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Author Topic: TSKB: Help an old man to help his old man...  (Read 3004 times)

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Offline flipp

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Re: TSKB: Help an old man to help his old man...
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2015, 09:26:40 AM »

I worked w/him to see if we could set the desktop to "none" but that failed.   Odd.  His monitor setting screen shows a dual monitor view but I'm certain he's only got one display, unless that is what you get if you run a large screen with the lappy closed, as he does.  That's prolly it...


A couple quick thoughts:
* Does the Dell have the capability to display only the external monitor?  All my IBM Thinkpads have this capability - laptop only, external only or both. Perhaps which display the image goes to got changed and if coupled with the below may explain the strange sidebar-like background.
* Is the minimum desktop size of the external larger (say 1440x900) than the largest size of the laptop (say 1024x768)? If so that might be the cause of the sidebar-like left side of the screen; however, the left side looks like a miniaturized and tiled version of an old program called CoolIris which could show all the images in a folder on the comp. Twas a great program but alas is now only available for mobile devices. What I find most worrisome is the flash logo.

Since you'll be there in person, install any remote access, anti-malware/spyware programs you want and then show your dad how to operate them.

Good luck


< eta I just went to https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ and the graphic on the left side of the screen is identical to the tiled images on the left side of your Dad's screen so I'm almost positive the problem is one of screen resolution or a multiple monitor setting </eta>
« Last Edit: July 03, 2015, 01:00:14 PM by flipp »

Offline Ben Turnbull

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Re: TSKB: Help an old man to help his old man...
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2015, 02:46:32 AM »
Well, I'm back.  :P  What a day.
I've posted my situation at Bleepingcomputer.com in the XP forum pages and have had a lively and helpful exchange.  Unfortunately no one can explain why the desktop (Dad calls it the "homepage") is behaving the way it is.  He has other issues with a couple of files that have gone missing.  A DaemonProcess.exe can't be found and an Otcore4.dll or Qtcore4.dll... can't recall which.  I did download Malwarebytes.com's free scan tool and had some fun with that.  There was no restore point set ever it seems so that was out.  I downloaded that TightVNC that Flipp suggested, and it's sitting in my folder on his desktop waiting for my call to install it. That should happen ... today I guess it is.  From there I'm not sure where to go.  He has no software/OS discs from which to do a full reinstall.  Perhaps I can eventually learn where the orphaned files need to go... likely in a Windows system32 spot maybe...

He has full control of the desktop icons and the browser that he uses is functional as is his email client and the MS solitaire game so for now he's able to work, it's just frustrating that the boot process is so dysfunctional and the desktop is acting so oddly.

Flipp, to answer your last post, he's been running that lappy in a docking station for well over a year with lid down and full size keyboard and monitor being served.  I guess I never opened the lid to see if the laptop screen was active but sleeping all this time.  My bad.

Thanks for all your help, wish me/us luck going forward... My brother suggested we fix it like all the other mash ups that he's created/been plagued with;  replace the PC.  Works every time. ::)

Safe 4th everyone.
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Offline dnsacks

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Re: TSKB: Help an old man to help his old man...
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2015, 10:13:04 AM »
ben:

few thoughts --

1) logmein.com has a free 30 day trial -- might be easier for your dad to install than the thinvmc

2) if you dad has a serial # for windows xp (frequently affixed to the pc) it's easy to find and download a replacement -- http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/confirmation.aspx?id=25129

3) getting an entirely new computer isn't that bad of an idea either -- computers that would be plenty quick for web browsing/basic stuff can easily be had for under $400 -- check out local big box specials @ salescircular.com -- in colorado, there are quite a few options in this price range -- i'd avoid computers with less than 4gb ram

Offline Ben Turnbull

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Re: TSKB: Help an old man to help his old man...
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2015, 10:29:43 AM »
^ That idea of replacing the OS from MS might fly, but do they track purchase/ownership records?  This is a $100 box that my bro hooked him up with from a bud whose hobby it is to rebuild and sell Dell lappys.  If we went that far I think I'd update his whole system first.

I've been reading the doc on TightVNC and so far, if I can get him to click the right buttons, it looks like it will work.

Thanks for the suggestions, much appreciated.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2015, 11:17:06 AM by Ben Turnbull »
Who came first, Dave King or Zack Galifianakis?...
-My name is Ben, and I'm an AQhaulic ranting hysterically in my dotage
Official Archivist for Jazz Central Studios, MinniMN
DPA4021/SKM140/NakCM1k/ADK A51s/Countryman B3/ATes943/SPc4/och... > TinyBox OT> PCM-M10/DR-680/R4/T+mod UA5 needs attention

Offline if_then_else

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Re: TSKB: Help an old man to help his old man...
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2015, 12:18:46 PM »
^ That idea of replacing the OS from MS might fly, but do they track purchase/ownership records?  This is a $100 box that my bro hooked him up with from a bud whose hobby it is to rebuild and sell Dell lappys.  If we went that far I think I'd update his whole system first.

I've been reading the doc on TightVNC and so far, if I can get him to click the right buttons, it looks like it will work.

Thanks for the suggestions, much appreciated.

Might just be too big of a step for a 89 year old, but did you already think about replacing the Windows OS by a Linux distribution or a Windows image?
With an image / virtual disk you could reset the system to its original state after each logout / reboot. Data (documents, emails etc.) could be stored in an area to which your father would be granted read/write access. In a similar vein many computer classrooms at universities or schools are administered in order to prevent users from manipulating the OS.

Offline Ben Turnbull

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Re: TSKB: Help an old man to help his old man...
« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2015, 02:59:00 PM »
Ha, all he has to do now is find the icons that "do what he wants" whether it's open Google search (His Google) or start a PacMan game or email.  Reloading to any form of '_nix', while affording security and stability, is just not a practical solution.  I appreciate the considered thought that goes into your comment, but it's starting to look like swapping the box is the only practical solution. 

Not long ago I was on the phone to him trying to install TightVNC.  We couldn't even talk on the same page so the next time I visit I'll have to set it up myself... if it's not to swap boxes for him. 

God bless him, the damned internet and the odd game are all that he finds to occupy his time.  His mobility is about 50% so he doesn't even go out to coffee with the boys much anymore, a onetime everyday activity.

Getting old sucks.  Don't do it if you can avoid it.

I think I'll lock this up.  We've done all we can for now.  If anyone wants to share something new, specific to fixing the failure of the desktop image to render correctly, drop me a PM. 
Thanks again all.
Who came first, Dave King or Zack Galifianakis?...
-My name is Ben, and I'm an AQhaulic ranting hysterically in my dotage
Official Archivist for Jazz Central Studios, MinniMN
DPA4021/SKM140/NakCM1k/ADK A51s/Countryman B3/ATes943/SPc4/och... > TinyBox OT> PCM-M10/DR-680/R4/T+mod UA5 needs attention

 

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