The Technology Help Corner.

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For whatever reason, my computer decided that my printer was offline. I don't understand how to set it back online, and the advice I found online wasn't very helpful.

I solved the problem temporarily by uninstalling and re-installing the printer, but doing that every time my computer does this might be a bit of a hassle. I wonder what I should do if the Offline status appears again.

My computer is a Windows 7 (I think).

This is my "Units and printers" menu:

And this is what it looks like when I double-click the printer in question:

As I said, right now the status is Ready because I re-installed the printer, but what should I do if the printer goes offline again?

My inbox is notifying me of a message/quote I got but for some reason isn't showing anything in my inbox. I know it's not a bug because I found the quotation which flagged the notification in the first place, so it's my inbox that has the issue.

Edit: never mind, problem sorted itself out.

My computer will no longer eject the CD drive. It hasn't been working for over a week now and I have Daemon's tools if that could potentially affect it. I've already tried restarting the computer and I'm pretty sure nothing is inside the disk drive. My computer only has one CD drive and is a Cybertron PC.

Professor James:
For a few days, my computer has been a bit choppy. Today, I checked on Ccleaner and on system properties and it says that my cpu is an amd engineering sample with only 1.6 ghz. I have done no hardware modification of my computer of any sort. I don't know what is happening or what to do.

Edit: my processor was an AMD Athlon II X2 255 Dual Core 3.1 Ghz Processor

Professor James:
My computer will no longer eject the CD drive. It hasn't been working for over a week now and I have Daemon's tools if that could potentially affect it. I've already tried restarting the computer and I'm pretty sure nothing is inside the disk drive. My computer only has one CD drive and is a Cybertron PC.

It is possible that your computer might actually be dying, given the processor-issue and that it won't eject the CD tray any more.

To be a little bit more specific, it sounds like your CD drive and processor might be headed towards the grave, the other components might still be all right (you said you have a Cybertron, I'm assuming that's a prebuilt machine). It sounds like your computer is a fairly old one too, it might be time to replace it, if you can afford it.

Daemon Tools shouldn't affect existing drives in any way, and since you've already tried turning it off&on again (the very FIRST thing to do when a computer is acting up), I can't say much more without being able to take a look at the computer itself.

One thing you can try, if you can be bothered to, is re-installing Windows, but like I said, it sounds more like your computer is about to die, and it'd be a potential waste of time trying to re-install.

For a few days, my computer has been a bit choppy. Today, I checked on Ccleaner and on system properties and it says that my cpu is an amd engineering sample with only 1.6 ghz. I have done no hardware modification of my computer of any sort. I don't know what is happening or what to do.

I would ignore the info CCleaner is giving you, most hardware scanning tools use databases to look up the hardware info, so any errors in the database and you get the info shown incorrectly, even then they aren't always perfect but you can double check by downloading something like CPUz, it will give you more info about what's going on with your CPU than CCleaner can.

I've never seen a CPU fail in such a way that if the scanner is 100% accurate that the CPU itself could be misrepresented as something other than it actually is. When CPUs fail they usually either cause the system to hard lock, shut down without warning or BSOD, if the CPU can self throttle then it will drop the core speed due to overheating issues which could lead to 'choppyness' you describe.

The other issue with the DVD drive not ejecting, is the DVD drive being detected at all? Check Windows Explorer if the drive is working then you'll have an icon for it.

If you do can you right click and get the drive to eject from there? If so then your eject button is broken (new drive or use the right click eject in future.)

If you don't have a drive icon in Windows Explorer then the drive isn't being powered this means

1). The drive is toast
2). The cables are toast (or loose, easy to check this)
3). The connectors on the motherboard is toast (again easy to check just swap the drive connector to another slot on the board.)(You can do this if the Drive and Board use Sata if they are IDE then you won't be able to check this.)

Ok, no sure if this is really "tech"help, but it relates so might as well post it.

Currently am unable to quote any other user, click open any spoiler tag, or see any videos within tag. Also dealing with an over-abundance of Bieber but that may not be related.

Now I am using the most updated firefox browser, so I would hope that is not the cause, but I would wager a guess I am in the minority dealing with this issue. As such, does anyone have any idea of what I can do to help fix this? Tried restarting and running a CCleaner to clean out the catch (thought something there might have saved a setting that was altered after the April first forum changes) but no such luck.

