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Too much running in background

(44 posts)
  • Started 9 years ago by piowakett
  • Latest reply from Lighthouse
  • Topic Viewed 10461 times

piowakett
Posts: 34

I'm not proficient in computer lingo or have much knowledge of computers. I'm just a lil' 'ol granny looking for help. My son says there is too much running in the back ground on my computer and suggests that I check out what is running and shut it off. I printed off the Stop Application From Running at Startup in Windows Vista. It's just that I'm not sure what does what in the startup programing to know what to shut off. Can you help this frustrated Grandma? In order to understand some of this stuff, I have to print it off, read it and re-read it and at times I'm still not sure of what to do.

Posted 9 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Really, we need to know what you are running on Startup in order to advise what you can stop. If your son says there is too much, can he not help in deciding?

Posted 9 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

Wish son could help but lives a few thousand miles from me. All I can tell you is that I turn on the computer, go to a startup menu on the left of the screen and then click on the program I want to go to. As I stated, I am not that savy with all that is going on. Suggestions?

Posted 9 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Ok, so what exactly is wrong? Is the computer running slow, or another problem?

Posted 9 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

You also have to give us a little more info on your computer
1. What PC is it and how old is it
2. Are you running XP or Vista
3. What is the size of your memory (RAM)
4. Why did your son think you have too many startup programs running
5. Any other info that you think might be relevant
We will only be able to help you if we have a clear picture about your situation. Magic wands won't work.

Posted 9 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

Was told computer was running too slow. Purchased more memory cards. Installed them. RAM reads 1470MB. I require an upgrade to make movies w/old photos for my family. Have purchased another memory card plus the upgrade and have been told I require at least 2GB of memory for the upgrade. Because of the photos I have, I don't think I'm going to have enough memory to install the upgrade. Just got this Dell desk top last April. It came with 512MB memory. Am running Vista. Son visited here around Christmas (before I added the additional memory) logged on to view his email and said that the computer was running slow. I was thinking about using a flash drive to contain my photo files. Have one that's 4GB. Then I could work off that. Can you give me your thoughts? Many, many thanx in advance!! Basically all I do is email, scan my photos, write a few letters, some internet, keep track of my bills, no online banking. Do NOT use many features that are on this computer, even if I knew what they were, I'm sure that I'd use them. I'm not that proficient.

Posted 9 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Hello piowakett. There are different sorts of memory on your computer.
The memory inside the computer is used to run the system. For Vista you ideally want 2Gb. You will also have at least one hardrive inside the computer. This stores all the programs to run the computer, and if it's big enough, to store your photos.
You can have other things that you plug into the outside of your computer that can store your photos (for example, SD cards, USB memory sticks) there are lots of different names and types.
Can you give us some idea of what you have

Posted 9 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Hi Piowakett, First: Don't get confused if you get Q's and A's from Lighthouse and me. We are a team and try to help you together. You may answer in a summary reply to both of us. Then to the facts:
I understand that you are running Vista and initially you had 512MB which now have been upgraded to 1.500MB. When your son was running the PC it still had 512MB only - no wonder it was slow. But 1.500MB should be fine - 2GB (that is 2.000MB) are better but not urgent.
Then you say "i have purchased another memory card plus the upgrade" - what is this memory card? - because as Lighthouse explained, the term memory is used for different things (very confusing) - and what is this "upgrade"? The installation of the 'upgrade' should not be impossible with your configuration (as far as I understand it up to here). Maybe they are talking about disk space. Do the following: press START, click COMPUTER (in the right pane), click on the little arrow next to "Views" (on the top left), click on "Tiles". The first disk in the window (usually C:) tells you "xxx GB free of yyy GB". Give us those numbers.
Now to your Flash drive: You can of course put your pictures on that, but I suspect you have enough disk space and that would not be necessary. That's why we need the xxx,yyy numbers to judge.
In summary for now I think your son's problem was because at the time you had only 512MB of RAM - and that is not enough for Vista running smoothly. With your added inputs we'll see from there.

