Help! Problems with printer and control panel

Discussion in 'General Technical' started by GR8 02 C5, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. GR8 02 C5

    GR8 02 C5

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    I have just purchased a Gateway GT 5630E, w/Core 2 Quad processor, running Vista Premium. I have installed 2GB memory in each channel for a total of 4GB. I have a Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse. Everything else is standard. I have installed an HP Photosmart 4280 all-in-one printer using the HP SW installation disc.

    When I add the most incidental SW (like winzip, or some other minimal program), the following occurs:

    1. The printer will not print, showing a message that a problem has occurred and to make sure the printer is connected. The printer is connected, it shows it is ready upon boot-up, and on the printer window, it shows online.

    2. If I try to bring up Control Panel out of the Start menu, the window loads for ~ 1 second, then disappears. The same thing happens with the welcome center.

    I can access the Control Panel via Windows Explorer, but not our of the Start menu. Sometimes, on a subsequent boot-up, everything with work. But this is not the normal case.

    Any suggestions will be appreciated.
     
    GR8 02 C5, Feb 19, 2008
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  2. GR8 02 C5

    WAW8

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    You didn't say you're running 64-bit Vista, in which case, you're not going to be able to use all 4GB of memory. You should be able to use 3GB, maybe even more.



    There have been countless problems reported from using 4GB of memory in machines not specifically designed to support 4GB. In some cases, 4GB simply won't work; in others, a BIOS update is required to handle more than 2GB. In yet other cases, there have been problems reported trying to install Vista or SW with 4GB in the machine.



    Since this is a prebuilt machine, suggest you contact your vendor and discuss the situation with them.
     
    WAW8, Feb 20, 2008
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  3. GR8 02 C5

    GR8 02 C5

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    Thanks for the response. I have the 32 bit Vista Prem. I'll try your suggestion with regard to the memory issue. Interesting that the sales person that sold me the computer and the 4GB memory didn't bother to mention that issue!
     
    GR8 02 C5, Feb 20, 2008
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  4. GR8 02 C5

    WAW8

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    OK -- I looked up the specs for your system and Gateway claims it can handled up to 8GB. Of course, they didn't tell you that to address all that, you'll need to run a 64-bit OS, and also, you can't "upgrade" from 32-bit to 64-bit. That requires a complete reinstallation -- which you won't be able to do because (I'm guessing) they did NOT send you a retail Vista DVD that contains both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.



    You should NOT be having the problems you're experiencing. While it's POSSIBLE that installing the printer SW is a source, it's extremely unlikely.



    I would suggest you do the following:

    1) Uninstall the printer and SW

    2) Put 4GB back in your machine

    3) If the problems return, try only 2GB -- you may have to be selective about which slot to use; typically, only one stick has to go into a specific slot.

    4) If the problems vanish, try the other memory stick.

    5) If the problems return, you have a bad memory stick.

    6) If the problems vanish, your machine won't support 4GB of memory -- in which case, it may be a BIOS version issue.



    You SHOULD be able to run with all 4GB of memory, you just won't be able to address it all. I would then call Gateway and complain bitterly to them. They should be willing to fix/replace your machine.
     
    WAW8, Feb 20, 2008
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  5. GR8 02 C5

    GR8 02 C5

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    Thanks for the time spent on this problem. I still have the 4 GB installed, so I'll uninstall the printer and see what happens.

    You are correct about the OS S/W. I only have a Gateway reinstallation disc with all the S/W that comes with the original configuration (which is only the 32 bit Vista Premium version). One question on your recommended test. I was told the two memory channels need to contain the same amount of memory. The PC came with two 512K boards, one in each channel. I have removed them and installed two 2G boards. If I remove one, will that imbalance cause another problem? I guess I could just try it and see what happens. Or I could go back to the two 512's and start working upward. Any thoughts on this?

    Thanks again.

    GR8 02 C5
     
    GR8 02 C5, Feb 20, 2008
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  6. GR8 02 C5

    WAW8

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    My ASUS board has four slots, but you can load just one slot if you use the correct one. Of course, you don't get dual channel memory doing that.



    So, you might need to check with the vendor on using only one stick. As to mixing memory sizes, I have done that in one machine and it works OK, but again, it's not a Gateway, so I don't know if you can do that in yours.
     
    WAW8, Feb 20, 2008
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  7. GR8 02 C5

    GR8 02 C5

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    Update.

    I removed the 2G memory cards, one at a time, and reinstalled the 2 512Ms. The Control Panel still didn't load.

    I uninstalled the printer. No change. I uninstalled the printer S/W. No change.

    I uninstalled the remaining S/W (only several programs), except for Windows Office. No change.

    I restored back to a point just after installing Windows Office and before installing the printer. That fixed the problem, at least for two reboots.

    So now, I have Vista, with several Windows updates (but not SP1), McAffee, Firefox, and Windows Office. That's about it as far as S/W, except for the stuff that came already installed. Any thoughts or recommendations on how to proceed from here? I'm thinking I might either begin installing various programs, but not the printer to see if it is a program S/W installation issue. Or, I could install the printer, and see where that goes.
     
    GR8 02 C5, Feb 21, 2008
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  8. GR8 02 C5

    WAW8

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    First off, do NOT install SP1, not unless you want an expensive paperweight. There have been so many reports of the SP1-related updates trashing machines (especially KB937287) that MS has pulled the SP1 KBs off Windows Update.



    There have been reports of McAfee (and other AV products) preventing internet connections and network printing. Has to do with firewall settings in these products that remain even though the firewalls have been disabled. So, I would hold off on McAfee as well.



    Since you have Home Premium, you do not have the Vista built-in imaging system that allows you to make a complete OS image and store that offline for later restore. So, instead, I would make a Restore Point at this point. At least this way, you will have a working environment to go back to.



    Since the printer instals its own SW, and that is what you did before when you started having the problems, I would try reinstalling the printer using the default MS drivers. I found that to be a solution with some recent HP printers -- the MS drivers worked, the HP drivers didn't. IF it's a USB printer, just unplug it, reboot and then use Add a Printer to install it. Don't connect the printer to the USB port until prompted to do so. Vista should recognize the printer and automatically install the correct driver.
     
    WAW8, Feb 21, 2008
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  9. GR8 02 C5

    GR8 02 C5

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    Thanks for the tips. I'll give these suggestions a try next.
     
    GR8 02 C5, Feb 21, 2008
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