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kirretFlag for United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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Laptop crashing

Hi guys

I got a laptop last week what had problems with Vista. Seemed like some of the services weren't starting up/couldn't be started and IE played up as well. So, I decided to re-install the OS and put Windows 7 on it (I've done it many many times before). I backed everything up and wiped the hard drive. After I had finished the installation I left it for a bit and when I came back the laptop had "frozen". I could not move the mouse or do anything else even though I could see everything on the screen so had to turn it off from the button. Then it restarted again but the same thing happened again so I thought that I'll put Vista back on again as it was working fine before.
After I had finished installing Vista the same thing happened - it just froze after an hour or 2. What I noticed was that the hard drive light stopped flickering when it happened. So the only way to restart it was to turn it off from the button.
I even installed all the updates and programs but occasionally it stopped again - mainly when I was not doing anything with it and it idle (or downloading updates etc). I turned off the power settings so it NEVER goes to sleep or turns off the screen but it still happens sometimes. It also happens every time when you shut the lid without shutting it down and it goes into sleep mode - to come out of it you need to press the power button for 5 sec to get it out from there.
So what can be the cause of that? Before re-installing Vista it was OK, now after wiping the hard drive it's not? And it seems to me like it's an intermittent hardware problem maybe?

Avatar of Miguel Angel Perez Muñoz
Miguel Angel Perez Muñoz
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Maybe cooling problem? check CPU cooler works well and clean any dust in cooler.
First thing I would consider is running a hardware diagnostics, hopefully your laptop will have this built in?  I know many Dell's offer a built in hardware diagnostics tool in your boot options or at least come with a CD.  

Hopefully then it will pick up errors either with the HDD or with the RAM, or if the laptop just freezes randomly even during diagnostics you can contact the vendor (if still under warranty) and have them replace it.
First test the RAM using memtest 86+. If that test comes out fine test the HD using the HD manufacturer's diagnostic utility (run the long test). You'll find both tests on the UBCD:

If neither of the above tests show any errors, and if with your above installations you have installed all the PC's drivers, Servicepacks and windows updates, it is possibly an issue with an overheating laptop. Clean out all the dust...
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Thanks guys

@Drashiel - It's not overheating, and if it was it wouldn't have started overheating suddenly now, it would have overheated before as well, most likely. All the drivers are installed so graphics card should be running just as before

@Bobbin85 - As said it's a Windows Vista laptop so highly unlikely it's still under a warranty. It's a Toshiba laptop so nothing built in. so will have to run some diagnostics yes. Will use as recommended by @rindi.
I can't see it being a RAM problem as those result with a blue screen most of the time, but no blue screen here... I'm going to find out if there's an update for the BIOS as well maybe...

Thanks again.
I would boot to your install disk, go to repair command prompt and do a full format of the hard disk.

Then try the install again.

It maybe that it is trying to write to an area of the hard disk that may be damaged and it didn't do it before as it simply didn't use that area of the disk.

Hopefully a full format (not a quick one) may fix it.

i wonder what you mean; first you say : "I got a laptop last week what had problems with Vista" followed by "Before re-installing Vista it was OK"

but you ASSUMED the problems were soft "Seemed like some of the services weren't starting up/couldn't be started"

i believe the problem is hardware, since a fresh install did not cure it

so i also suggest testing RAM and disk with UBCD, as said above - to start with
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@nobus - It's a clients' Toshiba laptop what had Windows Vista installed, and yes, as stated, it had some software problems (services not starting up). So I decided to wipe Vista off and install Windows 7 which started to experience those problems. Then I thought I'll re-install Vista back on as that had no problems with this hardware (just software issues), but as we know now it still has those problems, even though I've installed the same OS it had when it came out from the factory.
then running diags would still be my first step to take
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Glad you got it fixed.
Well done

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No one recommended BIOS upgrade. Thanks for the help