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Topic: Thanks Randy!

  1. #1

    Thanks Randy!

    Just thought I'd pass on my thanks to rbowser for some very useful tips he's been dishing out here. These were not in response to one of my posts - but I visit here regularly to benefit from the high standard of constructive and friendly advice being handed out by Randy and others, for which I'm very grateful.

    In this case, I'm referring to Randy's advice about narrowing the stereo field (and TURNING DOWN the reverb) to help the piano sit better in the mix when it's part of the orchestra. It's so simple and makes perfect sense - but until someone mentions it......

    Thanks Randy.

    Regards, Graham

  2. #2

    Re: Thanks Randy!

    Yes, I second that.

    Randy's usually one of the first to respond to a post.

    Actually I would like to thank most everyone here. Have you seen some of the other forums? This is such a friendly forum compared to most. What a great community.


  3. #3

    Re: Thanks Randy!

    Well now! What a very nice surprise - I log on at the Garritan Forum, and find this thread- Thank you Graham and Marty! When I see an issue I think I can help out with, and time permits, I'm glad to toss out some hopefully helpful text.

    It was especially appreciated, seeing this thread today, because I have been having just one Heck of a time for months now with my computer. There was a long gap of time when my laptop was dying, my new machine was being built. Then followed an extended period of trying to get the new machine up to speed, installing programs, getting help from my computer guy etc.

    Several times this year I've thought everything was settling down - and I'd come on here and say "Wow, I've had such computer problems!"---but then something else would come up.

    Well! As I type this, that virtually brand new computer is in the computer hospital - the guy who built it is working with it. It looks like he's going to have to WIPE THE C DRIVE--!---and I'll have to start the whole process over again of building the machine back up.

    Incredible - It's a long story that I won't bore you with. But these incredibly bad problems link directly to a major company's bad software that I purchased online, and then the intrusive attempts of that company's techies to rectify things. In the wake of it, the computer had problems impossible to live with.

    I'm typing this on the half-dead laptop- not sure it's going to hang in long enough for me to post this.

    SO--suffice to say, this thread cheers me, THANK YOU for it - and there's my tale of woe - how I'd be here much more often than I am, but computers have just not been cooperating with me this year!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Chandler, Arizona

    Re: Thanks Randy!


    Look into some disk imaging software so you can make a backup of your operating system. I've used Ghost for years but there are products available.

    Once you get your system running stable, then make an image to another hard drive other than your operating system one. So in case of a hard drive crash, crappy software or malware problem you'll be able to restore from the image and be up and running in a short time. Make a new image after making any major changes such as installing new software after you know it's working fine. I usually like to store 2 copies so there are 2 different points in time to go back to in case of problems.

    This has saved me days of work a few times in the past! You never know when a hard drive crash is going to occur.


  5. #5

    Re: Thanks Randy!

    Jim - thanks for the excellent advice. That's exactly what I'll be doing - wish I would have known to do that before. I did make a disc image, but way too late. I used the built-in disc image routine in Windows 7, but threw it out since the image had been made after problems started cropping up.

    My computer guy is still really struggling with the machine, and I'm not sure exactly why. I'm worried now that there's something else wonky about the way the machine was put together.

    Hopefully I'll be up and running again later this week--Hopefully!

    Thanks again for the good advice.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Chandler, Arizona

    Re: Thanks Randy!

    What kind of problems are you having before you gave him the computer? My music machine had all sorts of weird problems at first. It was popping up quite a few various errors in the Event Viewer. My thought was bad memory but it passed multiple overnight memory tests with a few different programs. Turned out that I did have a bad bank of memory which I confirmed by removing a bank and let it run for a month without problems. Swapped the memory out under warranty and the computer has been fine since then.


  7. #7

    Re: Thanks Randy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Haydn View Post
    What kind of problems are you having before you gave him the computer?...
    This takes the thread into a new topic realm, but I guess that's OK, since the original topic was about me.

    So, Jim – your question about what kinds of problems my computer was having before sending it to the tech inspires me to tell a little story. I am outraged over what happened, and when it gets down to exactly is responsible, right now we can't tell which company caused the problem--

    ADOBE and/or AMAZON.

