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Dell Inspiron M5040 Shutdown Problems

I have a just-over-the-warranty Dell Inspiron M5040 which is driving me batty. I'm running Windows 7 Home Premium. Here's what's happening, and what I've unsuccessfully tried so far:

1) Browser windows open and close automatically without going anywhere, sometimes with random strings of numbers typing into the browser bar. Start menu opens, random numbers type, menu closes. WMP settings open and close. Windows Security Essentials is turned off, and will not restart. Finally, the computer just shuts down. Sometimes all symptoms happen at once, sometimes just one or two, and sometimes the system just kills itself with no warning.

2) WSE, SpyBot, and MalwareBytes detect no problems. I've run GMER, and it detects no MBR problems. I've seen the symptoms persist and replicate in Safe Mode, no networking. Also, symptoms persisted in two different states, connected to two different routers. I have a second, older Dell laptop connected to the same wireless router, and it's never had any of these problems.

3) I reinstalled the factory OSR, and symptoms persisted. I did a clean install from disk, and symptoms persisted. It's possible personal files were infected with something, and that they reinfected the clean machine when I installed them from a flash USB drive (although I don't have any executable files on that thumb drive).

Any insights or ideas would be appreciated. I've considered a bad fan, failing PSU, faulty keyboard, etc; but the full cocktail of symptoms seems to me to point toward some sort of persistent infection that's eluded my best efforts to date. I'd love to find that I'm wrong and need a component replaced, but I'd love it even more if I could just figure out how to fix my machine.

Thanks in advance for any advice you may have.

nwcasebolt has chosen the best answer to their question. View answer
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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by nwcasebolt

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In reply to: Dell Inspiron M5040 Shutdown Problems

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In reply to: Spybot.

I realize I'm resurrecting the dead here, but I wanted to acknowledge your help and say thank you for helping me solve my problem. I unplugged my keyboard and used an external USB keyboard to make sure that was the issue, and the problems stopped immediately. Inertia set in since the external was working fine; but last week, I received my replacement laptop keyboard, installed it, and am glad to have my portable machine truly portable again.

Thanks again - your help was fast and accurate, and I appreciate the time you took to reply.

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Also fixed my problem!

In reply to: Fixed!

I've had my Dell Inspiron M5040 a little over a yeah and a half and the ENTIRE time it has had these same issues. During my 1 year warranty I took it in to Best Buy 5 times. Two of those times the computer was sent to Dell and the hard drive was replaced each time. Best Buy Geek Squad was no help as they kept telling me I must of had a virus. I'm no computer expert but I found that very unlikely as I never really had much of a chance to do anything on it because of the shutting down and with the hard drive being replaced. So anyway, I've had a computer I couldn't use. Every once in a while I pull it out hoping it will be magically fixed but it never is. Several times I've been ready to just chunk it at the wall (probably what I should have done to get a new laptop during warranty...surely I could have made it look like an "accident".) I was feeling hopeless until I ran across this post tonight trying to find some help. I plugged in an external keyboard and Viola! Ive not had any more issues so far!! Thanks for posting this Happy

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