-----

Of course, soon as I post this and keep tinkering, I figure out what was wrong...

For anyone in a similar situation, here is what it was. Currently required to have a script-blocker on the computer to prevent possible malicious code auto-run. Whitelisting the escapist used to work to bypass that. As it is, needed to add jquery.com to the whitelist. If anything here is inappropriate to share, please edit the post or let me know and I will.

Currently suffering through day 18 of the Beiberpocolypse.

Around the first my account randomly turned the beiber pictures on and switched my background to the running puppies one. Since then nothing I can do will get rid of beiber. I've cleared my catche, waited over 24 hours without doing anything on the site, nothing works. What is worse is that I know the effect is bound to my account itself somehow (I can see avatars just fine when not logged in).

I was relatively content to wait out the usual day or so the gag gives as I assumed it was part of april fools. It's been over two weeks, I am tired of waiting on this to fix itself, does anyone have any advice on something I might have missed to remove this thing? Or a possible explanation as to why it wont go away like it was suppose to? is there some hidden option I just don't know about?

Hi. Simple question: How do I identify a GPU card without plugging it in? There doesn't seem to be any reconogizable number pattern printed on them or anything, and I have 3 of them which would probable a lot of work until I find the specs of each (assuming they work, because some are very likely incompatible with my motherboard).

so my laptop is pretty much getting ready to die and I need a new one my dad has promised to buy one but i need to pick it out..

so my current one is a g74sx Asus running windows 7 purchased from best buy...
I kinda want to stick with a Asus but my parents say a need a smaller laptop as this one is a monster in size and weight (their words not mine i like the heft and don't know how my mom works with that flimsy macbook air of hers)

(edit had some info wrong I am not that great about hardware)

runic knight:
Currently suffering through day 18 of the Beiberpocolypse.

You should contact staff (assuming you haven't already).

PinkiePyro:
so my laptop is pretty much getting ready to die and I need a new one my dad has promised to buy one but i need to pick it out..

What do you use your laptop for? If you answer is "everything", that includes gaming and school work, you'd want a laptop with a large screen, preferably 15" or larger (for games it might be a good idea to get a 17").

(I don't know how much you know about hardware, so for some clarification: Intel and AMD are two separate manufacturers of processors. nVidia and Radeon are separate graphics cards manufacturers).

For gaming, you will need a somewhat capable graphics circuit, for example nVidia GTX950M or higher (higher means that the second number is larger i.e GTX960M). I recommend getting a laptop with Intel i7 processor, to get that extra oomph for games that might need it (i7 can be a bit expensive, so if budget doesn't allow that, you can go down to i5). I do not recommend an AMD processor (or Radeon graphics), as they get insanely hot and will require a whole lot more fan activity (their heat tolerance is higher, but other components in the laptop might not appreciate the higher temperature).
The number of cores on the processor (dual core, quad core and all those fancy words) is getting more important for games, an i5 or i7 will normally come with 4 cores, but make sure to check what the details say!! If the name of the processor ends with U (assuming it's an Intel processor, not AMD), it's a low-power processor and not ideal for gaming (and it has two cores, not four).

If you're NOT going to use if for games, then the make of processor isn't terribly important, you can go for an i3 processor, or possibly an i5 processor if you want a bit more power. You also won't need a separate graphics circuit, as processors today are capable of doing regular graphical tasks within the OS.

Regardless of what you're going to use your computer for, get a minimum of 8GB of work memory. (Memory is not the same as storage space).

I see that the laptop you mentioned is quite a beast. If you're satisfied with it, get a new Asus, they make quite decent systems. As for specific models, it's hard to recommend, since I don't know what is available in your area. Lastly, your parents shouldn't dictate what kind of laptop you get; you're the user, you should get to decide what you need (an exception would be economic restrictions).

I realize this might be a lot of information to process; if anything's unclear, just quote me here and I'll reply again, or PM me if you're more comfortable with that. I'm a total nerd and can make sense of most numbers and letters in computers.

Qvar:
Hi. Simple question: How do I identify a GPU card without plugging it in? There doesn't seem to be any reconogizable number pattern printed on them or anything, and I have 3 of them which would probable a lot of work until I find the specs of each (assuming they work, because some are very likely incompatible with my motherboard).

