KathiMR's Posts

KathiMR's Posts

I did update and run A2 anti malware and it found a bunch of cookies low threat and a couple of things that it called medium threat, although I'm not sure what they were. They could have been from my... See more...
I did update and run A2 anti malware and it found a bunch of cookies low threat and a couple of things that it called medium threat, although I'm not sure what they were. They could have been from my actually installing something.  I quaranteened those 2 and deleted the others. I haven't gotten to running the diagnostics yet. I'm juggling a number of different things, including now considering getting a digital voice recorder and also getting ready to change to a Windows mobile smart phone from using a separate old basic cell phone and separate Palm PDA.
Computers can be weird and do things that puzzle us, but there is a reason, although it may take us awhile to figure it out.  Since you have a date when it started, I would try to think back to what ... See more...
Computers can be weird and do things that puzzle us, but there is a reason, although it may take us awhile to figure it out.  Since you have a date when it started, I would try to think back to what changed on that date that it started doing that.  Did you update any software?  Add new programs?  Try to get your mind about what changed for the computer on that date that it started.  That might help to figure it out.  of course it could be a couple of other issues. Also what is different about your home setup and the setup in the repair shop? Also, is the computer hot?  Mine was having problems overheating and it shut down a couple of times to protect itself.  I finally found my compressed air duster and blew it out, starting with the screen in the vent windows.  A lot of dust flew out. Since then it had been working cooler and hasn't shut down on its own.
Is the computer hot?  Could it be that it is over heating and shutting down because of that?  Mine was running hot and shut down a couple of times from that but it gave me a warning that was why. I... See more...
Is the computer hot?  Could it be that it is over heating and shutting down because of that?  Mine was running hot and shut down a couple of times from that but it gave me a warning that was why. I finally found my compressed air duster and scraped the dust off the vent holes and then blew the dust out of the insides, blowing into any holes to the inside that I could find.  A bunch of dust flew out. Since then it is running nice and cool.
Are you getting some kind of message indicating that it is shutting down because of heat? I had trouble with my Inspiron 5160 getting hot and it shut down a couple of times with some type of messag... See more...
Are you getting some kind of message indicating that it is shutting down because of heat? I had trouble with my Inspiron 5160 getting hot and it shut down a couple of times with some type of message about heat.  When I would place my hands over the keybaord toward the back, near the screen, I could feel that it was rather hot. I finally found my compressed air duster and then turned it over and noticed that the vent around the fan was partly blocked by dust. I partly scraped it off and then I blew it away with with duster (with the little thin tube to direct the spray). Then I blew to the inside of the computer into any hole that looked like it led inside.   A lot of dust blew out.  After that it has been running nice and cool. There was another post about GPU and CPU temperature in the last day or 2 that talked about another problem with overheating.  Search back for that post and the answers on it.  Some of these machines have an Nvidia graphics card/chip or whatever it is on the motherboard I thnk it is. They have issues with over heating which can even damage the motherboard I think it said.  Don't know if that could relate to your model or not, but I'd recommend looking for that thread and reading it.  But in the mean time, check the vent covers to make sure that they are clear and try some of that compressed air duster. They are designed to dust electronics which need to breath so that they don't over heat. And dust accumulation is an enemy that gets in the way of disappating heat. Of course like most anything electronic, it does need to breath so it needs to be sitting on a hard surface.  Being placed on a soft surface like a bed or couch or maybe even a lap could block the vents and thus air circulation. These are just a few thought on possibilities but I'm not real technical so I am just passing on stuff I have picked up from others.
Thanks.  I was also reading about an Nvidea video something or other that is on a lot of Dells that has a tendency to overheat. I think mine may have one of those although maybe its a different one a... See more...
Thanks.  I was also reading about an Nvidea video something or other that is on a lot of Dells that has a tendency to overheat. I think mine may have one of those although maybe its a different one and maybe the motherboard was replaced after they had updated the ones being used. magicJack is a little device that shows up as a drive. It plugs into a usb2 port (I've found that my powered hub works better than one of the ports in the back of the computer.  Then you just plug a regular phone into the other side of it.  It can be taken on trips etc and phone calls to US or Canada are free. The device was about $39.95 which included 1 yr phone service and I renewed for another year for about $20.  It works pretty well most of the time.  But it seems that it installs itself each time rather than having resident software on the computer.  I guess that is nice to be able to plug it into any usb2 port on any computer while travelling but it takes awhile to load each time. It seems to be shutting down better now for some reason. I'll have to run my A2 anti malware software a little later to see what it turns up.  and then I'll try the F12 key during boot up if I can remember that.  I also posted this under hardware so will have to find that one to see if I got any answers there. I'm not sure why I'm not getting email notifications of responses like I used to. anyway thanks for your help.
