Has some discussions on the Dell boards. This seems to happen after people update the BIOS. If so, go back to the old BIOS. If not then you don't want to know the cost to fix. Hope you keep your laptop in warranty.
I can't tell if this applies. Details are a little slim in your post but it cures it most of the time for IDE DVD drives and XP and even Vista!
Other causes are overlapping virus, spyware protection.
This sounds like the 1 year mark came and went and the machine didn't get it's yearly maintenance. Watch the 'cleanup your laptop' video at
I have an 18 month old inspiron 1501 that I bought new. I have three major problems.
1. I use it mostly on a/c power thinking that this would extend my battery. Now with in the last two weeks I get the message that the 1501 battery is incompatable. I just press keys and move on but I know that something is up and I should fix it.
2. As of this past week when I played a DVD I needed for a class I was taking it hestitated constantly and I had to keep tapping the case to get it going. I could not finish this class on my computor, I had to use different machine. I have only used the DVD Drive maybe 20 times since I have had the computor so it should not be creating problems. I am the only person who used this computor and I only use it in my home.
3. Sometimes when I connect into a usb port a flashdrive, or a mouse, or a printer, my whole computor will go horizontal and totally freeze and the only thing I can do is turn it off and then turn it back on. This happens anytime when the computor is newly turned on has been running a while. This started about 5 months ago.
I have no more warranty and no money to take to an expert.
I mainly use this for word processing only and occasionally for looking at photos and connecting to gmail. I defragmentize 4 times a year and have always run virus protection software. Any suggestions? In the past our computors have lasted 4-6 years with no problems and with an armload of users. Now that I had the luxury of my own computor and limit the computor to me I have had a multitude of problems.