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About to give up on a dell laptop.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Hardware' started by Seth Anthony, Apr 21, 2020.

  1. Seth Anthony

    Seth Anthony Registered Members

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    Operating System:
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    Altaire 8800
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    Modified Texas Instruments calculator
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    2 transistor tubes
    Hard Drive:
    pen and paper
    Graphics Card:
    TV ready
    Power Supply:
    Mouse on a wheel
    It's about 3 years old and slow as molasses.

    It takes about 15 minutes to boot with the spin drive, and when I finally got Task Manger opened, the cpu, memory, and hard drive numbers looked great. So obviously the problem was the hard drive.

    I install the drive on my bench system and begin the clone to a ssd. I'm was fully expecting the clone to take about 12 hours given how slow the hard drive was, but no, the clone completed in a normal amount of time. Now I'm getting worried, because the proper speed of the clone indicates the hard drive is fine, but if so, then what else could cause such slowness? I booted to the cloned ssd and as suspected, it was just as slow.

    I ran Dell's F12 diagnostics, and the cpu, memory, etc, all pass. I popped in a new ssd and tried a clean install, I aborted it, as the install was barely moving. I restored the bios defaults and switched out the ram, but that didn't help. Grasping at straws, I though maybe the ac adapter wasn't putting out quite enough power, but that wasn't the problem either.

    Unless I'm missing something, it looks like a cpu or board problem.
     
  2. Tony D

    Tony D Administrator Administrator

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    When it takes 15 minutes to boot, I look at the hard drive also.

    Can you get it to run from a live Linux disk? If it runs properly, then maybe an issue with the controller for the hard drive.

    How about removing any optical drive and wireless / Bluetooth adapter? Maybe one of those is hanging up a buss.

    Then maybe the keyboard/ trackpad is hanging things up. I never heard of such a thing but it’s worth a try. Disconnect them, use a USB keyboard / mouse.

    While at it, look in the USB ports for foreign objects. Who knows?
     
  3. Seth Anthony

    Seth Anthony Registered Members

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    Modified Texas Instruments calculator
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    Hard Drive:
    pen and paper
    Graphics Card:
    TV ready
    Power Supply:
    Mouse on a wheel
    Ya, they're long shots Tony, but I did all that anyway to no avail.

    Even trying to get into the bios takes about 3 times longer than normal, and the bios hangs and is slow to respond. The problem is definitely the CPU or a component on the motherboard, or possibly a corrupt bios rom (that a bios update may fix).

    I'll see if there is a bios update. If that doesn't work, I'm throwing it out the window :).

    Oh ya, I checked the reviews on this model, and it seems to be quite a lemon with various and premature hardware failures. I forgot to mention in my original post that after only about 1.5 years of light use, the battery is so dead that it's not even detected.
     
  4. Tony D

    Tony D Administrator Administrator

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    If I think of anything else, I'll let you know.

    Did you try a live Linux?

    What's the model?
     
  5. Seth Anthony

    Seth Anthony Registered Members

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    TV ready
    Power Supply:
    Mouse on a wheel
    I just tried calling the owner of the laptop, who is about 80 years old. The young female voice on the voice mail message said (in a jovial manner), "Hi, you've reached my grandpa's cell phone. He either doesn't know where it is, or doesn't know how to answer it".

    :big_ha:
     
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  6. Seth Anthony

    Seth Anthony Registered Members

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  7. Seth Anthony

    Seth Anthony Registered Members

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    There is a bios update from a year ago that is labeled as urgent. I'll try to install it.
     
  8. Tony D

    Tony D Administrator Administrator

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    OK with the BIOS update. Doubt it'll help, but give it a try.

    I've worked on a couple 5559 machines. They were nice machines with SSDs. One of them had wireless network issues. Windows kept disabling it. I think an update fixed that somewhere along the line.
     
  9. Seth Anthony

    Seth Anthony Registered Members

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    I'm in the process of getting the update, the computer is so slow that there is about a 10 second lag between pressing a key and it appearing.
     
  10. Seth Anthony

    Seth Anthony Registered Members

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    The bios update won't run unless the ac adapter and the battery are plugged in, but this laptop can't even detect the battery.