Posted 9 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

Thank you Lighthouse!! Is it possible to email you a screenprint so you could see what is listed? As I said before, I don't know what a lot of this stuff is, let alone if any of it is connected with what I use. Vista Home Basic is on the computer. Upgrading to Vista Premium to do the kids' pictures on DVD w/music.

Posted 9 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

OK. whs, here we are OS(C:) reads 42.3GB free of 64.4GB then we have
(D:) 823MB free of 9.99GB. Dell is the one who told me I needed to purchase the additional memory card so I could upgrade to the Vista Premium. Vista Home Basic (I was told) does not have the capabilities of putting photos and music to a DVD that can be used on a VCR. Hope this info helps.

Posted 9 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Hi again, we don't normally publish email addresses over the forum. But if you want to send yours to The Geek, I'm sure he would be happy to forward it to me. And I will contact you with an easy way to solve your problem

Posted 9 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

OK, 42Gb free on C: is still good - not hilarious but still a ways to go. So there is enough space on your disk for your pics.( And forget about the D: disc. Do not ever touch it. This is your lifeline.) The 4GB flash drive would not make a big difference. One day you may want to buy an external disk. 250GB go for $70 these days and then you have ample disk storage.
I think Dell is wrong. You do have 1.5GB of RAM now, right? that should be enough for Vista Premium. 512MB would not be. So please clarify this point again.
Another question: what program are you planning to use to make your Photo/Music DVD's?

Posted 9 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

Hi Lighthouse/whs, here is everything listed in Programs/Features, ABBYY FineReader 6.0 Sprint, Adobe Flash Player 9 ActiveX, Adobe Reader 7.0.8, Apple Mobile Device Support, Conexant D850 PCI V.92 Modem, Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI, Corel Paint Shop Pro X, Corel Snapfire Plus, CouponBar (that I can't get rid of) Dell PC Fax (I don't use) Dell Photo Printer 926, Dell Support Center, Dell System Customization Wizard, DellConnect, Digital Line Detect, Documentation & Support Launcher, Games, Music, Photos Launcher, Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer, GoTo Assist 8.0.0 508(no idea what this is), Interactive Users Guide, Internet Service offers Launcher(don't know this either), iTunes, JAVA(TM) SE Runtime Environment 6, McAfee Security Center, Microsoft.NET Framework 1.1, Microsoft.NET Framework 1.1 HotFix (KB929729), Microsoft Money 2007, Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007,
Microsoft Web Publishing Wizard 1.52, Modem Diagnostic Tool, MSXML 4.0 SP2 (KB927978), MSXML 4.0 SP2 (KB936181), MSXML 4.0 SP2 (KB941833) I have no idea what they are, NetWaiting, NVDIA Drivers, PowerDVD, PrintMaster Gold 18, QuickTime (I don't thnk I use this either) SigmaTel Audio, URL Assistant and lastly User's Guide. Do I really need all this or will getting rid of some of this free up area on hard drive? As I said before, I'm not sure what all this stuff is.

Posted 9 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

Using Windows Photo Gallery and Windows Movie Maker. But it only appears to let me make movies that play on the computer. The computer came with 512MB Memory. I purchased 2 more cards each with 512MB memory. Installed those. Dell said I needed an additional 512MB card to install the Vista Premium upgrade because it requires 2GB memory space and at best hope the computer doesn't crash. So to back up all my pertinent data before installing the upgrade.

Posted 9 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

WoW, what a list. I hope you did not type all that but used copy/paste which you can use for text.
First on your last post: 1.5GB is fine. Dell is just trying to make a buck. Yes, 2MB is better, but you are OK for Vista Premium. If a program (e.g.during installation) does not find enough real RAM, it will use virtual memory. Vista manages that. My wife's Vista premium was running on 1GB for the longest time.. Not too fast, but it ran.
The data backup is an excellent idea. You will have to do this to an external disk (like one of those $70 deals I talked about earlier). It will most likely not fit on your 4GB flash drive. There are websites to where you can backup data, but I have no experience with that and given the amount of data that must be awfully slow. I'll get back to your programs in a little while.

Posted 9 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Programs and Features, are the programs that are on your hard disk. Don't worry about those for the moment.
Look in: Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > System Configuration > Startup
What's in there please?

