OT: Computer help

I can’t find the “Help With This Stupid Computer” Board.

The Control Panel of my HP desktop, running Windows 10, is running Windows Defender Firewall as virus defense. This is set to “Block all apps that aren’t on the list of approved apps.”
I also run Superantispyware daily and Malwarebytes every few days.

I am getting a message, “An app is causing a problem and may cause your computer’s performance to be worse” or words to that effect. It doesn’t say which app is causing the problem. I found a list of apps, some of which came with the computer and some from outside but many of the descriptions are gibberish to me.



It’s under the Community Help Desk Category.


I’d run Ccleaner and then Adwcleaner. Both free and often effective.


Windows 10, is running Windows Defender Firewall as virus defense. This is set to “Block all apps that aren’t on the list of approved apps.”

Why not call Microsoft support team to resolve the problem. They can look at your problem online and make any needed fixes.


Get a Mac. :slightly_smiling_face:

The Captain


Wendy - I have to agree. Get a Mac! They are so much easier to set up and maintain. AND, if you live in an Apple world (iPhone, iPad, etc.) they all just sync nicely across platforms.



This is not cause for (immediate, at least) panic. Sometimes messages like this are caused by legitimate apps which impact performance (say backing up a hard disk) and Windows warns you that things might be slower than expected.

To research it further:

If you us CTRL-ALTT-DEL to bring up its menu and select “Task Manager” you’ll see a list of all the applications which are being used. It will highlight your PC’s memory usage, CPU usage, etc. t the top of the columns and highlight individual metrics from apps which are abnormally highs in orange. That could give you some insight into what caused the message. Briefly look down the names of the apps and see if there is some “bloatware” you can do without which can be removed or set to “disable” upon startup.



I use both PCs and Macs and I’ve found the Macs to be far better, both in user interface, and in longevity. In fact, I just a few weeks ago switched from my 2012 macbook pro to a new macbook pro. Not only did it last 10+ years, but it STILL overall performed better than my much newer PC. The battery finally gave out, so I figured it’s time for a new one. I toyed with replacing the battery, but I wanted to try out the new Apple-designed processor instead of the older Intel ones. Meanwhile, in those 10 years, I’ve gone through 3 PCs.

Yes, Apple macs are more expensive than most PCs, but since they last 3 times longer, they end up being the same price or even less expensive overall per year of usage.


There’s an even better solution than buying a Mac: Use Linux! It’s free, more secure, and more stable! More specifically, buy a used PC and install MX Linux (https://mxlinux.org/) on it.

I recommend that anyone new to Linux get started by buying a used PC and installing Linux on it. As you learn to do more and more in Linux, you can phase out your dependence on your old Windows 10 setup. You may never, ever have to suck it up and “upgrade” to Windows 11.

PCs depreciate more quickly than Macs do, which is good news if you’re buying used, because that means you can buy your used computer for less money. It also helps if Windows is NOT provided with the PC, because the limited market for it allows you to buy it for less.

The Linux distro (flavor) I recommend is MX Linux. It’s popular, user-friendly, and FAST! It’s actually lighter and faster than many other Linux distros and will even work well on PCs that are 10+ years old and are MUCH too slow for the current version of Windows. Using the latest version of Windows on a 10-year-old computer is like installing a small 4-cylinder engine under the hood of a massive Lincoln Town Car. THIS is why PCs depreciate so much.

Linux also has much better security and stability than Windows. Let’s face it. Windows just isn’t ready for the desktop.

If you miss the user-friendly interfaces of Windows 7 and XP, you can get it from MX Linux (and many other Linux distros). It’s ironic that only Linux still offers an XP-like interface.

Linux doesn’t force you to pay for upgrades like Windows does. Linux is free.

The fact that Linux has so many distros is a feature, not a bug. When Windows makes changes that you don’t like, sticking with Windows means having no choice but to suck it up. It’s Microsoft’s way or the highway. If the Linux distro you’ve been relying on makes a controversial change that you don’t like, you can switch to a different one. The process of switching from one Linux distro to another is MUCH easier than the process of moving away from Windows.

Because Linux is so fast and efficient, YOU decide when it’s time to replace your computer rather than have Microsoft dictate the terms. As a general rule, you should NEVER “upgrade” Windows on your computer, because the newer version of Windows (designed for newer and faster computers) will be heavier and slower than the old one.


Wendy, I know that the MacOS solution is more popular than the Linux solution I suggest.

