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Old 08-29-2008, 01:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dell inspirion developing bugs

My computer has developed a strange set of 'symptoms'. The first thing I noticed, was I tried to run Scan Disk (as routine maintenance, it had been fine) and after rebooting it said it was running and instantly said 'disk check was canceled'. It now does this every time I try. I don't have a stuck key; the keyboard seems fine, and dell diagnostics found no keyboard or hard drive issues. In MS One Note, the highlighter pen won't work. When I click, my pointer turns into a pen for a split second, then back to a pointer. At Windows live mail, the options menus will not stay open. I have a systray utility for keeping windows on top. When it is clicked the pointer turns into a push-pen until you click the title bar of the window you want to keep on top. Now the pointer just turns into a push-pin for a split second, then disappears. The windows screen- saver preview also quit working, and in another program with small pop-up type help windows, those won't stay open. It has also gotten slower responding when I type. Sometimes, it will not register 3 or 4 characters, then they show up at once. The other thing I have noticed is in My Computer, wen I right click on C: and click properties, it occasionally brings up Control Panel-System instead. This may not be related, because everything else I have listed is consistent, every time. Another possibly related problem is a third-pary program that has started giving "overflow" errors. This program isn't the cause, I have used it since the computer was new, and I'm not sure it's related because it seemed to start more recently than the other symptoms. I haven't installed any programs, or made any system changes that should cause this. I'm using Zone-alarm Anti-virus/Antispyware and firewall, as well as WIndows Defender. They have not detected any problems, and a full scan of both ZA and Defender showed nothing.

This has me stumped, any help is appreciated.

Computer info: Dell inspirion 1501 laptop, AMD duel core processor, Vista SP1
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Old 08-29-2008, 06:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell inspirion developing bugs

It looks like corruption is setting in. Instead suggesting to do this or do that. I would start saving my data and make preparations to reinstall Vista. I would start by collecting all the drivers from the Dell site.
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Old 08-29-2008, 08:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell inspirion developing bugs

I agree with the reinstall. Should hopefully sort out the problems.

Another thing you could do is install Hijack This! and post the log of it on these forums for the guys to go over, just in case.
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Old 08-29-2008, 11:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell inspirion developing bugs

The strange thing is my sister's computer developed the same problems a couple of months ago. Although we are on a home network, I'm sure it isn't a virus we have a router with firewall and antivirus software installed, as well as Zone Alarm security suite on every computer in the network besides out of 5 computers on our home network, these are the only two with this issue and mione started a couple of months after hers. I thought the same thing (OS corruption) when her problem started, so I did a complete reinstall of Vista on her computer. It didn't fix the problem! That is what makes me wonder if it's a dell problem, as they are identical Inspririon 1501 laptops. After re-installing Vista on her systen I tested it before reinstalling any of her optional software or restoring her old files. The only thing that had been installed (aside from the OS, of course) was the drivers. On her system, like mine dell utilities found no hardware problems, and Zone alarm nor Windows defender found and virus/spyware. Scan disk will run from the CD and it found no problems on either system, and I tried windows file checker utility, also with no problems found. If you still think a hijack this log may be helpful, where can I get the utility?
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Old 08-29-2008, 11:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell inspirion developing bugs

Try here - |MG| HijackThis 1.99.1

Hope the guys here can shed some light on things once they see the log (make sure it's in the hijack this log section). If not then I'd probably say it was a problem with that make of Dell.
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Old 08-29-2008, 11:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell inspirion developing bugs

Did Dell supply a full OEM copy of Vista or a system restore disc? Reinstalling Dell's crapware plus reinstalling any buggy software will reintroduce the same problems.
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Old 08-29-2008, 11:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell inspirion developing bugs

It was a full OEM disc.
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell inspirion developing bugs

The only thing I can think of is you're using buggy software that is causing Vista to disintegrate.
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell inspirion developing bugs

Could software cause a problem that would continue after a clean OS re-install? When my sister's laptop developed this problem, I tested it after re-installing Vista, before re-installing any of her programs. Another thing I forgot to mention, is the screen saver won't run. It really acts like something is sending "ghost signals". I tested a properly functioning Vista PC, and pressing a key will cancel One Note's highlighter, close hotmail's menu (and so on for all of the symptoms thay seem to have), just as it would cancel scan disc or the screen saver. It's not a stuck key, and there have been no typing problems like wrong, missing, or additional characters. I'm not even sure the occasional delay when typing is related, because that is very sporadic (probably something running in the background slowing down the system) and the other things are very consistant and constant. That's why I'm stumped. The keyboard is fine, and I assumed a program writing to the disc should have been wiped out with Vista re-install.
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Old 08-29-2008, 02:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell inspirion developing bugs

It could very well be a bad build of Dell's OEM version of Vista. The OEM version of Vista that came with my Dell XPS laptop started doing weird things(non driver related) after applying the SP1 update to a fresh install. And that was before I started installing anything. I made my own OEM Vista SP1 disc from a copy the MSDN release of Vista. My Dell has been running rock solid with 0 issues for over six months now. Of course I also stopped using the software that I suspected of causing stability problems.
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