If you're feeling brave and adventurous, you could try taking off the heatsink and check what is inscribed on the actual graphics chip itself (might require a bit of cleaning to see the numbers). I haven't had to identify GPU cards without markings before, have you tried googling the different part numbers printed on the circuitry?

Is anybody else having trouble with Steam?

I just installed it on my new computer, and while I could log on for a little while yesterday, I can't log on today. At least not in online mode, which I kinda need to access a program that I got. (Thank you, Armadox!) I have followed all of the advice on the Steam help page, and none of it has worked. And I know that nothing is up with my router, because I can access web pages just fine. Hell, I'm even sitting in the same room as my router, and it still won't connect to the Steam network. I've tried shutting the router off and back on, and it still won't work.

Is the Steam network just down right now or is something up with my computer?

EDIT: Well, it got worse. Now my computer refuses to run the program for some reason. I click on it repeatedly, and nothing happens. I see the little "loading wheel" next to the mouse pinter, but nothing else happens.

I also forgot to mention that my computer is a Windows 8.

I've got a problem with my PC. Just recently I've noticed there's computer with a weird name connected to mine under network. I can't remove it either, because apparently the only option is connecting. have i been hacked? please tell me how to get rid of it.

Felix the Human:
I've got a problem with my PC. Just recently I've noticed there's computer with a weird name connected to mine under network. I can't remove it either, because apparently the only option is connecting. have i been hacked? please tell me how to get rid of it.

That list doesn't show what computers are connected to you, it shows what computers are available on the network. If you don't recognize it, change the wifi-password and see if it goes away. (If you have administrative access to the router, you can kick it off the network, but you might still have to change the password).

ok, I've disabled flash in chrome, and for the last couple of days I've noticed I have a floating button over my browser on the escapist with 'get adobe flash player' on it... and it seems to have an invisible barrier extend below it and to the right thats blocking me from clicking links unless I scroll them above the button

Hey guys. I've recently been experimenting with increasing the audio pitch for a cartoony voice I'm trying to give to a character for a video I'm making. But every time I increase the pitch it gives the voice a sort of robotic crackling in the audio. I've tried applying DeClickers to the audio and adjusting the cents but it always sounds poppy and doesn't sound natural (as far as cartoon voices go).
Can anyone tell me how to fix this?

my computer gives me the bsod when I load webpages but it does no happen all the time also when it crash it can mess up me favorites by not give me the link the link in properties will be the name it was in favorites?

Ninja-Jordan:
Hey guys. I've recently been experimenting with increasing the audio pitch for a cartoony voice I'm trying to give to a character for a video I'm making. But every time I increase the pitch it gives the voice a sort of robotic crackling in the audio. I've tried applying DeClickers to the audio and adjusting the cents but it always sounds poppy and doesn't sound natural (as far as cartoon voices go).
Can anyone tell me how to fix this?

What program do you use for audio editing, and what's the quality of the mic? It's possible the crackling is impurities in the audio caused by poor recording equipment (or it's picking up your breathing when you're talking, in that case a simple filter to hold between your mouth and mic should do it).

residentout1:
my computer gives me the bsod when I load webpages but it does no happen all the time also when it crash it can mess up me favorites by not give me the link the link in properties will be the name it was in favorites?

I really badly want to help you, but your post is kinda incoherent. Could you try again? BSOD is usually caused by hardware errors these days, is your computer old?

Twinrehz:

Ninja-Jordan:
Hey guys. I've recently been experimenting with increasing the audio pitch for a cartoony voice I'm trying to give to a character for a video I'm making. But every time I increase the pitch it gives the voice a sort of robotic crackling in the audio. I've tried applying DeClickers to the audio and adjusting the cents but it always sounds poppy and doesn't sound natural (as far as cartoon voices go).
Can anyone tell me how to fix this?

What program do you use for audio editing, and what's the quality of the mic? It's possible the crackling is impurities in the audio caused by poor recording equipment (or it's picking up your breathing when you're talking, in that case a simple filter to hold between your mouth and mic should do it).

residentout1:
my computer gives me the bsod when I load webpages but it does no happen all the time also when it crash it can mess up me favorites by not give me the link the link in properties will be the name it was in favorites?

I really badly want to help you, but your post is kinda incoherent. Could you try again? BSOD is usually caused by hardware errors these days, is your computer old?

my computer is new just got an upgrade for fallout 4 but like I say I get a bsod when I load webpages (like loading a tumbler page or going the escapist) or downloading from steam.

residentout1:

my computer is new just got an upgrade for fallout 4 but like I say I get a bsod when I load webpages (like loading a tumbler page or going the escapist) or downloading from steam.