check out the newer post about proper GPU and CPU temperatures. Not sure if this might be your problem but if you read down through the posts one has an article detailing problems with an Nvdiea card... See more...
check out the newer post about proper GPU and CPU temperatures. Not sure if this might be your problem but if you read down through the posts one has an article detailing problems with an Nvdiea card that overheats and I think one of the problems described sounded something like this. It overheats and fries I think it was the motherboard or something. Anyway, it looked like it was worth reading all the posts and it might explain your problem as well as how some people got satisfaction with the warranty extended past the usual warranty for it.
My computer has started to act strangely. When I try to shut down at night I will of course use the start menu, shut down and then click on shut down. But a lot of the time rather than shutting down ... See more...
My computer has started to act strangely. When I try to shut down at night I will of course use the start menu, shut down and then click on shut down. But a lot of the time rather than shutting down it instead restarts. As near as I can recall, this started happening after I finally upgraded XP to SP3. It now runs much better (it had been really slow and often the cpu usage would be 100% or close to that. Those problems seem to have gone away). Another thing that I have noticed is that often when it is going to restart instead of just shutting down, after I click for it to shut down, i can hear the fan cycling up and down quiet and then reving up and cycling back and forth that way.  I had previously had heat problems with it shutting down 2 diferent times from getting too hot. i could feel the heat when I placed my hands on the keyboard toward the bck near the screen.  I finally found my compressed air duster and turned it over to look for opening to spray out. i found that the vent screen was partly blocked by dust. I sort of partly scraped it off and then I blew it out.  A lot of dust flew out. I then blew into any opening I could find.  Since then it has been running nice and cool. I had posted this under software and gotten 1 response that suggested it might be hardware. The computer is going on 5 yrs old. The HD failed within 6 mo of purchase and was replaced.  a couple of years or more ago I had a lose ethernet connector which apparently was soldered to the motherboard as they replaced the motherboard only that was pretty lame. It was an outside contractor who just did software. He installed it and inserted a CD to update the BIOS to I think it is AO8, although it might be AO7. He didn't bother to check that they problem was fixed. He also didn't know how to set it so that the C and CD drives were set as boot drives. I guess when he upgraded the BIOS that was reset so I had to call tech support who told me what to do. Oh, they had also sent me a new CD/DVD drive since it didn't always open or close properly and he installed that at the same time as the motherboard. Sometimes it will shut down just fine, but other times the bottom bar on the screen goes away but my desktop wallpaper is showing then it momentarily gets a black screen and then I see the start up screen where the little bar shows the progress quickly. The first time that it happened, I thought that maybe I hand't been paying attention and had accidentally hit restart (come to think of it I think that had happend in the past quite some time ago). I think that time it restarted 2-3 times before I gave up and pushed the power button to just shut it down. Also I just realized that I haven't been getting the normal shut down chimes. (Oh, that is triggering a memory that I can't quite bring to the surface that in the past I the start up chimes weren't coming on as normal. Turned out that was related to something else--I thougth it was the sound messed up but it was something else but I can't remember what. Also the other day on boot up I got a black screen for awhile (not just the momentary one that I usually get) but then it finally continued on. I've also noticed at times that the screen refresh isn't refreshing. this is particularly true when starting up and one thing is one the screen and then i open something else. the place where there was a box in one program sometimes would be a window with the desktop wall paper showing through. I think that may have been before the upgrade to SP3--I haven't really paid attention to all those things as I'm just trying to use the computer. I also had gotten some warnings--again I think this was prior to SP3--about a driver or something but I don't think it specified for what. So does this sound like OS, other software, or hardware or a combination or?  And more importantly, what do I do about it? I do back my computer up once a week to my external HD using Retrospect Express. Each time it runs there are 2 new restore points. When I have magicJack plugged in ,the computer does not go to sleep, although the screen will go black when i am away. I run it as a desktop with it plugged in and with an external key board and mouse hooked up to usb hubs   1 GB RAM, Win XP Home, SP3, Comodo Firewall, Avast antivirus, A2 anti malware, Firefox 3.0.13, Eudora, magicJack VOIP
Have you tried looking on the Dell tech support page?  I haven't checked there in quite awhile but they used to have a knowledge base page with articles on different topics.  Try looking there and se... See more...
