Your problem is a very common one. Technical support personnel have fielded many calls from users who have found solutions to the "Windows box almost works but won't do anything useful" problem. Here are a few things to try while you wait for Microsoft to send someone over to check your software licenses:
- WD-40. Your hard drive may be sticking, so go ahead and open it up and squirt some inside. Your power supply fan might be a bit slow as well, so give that a good spray too. Lubrication is critical in a computer, so grease it up while you're at it.
- Power. Check the power cord going from the computer to the wall. If this cord goes into a power strip, be sure to plug the cord coming out of the power strip into one of the strip's own outlets. You may also want to plug the computer into the same circuit as all your other other high-power devices. If a circuit breaker or fuse cuts off the power, just bypass the problem with a piece of wire. Alternately, you may need to find an outlet that uses a different plug style and just jam the plug from your computer into that. If it doesn't fit, push harder.
- Hit it. If your computer isn't working properly, something may be loose inside the box. A light tap will sometimes correct the problem. If this doesn't work, hit it harder until there is a noticeable change. Use a sledgehammer, jackhammer, or any random power tool if necessary.
- Clean it. Computers can get very dirty over time, so you should clean yours often. The best way to do this is to open the computer's case and spray water directly on the motherboard while the computer is running. For best results, use salt water. For a more professional cleaning job, use an industrial solvent. Most chemicals will have a label with red, blue, and yellow diamonds that each have a number inside. Pick the solvent with the highest numbers for the most cleaning power.
- Sell it. If all else fails, you may need to sell your computer and start from scratch. The best place to sell computers is eBay. For best results, your auction should mention all typical computer components, even if your computer does not have them. Also be sure to list all the software that is (or was) on the computer's hard drive. Don't include any of the material from the software's package, just say that the software is for "evaluation purposes." Be sure to mention lots of Microsoft software. Finally, try to package your computer in the box from a much better computer and list what is printed on the outside of the box.
We hope you find this helpful and look forward to your reply.