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Inspiron 530 Win XP freezing up after 5-10 min

Hi, esteemed Dell owners/experts!

I'm new here, I hope this message is well placed. Here's the problem:

Inspiron 530 with Windows XP, Mcafee Internet Security.
Freezes up after about 5-10 minutes of work, the only thing still responding is a mouse cursor. Ctrl-Alt-Del doesn’t help. Trying to close programs sometimes causes the infinite beep to sound. The only way to shut down after a freeze-up is to unplug.
I noticed the problem for the first time when I saw a prompt from installed Mcafee internet security “Trojan have been detected and removed”. I tried to open Mcafee to see the details, but instead the system froze. The freezing does not seem to be related to installation of any new hardware/software, since the last time I added something was a couple of weeks before the symptom started.


If I use PC for less then 5 minutes, before it freezes – it lets me shut down normally.


Furtermore - when I try to follow the advice on the Dell page to run the PSA diagnostics to look for error codes:
  1. Restart the system.

  2. At the Dell logo screen, press <F12>.At the One Time Boot menu, press the <Down> arrow key to highlight Diagnostics, then press <Enter> to begin PSA. ...>

hitting F12 at Dell logo screen opens the boot menu, but that menu doesnt have "Diagnostics" option on it.


Any ideas on where to go from here? 🙂

Thank you in advance.



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Re: Inspiron 530 Win XP freezing up after 5-10 min

Just a suggestion that you might want to try so you can rule out the trojan issue:

  • Please open McAfee Security Centre
  • Under Common Tasks click on Home
  • Click Computer Files
  • Click Configure
  • Make sure the following are disabled by ticking the "Off" button.
  • Virus protection
    Spyware protection
    System Guards Protection
    Script Scanning Protection (you may have to scroll down to see it)
  • Next, select never for "When to re-enable real time scanning"
  • and click OK.

Further info on disabling and re-enabling McAfee:

If that does not work, please uninstall McAfee. (If you have the CD's, or use McAfee Support,  you can re-install it once you are sure  that the computer is clean.)

1. Please download Rkill by Grinler from here Rkill and save it to your desktop.  If that does not work try this alternate Link

  • Double-click on the Rkill desktop icon to run the tool in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with Security Tool and other Rogue programs.
  • If using Vista, right-click on it and Run As Administrator.
  • Please be patient while the program looks for various malware programs and ends them. When it has finished, the black window will automatically close and you can continue with the next step. If you get a message that rkill is an infection, please ignore it, and run again. This message is just a fake warning given by the malware when it terminates programs that may potentially remove it.
    Therefore, please run rkill quite a few times until the malware is no longer running. You will then be able to proceed with the rest of the instructions below.
    Do not reboot your computer after running rkill as the malware programs will start again.

    2. Now you should download Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, or MBAM, from one of the following locations and save it to your desktop:

    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
    alternate download link 1
    alternate download link 2

    3. Once downloaded, close all programs and Windows on your computer, including this one.

    4. Double-click on the icon on your desktop named mbam-setup.exe. This will start the installation of MBAM onto your computer.

    5. When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the installation process. Do not make any changes to default settings and when the program has finished installing and is at the last screen, make sure you uncheck both of the Update Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware and Launch Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware check boxes. Then click on the Finish button. If Malwarebytes' prompts you to reboot, please do not do so.

    6. As this infection deletes a core executable of Malwarebytes' we will need to download a new copy of it and put it in the C:\program files\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware\ folder. To download the file please click on the following link:
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

    When your browser prompts you where to save it to, please save it to the C:\program files\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware\ folder. When downloading the file, it will have a random filename. Please leave the filename the way it is as it is important that it is not changed. You may want to write down the name of the file as you will need to know the name in the next step.

    7. Once the file has been downloaded, open the C:\program files\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware\ folder and double-click on the file you downloaded in step 8. MBAM will now start and you will be at the main program screen.

    8. Before you can perform a scan, you must first update the program. To do this click on the Update tab, and that at the new screen click on the Check for Updates button. Malwarebytes' will now check for new updates and download and install them as necessary. When the update is completed, you will be prompted with a message stating either that you already have the latest updates or that they have been updated. Either way, you should now click on the OK button to continue.

    9. Now click on the Scanner tab and make sure the the Perform full scan option is selected. Then click on the Scan button to start scanning your computer for Security Tool related files.

    10. MBAM will now start scanning your computer for malware. This process can take quite a while, so we suggest you go and do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan.
    When the scan is finished a message box will appear.

    11. You should click on the OK button to close the message box and continue with the malware removal removal process.

    12. You will now be back at the main Scanner screen. At this point you should click on the Show Results button.

    13. A screen displaying all the malware that the program found will be shown.

    14. When MBAM has finished removing the malware, it will open the scan log and display it in Notepad. Review the log as desired, and then close the Notepad window.

    15. If any malware was found it might be good to post on the Malware Removal Forum.

    Please Read This Before Posting For Malware Removal Help

    16. You can now exit the MBAM program.

    * Due to the fact that this infection deletes certain MalwareBytes' files, and we had to work around this, if you wish to continue using MalwareBytes' Anti-Malware, which we suggest you do, then you should uninstall and then install it again so that the files are created properly.

Windows Insider MVP 2016 -

Microsoft MVP - Consumer Security 2006-2016

Social Media and Community Professional

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1 Copper

Re: Inspiron 530 Win XP freezing up after 5-10 min


I had this exact same issue occur on my Inspiron 530s.  Same note from McAfee on the Trojan, etc right as the problem started.

I have since opened my system...blew out all of the dust, doing that I noticed an orange light on motherboard..i am thinking it is some kind of error indicator, but can't find anything that tells me what it is.

Since then I have removed McAfee, thinking that my definition, etc were out of date and have replaced it with Norton - That did not help - Norton tells me that it doesn't find anything.

I then thought it seemed to Freeze only when Outlook was i reinstalled and upgraded to office 2007 - that did not help either.

Depending on what I am doing I can get the system to stay up and running now for sometime >1hr before freezing, but not remains very random.

I am contemplating replacing my memory DIMMs, but found this and recommendations below, so perhaps I will try that.

Have your tried it?  Did it resolve your problems?


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