Have you tried looking on the Dell tech support page?  I haven't checked there in quite awhile but they used to have a knowledge base page with articles on different topics.  Try looking there and searching for boot drive or usb boot drive under your model. Or if you have your owners manual or if it is online, it would likely tell you what can be used as a boot drive.  Its my impression that, depending on the model they may only allow it to boot from certain drives but I'm really not sure.  But that likely would be model specific.
I have an Inspiron 5160 and I had mine shut down twice from overheating. I had moved and figured that i needed to blow it out but it took me awhile to find my compressed air duster. When I did, I tur... See more...
I have an Inspiron 5160 and I had mine shut down twice from overheating. I had moved and figured that i needed to blow it out but it took me awhile to find my compressed air duster. When I did, I turned the comptuer over and found that there was dust partly blocking the vent over where the fan was, etc. I used the compressed air to blow it loose and to blow inside and dust flew out. After blowing out whatever I could see or places that looked like they would get it inside, it is now running nice and cool.  Before that when I place my hands over the keyboard toward the screen I could feel that it was quite hot. I had even tried some ice packs to help it cool down. So I would suggest trying one of those compressed air dusters to blow it out. They may have them where computer stuff is sold. I don't remember where I got this, but it sure did the trick for me. I remembered reading a long time ago on the forums that some of the models in this series had problems with dust build up and thus heat, but those were earlier models. I think they had mentioned blowing it out. Some of them though had oil on the heat sink I think it was said and of course dust would stick to oil so it wouldn't blow loose. But again those were earlier models than mine and mine is coming up on 5 years old.
Just in general, you are more likely to get a response if you are more specific as to the problem you are having in the subject line.  That way you are more likely to get a response from someone who ... See more...
Just in general, you are more likely to get a response if you are more specific as to the problem you are having in the subject line.  That way you are more likely to get a response from someone who might have had a simliar problem and gotten a solution.  But as other have pointed out, this is for users to help other users. But if you list your problem another user who might have had a simliar one might spot it and tell how they did or did not get help.
I would think that info should be on the main Dell pages under customer service or something like that.
Was the computer worked on before this started happening?  Why not take it back to where you had it worked on to find out why it didn't fix the problem, unless you had it worked on for some other rea... See more...
Was the computer worked on before this started happening?  Why not take it back to where you had it worked on to find out why it didn't fix the problem, unless you had it worked on for some other reason.
Another totally different thought since you mentioned it happening with the screen saver. Where did you get your screen saver?  Did it work ok before?  Not sure but it is my impression that some of t... See more...
Another totally different thought since you mentioned it happening with the screen saver. Where did you get your screen saver?  Did it work ok before?  Not sure but it is my impression that some of the screen savers out there, depending on where you got it from and whether it was a reliable source, but some especially free software can be a way to spread viruses and other malware.  I know I've seen offers for neat looking screen savers, etc but I am very leary of downloading anything onto my computer unless I'm sure that it is a safe source. And another possible thought could be if the screen saver is an older program it might not work well with newer operating systems, hardware, etc.  So those are just a couple of additional possibilities to consider.  I think there are programs or places to check compatability of programs with other things you have, but I'm not sure.
I was having similar problems with XP Service Pak 2.  Frequently it would be up to 100%.  I don't know what was the cause but I finally updated to service pack 3 not too long ago and it is working mu... See more...
I was having similar problems with XP Service Pak 2.  Frequently it would be up to 100%.  I don't know what was the cause but I finally updated to service pack 3 not too long ago and it is working much better, except that now I'm having trouble shutting down some of the time so I'm trying to figure that out. I've gotten a response to a post that indicated that it might be hardware (my Inspiron 5160 is coming up on 5 yrs old). Which service pack are you using?  Run updates to update the critical stuff and probably basically everything. I didn't update to IE since I don't really use that much but have updated the rest.  My computer also was running really slowly which may well have been connected to the 100% CPU usage or close to it.
Some external hard drives like my Maxtor came with back up software called Retrospect Express.  I don't remember all the stuff about it but i have it set up to back up automatically 1 time a week whi... See more...
