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program does not respond

By agoldstein7 ·
I have a refurbished dell 4700. From day one I have a problem with programs not responding. Have to keep pressing ctrl alt delete or sometimes must reboot. Reformatted and reinstalled windows xp, but the problem persisted. Tried Dells tech support tried various things, nothing fixed the problem. any ideas?

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by dmiles In reply to program does not respond

From the problems you described about your computer, I would think there should be many possibilities for causing that.
It could be the instability of the system Windows XP and you had better reinstall the OS to fix it.
It could be the virus infection. you could try to scan the hard drive to make sure if it is clean, or had you updated your XP to service pack 1. The non-updated Windows XP could cause virus infection and attack when online.
It could be the hardwares' problems- the malfunction of the CPU, the motherboard, RAM, etc. Try to remove all the interface cards on you computer except the Video card by excluding the possibilities that cause freezing problems.

Sometimes, if the problems arise due to the OS instability, reinstallation will be a bothersome but efficient way to solve the problem.

Good luck.

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by rickrbyrne In reply to program does not respond


Download Memtest86 from, follow the installation instructions, and run it from a boot disk, this will test your RAM for you. At least that will be one thing out of your way for troubleshooting.


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by B_Pope In reply to program does not respond

I agree to it being a hardware issue, if you can do as suggested remove & disconnnect everything except the vid card & ram then try running.

You could also check device manager to make sure everythings installed.

Most likely area is memory, power supply or possibly heat whether CPU or vid card overheating.

If you can try the ram in another PC or if you have a local PC that has a proper DIMM tester that would be your best bet. Also make sure the ram is compatible with the MB, if there's two sticks of ram only use one in slot O till the problem is solved.

With everything removed it will lesson the load on the power supply & unless you can smell a burning type smell from it, I'd rule it out at that point.

If you can access the BIOS, resetting values to default can be helpfull.

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by jdgretz In reply to program does not respond

If the machine is a refurb from Dell, keep on them and get them to replace it. If this is from another source, go back to them if you can. My bet would be a hardware problem, and since you've reformatted and reinstalled XP a time or two my guess is you will not fix this with software.

Good luck, and I hope I'm wrong on this.


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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to program does not respond

Instead of doing things peace meal fashion download the Ultimate Boot CD form

change your BIOS to boot from the CD and run all the utilities to check your hardware. If everything passes the tests then download a wiping utility from

wipe the HDD and reinstall Windows. You need to wipe the drive because the format option only writes to every third sector of the HDD and the other 2 sectors remain unaffected so if that are caring any nasties you'll have them on a reload working again.

If you follow the above you'll find any hardware problems that you may have and be able to rectify them and then have a stable system. The same applies to the software side of things as well. While the tests are not quick they are deep tests and do a very good job of testing things so let each test run until it finishes.


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by OTL In reply to program does not respond

Is the XP disk from MS or from OEM/backup of the HD ?
Did you get all the XP updates ? Even on broadband this will take awhile. Are you set up to automatically check for updates ? How frequently (believe XP initially checks very 5 minutes which will bog down most PC's) ?

Friend of mine recieved a new PC from the OEM that was tested by them, after installing anti-virus and updating it he found 17 viruses which he had placed on his HD backup disk. Checked with spy-bot and ad-aware and found over 60 spyware references. Thought he was safe because he had a broadband connection. After cleaning up his HD and creating a new backup has been running fine now.

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by artytech In reply to program does not respond

Sounds like you have alot of good answers. You never mentioned if this product is still under warranty? If it is the answer to presue the place of purchase for a remedy to your problem is the best bet. It has to be a hardware problem, I suspect somewhere on the motherboard involving bus issues, bad north bridge. If it is not under warranty and you are not comfortable with troubleshooting it yourself I suggest taking it to a reputable repair shop(get a price quote for initial check out and have them call you before any repairs) I'm sure they will have a fee for an initial check over. If you plan on troubleshooting it yourself the list of programs for troubleshooting hardware failures is almost all depends on if you know what the results of the tests mean. Good Luck.

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