AnsweredAssumed Answered

Help with system instability

Question asked by Ralph Burns on Jan 5, 2008
Latest reply on Nov 24, 2008 by Quintin Burger
Hello folks,

I'd greatly appreciate suggestions to troubleshoot a system that has been hanging up 10X a day for the past three+ weeks. This is a laptop purchased Feb 2007 and had given absolutely no trouble until mid-December 2007.

Stats: SW2007 SP5. Dell M90 laptop, XPx32, 2.33GHz T7600, nVidia FX 2500M, 3.25GB ram, 200GB 7200rpm HDD, next day service warranty. I had a M60 for a few years prior, and it was flawless. I have a small network with a NAS for nightly backups, an aging desktop, HP6100 Officejet, and added in November a 24" HP Z3100 photo printer, all connected thru gigabit switch network.

When SW crashes, it actually just freezes up and I have to use Task Manager to end application process. This started suddenly last month, and I had two different projects going, and I thought that somehow I had corrupted the assembly databases so went back to backups a week earlier, thinking it I trashed a week's work then I'd come clean. Nope. This is killing me; I only get paid for my productivity.

Only Solidworks has given me any trouble. The main software I use is Abaqus 6.7, Photoshop CS3, and Office 2003, especially Outlook. I had been using a GretagMacbeth i1D2 i1Match screen colorimeter. Another user has SW2007 & i1Match with no issues.

I've tried:

1) SW2007 SP4
2) uninstall and reinstall to 2007 SP3
3) reinstall video driver from Solidworks, ver
4) uninstall i1Match
5) Dell came out and replaced the video card
6) bought a new larger HDD and reinstalled everything, starting with the OS and then SW2007SP5. Worked ½ day with no problems, but that probably wasn't long enough for a real test. Felt like that just HAD to fix everything so reinstalled the colorimeter software. Next day had some crashes.
7) Used different anti-virus with rebuild, was using Norton and am now using Kaspersky.
8) Ran memtest86 overnight on the resident 3GB ram with no errors.
9) Replaced 1GB ram with 2Gb for a total of 4GB, added /3GB switch, and ran Memtest86 two consecutive nights for 20 hours with no errors.
10) Under display> advanced> troubleshoot> I turned down hardware acceleration to a notch below middle. No better.
11) Uploaded my assembly database to FTP for Solidworks tech support to try. Not sure how much they did.
12) Tried Software OpenGL. Nope.
13) Removed colorimeter software.
14) Cleaned out the C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Local Settings\Temp directory
15) Ordered a new T3400 desktop workstation, XPx64, and a 26" NEC LCD2690 monitor. Won't be here for a few weeks, tho. Anyway the new machine will help ease the crisis, but the laptop has to work because I'm a mobile consulting guy, and the desktop will be running FEA jobs.
16) Tried to keep startup clean: Adobe acrobat speed launcher / Bluetooth / Embassy Trust Suite (Dell Broadcom ethernet security - can I get rid of this?) / Palm Pilot Hotsync / Microsoft Office (what's that doing there?) / VersionBackup (backups sound pretty important these days)
17) Switched out ram modules to try different permutations of two from the three I have.
18) Started working on an assembly that I hadn't touched since July... no better. 10X crashes a day.
19) Gun in mouth, head up against laptop...... f'all.

Drowning here - Ralph