Some external hard drives like my Maxtor came with back up software called Retrospect Express.  I don't remember all the stuff about it but i have it set up to back up automatically 1 time a week while I'm out to a meeting. The only things I have to do is to remember to turn on the external HD and make sure the back up program is open before I leave. Then it backs up when I'm gone. I guess the things to be aware of, which I'm not sure about is how to restore from that if the internal HD failed as mine on this computer did when it was not very old. There are also different ways to back things up. Some are incremental so they just back up new stuff since the previous and I think others back up the whole thing each time. So at any rate you might check your external drive to see if it by any chance came with any back up software that might work for you.  i did have to update to a newer version. Also if you want to back up specific things such as photos you can just drag them to the external drive using Windows explorer (for XP) or another method. You can also set whether you want back up software to back up just files or software or whatever. It will give you several choices.  I'm thinking that I really probably need to get some advice to make sure that my back up methods are such that I will be able to recover everything from there in the event of a HD failure.
Thanks for your response.  It has been a long time since I have used the forums and I see they have changed quite a bit--including I haven't found the option that I always checked to send me an email... See more...
Thanks for your response.  It has been a long time since I have used the forums and I see they have changed quite a bit--including I haven't found the option that I always checked to send me an email when there is a reply.  I don't know if those choices below are supposed to substitute as i'm not up on all that. I still don't see an option to receive an email notification of replies. I didn't know about the XP NTFS corruption but I know that there is a reason for the shutdown process so it shuts down everything that is supposed to be shut down.  I'm not sure what else to do though if its time to shut it down and I click shut off and instead it doesn't. One thing that I have noticed when it doesn't shut down properly is that I will hear the fan cycling. So it will be quiet and then rev up and then quieter and then rev up, back and forth a bit. But the computer does seem to be staying nice and cool to the touch, since I blew it out (and saw dust flying, plus one of the main vents under the fan I guess had dust stuck in the opening which I blew off. I'm not sure if it is still having the problem with the 100% or high percentage of use.  I've had a bunch of things going on so ignored this for awhile, but finally had some time to post.  I just opened Windows Task Manager since that shows the usage on those things. It is now running down low where it should be like 1-7% so far as I check. So maybe SP3 fixed whatever that was all about. It does seem to be running better in general with reasonable speed now.  The system idle process was one that uses a high percentage--I guess that is what the # is. Previously Firefox and magicJack would also show high percentages, but it does seem to be staying down low where it should be so again, maybe SP3 fixed whatever it was. The times when I have shut down manually have been when I clicked on shut down and it didn't shut down properly, but I was out of everything except the stuff that is just always open.  Sometimes it like shut down but then it would show the screen where it was booting up again. Since it takes a couple min or more to boot up, I didn't want to go through all that as I did the first few times it happened.  I use magicJack which increases the time for stuff to load, so it might be 4 min or so to load everything. So the CPU usuage seems to be doing fine. For Mem usage Firetox is tops with over 120k followed by Eudora with over 54 k then winword, the magicJack, etc.  It shows commit charge but I'm not even sure what that is. If it has to do with the battery, I normally use it as a desk top with it plugged in and using an external keyboard and mouse.  I have 2 usb hubs. I got a new one a couple of years ago hoping to get rid of the old one but noticed that it said if I had any none usb2 devices plugged into it, it would slow them all down. I've got a 2nd D-Link DUB H-7 ordered since sometimes I have to unplug and replug devices to get them to be recognized (mostly my keyboard or mouse). So, how do I tell if this is OS or other software or hardware?  I remember there were some diagnostics that could be run but I don't remember how to access them and I remember they took awhile. If it is hardware, would that likely be hard drive or something else? I know when the HD failed when it was pretty new, it first sort of did, but in the morning it was ok. They wanted to replace it then, but I didn't want to have to think about reinstalling everything. That was in Dec. after I got it the beginning of Oct. It finally abruptly failed in March right when I was trying to send an email to someone. About a couple of years ago I got an intermittent LAN/Ethernet connection which I figured out off the bat (I mean it made a difference when I jiggled the connector, duh) but Dell had me run a bunch of diagnostics before agreeing that was what it was, but apparently the ethernet connector was soldered to the motherboard so they had to replace the motherboard.  They had previously sent me a replacement CD/dvd drive which the guy installed (he also didn't know what he was doing, only being a hardware guy except that he updated the BIOS but didn't make sure the settings were right so it wasn't set up for it to boot from the C or CD drives. So to summarize, how would I tell if it is hardware or some type of OS or software issue? (I had earlier gotten some warnings about updating drivers but maybe SP3 did that. And if it is hardware, should I move this question or someone else move it to the hardware area?  And i guess the fear is that the HD could possibly be getting shaky or something, although it seemed to go abruptly on this computer although my previous one it failed gradually but it had RAID which I read somewhere might make a difference in that, I'm  not sure. If it might be hardware, any precautions I should be taking besides my regular weekly backup using Retrospect Express incremental back up with restore points, backing up to my external HD? Or would that mean it is time to get a new computer? Thanks for your help. I know more than a lot of people, but there is a lot I don't know, including a lot of the newer technology that younger people all seem to know but a lot of us older ones have just heard of.  I do need to get ready though to switch from my current old basic cell phone and separate Palm PDA to a Windows mobile smart phone for business. So I'll have a fair amount of a learning curve to prepare first so I can be up and running right away, and then learn the newer things like mobile web and email.  
