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Slowness & Sound Problem w/Dell D620 Laptop on Windows XP

We are having an ongoing problem with a Dell laptop that has got me puzzled. I am on the verge of simply replacing the computer and using the old one for non-production use, but I thought I would see if anyone else has any ideas first. I've listed the details below. Please let me know if you have any ideas as to what the problem may be.



- Dell Latitude D620 laptop
- Windows XP SP2 (now SP3)
- MS Office 2003 with latest SP & updates
- NOD32 AV
- WinZip, Adobe Reader, Flash Player, & similar standard software (all current or near current versions)
- ACT 2000 contact manager

1. The machine boots up and runs very slowly (i.e. everything takes a long time).
2. When any sound is played, it breaks up badly. This happens with internal and external speakers and doesn't matter what the sound is (e.g. Windows sounds, music from MP3 or CD).
3. Occasional blue screen of death. Minidump files show BugCheckCode: 000000f4.

We purchased this computer new in April 2007 and it worked fine until about May 2008. (It was on Windows XP SP 2 at this point.) It then began having the problems listed above, although the user couldn't think of any particular event that preceded the problems. I worked on my own and with Dell to try various things including:
      - Ran Dell Diagnostics. Found no problems.
      - Updated all drivers to latest versions.

Dell finally said to reinstall Windows. I did a clean reinstall of Windows XP SP3 (i.e. reformatted first) and all of our standard programs. The machine then ran beautifully for a couple of months. Last week, the user installed various Microsoft updates downloaded automatically by Automatic Updates (see below), and the computer immediately began having the symptoms again (except, so far, the BSOD). One by one, we then uninstalled all of the updates installed last week, but the computer still has the slowness and sound problems. Note that we have another D620 purchased a month or two after this one that runs the same software, and it has had no problems. Because it doesn't appear to be a hardware problem, Dell won't replace the laptop.

This is order in which I uninstalled the recent MS updates. I believe there was also a Root Certificates update, but that was not uninstalled.

1. Security Update for Windows XP (KB956803)
2. Security Update for Windows XP (KB956391)
3. Security Update for Windows XP (KB957095)
4. Security Update for Windows XP (KB954211)
5. Security Update for Windows XP (KB956841)
6. Security Update for Windows XP (KB956390)
7. Update for Outlook 2003: Junk E-mail Filter (KB957257): OUTFLTR
8. Security Update for Excel 2003 (KB955466): EXCEL
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1 Solution
A virus and malware scan is indicated.
What processes are running: do you know they are all needed?
What is autostarting on this system?
What is CPU load when you try to play music?

Can you check if hard drive is on DMA access or if it has reverted to PIO (it's in device manager)?
Have you looked in the event log?
Can you restore to a date before the updates?
Does this also happen when in safe mode?
Can you get more of the BSOD? You can disable automatic restart on failure by hitting the F8 key while booting.
bhafAuthor Commented:
I don't think it is malware. Although we haven't tried since it problem recurred, we ran scans with multiple AV scanners before and found nothing.

I will check current processes, event logs, hard drive access, etc.  tomorrow. Found nothing unusual here when diagnosing last time though. I'll also have user try safe mode as I can't recall if we had tried that last time.

Note that sound problem occurs even while playing the Windows logon sound immediately after booting, so I don't think CPU load is a factor.

We have not had a BSOD this time (i.e. since rebuild), but below is contents of the last minidump file we had from before the rebuild.

I'll post back when I have more info.



----- 32 bit Kernel Mini Dump Analysis

MajorVersion        0000000f
MinorVersion        00000a28
DirectoryTableBase  0a480060
PfnDataBase         81086000
PsLoadedModuleList  8055c700
PsActiveProcessHead 80562818
MachineImageType    0000014c
NumberProcessors    00000002
BugCheckCode        000000f4
BugCheckParameter1  00000003
BugCheckParameter2  89b3c248
BugCheckParameter3  89b3c3bc
BugCheckParameter4  805d13b6
PaeEnabled          00000001
KdDebuggerDataBlock 8054c2e0
MiniDumpFields      00000dff

ServicePackBuild      00000200
SizeOfDump            00010000
ValidOffset           0000fffc
ContextOffset         00000320
ExceptionOffset       000007d0
MmOffset              00001068
UnloadedDriversOffset 000010a0
PrcbOffset            00001878
ProcessOffset         000024c8
ThreadOffset          00002728
CallStackOffset       00002980
SizeOfCallStack       00000b5c
DriverListOffset      00003770
DriverCount           00000079
StringPoolOffset      00005b60
StringPoolSize        000010a8
BrokenDriverOffset    00000000
TriageOptions         00000041
TopOfStack            b63864a4
DebuggerDataOffset    000034e0
DebuggerDataSize      00000290
DataBlocksOffset      00006c08
DataBlocksCount       00000005

Windows XP Kernel Version 2600 (Service Pack 2) MP (2 procs) Free x86 compatible
Kernel base = 0x804d7000 PsLoadedModuleList = 0x8055c700
Debug session time: Tue Jun 24 17:08:40 2008
System Uptime: 0 days 2:10:05
start    end        module name
804d7000 806e2000   nt             Checksum: 001FB950  Timestamp: Wed Feb 28 01:15:54 2007 (45E5484A)

Unloaded modules:
affdd000 b0008000   kmixer.sys    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
affdd000 b0008000   kmixer.sys    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
b1da1000 b1dcc000   kmixer.sys    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
baedc000 baedd000   drmkaud.sys    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
b1dcc000 b1def000   aec.sys     Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
b2674000 b2681000   DMusic.sys    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
b27b4000 b27c2000   swmidi.sys    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
bae56000 bae58000   splitter.sys    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
b2b6d000 b2b81000   parport.sys    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
b754f000 b7558000   processr.sys    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
b98df000 b98e3000   kbdhid.sys    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
bacb0000 bacb5000   Cdaudio.SYS    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
b98e7000 b98ea000   Sfloppy.SYS    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
bac88000 bac8d000   Flpydisk.SYS    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
baca0000 baca7000   Fdc.SYS     Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)

Finished dump check
bhafAuthor Commented:
We were able to restore the system back to a point before the updates, and the computer now works normally again. For now, we've decided to not apply any further Windows updates. In the future, I'll either apply updates one at a time to figure out where the problem lies or replace this computer and use it for some other purpose (testing, etc.).

Thanks to both rid & smittyboom for replying. I'm going to give points to smittyboom since his post reminded me to try Windows system restore.


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