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Speedstep Stuck Slow, Inspiron 8600

I have an Inspiron 8600, 1.8GHz 2GB RAM.  The system and software are fully updated.  WinXP SP3 and all the fixes/updates.  The computer has been running fine for a long time.  Recently I was using it and it sudden;y became unusabley slow.  Apparently what happened is the computer's Speedstep got stuck on ~600 MHz  (593 was shown).  Now I haven't changed any power properties, it was running on A/C with "Always On" selected.  I don't know what changed, but it just bogged down.  I rebooted it 3 time to see if it would clear up, but no luck.  The only fix is I disabled Speedstep in the BIOS and now it runs fine.  It's fine for now, but if I need to pack it up and take it somewhere the battery is going to dain Faaaassssttt!  I saw a Speedstep patch for older machines, and older SP's but nothing that answers this issue.  Speedstep has been working fine for years. 


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