SOLVED Install Powers Off Machine


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Hey everyone! Hoping someone has their brain turned on and can help because I'm shutting mine off after way too much troubleshooting.

The machine is a Dell Inspiron 1546 and came with Win 7 installed on it. A few months after we got it I did my typical "clean all that Dell crap off" thing and completely reinstalled (full format) Win 7. It ran absolutely beautifully with no issue since then until recently.

Over the past few months the laptop (my husband's) has been having issue after issue and getting progressively slower every day. I even went as far as disabling unneeded services as well as themes/aero to try to speed it up but I swear after I did it the thing was slower. Applications that used to run smooth as silk were taking forever to load and when they did they were slow as dirt.

After months (literally) of troubleshooting I finally gave up and decided last night to grab the Win 7 disk and wipe it clean with a fresh install. After about 20 minutes (or more) at the initial load/boot screen (the black screen saying it's copying install files) the 2nd white bar got about 1/4 of the way before I was tired of waiting and powered it off. I had to run the startup repair to get it to boot but it did.

With all the issues it had been having I thought "ok maybe it's a RAM issue" so I removed one of the sticks and tried again. This time I let it get about 1/3 of the way through the 2nd white bar but then the laptop just powered off. Bam. No warning no nothing. At this point it was late and I was tired of messing with it.

Anyone have any clues what's going on? I mean if I can't even get the installer to load without the machine literally powering off then something hardware related has got to be at play here right?

I checked the BIOS, nothing weird there... no power settings that could possibly be at fault.

Could it be a memory resident virus or something that's been causing the issues all along and now not letting the installer load it's files to even begin the install? Would running Microsoft's RAM checker app (I think it's out on Softpedia now) potentially tell me if it's that or a bad chip (maybe the one I left in is bad)?

Any startup options/switches I can use to try to essentially start the install in a safe mode kind of thing? I'm at a loss!

Thanks everyone!
 
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TrainableMan

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I'm not sure what he means by "install in safe mode", with an install you should be booting from the DVD which means the HD installed OS doesn't load at all, safe mode or otherwise.

My first suspicion would be a virus. My second suspicion would be a failing hard drive.

Not sure why your suspicion would be RAM unless that is new. I've never had RAM "go bad", though it may be bad straight from the manufacturer. RAM can become unseated if the board warps or if the locking pins are broken, so you could try reseating it (many laptops it screws in, in which case this is much less likely).

I wrote this for BSODs but the virus scan instructions are the same so you can follow them HERE

Also you can scan the hard drive for issues with chkdsk, see HERE
 
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What I meant was, start the machine up in safe mode then install. Sorry for confusing anyone... :eek:
 

TrainableMan

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When you install you should boot from the DVD, not any already installed OS.
 
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When you install you should boot from the DVD, not any already installed OS.
Thanks so much. That is what I was doing (not running the install from within windows). I'm at a loss here. I'm running memory checks now and then time to try again I guess. I'm fairly confident it's not the HDD. Not only have I checked it but Its relatively new (we had to replace the one that came with it). Plus I'm not sure how the machine powering off while its just trying to essentially load the installer would be a dead drive. Maybe I'm wrong. We shall see what happens today I guess. Time to troubleshoot. Yay. LOL
 
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Well this can't be good. Twice now the machine has powered off running the MS mem checker. First time I ran regular tests and it did on test 6 of 6. Second time I ran extended tests and it died on test 2 of 11.
 
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Just an update... 6 months of troubleshooting and you know what the issue was? Dust. Yep... Fan was caked. Once we cleaned it bam! Sigh. LOL thanks guys!
 
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TrainableMan

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Sounds like it might have a heat sensor that shut it down when it gets too hot. Glad you worked it out.

You might consider a cooling pad and it is also important not to use laptops on blankets or deep pile carpeting that can block air flow.
 
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