Constant computer crashes


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Constant computer crashes

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I have a Dell Inspiron 1525 I bought in 2008.  I've been working at home lately since my wife just gave birth so I've been using the computer alot more.  My laptop has been crashing on average 3 times a day.  By crash I mean the screen just goes black and the computer shuts down.  Occasionally upon restart it will say there is a problem with my WLAN card, but most often there is no message at all.  I used Malwarebytes, Adaware, Prevx,  Avast, and the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool to try to find the problem but nothing worked.  In frustration I saved all my personal data to an external hard drive and used the factory restart option.

I assumed that stripping down the computer to its out of the box worth would fix the problem, but it did not.  I reset the computer this morning and since then the computer has crashed twice while I was trying to reinstall programs on it.  And once the screen froze while I was running Malwarebytes and I had to restart the computer to get it working again.

I'm honestly at my wits end.  I need the computer for work and have lost an entire day of productivity trying to fix this.  Does anyone have an idea what is wrong with it?  Is it just that Dell computers only have a shelf life of three years?   Should I just scrap it and buy a different brand that will actually last longer than a lightbulb?

Please help!

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  • If you have not already tried, I suggest running diagnostics on the system.  This may give some indication that there is a hardware defect and what may be failing.  

    To run diagnostics start the system while holding down the FN key or by tapping the F12 key and select diagnostics.

    Allow the basic tests to complete and then choose hardware diagnostics, custom tests and hard drive test.  Please report back here with the results.


  • I've tried to run diagnostics on it three times and each time I try the computer crashes halfway through

    Any thoughts?

  • The system should not be crashing at all while running either the basic or extended diagnostics.  If the notebook is, then that implies hardware defects.

    Disconnect any external devices from the system. Reseat internal devices, memory, hard drive, and test again, if the system continues to crash you may want to look at removing the wifi card and any modems and test again, even the battery.  See if you can verify if a specific device is causing the crashes.


  • What do you mean reseat the internal devices, memory, and hard drive?  How do you do that?

  • Basically there connections between the hard drive and memory may not be that good.  A lot of times removing and then returning the drive and memory will correct the problem with the connection.  You can find steps in reseating the hard drive and memory from the users manual located in the following link.


  • Kafka Dreams,


    May I ask, is this Vista?


    If yes, did you update the operating system to Vista SP2? Vista caused BSOD's until it was upgraded to SP1.





    What is a Dell Service Tag and how do I locate it? 



    Original poster, If you have solved your problem, can you please mark the correct thread(s) with your solution. Thanks 

    Welcome to Dell Community!

  • Have you tried looking at the event logs in the computer management console to see if it gives you any more details?  I might venture a guess that you actually have a bad/conflicting video driver (hence the screen goes black) and when it fails you don't see the error.  Have you tried booting into safe mode and seeing if it crashes there?  If it crashes there that would take out the drivers.  As the previous people said if you run the diagnostics on the base level (pressing the fn key while the system is off and then while holding that down turning the system off) and have them lockup there you are talking hardware (mis seated or failed)

    Terry W.

    “Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who dream only at night.” - Edgar Allan Poe

  • Ok.  Nothing works.  I took out and then reseated the hard drive and memory card.  I upgraded Vista to SP2.  I've run the diagnostic at least 10 times and every time the computer has crashed before it could complete.   In the event viewer following the crashes I get the following message:

    Event filter with query "SELECT * FROM __InstanceModificationEvent WITHIN 60 WHERE TargetInstance ISA "Win32_Processor" AND TargetInstance.LoadPercentage > 99" could not be reactivated in namespace "//./root/CIMV2" because of error 0x80041003. Events cannot be delivered through this filter until the problem is corrected.

    But I don't know what that means.

    My computer now crashes at least five times a day.  

    I work as a freelance artist and the lost productivity is killing me.  If I had enough money to buy a new computer I would, but I don't.  I certainly can't see any reason to buy a Dell ever again.  I assume it is a problem with the hardware, but I don't know enough about computers to know what?

    Does anyone have any ideas that can save me from this nightmare?

  • Okay Kafka,

     So that error from event log is not the issue (it's a very common error in event viewer and doesn't do anything to cause the system to crash) and if after reseating the hard drive/memory you are still locking up in the pre boot system  diagnostics (pressing f12 as booting and selecting diagnostics or pressing the function key as you press the power key to boot up the system from turned off) then we know it's hardware.  Most likely either a failing hard drive, memory, or system board.  To test you could remove the hard drive and try the diagnostics.  If it locks up during the diagnostics again with the hard drive out then it's probably the system board or memory. If it doesn't lockup and the tests pass, then it's the hard drive.  Post back the results and if we need we try to narrow down system board/memory but that may not be possible depending on your configuration.

    Terry W.

    “Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who dream only at night.” - Edgar Allan Poe

  • I removed the hard drive and ran the diagnostics again.  It got further than it ever had before but still crashed.  Before it always crashed during Memory March B Test.  But this time it made it all the way to Memory WCMch Test.

  • You may have bad memory.  To help determine if it is one of the memory modules, you could remove one of the two sticks and then rerun the diagnostics.  If it works, then you may have found the problem.  If it doesn't, then put the one memory module back in and remove the other and rerun the tests.

  • Another thing that causes a system to randomly shut down is overheating.  You may want to check the cooling system to make sure that there is not dust in it.  You can also use a can of compressed air to blow out the cooling system.

    Just a thought.