    The following could possibly happen to someone else – and so I have not changed the names of the companies involved – there they are, A and A – I'm currently very unhappy with both of them and don't mind saying so in public. Potential customers reading this may learn something that will help them avoid some grief.

    Adobe Premiere Elements 9. Video editing software. I bought it (no upgrade breaks on the pricing) because I found out the hard way that my previous version, 4, isn't compatible with Windows 7 or a 64 bit computer—and my brand new computer is that, 64 bit, W7, 6 core, 8 gigs RAM.

    Amazon had a price break on a download of the software, so I bought it from them.

    The program wasn't installing correctly. It was somehow half installed – It was functioning, but incomplete. Plug-ins would come up missing, because they were parts of the program that hadn't finished installing.

    When I'd try to do the install again, the Windows Installer would come up with error messages about missing the .msi file. The Adobe Updater in my system tray would alert me about updates to Elements 9 – I'd try to run those, and the computer would report that the software wasn't installed at all.

    I contacted both Amazon and Adobe. They each told me the other company would have to deal with it. Being a technical problem, it was most logical to have Adobe tech support help me.

    Very long story shorter – TWO DAYS on the phone with Adobe, a total of almost 6 hours, during which time they controlled my screen, un-installing, re-installing, deleting files, making changes in the registry etc – and none of it worked. They had to give up. Over and over they would encounter the same problem I had – the Windows Installer would say the .msi file was missing, and if we found it manually, it still wouldn't work. And they encountered various Adobe files which couldn't be opened – no matter that we were working with all Administrator rights, there were folders that said we weren't allowed access.

    IT WAS OEM SOFTWARE. Adobe tech decided the problems stemmed from that fact that I was sold OEM software, not retail software. OEM programs are the special bundled versions that can come pre-installed on computers or other hardware. They are programmed so they'll only function on one computer. It's illegal to sell these versions separately, and they won't even work if they are sold.

    Adobe could tell from the serial number that it was OEM. They explained that it looked like someone at Amazon was stripping OEM software from computer bundles, and re-selling it – making money twice on the same programs.

    Amazon quickly refunded my money when I told them the story. They said a lot of people were having trouble with the download. This particular program has the lowest user rating of all the video software Amazon is selling. It's possible that other people were having the same problems, but hadn't pursued the issue as far as I had.


    After the smoke cleared – NOTHING else could be installed on the computer, OR un-installed. The Windows Installer always comes up with files it can't locate, so installations have to be aborted.


    After Elements 9 was removed by force from the machine, naturally restore points were attempted. FOUR TIMES trying to find a system restore point that would work resulted in failure. The machine reports it can't find any restore point files. Even when booting in safe mode – same negative result.

    LIGHT SCRIBE disappeared, NVIDIA wouldn't update.

    The first indication that my machine had developed problems after this horrible experience with Elements 9, was when my LightScribe label burner suddenly stopped working without warning. The computer couldn't detect the software. I went to the LS site, got the software, tried to re-install. The files end up in the Program Common Files were they belong, but the computer doesn't see the software. LightScribe's diagnostic program says it's not installed.

    I was given the advice to update my Nvidia video card drivers. Fine – I do that – but the computer refuses to acknowledge the new drivers, reporting that I have the older ones.

    Programs started dropping like flies. Sibelius suddenly no longer worked. I tried to take refuge by working on a music project in Sonar. Suddenly soft synths came up dead, like Sonar's Studio Instruments – error messages came up that they had to be re-installed.

    I contacted the guy who built this computer for me. Took it in—He's never seen anything like it. The only option is to wipe it all clean, re-install Windows, set up the partitions again, and start all over with re-installing all my programs.

    Sometimes when problems start cropping up on a computer, it isn't possible to track down a specific event that triggered the problems. Not so in this case. One day the computer was clipping along just fine– but as of August 7th when I tried the first time to install Adobe Premiere Elements 9 as sold to me through Amazon – the whole thing went to hell.

