M17x problems

MattyB

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Guys. Can anyone help?
Over the past 24 hours my machine has developed a problem. It will boot up to the windows desktop but then it will sometimes become unresponsive. The screen will not freeze completely as the mouse pointer will still move around but nothing will work. I cant open programs, the media control keys dont work, cant even Ctrl-Alt-Delete to get Task Manager up. I have to shut it down with the power button. It will sometimes let me get into a program for a while but then it will do its stupid thing after 10 minutes or so. It even froze while restarting this morning. I have tried a system restore to a point where it was working normally but no luck.

Any ideas?
 

BlackJair

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That is weird... When you restored the system, did it had the same errors?

Because your HDD may have died, or some sector died... It's an option, very rare... But still an option, did you moved, smashed or something the laptop while it was dowloading, copying, moving, etc, something?
 

MattyB

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Yeah it did the same thing straight after. I havent done anything out of the ordinary with it. It hadnt moved from the day before when it was working perfectly. I was playing BF3 offline today and closed the screen. When i opened it 5 minutes later it had frozen on a black screen but the mouse still moved. Its set up not to lock when i close it. It is currently working ok. It would have done it 10 times in the past 24 hours though. I have notified Dell so I'll see what they reckon.
 

AeonSoul

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That might atually be your HDD breaking down. I'd advice you to make a backup of your important stuff, just to be sure.
 

MattyB

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Well that doesnt sound very pleasant at all. I will definitely be doing that.
 

AeonSoul

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Indeed it doesn't. I had my Desktop's HDD broke down last year and I lost shitload of data, and it happened while I was listening to some music, the pc started freezing, then when I tried to reboot the HDD just failed.
 

MattyB

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Did it start slowly and get worse or did it just happen quickly one day?
 

AeonSoul

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It kinda happened suddnely, but that might have just been some bad luck. Or at least, I didn't noticed anything untill it broke down.
 

MattyB

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That sucks. Mine has been all good for the last few hours. Maybe just a small glitch that will sort itself out. Here's to positive thinking!
 

BlackJair

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Try using another HDD to boot and see if its the HDD or maybe the Graphic Card...
 

MattyB

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Let's consider for a moment that I have almost no idea about the inner working of computers. How would I use a different HDD to boot up? Thanks.
 

AeonSoul

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Yeah you need to plug one inside the laptop and make a clean windows install :p
 

EMT911inWI

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You could also boot up off of a USB drive if you needed to. I've already installed OS's on thumb drives and have succesfully booted them on a laptop, including my current Alienware M14x. It's not too difficult. Short of posting up an entire How-To on here, just google it. :)
 

MattyB

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I will give that a go then. Google has always been my saviour. It hasnt happened the last 3 times I have booted up so I'm on a roll!
 

yikes81

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Sweet. Fingers crossed that its all good. As we aussies say "She'll be right mate!"
 

MattyB

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Update: Dont know what happened in the end. The problem hasnt come back for a few days. Dell gave me a test to do to check my HDD. Shutdown computer. Hold Function Key while powering back on until a bootup troubleshooting screen comes up. Then it will run through some tests for a few hours. The only problem I'm having now is my media control keys dont work. Irritating.
 

calric

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open task manager and see what alien process are running.
shuold be mostly on the top in processes. whats it showign?
 

MattyB

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Its all good now I think. Dell got me to reinstall the Alienware OSD and Command Centre. Unfortunately it is an earlier version of Command Centre (2.6.2.0 instead of 2.6.14.0) but everything is working again. Dont know if the earlier version is much different.
 
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