Bizzaro! (Sealab anyone? :P)
I've got a friends laptop, Dell Inspiron E1505 I believe (One of those media editions with the crappy soundcards from ****, anyways..)
Her computer was having issues soft locking for a while, then eventually going- or just plain freezing up (mouse still moving). She thought it was a virus, but I cleaned up the whole computer- a little spyware, no viruses.
So I decided to reinstall windows XP (Pro), installation goes smoothly, and it's time to get to service packs... and this is where it gets bizarro...
I have been able to install a few of the minor patches, but the installer freezes for most other patches (most importantly the clusters- SP1 and SP2). If i run auto updater in the background, it downloads and tries to install each little one- and most of the time it will freeze the installer (the rest of the computer still works fine!, no other lockups) I can ctrl+alt+delete to cancel update.exe and it will skip current update and try the next, 10% success rate (never able to install later mind you, so it's not random each time you try to install things).
I think it must be hardware, her cpu isnt' running hot, I checked her ram with a Ultimate boot Disk ram checker, I ran windows scandisk, no apparent errors.
What else could it be? I'm beyond confused, earlier this year another friend had a similar laptop issue, but her harddrive clean died a few days later- I wish I had a quicker answer then just waiting for this thing to die...
Thx for any suggestions