My wife's relatively new (May of this year) Inspiron N5010 keeps locking up on her for anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes. It gets hung up processing something. I can't figure out whats wrong though. No specific program seems to be causing the freeze, it happens when she's browsing the internet, typing in word, reading e-books or watching movies. It can happen as soon as she sits down and takes it out of sleep mode, no programs other than the windows tasks running yet or when she has firefox, word, adobe and iTunes on with 30 minutes to 8 hours of use. Mind you, when I say "freeze" I mean the computer is completely unresponsive and the HD light comes on solid until it unfreezes. I've done a complete reformat, thinking it was a factory installed software issue, but with a fresh install of windows 7 and only the up to date drivers installed it still freezes. I've called Dell to ask about this issue but they only tell me that they can fix it but for the low, low price of $200+ unless I purchase an extended warranty. Has anyone else had this type of issue or know what could be causing it and how it could be resolved? Thank you in advance for your help!
most newer dells come with a diagnostics utility.
Start the computer and click F12 when the dell splash screen appears.
This will load a multi-boot menu. Use the arrow keys to highlight Diagnostics or Utility Partition, and click enter. It will go through a series of tests and will determine if there are any hardware problems. I would suggest you run all the tests thouroughly and see if there are any hardware issues.
The way it sounds from your post, you may have a bad hard drive. Bad sectors on hard drives could cause the system to run slow or even freeze from time to time. If you say you reformatted this drive and reinstalled the factory software and it still is doing it then it is unlikely a software issue. If you don't feel comfortable with doing the hardware diagnostics i would advise you take it to a local repair shop to test it.
One last thing. Check the dell website for the warranty status. IF this is fairly new and has the standard 1 year warranty. Get them back on the phone and tell them this system according to my records is still under warranty and i want it fixed. They might try to sell you an extended warranty and If you plan on keeping this system for 5 years i would recommend getting a 3 year extended at least. It will save you money in the long run. But a hard drive will be covered under the standard 1yr warranty without having to pay anything extra.