Some reasons Linux is better than a Mac:

The solutions to consider (in order from cheapest to most expensive) are:

  1. Buy a used PC and install MX Linux on it: Try this first. You can buy a nice used PC for under $100 and perhaps even under $50. A local seller of used computers (that I’ve bought from in the past) currently has for just $15.26 an HP ProDesk 600 desktop with a Pentium G3220 processor, 4 GB of memory, a 750 GB hard drive, and an optical drive. MX Linux will be faster on this old beater of a machine than Windows 10 is on your current machine.
  2. In the unlikely event that you don’t like MX Linux, try Linux Mint. It’s also user-friendly and immensely popular. It’s heavier and slower than MX Linux but still MUCH, MUCH faster and lighter than Windows 10.
  3. If you don’t like Linux at all (or if you need something that only the Mac world can provide), then you can fall back on the Mac solution.
1 Like

@DopplerValue I already own a used PC. It’s the PC I’m using now, an HP Pavilion desktop which is adequate for my needs. It has two internal hard drives, the one it came with and a Seagate hard drive that I transplanted from my earlier PC. I am using only a tiny fraction of these hard drives. Installed RAM is 8 GB.

Although I am running Windows 10 I didn’t buy Microsoft Office. I’m using free LibreOffice instead, which is OK but not really as good as Office.

What will happen to all my files and software if I switch to MX Linux? I’m afraid of screwing up my computer in the attempt to improve it.

Thanks to Ccleaner, I traced the problem to Acronis 2015 which was running in the background.


Wendy, the thing to do when switching from one computer to another is to back up all your personal files to external media.

What I’m suggesting is buying a used PC and trying out MX Linux (or Linux Mint if you don’t like MX Linux) there while leaving your current Windows setup alone. You can learn to do things the Linux way while still having Windows 10 to fall back on. Eventually, you’ll find that you no longer need Windows.


Yup. For a while, I was getting a program error message of some sort at shutdown. Turned out that, when the s/w for updating my Navi updated itself, it defaulted itself to running all the time, and that was what was mucking up my OS. Turn the app off, and harmony was restored.

Always fun to watch the dueling Mac and Linux cults duke it out tho. :slight_smile:



I was biting my tongue as a long, long AAPL investor, hobbyist, user from Apple][+ days… But work @ WeCo eventually had me helping the boss do his Efficiency, Cost reports on the old DOS PC the management used… Down the line, many years we finally had a variety of laptops in the (Installation) field so they, like us traveled, bounced around a lot from Central Offices to Mountaintop, Rooftops with Cellular and microwave site work, they even gave up pagers & cell phones, eventually… Laptops ran WinNT, lots of legacy Bell Labs programs for testing various systems with port demands, most couldn’t handle… And then the virus battles, days lot from the to time, our PC support guys weren’t much more knowledgable as we were, and were always off in some other area, 100 miles away… No backups until I forced the issue, all pretty frustrating, the web was still new, access pretty bad… Why the labs didn’t use Unix never made sense, why put up with M$'s mess when they had their own system, but they never made a go of the little bit of computers they did try to sell… Maybe legal things stopped them, I don’t know… We did use Apple //e, and PDP8 setups for some system testing, but that also went away as we moved along…

We had a remaining PC until my wife retired, I remember a guru on the HWTSC board help me chase out some nasties before we gave up on it… All mac now, a 2012 Mac Pro with a 32" Dell monitor, DW has a later 27" iMac… So, yes, a tad prejudiced, as both an investor and user for so many years… It’s just funny to see the old Mac vs PC game again, it’s imbedded, I guess…


1 Like

Backup, backup, backup! A backup disk is useful but getting you PC operational after a failed Linux test is still a PITA. That’s why a second PC is necessary to test out Linux for your needs.

The Captain

1 Like

How does Linux do with Microsoft files like Word, Excel, Powerpoints, etc?

LibreOffice can open those Microsoft Office files. It’s available for Windows users, so you don’t even need to ditch Windows in order to ditch Microsoft Office.

Ayup. That is what I did, years ago. Picked up a Linux package about 20 years ago. It was free net of rebate, so why not? Loaded it on my backup PC. Yes, I could make it work, but why bother? Went back to Windows. Gave the Linux package to a guy in the IT department at work, who wanted to join the cult, but didn’t want to pay anything.


I have been using Open Office, since it was new. There used to be one or two other free office suites. My usage of it is minimal, but it works satisfactorily.


1 Like

I use LibreOffice spreadsheets on my Mac. It’s a crappy version of Excel.

The Captain

1 Like