Posted 9 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

I vote with Lighthouse. Deleting a program from the hard disk will make very little difference. You can delete e.g. Quicktime, but maybe one day you want to use it. If you want to get some diskspace back, you better reduce your shadowstorage. As a first step do the following: Start > click All Programs > go to Accessories and click that > find Command Prompt and right click on that > click "Run as administrator > now an ugly little black window will open > type (without the quotes) "vssadmin list shadowstorage" -- this will give you an ugly list of the C: and D: shadowstorage. We want C:. It says: "For volume (C:)....", under that you find:
Used ....
Allocated ....
Maximum ....
We want "Maximum". I bet it is 10 to 15 GB's. That's the one we can reduce significantly. If you come back and tell me the maximum number, I'll tell you how to deal with it.
PS. The question from Lighthouse is relevant for the startup programs. If you have those too, we can, maybe, speed things up.
By the way, here you can read up on MSXML - but I would not worry about it. What you got are some fixes.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MSXML

Posted 9 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

Back again Lighthouse/whs, I thought I had forwarded the wrong screens. I have sent the start up to The Geek. Screens 2 and 3 kind of overlap with screen 3 showing much of screen 2 but thats the only way I could show ALL of the startup. OK whs, will go into command prompt and get the info. Went into Command prompt for info and this is what I got:
error: Invalid Command. Commands supported:
List Providers
List Shadows
List ShadowStorage
List Volumes
List Writers
Resize Storage

So I typed in List ShadowStorage and I got , "List is not recognized as as internal or external command". Did I do something wrong???
Going to back up and start again.

Posted 9 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

Finally Got It!! Used Shadow Copy Storage Space 8.604GB
Allocated 8.888GB
Maximum 9.67GB

Doesn't appear to be the numbers you are looking for, whs. But can you tell me if this is good or bad?

Emailed The Geek the screens on start up to be forwarded to Lighthouse.

Posted 9 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

Couldn't copy/paste the Program/Features Info. Tried but it wouldn't let me.

Posted 9 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Sorry you had so much trouble with the "list shadowstorage" but at least you are learning something. The command is "vssadmin".We will need this knowledge in a moment. Well, we got it. 9.67GB is a little less than I expected (and that was my fault because I thought you had a 100GB disc. I now checked again on your earlier posting and you seem to have only an 80GB disk), but although it is in the norm (10 to 12% of total disc storage are allocated to shadowstorage), it is still a lot. I suggest to cut it to 4GB. Thus you gain nearly 5GB. Just so that you understand what that is all about: the shadowstorage is used to keep the system restore points. Every time you install or uninstall a program (and also at some other times), the system automatically takes a system restore point to which you can go back in case something happens. These restore points are typically 1GB in size (plus/minus a few). There is no need to have space for 10 shadows (that is what the restore points are called). 4 shadows is ample, especially since you will probably not be installing a lot of programs every day. If you want to check how many shadows you currently have you can do: vssadmin list shadows - now that you know how to do vssadmin, that should be easy. And now that you are a Pro in Command Prompt, we can get you more disk space.
To reduce the shadowstorage, do this: Vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=C:/On= C:/MaxSize=4GB - (small or big letters are the same - does not matter). Just make sure to put GB behind the 4, else it will assume bytes and that would be really too small. Now you can check your free space on C: (in COMPUTER) and you should be at about 47GB free, which is good.
For the other items I will make a new posting. This here is getting long. When we are done, your PC will be all streamlined.

