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Inspiron 531 becomes unresponsive after startup

Last response: in Windows XP
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October 4, 2010 9:57:30 PM

I have had an Dell Inspiron for a number of years and never had many problems until now.
The computer will work for 10-15min after start up and then everything will freeze except the mouse and keyboard. but after we blew out some dust sitting in the hardrive it worked for the rest of the time and shut down normally, then come that morning it froze after 10-15min and hasnt worked since.
Can somebody help me, is this computer trashed or is there something that can be fixed.
I also have firewall and antivirus software and do regular cleaning of data.
October 5, 2010 12:06:15 PM

Anybody else have this problem?
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October 5, 2010 11:23:43 PM

First off, dust and water are the two worst enemies of computers.
You cannot get dust IN a harddrive, as it is sealed, so I am wondering what you blew dust out of? Also, it could be a software problem causing the freezing, but could be a hardware problem causing it to freeze also. Dell's ar notorious for harddrive failures, and I am wondering if that may be what you are experiencing. First, check and make sure your ram is in making good contact, then blow out any dust in the computer. Next, if I were you, I would (assuming you have xp), go to my computer, right click on the c:D rive, and go to tools. Click for the error checking, and check both boxes. Then reboot. This scan may take a while, maybe an hour or so. You may have a repairable issue with the harddrive. If this doesn't fix it, back up whatever files you don't want to lose, and do a fresh install of win xp. If you do this, and it still freezes, then I would suggest a new harddrive.
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October 6, 2010 12:11:42 PM

Maybe i used the wrong terminology,
There was dust in the computer box that has all the units in it
Okay i will tell you what happens after i check the drive for errors
Thanks
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October 7, 2010 12:04:04 PM

:fou: 
It worked fine yesterday after i did that error checking but now it has gone to the same state of unresponsiveness
Any more ideas?
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October 9, 2010 4:23:30 AM

Check your CPU FAN... dust, and small items can stop the fan from spinning, then the computer will overheat and freeze... laptops are notorious for this...
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Best solution

October 9, 2010 9:09:50 AM

Dust in the cooling fans is a factor as mentioned above. Once that is ruled out. Check you RAM slots for dust and clean that as well. Next we need to find out if your RAM has gone defective.
To test that download the ISO and follow instructions from this site http://www.memtest86.com/download.html
If the RAM works fine as well, next step would be your HDD.

Some other test would be.....
1. try using the laptop without the power connected.
2. try with power connected but without the battery plugged in.

I guess some of the Guru's here would do this in a different order. [Please do correct me if it was wrong].

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October 9, 2010 5:06:33 PM

I took our air compressor and got all the dust i could get out
As for the tests you speak of
i dont think those would be affective since its a desktop not a laptop


Also i cant do a fresh installl of win xp because it came on my computer not on a disc



The computer for some unknown reason is working right now
But i would still like to find out what was wrong with it or what may still be wrong with it
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November 13, 2010 6:41:53 AM

Best answer selected by buwish.
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