Dell 1720 Freezes

Hey guys, I'm new here but was wondering if you could help me out.

I have a big ass 4 year old Dell 1720 laptop (which I'm currently typing on) that I've taken pretty good care of over the years. A couple weeks ago, however, it started freezing up on me. I'll be doing mostly intensive things like gaming or running Firefox and everything will freeze, both the cursor and the screen, and sounds will continuously repeat out of the speakers. The only option I have left at that point is to hold down the power button and reboot.

I hadn't cleaned my laptop since I bought it, so I opened it up thinking it was an overheating issue. I took it completely apart and blew all the dust out, removing a 4 inch long carpet of lint and dust next to my fan in the process.

I got it put back together with some new thermal paste on the CPU, but alas, my computer was still freezing. I've run every virus and malware scan there is and done Diagnostic checks for all the hardware, and I even took it to a repair shop where they tested the graphics card but couldn't make my laptop freeze while playing a game and running a separate monitor off of my laptop as well (damn ninja problem!).

I downloaded a fan speed program designed for Dell laptops (I8kfanGUI) to ensure the fan was running properly, but even with it running on high I still get freezes. I've been monitoring the temps when it freezes (after I reboot the laptop) and it seems to be when the CPU temp reaches a little above 62C, or when the GPU temp gets above 43C, but I don't think it's the GPU.

It pretty consistently freezes when the CPU goes above that ~62C mark, but it's a curious problem because 62C is not hot at all for a CPU, especially a laptop one. Is there a chance the failsafe for my laptop somehow lowered to that point so it freezes at that temp?

If any of you guys have expertise or advice for me I'd love to hear it, and again I think it's a problem with overheating but still could be something else.

Thanks in advance.

I just took the computer apart to make sure I had correctly applied the thermal paste but upon startup after that the computer froze quickly again... maybe it's not heat related.
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More about dell 1720 freezes
  1. could be a OS related problem
    do you have your Windows installation CD/DVD?
    it is possible to run repair installation to replace damaged Windows files
    I am not sure that is what the problem is
    but worth a try
    also have you pulled your ram sticks and reseated them?
    usually a screwed on cover over memory sticks
    just pop them out
    clean the gold edges with isopropyl alcohol (at pharmacies) or use a pencil eraser
    and gently rub them and make sure to get any residual eraser debris off

    memory problems can cause freezing so try that first
  2. It could be related to the OS, unfortunately I don't have the CD at my place. I tried flashing the BIOS but that didn't help, and I have reseated/swapped the memory sticks as well but to no avail. Is there a program that will check windows files to see if they're corrupted/working properly?
  3. there is this but might require a disk

    I did that for Win7 but still should work for Vista/XP

    is the hard drive making any noise particulary clicking sounds?
  4. Yeah I have windows 7, but the hard drive seems to be fine. I'll run that program and see if it tells me anything.
  5. download a SMART status checker for your HD just in case
    will tell you if HD is going to fail
    I like using Speedfans built in SMART checker

    free program and virus free
    just to be on the safe side
  6. So it turned out to be the DVD Drive that was causing all the trouble! A couple days ago I removed the drive just to see what would happen and the computer hasn't frozen since, and seems to be running very stable. The temperature has gotten high several times with no freezing so I think it's fixed.

    Go ahead and lock this, because it looks like this case...

    *puts on sunglasses*

    is unfrozen. YEEAAAAAAHHHHHHHH (CSI reference anyone?)
  7. nice CSI reference
    maybe bad driver with drive
    uninstall the DVD drive from device manager
    install the drive
    and let windows install the driver and see if it happens again
    if it does well drives are usually cheap on Ebay
    but if not it can save the cost of replacing
    with the economy every dollar saved is a good thing
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