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.
COMPUTER & SOFTWARE
- 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