    I'm done with this damn thing. lol
     
  11. Seth Anthony

    Seth Anthony Registered Members

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    I just spoke to the owner and let him know what's going on. He's bringing in another laptop he has. It's a 4 year old HP that is also very slow. I'm going to install the cloned ssd in the hp laptop.
     
  12. Tony D

    Tony D Administrator Administrator

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    OK, keep us informed. Better luck with that one.
     
  13. Seth Anthony

    Seth Anthony Registered Members

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    Will do. He lives 1.5 hours away, and won't be back for about another week.

    I'm thinking the hard drive swap to the HP will go fine. Compared to previous operating systems, W10 is very forgiving when using the hard drive in another computer. I've done it countless times, and don't ever recalling it not working.
     
  14. IJAC

    IJAC Super-Moderator Super Moderators

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    Wow never knew that about 10 learn something new every day thanks.
     
  15. Seth Anthony

    Seth Anthony Registered Members

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    You're welcome.

    It typically happens when I get in a computer with a failed mobo and it's not worth repair. Either the customer has another computer to put the hard drive in, or they buy a new computer and I do the same thing. In each case, the hard drive is typically old, so I suggest to the customer cloning their hard drive to a ssd.

    Side note, I clone about 3 drives a week and have used numerous cloning programs to clone to a ssd. By far the easiest and most reliable program I've used is Mini Tool Partition Wizard. It doesn't ask confusing questions when cloning to a ssd. It doesn't matter if the ssd is of lower capacity than the source mechaniocal drive. I don't have to cross my fingers when trying to boot the ssd for the first time.
     
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  16. IJAC

    IJAC Super-Moderator Super Moderators

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    Samsung Evo 500 GB SS
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    Thanks for the info Seth I looked at the mini Tool Partition program and think I downloaded it also. I haven't had the chance to use it yet if I ever get some business I will give it a try. Sounds like you have a good business there glad to hear that a little dead here ( no pun intended).
     
  17. Seth Anthony

    Seth Anthony Registered Members

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    He brought in his other laptop a couple of days ago. I popped in the cloned ssd from his Dell laptop. It's all good now.

    I also just finished another laptop this morning which suffered from a total hard drive failure. I installed the ssd and used the ESC key ( HP) for the boot menu...which I've done countless times. This time however, the boot menu only shows a eufi boot that only boots to the hard drive :mad:, so I can't boot to the usb stick without altering the bios. No problem I think, but it turns out someone put a freakin password on the bios to which the customer has no idea about. Fortunately, this laptop has a bottom panel that just slides off and exposes the guts in all their glory. I disconnect the cmos battery and the main battery, then hold the power button down fora minute. The damn password remained.

    I installed the ssd on one of my bench systems, then installed W10 on it. Popped that ssd into the laptop, did the windows updates, and it runs like a dream. YAY!

    I've yet to do a W19 hard drive swap that failed. That's about the one and only thing I like about W10. Hard drive swaps prior to W8 (which is the same engine as W10) most often ended up with an unsolvable bsod, and of course a clean install.

    BTW: EUFI? Don't get me started on that needless annoyance. lol
     
  18. Tony D

    Tony D Administrator Administrator

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    Just ran into one of those. Fortunately the BIOS did not have a password. So I was able to make changes.

    Another failed hard drive - What manufacturer?

    btw: we were able to swap hard drive between systems before W10. I'm sure I did it back in XP days. The hardware had to be somewhat similar.
     
  19. Seth Anthony

    Seth Anthony Registered Members

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    Modified Texas Instruments calculator
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    Hard Drive:
    pen and paper
    Graphics Card:
    TV ready
    Power Supply:
    Mouse on a wheel
    I'm not sure what you mean by "another failed hard drive". I replace about 3 failing or failed drives a week. Mechanical crap. lol

    Sure an XP hard drive swap could be done, but often you would get a BSOD and have to do a repair install. What I'm saying is that w8 and 10 doesn't mind a hard drive swap even if the hardware is completely different. For example, the laptop I did this morning is under a year old, and the drive I used was from a w10 installation via my 8 year old desktop computer. In other words, completely different hardware.
     

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