Posted 9 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

Info on Startup: Microsoft Corporation
MS Office One Note disabled
MS Userinit Logon A permitted
MS Window Explorer permitted
MS Windows Host permitted
MS Windows Host permitted
MS Windows Host permitted
MS Windows Host permitted
MS Windows Media permitted
MS Windows Defender permitted
ADOBE SYSTEMS, INC.
Adobe Acrobat permitted
AVANQUEST SOFTWARE
Digital Line Detect. not yet classified
BRODERBUND PROPERTIES, LLC
PrintMaster not yet classified
SUPPORT SOFT, INC
SupportSoft sprtcmd permitted
INSTALLSHIELD SOFTWARE CORPORATION
InstallShield Update Service permitted
Installshield Update Service not yet classified
Installshield Update Service permitted
MCAFEE, INC.
McAfee SpamKiller permitted
MCAFEE, INC.
Site Advisor permitted
SIGMA TEL, INC.
C-Major Audio not yet classified
CYBERLINK CORPORATION
Cyberlink PowerCinema not yey classified
PUBLISHER NOT AVAILABLE
Dell Fax Solutions Software not yet classified
Dell Memory Card Mgr. not yet classified
dlcxmon not yet classified
N/A (file name: EulaLauncher) not yet classified
N/A (file name: dsca.exe) not yet classified
CRAWLER.COM
Crawler Toolbar not yet classified
APPLE, INC.
iTunes permitted
Q-Time not yet classified

There you go. I hope you can help. If you don't know what some of these do, imagine how I feel.

Posted 9 years ago
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jd2066
Posts: 3814

@whs: Shadow space isn't just for System Restore. It also is used for the Previous Versions feature. A useful feature that will store previous versions of files when you change them, in case they are needed again.

Posted 9 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Before we go on, let me summarize where we stand:
1.Your son observed the slow performance because you had only 512MB of RAM. With the 1.5GB that should be no problem any more. We are still trying to see whether we can reduce the startup programs to make further performance gains.
2.We do have enough disk space – especially after the shadowstorage reduction. There is no need to transfer your pictures to the flash drive. You may use the flash drive for other purposes (transport data, backup data, etc.). I highly recommend to get an external disk for data backup.You will be VERY sorry if you did not, the day you crash. My 250GB Seagate FreeAgent cost $69.95. (and don’t buy stuff from Dell. They are very pricey. If you need shopping guidance, let me know).
3.Your planned upgrade to Vista Home Premium because of what you want to do with your pictures does not make sense to me – if this is the only reason. There are a millions of programs out there and I am sure we can find one that does what you want on Vista Basic.
I also saw that you have problems with copy/paste. Some things don't copy but you can use the SNIPPING TOOL to "take a picture". You find that in accessories. I recommend to pin it to the START menue. It's very useful. What you get is a picture in PICTURES. To send this around, you will need an E-mail adress. In case you need one, I will get mine forwarded to you. Let me know.
I will wait for your next posting before I continue. Don't want to drown you in information.

Posted 9 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

jd, I know, but I did not want to make it too complicated. The only time Piowackett will ever use all this stuff will be to go back to a system restore point - if at all.

Posted 9 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

Hello again whs, here is what I got----
Error: A required option is missing.

resize ShadowStorage /For=ForVolumeSpec /On=OnVolumeSpec [/Maxsize=MaxSizeSpec]
- Resize the maxumum size for a shadow copy storage association between ForVolume Spec and OnVolume Spec. Resizing the storage association may cause shadow copies to disappear. If MaxSize Spec is not specified, there is no limit in the amount of space it may use. As certain shadow copies are deleted, the shadow copy storage space will then shrink. MaxSize must be 300MB or greater and accepts the following suffixes: KB,MB, GB, TB,PB, and EB. Also B,K,M,G, T,P and E are acceptable suffixes. If a suffix is not supplied, MaxSize Spec is in bytes.
Example Usage: vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /ForC:= /Om=D: /MaxSize=
900MB.

whs, typed in what you gave me so what is the error it is referring to?

Posted 9 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

@piowackett - I will let Lighthouse deal with the Startups - else it gets too confusing Him AND Me bombarding you with info. I think most of those startups can go.

Posted 9 years ago
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jd2066
Posts: 3814

I think the spaces in the command whs posted got messed up.
Here is a repost using the code tag that should work:
Vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=C: /On=C: /MaxSize=4GB

Posted 9 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

I do not understand the external hard drive thing. Where would I buy it and BELIEVE ME I would need step by step instructions on installing it.
Would be happy to hear from you. Please forward E-Mail. I feel asif I'm drowning already.
The Windows Movie Maker Help Menu is where it stated that Windows Basic does not have the capabilities to burn my pictures to a DVD to run on a VCR. That's where I got the info.

