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Raven1155Flag for United States of America

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Inspiron 9100 freezes...

I've had my Dell Inspiron 9100 for 6 years.  It's worked very well for me till recently.  Now, for no obvious reason, the computer will freeze in the middle of whatever I'm doing, be it video capture, running Quicken, surfing the web, etc.  The cursor freezes on the page and no keys work.  The only solution is to hold the power button till the computer shuts off and then reboot.  I've cleaned the fans and their filters.  I've run the exhaustive Dell Diagnostics program (no problems found).  I've even downloaded a fan control program that supposedly keeps my computer running a bit cooler (which it seems to do, but it still locks up occasionally).  Oh, btw, WinXP Pro (SP3) is the operating system.

Could anyone please tell me what the problem probably is and how to fix it?!?!

Thanks in advance!

- Jim
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Delicious Irony...  the computer froze within seconds of my posting the original question.  However, this made me think of a couple of other comments I probably should've put in the question-
- The event logs show nothing in the immediate vicinity of the time of the freeze.
- For anyone who might thing it's the fan control program causing the problem... it was installed well after this first started happening.

Thanks again!
Check the task manager - performance ( Is your memory usage close to your total mem... ?
Z, I'll check but I don't believe so...

Also, this is hard to do in a way that tells me what memory usage is at the time of a freeze since once it freezes I can't access the Task Manager and until it does the usage will not reflect what happens when it does, if you get what I'm saying.

Nonetheless, I'll definitely check!!!

- Jim 8^)
You must determine if its a hard ware or a software issue.
It could be either one of them. A more focused approach can be taken after testing the hardware as suggested below.

You could down load and run knoppix:from a CD: here is a nice live Knoppicx cd : If you can run the knoppix and there are  no issues. It will suggest that  the hardware is OKie.
Then the problem could be narrowed down to your operating system.

I would also run the anti malware and virus programs just to make sure every thing is okie.

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the knoppix cd will show if the HARD is OK - except the disk..
you can monitor the temps with speedfan :
you can also use Burnintest, to test the various devices :
Gentlemen, thank you for your comments, but...

My Norton Antivirus flagged the Knoppix website as unsafe (with at least 6 viral attacks possible), so I don't think I'll be messing with that program.  I'm not saying that the ftp site you listed would cause problems, but if the main website is dangerous, wouldn't the program be as well?

I don't need speedfan since, as mentioned in the original question, I have fan monitoring software (I8kfanGUI) already.  Burnintest isn't freeware so I'm probably not going that way.  Bottom line, though, why do I need these separate tests when the Dell Diagnostics tell me that the hardware (including the disk drive) is fine?!?!

If it IS software/firmware and/or operating system, where should I be looking?
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I'm closing this because my new laptop has arrived and I need to spend all my time right now getting it set up.

I'm splitting the points between the 2 main players because (of course) both were trying to help and I don't want this question to languish without their getting the points they deserve.  I'll probably revisit this later...