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Dell computer - trouble shooting hardware

  • Prebuilt
  • Windows 7
  • Dell
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
May 11, 2011 5:10:51 PM

we have a dell desktop that has been completely locking up 3-5 min after startup.

dell dimension 9200
Intel Core2Duo 6600 @ 2.4Ghz
NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS (256MB)
4gb ram (crucial brand)
500gb seagate hd
Windows 7 64 bit

everything looks fine and then all of a sudden it gets stuck on that mouse cursor (windows 7 version of the hour glass) and has to be manually restarted. cant cntrl-alt-delete or anything.

We have been able to get it to run in safe mode and i dont think it has frozen up yet.

I am wondering what could be causing this, I reformatted the hard drive which is new as of last fall (old one died) and gave it a fresh installation of windows 7 64 bit.
i tested the Ram (four 1gb sticks totaling 4gb) in pairs of 2 and still got the same issue.

could it be the motherboard? or how likely could it be the hard drive again?

More about : dell computer trouble shooting hardware

May 11, 2011 5:42:17 PM

It could be a hardware problem, but more likely it is a driver issue. Seventy percent of all Windows crashes are a result of third party drivers that typically execute out the OS Kernal. What changes did you make to your computer just before it started locking up?

You can also donwnload and install WinDbg to track down the cause. Here is the link from Microsoft: Debugging Tools for Windows 64-bit Version

Here is an article that discusses how to install and use the debug tool: How to solve Windows 7 crashes in minutes
May 11, 2011 7:22:48 PM

thanks for the suggestion

i downloaded the debugger and have attempted to use it the way the article instructs. i cant seem to generate a memory dump file, the PC has crashed several times since i installed the debugger and i have the file path to save memory dumps set, but i dont seem to get the file.

it also seems a bit over my head so i question how much i would be able to understand even if i got the memory dump file.

if a driver is the more likely problem, how else can i find out?
May 12, 2011 12:12:37 AM

How about System Restore from Safe Mode?
May 16, 2011 12:25:49 PM

I tried doing a system restore in safe mode

it is not working for some reason, it keeps getting to the screen where it says something like "system restore is initializing, please wait" and just sits there forever. I then have to manually shut it down.

this is driving me nutty