What did you upgrade?

Twinrehz:

residentout1:

my computer is new just got an upgrade for fallout 4 but like I say I get a bsod when I load webpages (like loading a tumbler page or going the escapist) or downloading from steam.

What did you upgrade?

just the video card every thing else is 3-4 years old.

residentout1:

Twinrehz:

residentout1:

my computer is new just got an upgrade for fallout 4 but like I say I get a bsod when I load webpages (like loading a tumbler page or going the escapist) or downloading from steam.

What did you upgrade?

just the video card every thing else is 3-4 years old.

Is it the same brand of graphics card (nVidia or ATI), and if it isn't, did you remove the old drivers? In a more extreme case, if you can be bothered to, you could try formatting your pc, but that really is last resort.

Like I said earlier, BSOD nowadays most usually comes from hardware error; here's a quick list of things you can try:
a) it is possible your new graphics card has bad backwards compatibility with PCI-E 2.0 (all new graphics cards come with PCI-E 3.0, and your motherboard sounds old enough to be equipped with PCI-E 2.0. Normally this shouldn't be a problem, but Windows is weird),
b) I mentioned problems with drivers. Even if it is the same brand of graphics card, try uninstalling the driver completely, and reinstalling it.
c) (skip this if you're not very good with understanding error messages in general) check Event Log to see if the Hardware-option says anything about crashes. You'll find Event Log if you open your start menu and type in "Event" in the search box (I think this should work independent of your system language). If you find anything in the Event Log, copy that line, put it into google, and see what results you get; chances are someone has already experienced a similar problem.
d) Download CCleaner (google it), and run it to remove all kinds of temporary and dead files. This can be combined with removing your old graphics card drivers, BEFORE you install them again. This should get rid of old files causing any trouble.
e) if all else fails; format your computer. This is very extreme, and should normally not be necessary. If reinstalling doesn't help either, it could be
f) something wrong with the RAM.
g) it could be your motherboard is failing, this means you'll have to get a new one. This is the very last resort, and unless something is terribly wrong with your current motherboard, it isn't necessary.

These are a lot of steps to find out whats wrong. Welcome to the world of hardware troubleshooting! Btw, what Windows version are you using, and have you updated it lately? Also, what kind of processor do you use, and how fast is it? It is possible that the problem is that you've taken a giant new motor and put it on an old 1960's beetle car.

Ok, realising I should have posted this here, wasn't paying attention.

So, bought a game on steam, and as I usually do, bundled the soundtrack with it.... only in this case its supplied as OGG files.

Goggled the extension, and got a number of hits, but I tend to be wary of dling stuff, and the first one I went for (codecs for media player) did nothing, and the next talked about media players that are, as far as I'm aware, no longer existing, so I'm not too hopeful its up to date, so can anyone recomend a player or file converter for OGG files? (I'm on windows 10 if it helps)

Windknight:
Ok, realising I should have posted this here, wasn't paying attention.

So, bought a game on steam, and as I usually do, bundled the soundtrack with it.... only in this case its supplied as OGG files.

Goggled the extension, and got a number of hits, but I tend to be wary of dling stuff, and the first one I went for (codecs for media player) did nothing, and the next talked about media players that are, as far as I'm aware, no longer existing, so I'm not too hopeful its up to date, so can anyone recomend a player or file converter for OGG files? (I'm on windows 10 if it helps)

.ogg is a container format, so it can contain just about any audio format you like. Go to http://www.freac.org - it's legit - download it, and select what format you want to convert it to (by default I think it converts to MP3). It supports a wide range of formats, so you can use it for other files as well.

EDIT: VLC should be able to play your files as well. Still haven't found anything (of legit material) that VLC can't play.

So here's the long story, just trying to be specific.

And real quick, this has happened across two sets. They were both basically the same setup, two speakers, one on each side of the monitor. First pair were Altec Lansing A215
https://www.amazon.com/Dell-Multimedia-Channel-Computer-Speakers/dp/B000NREXBC
and my current pair are Altec Lansing BXR1220
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0025VKUPW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Huh, maybe it's a brand problem.

Anyway.

