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For the:
Halifax Computer Club
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

On returning home from a trip in early June I proceeded to power up my D-Link Router and my Comtrend ADSL modem plus turn on my computer running Windows XP Service Pack 2 through my Tripplite USB 700 UPS. Everything was fine for a couple of days then suddenly my system slowed right down. I opened up Task Manager and noticed on the Performance tab that I was running at a solid 100%. Opening any programme or going on the internet or doing e-mail was slower than molasses. Paint was drying faster than my computer could process.

I called one of the HAPCC members Rob MacCara for any ideas on what was my problem. He thought it might be some Spyware or a virus or some corrupted files that was causing my problem. His suggestion was to go to the Trend Micro web site and run their Trend Secure House Call on my system. House Call looks for and cleans up any viruses, spyware and any other gremlins that are on your system. Running House Call took five or six hours as my system was so sluggish. The result was that my system was clean. Next I ran Check Disc. Running Check Disc in Windows XP requires you to reboot your system. After telling XP to run Check Disk you need to re-start Windows. Prior to loading Windows Check Disk will run and after correcting any errors will boot into Windows. Let's put it this way, I was not about to stay up all through the night while Check Disk was running. I went to bed sometime after midnight and when I got up around 8am Windows was loaded. I figure Check Disk completed its operation by about 5 or 6am. My computer was still slower than molasses. My next trick was to run De-Frag. I won't tell you how long that took.

My wife wanted to do some work on the computer. I told her to be patient as the system was very slow. While upstairs in the living room my wife called to me and said the computer had stopped working. I went to check it and noticed the monitor was black and there was no indication that the computer had any power going to it. I also noticed that the UPS power indication was not on. My monitor and computer were connected to the battery side of the UPS. When running normally the system is working off the house AC power. When there is a power outage a relay switches your system to battery backup in the UPS. I moved the monitor and computer power cables to my power bar and turned on the computer. Everything was back to normal. My system was working at its proper speed. Checking the Performance tab in Task Manager I was running at 0 to about 2% when the system was at idle.

I called Rob to tell him that I was back to normal. After getting back from my holiday I took no notice of the power indication on the UPS was blinking. Something in the circuitry on the battery side of the UPS was failing and finally gave out. Rob told me a great many of the problems with computers come from power problems. The UPS was about seven years old so was well out of warranty. If the UPS had caused damage to my system Tripplite would have covered the damage.

I will be purchasing another UPS in the near future. Besides giving you a battery backup the UPS also cleans up the signal coming from the AC outlet in the house.

By Richard McNair

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