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Dell 1720 Freezes

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February 25, 2012 5:06:29 PM

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.

UPDATE:
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.

More about : dell 1720 freezes

a b à CPUs
February 26, 2012 12:42:41 AM

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
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February 26, 2012 1:17:29 AM

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?
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February 26, 2012 7:39:15 PM

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.
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a b à CPUs
February 26, 2012 10:30:05 PM

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
http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php

free program and virus free
just to be on the safe side
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February 28, 2012 6:16:12 PM

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?)
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a b à CPUs
February 28, 2012 11:29:29 PM

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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!