Quick question - does your son have ‘Limewire’ software installed on his PC ?
I’ve sorted out a few comps with viruses on them, and ALL had Limewire (although and file sharing software will expose the PC to risks if not used carefully).
A resintall would be your best bet. It can be possible to remove the viruses without a reinstall but this can be a real nightmare of a job and take a loooong time plus it’s not something your typical man on the street can do).
You beat me to that Jim. Agreed avoid Norton & Macafee, the corporate Symantec stuff is good, but not really suitable for home use. With Malware always use at least two, both Spybot and Adaware are highly recommended. There could be a root kit in there as well which anti malware programs don’t really handle that well.
On the hardware side of things that company that I work for has over 1500 workstations spread across three continents, the most common hardware fault is the motherboard we currently have about a 1% sailure rate over four years. And that is not normal, all the same make/model. And it is always one of three faults (personally I think that it is either defective design, or manufacture). Normally the highest rate of failure is hard drives.
But best thing to do is get a copy of UBCD4Windows, it is a bootable cd with anti virus and anti malware built in and updated, so that the you can easily isolate and eradicate and problems.
chunks that certainly sounds like the motherboard is at fault…you could of course just get another motherboard they are real cheap, depened on the age of the PC and its component parts…but complete PC’s are so damn cheap it will be easier to just buy new…
on another note spybot and adaware are okay but I find SuperAntispyware the best for naughty infestations…Norton is okay too normally.
My sons use limewire and I have to regulalry fix his PC…sometimes right from the beginning a total rebuild of the operating system and a full format of the hard drive…a real pain but if starts out like new again…
BUT since I installed SuperAntispyware no rebuilds. But I do think your motherboard sounds capput…
if you gotta torrent stuff, use azureous and sites such as minninova and the pirate bay ,ALLWAYS scan files BEFORE opening, and check the feedback comments before starting the torrent download.
as to the mobo, change the damn thing and be done withit , there is no need to spend a lot on a mobo just get one that will work with your memory,cpu and video card, shouldn’t cost more than £40, then go out and get a new tower at your own leisure if you don’t have a copy of xp, then you should be able to buy a pucka licenced copy from reputable dealers at a reasonable price, clean/install windows and get ,as suggested here , an anti-virus such as AVG, you can also download their anti-malaware at the same time, a good firewall, such as comodo, and ad-aware and spybot search and destroy, Don’t worry about these hogging resources, unless you are using a Pentium 2 and 198MB of ram with a 2 gig HD they will run quietly in the background, and with the exception of AVG and comodo , will require you to start and run them.
The trouble with getting a new motherboard is you have to be very carefull that the new board will take your old components. Ie: RAM, chip, graphics card etc. If you start getting your PCI’s mixed up with your AGP’s you’ll end up having to replace the whole lot anyway.
Just get a new machine or take the Px deal and have done with it.
depending on how flush you are feeling this could be opportunity to get a new system (Dell do very good deals that will prob be better value than the PC shop can provide, even including their ‘discount/trade-in’)
otherwise its an opportunity to learn more about PC internals, just take your time with the mobo selection, do research buy books and treat it with the same care as a bike engine and electrics setup and you’ll be fine…if you are pressed for time this option is a no-no as there is a lot to learn and many mistakes to make when purchasing individual components (money back on a used mobo is very rare!)
I am not up on your pricing and such, but the software they have mentioned can maintain a clean system for years. You’ll want to set up AVG Free to auto update, and auto run daily. Ad Aware needs to be set up in much the same manner, auto update, then run it manually. But the fun part of the Ad Aware software is, you have a list returned to you that lists all the cookies on your machine that contain spy ware and you need to block those sites individually and severally. Its tedious at first, but it gets better every time you run it it. There are fewer and fewer sites that you go to that can write ads to the your system.
I set up my granddaughters system, and she has been running it for 4 years with no problem. My daughters system, well, not so much. (She doesn’t pay attention.) You need to keep after it. Anyway its freeware, for the most part, or if you want to pay for a given suite of software, you can make it more automated, like Ad-aware, it has several parts that run it auto magically, you may want to look at the logs now and again. Oh and you need a registry cleaner too, especially in the state its in now, I recommend eusing, which is also free. these can also prevent worms and various other problems that come through email. It is that kind of problem that slows a system, since all the running spy ware takes CPU cycles to run, leaving you with few and fewer to do as you wish.
The problems with pop-ups can usually be fixed with out wiping the OS out, but it sounds like you have a hardware problem. So, if you need a new Motherboard, then get that taken care of, and lock your system down. Don’t let your son run as a Sys Admin, reserve that for your self and then line up the software protection yourself. Safest all round.
I think the dude at your local pc shop is talking out of his arse. Motherboards can’t be “riddled with viruses”. There are bios virusses, but they’re rare. If virusses would be a problem, a virus clean or at most a OS re-install would do the trick.
However, random reboots does sound like it could be a motherboard issue. I’ve had numerous motherboards failing on me, admitedly usually after overclocking them.
I’d say try to re-install the OS if you can. If the problem doesn’t go away, look at upgrading.
Depending on how handy you are you could manage an upgrade yourself. If not, it may be cheaper in the long run to buy a new PC as you will know everything will go together. If you’re upgrading, you could get a kit like the ones Komplett do: http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/kl.aspx?bn=10297
But even then, you have to make sure you’re PSU is up to scratch and the board will fit in your case and your existing drives are compatible.
If using a wireless mouse and/or keyboard, weak batteries can cause strange effects. I had one about a month ago which would insert odd characters and often re-boot all by itself. New batteries in both mouse and keyboard completely cured it.