My computer speakers, when I first turn on my computer speakers for the day or leave my PC alone for long enough, distort, specifically the left one makes a something of a crackling noise and lowers the overall volume across both speakers.
Occasionally, maybe, they start working after you play some noise through them, a video, music, whatever, there's a somewhat loud "thump" or "boom" or "click", some noise in the speakers then they start working properly. This occurred with my old pair now it's in the new ones

This occurred so much with my old pair so I replaced them, when the problem persisted, I started looking for some solutions but nearly all of what I found regarded mechanical errors and I think this is digital, I could be wrong though, of course.
Something that used to work was opening my Device Manager, uninstalling the audio drivers, and restarting the computer to reinstall the drivers, it would work after that.
For specificity, I was uninstalling "AMD High Definition Audio Device" and "Realtek High Definition Audio" although I used to only uninstall the second one and started uninstalling both as the problem got more persistent.

Now that doesn't really work anymore.
There's a "click" in the speakers when the computer boots up but the problem isn't solved, so now I just hope that they kick themselves into shape somewhere along the way like the used to.

If the system volume itself is down, about halfway or lower, the crackling doesn't occur, but at full 100, that's when it occurs, not sure exactly where the line is. The issue has not occurred in my monitor speakers or my USB wireless headset, not sure if that was important information but I thought I'd include it anyway, it only occurs in my auxiliary speakers.

Alright, I've explained the problem as specifically as I can but if there are any questions, I'll be happy to answer. The speakers are plugged into a standard 3.5mm jack, my motherboard (MSI 970 GAMING with AMD 970/SB950 ATX Motherboard - Socket AM3+
https://www.google.com/shopping/product/1943238304579492175?lsf=seller:6136318,store:10725747521650349396&prds=oid:273002123889470406&q=msi+gaming+motherboard&hl=en&ei=nHNGWI_3N5LejwPQ97zIDQ&lsft=gclid:Cj0KEQiA4JnCBRDQ5be3nKCPhpwBEiQAjwN1bgyThzI1ZNDtpYcI6RDdt5R0DR3KSq-zM_UepW9huk4aAkfx8P8HAQ)
has an integrated sound card.

I'll give my other specs if I need to but I don't know if I really do right now, forgive me if that's stupid, not exactly a PC savant here.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

Realtek's drivers is what you should be using, not AMD's. Unless you're connecting HDMI with sound and shit you won't be using your GPU's sound drivers.

The fact that it took time to develop tells me it's a hardware issue, even though software affected its behavior.

Funnily enough, I've had similar speakers to your first set, just with a more modern design, and I tried plugging them in after a few years and it crackled like crazy.

Living_Brain:
Realtek's drivers is what you should be using, not AMD's. Unless you're connecting HDMI with sound and shit you won't be using your GPU's sound drivers.

The fact that it took time to develop tells me it's a hardware issue, even though software affected its behavior.

Funnily enough, I've had similar speakers to your first set, just with a more modern design, and I tried plugging them in after a few years and it crackled like crazy.

So, stupid question, what do I do now then?

You mentioned it's a hardware thing, does that mean I'm stuck with intermittent sound problems?

Extra-Ordinary:

So, stupid question, what do I do now then?

You mentioned it's a hardware thing, does that mean I'm stuck with intermittent sound problems?

Sorry for late reply.

Yes? The best case scenario is that something's jacked (heh) with the aux cable, have you tried moving it back and forth?

I suggest you get a solid pair of speakers or just use headphones. I gave up on a speaker system so if I need speaker action from my PC I just use an old iPod and iPhone dock boom-box thing (with the old wide connector) that was probably under $30. Janky setup but it works.

My computer won't boot after a power outage.

I've had this problem before and I've managed to fix it before but now it's not taking.
After a power surge or outage, whether my PC is on or off, when I turn it back on it'll go through the motions, get through the BIOS screen (press DEL for BIOS, F11 for BOOT menu) and just get stuck at the screen after, a black screen with a blinking cursor in the upper-left and just not move on.
The way I've solved this before was something like the software version of hitting it until it works. I'd go into the BIOS, mess around with some options, typically turning on and off the OC Genie and moving things around in Boot priority and turning on and off the Fast Boots and setting everything to default a few times, various combinations of messin' around with those settings and enough restarts usually got her working but I've been at it for a while now and it's just not working.

All of the computer components are getting power, at least it seems, but maybe somethings not getting any or not booting properly, I never understood this problem so it's hard for me to speculate.