    I'm writing this on my laptop which has its own problems – don't get me started. But my computer guy has now worked with my computer since last Wed. The last resort, the big clean start is being done today.

    And there it is. No way of knowing how the bad software got into the batch Amazon is selling, but somehow that happened. I notice that they have PE9 listed 3 different ways on the Amazon site, and as of today, one of the download pages says the software is no longer available. I imagine they'll catch up with the other page where it's still listed, and shut down that download too. The third listing is for hard copies.

    So, Jim, aren't ya glad you asked? Hehe. There's the tale. I'm miserable. Work has been disrupted for several weeks now, and it'll still be several days before I'm up and running again.

    As I build the computer back up, once I have things the way I want, FIRST ORDER of business will be to make a disc image, you can be assured.

    Randy-- upset in Oregon

  8. #8

    Re: Thanks Randy!

    Hello Randy my friend,

    Well, I'm so saddened to read your story there. I build my own desktop computers and for my family and friends. I also do a lot of trouble-shooting for them and install and reinstall my own and their software. I hastened to add that I have less to do with laptops although I have upgraded, reformatted and reinstalled my son's laptop.

    I can say without hesitation that the moment software symptoms develop, virtually always from something they have tried to do, I don't hesitate to go straight for a total reformat and squeaky clean reinstall. I know that not everyone agrees with my approach, but it works for me .. and for them .. when they get a nice clean working system returned to them.

    From my experience, it is nearly always quicker and more desireable to just take the bit between the teeth and spend a coupla days doing the full reformat and reinstall rather than endless days and, possibly, weeks and frustration often spent trying to 'repair' a system. In my view and experience, this often leads to compromise and unsatisfactory results.

    It's an understatement to say you really have had a terrible experience there and I just wish there was something I could have done to help you out. Whilst I can't be there physically I can certainly voice my support and send some energy vibes across the pond.

    Hang in there Randy, the reformat and reinstall is exactly the route I would have taken and very soon you should have a squeaky clean, bright laptop raring to go. You're amongst friends here so chin-up my friend and please keep us posted on developments.
    Patience is a virtue, sensitivity is a gift

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Chandler, Arizona

    Re: Thanks Randy!


    Your description of the issues you were having almost sounds like the machine was infected especially when other items quit working.

    Some sites do sell OEM software but these are usually intended for folks buying hardware from them. OEM software in itself should not cause problems unless it was for a particular hardware brand.

    I've worked in the computer field now for over 20 years and I've rarely had to start fresh but it does happen from time to time.

    Hopefully your rebuild goes fine.


  10. #10

    Re: Thanks Randy!


    Almost a full month since I downloaded the funky software from Amazon, I've totally re-claimed the machine, and it's working perfectly. Took me several days to re-install everything, but as per the advice from my computer guy, and you, Haydn, I made a series of C drive images so I have those to fall back on if something goes wrong in the future.

    Michael - thank you for the wonderfully supportive post. The guy who originally built this machine certainly agrees with you, that there are times when you just need to wipe the drives and start over - as in this case.

    It's not a laptop though. I was using a laptop for awhile, but it didn't last long - couldn't hold up to my intensive usage apparently. This is a 6 core, 8 gig RAM, 64 bit machine with Windows 7, dual monitors - the biggest monster of a computer I've ever had.

    Jim, the problem with this OEM software was that it had already been installed on another machine. The Adobe tech guys explained to me that they could see it was software that had already been installed on a machine, and someone somewhere along the line was pulling a fast one, re-selling what had already been sold. That's why it simply wouldn't work on my computer. The software's DNA had been hard-wired to another computer already.

    It was probably during that grueling two day period when Adobe took control of my machine, deleting registry entries, trying multiple new downloads and installs, that the problems became worse instead of fixed. In the wake of them trying to fix things, my Windows 7 was scrambled - the installer wasn't functioning.

    Anyway - I had my first day of working on the computer again yesterday, and it seems better than ever. So that's the happy ending to the story.

    Thanks for the supportive posts everyone. Now - back to work with me!


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