My client’s Dell Inspiron 580 has been in service for about 10 months. For the past several months, she has encountered random system crashes during normal use (web browsing, email, etc.). The system is running Windows 7. As of three weeks ago, I did a comprehensive review of the computer, installing updated BIOS and all current drivers. The random crashes continued. On March 2, 2011, I contacted Dell to diagnose the problem. They ran the basic diagnostics, all of which passed, and concluded that it had to be an NTFS problem and we should simply reinstall, starting with their recovery CDs. Naturally, I was less than thrilled about that option without having conclusive evidence that reinstallation would actually cure the random crash issue.
In view of the recent release of Windows 7 SP1, I decided to install it to see if it would stabilize the computer. At the same time, I installed Norton 360 Premier Edition Version 5. Other software includes MS Office 2003 (yes, it’s time to upgrade), Adobe Premiere and Photoshop Elements, iTunes, Google Earth, Picasa – overall, a very basic home configuration. Upon completion of the SP1 and Norton upgrades, I ran a CHKDSK that, as far as I know, did not uncover any hard drive problems.
Today, March 4, 2011, I started to exercise the computer by running a series of full Norton 360 scans. The attached Word document is the summary from WhoCrashed. As you will see, the system has crashed four times, all in a relatively short period. Each crash occurred during a full Norton scan, yet there are some differences in Stop Codes.
I am interested in developing an accurate definition of the problem before plunging into major activity, such as reinstalling the software, replacing the hard drive, etc. I will provide any additional technical information that will help with the diagnosis and am available for phone consultation.
As always, I will be appreciative of the guidance from Experts Exchange.