Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Solutions: Glitchy Dell could be the result of a bad motherboard

I have a problem with a Dell xps8300 Windows 7 64 bit that neither the Dell nor Microsoft answer desks can solve. When I first start the computer, the first task freezes, and I have to start Task Manager to end the process. The computer then displays the desktop icons normally and highlights the Start button, which was previously inactive. After that, browser, email, pdf reader all act glitchy. All other programs act normally. Dell has had me reload the operating system and even sent me a new hard drive, but no change. I did discover with answer desk that if you create a new user account the system will not even boot; it freezes at screen to select user.

If a Windows reload and a disk replacement did not solve the issue, my guess would be another hardware component is at fault. It could be memory or main board (motherboard) related. But first I would recommended checking the Windows System Event log. Click the Windows Start button and type Event, then click the Event Viewer link. Under Windows Logs, double-click System and then check the red error events for anything that may give a clue as to what is happening, something related to a memory or hardware failure.

There is also a diagnostic tool that can be accessed through the Dell Utility partition. As the system boots, press during POST and then from the utility partition's main menu under Run System Utilities, select Run System Diagnostics. You may need to check with your Dell documentation to see if this is the same for your particular system.

A failed memory test can be solved with replacement RAM from Dell. Any other failures related to the main board itself usually means the entire system needs to be replaced. If your system is still under warranty, continue to work with Dell support. If they can't solve it, ask for a replacement.

I have an HP notebook with Windows 7. There was no separate CD with Windows 7 when I purchased the notebook. I know I should back up my files in the event of a crash, but how do I backup my operating system and other installed software and install them if I needed to replace the hard drive?

Few systems today come with the OEM Windows DVD. HP includes a Recovery Manager program that will create the full operating system, device driver and initial factory image of the PC as it was when shipped. This usually takes at least two DVDs and will take some time, but it is important to do. You can also have HP send the disks particular to your system for a fee. As for any software you've installed after receiving the PC, make sure you retain the DVD and/or install image saved to backup disk or DVD as they need to be installed again when initializing a new system.

Another option is the Windows 7 backup. It allows an exact image copy to be made of your system as it is at that point in time. This includes the creation of a bootable DVD and an image store of your PC, preferably to an external USB hard drive. A typical backup scheme would be to create a new system image every few months with a Windows 7 incremental backup of data in between. I recommend all of the above.

Send questions to personaltech@tampabay.com or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: Glitchy Dell could be the result of a bad motherboard 01/04/13 [Last modified: Friday, January 4, 2013 6:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Dade City teen arrested after authorities say he pulled fake gun on student

    Crime

    DADE CITY — A 14-year-old boy faces felony charges after he pulled a fake gun on a Pasco Middle School student near the school Wednesday afternoon, according to authorities.

  2. Live blog: Crowd shouts at Richard Spencer as he speaks in Gainesville

    College

    GAINESVILLE — A small army of law enforcement officers, many of them from cities and counties around the state, have converged on the University of Florida in preparation for today's speaking appearance by white nationalist Richard Spencer.

    Florida Highway Patrol cruisers jammed the parking lot Wednesday at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center in Gainesville, part of a big show of force by law enforcement ahead of Thursday's appearance by white nationalist Richard Spencer. [KATHRYN VARN | Times]
  3. Dunedin man arrested for having destruction devices, deputies say

    Public Safety

    DUNEDIN — Deputies will be speaking later today to discuss a Dunedin man who was charged with possessing destruction devices in his home.

  4. Officials release names of those aboard plane that landed in St. Pete neighborhood

    Accidents

    ST. PETERSBURG — Officials released the names of the two people aboard the plane that made an emergency landing Wednesday on a neighborhood street in south St. Petersburg.

     A small plane crashed at 18th Avenue S and 16th Street on Wednesday afternoon, police said. The exact type aircraft was not immediately identified. It apparently landed in the roadway. Police urged people to avoid the area. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
  5. Spencer: 'A better and more beautiful world if people like me were in power'

    K12

    In the a small theater crammed with cameras, Richard Spencer and a small group of his coordinators clashed with reporters as his controversial speech in the Phillips Center drew near Thursday.

    A crowd gathers ahead of Richard Spencer's appearance at the University of Florida on Oct. 19, 2017. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]