Not sure if this is software or hardware. Inspiron 5160 coming up on 5 yrs old. Xp SP3.  I finally upgraded to SP3 not long ago. Its generally working faster, but often when I go to shut down, by usi... See more...
Not sure if this is software or hardware. Inspiron 5160 coming up on 5 yrs old. Xp SP3.  I finally upgraded to SP3 not long ago. Its generally working faster, but often when I go to shut down, by using the Start, Turn Off, and clicking the Turn off button it instead will restart. Today the Start up was rather funny as it was starting and then there was a black screen for awhile (usually there is very briefly one but this was maybe 10 seconds or longer--didn't really time it) before it continued with the start up. Sometimes when I tried to shut down, it restarted and went through that 2-3 times before I finally just pushed the power button. I don't recall any of this before I upgraded to SP3. Before that it was often running rather slowly, not just online, but just on my computer.  Sometimes there were delays in what I typed appearing. I had previously noticed that the screen refresh sometimes lagged quite a bit like when I was opening new programs or closing one, something from the background, like the wallpaper would show through, or show through in blocks where something else had been. Also at least before I upgraded to SP3, not sure if it has been doing it since, it would frequently show up to 100% CPU usage, even after I had shut down programs, but then much of the time with the same programs open it would be between 1-10% Someone from I think it was my ISP had me clear out not only cookies but other stuff which seemed to help the performance some. I can deal with the nuisance of having to manually shut down, but it makes me nervous not knowing why it is doing that and whether it is software or hardware or whether something might be getting ready to go down or what I can do about it.  I have Retrospect Express backup set to automatically back up 1x/wk with different restore points, to my external HD.   Also i previously had it shut down 2x from heat but then I finally found my compressed air duster and blew it out so now it is staying reasonably cool.   XP Home, SP3, Comodo Firewall, Avast Anti Virus, A2 anti-malware.  1 GB RAM (using both slots), Firefox 3.0.13, Eudora email.
Can't anyone suggest what might be going on and what I could do about it? Today it seems to be working ok, but with 2 problems in 2 days I'm rather nervous.
Not sure the answer to your question but one alternative might be to get the free download of Open Office.  I has the same modules I think as MS Office.  Plus not sure whether MS Office 2007 has the ... See more...
Not sure the answer to your question but one alternative might be to get the free download of Open Office.  I has the same modules I think as MS Office.  Plus not sure whether MS Office 2007 has the capability to save a Word doc as a pdf but Open Office does.  I think I found a link to download it from the Firefox website. And you might go ahead and get open office and then later if you still want MS Office you can go ahead and figure out how to get it, but could use Open office in the mean time.  it seems to be pretty compatible back and forth with Office 2003.  The interface is a bit different but basic functions are pretty intuitive. i  haven't gotten into figuring out other functions since i mainly used it to save word files as pdfs.
I'm not sure about this but it was my understanding that you need to use the original CD from Microsoft since they had put anti-piracy features into it since I guess they had problems with a lot of b... See more...
I'm not sure about this but it was my understanding that you need to use the original CD from Microsoft since they had put anti-piracy features into it since I guess they had problems with a lot of bootleg copies. I'm waiting for a response to my post last night (which already is on about the 4th or 5th page of this topic) in which I got the same first # in the error code although the ones within parentheses were different).  I'm surprised I haven't received any responses yet, although with the new format it seems that less posts show up on each page so even new posts can get bumped back a couple or more pages before anyone sees them.