linked to the XP operating system or partitioning and hopefully one patch will correct them all.
These problems include inconsistencies as follows:
A. When operating “MS Outlook” off line:
1. I am not able to reliably close a “Reply to Author” dialog box. The dialog box remains in view with the icon flashing on the Task Bar. I can finally close the “Reply to Author” dialog box by closing “MS Outlook” using the “Task Manager”. On one occasion this procedure caused “MS Outlook” to write the reply in the “In” Box rather in the “Draft Box”.
2. When selecting an addressee for an e-mail sometimes it can take up to 20 seconds for the selection of the first addressee to appear in the window. Subsequent selections appear instantly.
3. There is usually a long delay for “Outlook” to display the quantity of documents in the Draft folder
4. On one occasion when operating on line, Outlook thought it successfully transmitted an e-mail but it did not. Norton alerted me to a potential problem and I sent another e-mail.
B. When operating “MS Internet Explorer” on line
· The IE window is frozen while waiting for data. This should not happen in a multi tasking system.
C. When selecting the Net Zero icon on the Desktop:
· The dialog box mostly appears behind the Windows Explorer dialog box.
· Selecting the NetZero dialog box does not bring it to the front of the Windows Explorer dialog box.
· In order to use the NetZero dialog box it has to be dragged from underneath the Windows Explorer dialog box.
D. When Turning Off the computer:
1. The “Do you want to save the changes” dialog box closes in about 10 seconds. This dialog box should remain open until operator action if a document has been changed. The documents are recoverable but this is not the way it is supposed to work.
2. One of these recoverable documents will not close without displaying the “Do you want to save the changes” dialog box, even though no changes have been made to the document.
With used computers, no matter their provenance, a clean install/restore to factory condition should be done. In addition, with a refurbished computer you should first do some hardware troubleshooting to make sure all hardware is sound. I would at least test the RAM and the hard drive.
If the hard drive and RAM pass the tests, restore your HP to factory condition. Most laptops and many OEM (HP, Sony, etc.) desktop computers come with a factory restore image on a special partition on the hard drive. The factory restore process is normally invoked by pressing a Function key (like F11) at computer startup. There will be a message as to which Function key to press on the screen when you first start your computer. You can also refer to your computer manual, or the computer mftr.'s website, or contact its tech support to see how to restore your computer to factory condition since each computer mftr. does it differently - sometimes even between models.
These machines also usually have a utility with which to create physical recovery discs in case the hard drive needs to be replaced or the factory restore image is somehow damaged. If you did not create the physical recovery discs and/or damaged the recovery image, contact the computer mftr.'s tech support to order a recovery disc set. This is normally very inexpensive, around $20-25.
MS-MVP - Elephant Boy Computers - Don't Panic!