Posted 9 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

piowakett, I bought the hard drive in Office Depot. But they also sell in BestBuy and CircuitCity. Study the Sunday ads that come with your newspaper for deals. 250GB should not cost more than $70 to $80 (unless they are USB powered which is another story). If you have no sunday ads, let me know. You can get it off the web too. What is your ZIP code?
Installation is 2 seconds - you just plug it into the wall outlet for power and into an USB port of your PC - all done. Then it appears in COMPUTER same way you saw C:. It is essentially like a folder from there.
On the programs you need to burn your DVD's I am sure we can find something for Vista Basic. I will study that later.
I will ask Scott to send you my E-mail. Feel free to use it.
PS. I will be out until about 6PM EST. Will get back to you later. Gives you time to do some of the other things from earlier and report back.

Posted 9 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

whs, Many thanx. Appreciate the help from you, Lighthouse and jd. You are all great to help. I have to go as well. Will check back here well after 12noon CST. Again, many thanx to you all.
ShadowSotrage thing still IS NOT A GO.

Posted 9 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

jd, do you think it says invalid option because my recovery is on D?

Posted 9 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

piowackett, as I said earlier: forget D:. Don't touch it, don't look at it, don't even think of it. You will need it the day your system crashes for Vista reinstallation. Let's hope that day will never happen.
The shadowstorage things SHOULD be real simple. Once you have the Command Prompt window opened as ADMINISTRATOR, all you need to do is type (and jd2066 is right, it's the spaces that got messed up in RESIZE. Command Prompt is very touchy)
VSSADMIN LIST SHADOWSTORAGE -as you apparently were able to do before
VSSADMIN LIST SHADOWS - to see how many shadows you have
VSSADMIN RESIZE SHADOWSTORAGE /for=C: /on=C: /maxsize=4GB - to reduce it to 4GB
and never mind small or big letters-it's the same - and there IS a space in front of the slashes (/)

Posted 9 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Hi again, piowakett, could you please download this little program, it will make things a bit easier to understand
http://www.mlin.net/files/StartupCPL.zip

Posted 9 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

Hi Lighthouse, Could not download the program.MS Word said it could not open up the file but I saved it to Desktop. Have not worked with a .zip file. Could you tell me what to do? Still getting "Error: A required option is missing" when I work on the shadowstorage.

Posted 9 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Hi, click (or double click on it (depends on your setup)) and tell me what happens

Posted 9 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

FINALLY!! whs, new numbers. Reads as follows Used 3.078GB
Allocated 3.349GB Maximum 4GB.
Maybe I finally got the spaces correct. I'm not sure. It gets frustrating. But at lease the shadowstorage problem is done.

Posted 9 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

Back to you Lighthouse, Dbl clicked on it and got MS Word Screen. Window popped up. Says: Office Open XMLfile StartupCPL cannot be opened because there are problems with the contents. Clicked on Details and it reads: the file is corrupt and cannot be opened. I click OKand it says: Word found unreadable content in StartupCPL and askes if I want to recover the contents of this document. I click OK and the whole thing starts all over again with the first popup. Don't know what else to do??

Put it in Documents and was able to open it but when I try to use it, a window pops up and says: Setup cannot copy the file Startup.cpl. Then I get another window that pops up and says: Ensure that the location below is correct, or change it and insert "Startup Control Panel, Set up disk #1 in the drive you specify. Any ideas? I thought it was my gray hair but I think my brain is going numb.

Posted 9 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

OK, right click on it, and select "extract".

Posted 9 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

Lighthouse - Can't get it to work or I'm getting fried on trying to. Suggestions??

Posted 9 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

piowakett, I'm back. I'm glad you wrestled the shadowstorage down. Now you should have about 47GB's free on your C-disk - right? We're making progress step by step.
PS. You should have received my email adress. Why don't you send me a mail. Will make some things easier.

Posted 9 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

I think, start again.
Delete it from your desktop.
Download it again (choose save not run) and we'll take it from there

Posted 9 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

Lighthouse- Have been advised a storm is headed our way this pm. May not be able to log on tomorrow. Remember meeeeeee!! I'll be back. Emailed whs. Hope you both can discuss what to do.

Posted 9 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

OK, take care

Posted 9 years ago
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