Here are my specs:

Graphics: GIGABYTE Radeon R9 270
CPU: AMD FX-6300 6-Core Processor Black Edition
HSF: Stock
Motherboard: MSI Gaming 970
RAM: Crucial Ballistix Sport 4GB Single DDR3
HDD: 1TB
SSD: None
Power Supply: Antec HCG M-Series HCG-520M
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 200R Compact

Any help would be appreciated, thank you.

Extra-Ordinary:
~

Do you have a USB drive with a windows image on it? Could be your HDD failing so that should theoretically work in that case.

Living_Brain:

Extra-Ordinary:
~

Do you have a USB drive with a windows image on it? Could be your HDD failing so that should theoretically work in that case.

Er, no, I used to but I reformatted my external so I could clone it again and didn't get around to that before this crash.

I've been reading this might either be a HDD or OS failure, I never learned which one because it always jostled itself into place eventually.

I've also tried using my Windows 7 recovery disk but no good. I've dealt with an OS crash before (and ended up wasting money on a new HDD because I thought it was a hard drive crash) and that worked with a previous PC but not now.

I've tried unplugging and replugging the HDD and nothin'.

I think I'm gonna get her Geek Squad-ed just to be sure. I'm usually not afraid to solve these problems on my own but I've tried a ton of things, this is officially out of my range.

Extra-Ordinary:

I think I'm gonna get her Geek Squad-ed just to be sure.

I hope I'm not too late but don't go specifically to Geek Squad. Get professional help, sure, just not GS.

Living_Brain:

I hope I'm not too late but don't go specifically to Geek Squad. Get professional help, sure, just not GS.

Nope, haven't gone anywhere yet, looked up some reviews, changed my mind.
It's just that they fixed a couple of my family's laptops a long time ago and they seemed alright but that was my dad's dollar, not mine, and well before I learned about computers.
Anyway.
Alright, so I want to give it a couple more tries before I wave the flag so here's what I'm doing:
I've ordered a Windows 10 Recovery Disk, not sure if that's the same as the USB with Windows image you mentioned but I'm hoping it'll do the trick.
Plan B, if that fails, bring my hard drive to a data recovery service.
That sound good?
It's the only plan I got right now so I hope so.

Extra-Ordinary:

Alright, so I want to give it a couple more tries before I wave the flag so here's what I'm doing:
I've ordered a Windows 10 Recovery Disk, not sure if that's the same as the USB with Windows image you mentioned but I'm hoping it'll do the trick.
Plan B, if that fails, bring my hard drive to a data recovery service.
That sound good?
It's the only plan I got right now so I hope so.

Yep as long as you have a cd drive. I don't have one in mine so that didn't occur to me, haha.
If windows boots off the disk, that means pretty much everything works in your PC except your HDD.

One more random thing I thought of, probably not it, but try connecting your monitor to the motherboard instead, if your model has onboard graphics.

Wish you luck

Living_Brain:

Yep as long as you have a cd drive. I don't have one in mine so that didn't occur to me, haha.
If windows boots off the disk, that means pretty much everything works in your PC except your HDD.

One more random thing I thought of, probably not it, but try connecting your monitor to the motherboard instead, if your model has onboard graphics.

Wish you luck

Thanks, chum, although I've been messin' around for a couple of hours now, nothing's stuck except a system restore off the disk, *then* it booted (of course).
Every attempt to fix my HDD has been blocked by some problem or other so it's definitely looking like a corrupted boot file.

My (hopefully) final question is this: what do I do now?
The way I see it, I either bring my HDD in or get a new one, probably gonna end up doing that anyway but still.
Because I managed to clone and image my HDD to an external drive and I'm scared to just throw that onto a new drive because I'm thinking I'll just throw the same corrupted file onto a new HDD, so what should be my next step please?

Extra-Ordinary:

My (hopefully) final question is this: what do I do now?
The way I see it, I either bring my HDD in or get a new one, probably gonna end up doing that anyway but still.
Because I managed to clone and image my HDD to an external drive and I'm scared to just throw that onto a new drive because I'm thinking I'll just throw the same corrupted file onto a new HDD, so what should be my next step please?

In your place I'd just start over with a new HDD. You said you cloned the drive, can you look at the contents? Just take all your personal files. But with windows, start fresh.

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