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. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)

    World

    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  3. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  4. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  5. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.