A dropped router (apparently) causing massive problems
Thread poster: William Pairman

William Pairman  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:04
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
Sep 14, 2009

OK, not sure how to explain this, but bear with me...

I have a router with two PCs connected, one a 3 yr old laptop running XP, the second a year old Desktop running Vista Business

The router is in a slightly precarious position on a shelf, I knocked it off. It seemed that the internet connection was interrupted so I switched off switched on the router and all seemed OK, at least on the laptop

On the desktop however a serious of very odd and serious changes had taken place...

Desktop icons no longer launch the corresponding application, but open Properties instead. I cant open any files - clicking on archives simply opens a Props window. Right clicking does nothing. I can open Firefox from the start menu but cant type in either the Google bar, the KudoZ bar or the URL bar. Either nothing appears or an ATI Catalyst window appears. The switch off computer tab in the Start menu doesn't work. The tabs at the bottom of the screen are inoperative

"Manually" rebooting does nothing. I've run the AV (Kaspersky 2009), Windows Defender and Spybot and nothing shows up. I've restored system to an earlier point and it makes no difference

Any possible idea? Logic suggests that the falling Router (which appears to be working fine) and this massive change to the computer shouldn't be connected, but all was fine a minute before.

Like I said, it's a fairly new desktop (Dell Vostro 200) which hasn't given me the slightest problem till now


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 05:04
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
similar situation in my case, but no router's fault Sep 14, 2009

William Pairman wrote:
...
Desktop icons no longer launch the corresponding application, but open Properties instead. I cant open any files - clicking on archives simply opens a Props window. Right clicking does nothing. I can open Firefox from the start menu but cant type in either the Google bar, the KudoZ bar or the URL bar
...

I ended with similar symptoms after replacing the system-default explorer with Notepad (I will not go into any shameful details about how to do it). So klicking on a Word file caused Notepad to go and try edit Word.exe (sigh)....

I gave up on using my default account and tried guest instead. "Guest" account was (oooph!) fine and I have been using it since.

Hih

Vito

[Edited at 2009-09-14 14:56 GMT]


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RieM  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:04
English to Japanese
+ ...
Let's isolate the problem... Sep 14, 2009

Hi

From what you've described, it seems that something has happened with your input device (mouse/keyboard) instead of the dead/faulty network port. Still it's worth investigation. Here are something you can do first, if you haven't:

1. physically disconnect the network connection, check the back of your desktop to make sure that all the other cables/receivers are intact, and cleanly rebooted the machine. If the machine is working erratic, you may have to run diagnostic (Dell has it installed). If working fine, then,

2. shut down everything. Shutdown the router to prepare for cold boot. Use the "working network port" (the port used for the laptop) and link it to the desktop NIC port. Boot the router, and then the desktop to see if everything works ok. If so, the repeat this for the port in question.

Good luck
Rie


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William Pairman  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:04
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Rito and Rie Sep 14, 2009

...and many thanks to Media Matrix via eMail - the problem lay in an errant stuck Alt key (the router falling must have been coincidental, or else the trauma of it crashing to the ground made me press the key too hard)

I had a keyboard problem some years back that also resembled a virus or some such serious issue now I think about it. They seem such innocuous things too...


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