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by ThirstyTank / March 28, 2005 3:14 AM PST

I've been running around asking everybody questions and nobody can seem to tell me why my Inspiron 9100 is acting so horrible. It's a Pentium 4 3.2GHz, 1Gb Ram, Radeon Mobility 9700 128Mb, 100Gb Harddrive (with only about half used).

Here's my situation. I start to play Rainbow 6 3 Raven Shield on my laptop, and the game get all slow and choppy. This same choppyness and slowness happens whenever I try and run AIM, Word, and Windows Media Player at the same time. So I figure whenever my system is being stressed it slows down. I can deal with a bit of slowness, but not the crazy amount that goes on now. It's nearly impossible to do anything with how slow this runs. The thing is, it shouldn't slow down to the degree it does. My computers specs are good enough so it shouldn't do that. I came up with the idea that maybe my computer was overheating. The thing is I have no idea what the normal temperature of a laptop is, so I can't tell if it is. I installed Speedfan and when I first start my comp it's running at 45C, but when I start really using it the temp shoots up to around 71C. Is that too high, and if it is what can I do or what is wrong? I already ran a diagnostic and there is nothing wrong with my fans...or I should say they passed the diagnostic test.

I should also note that this does not happen to my friends computer who has the same exact computer as me (and when I say the same exact computer I mean we ordered them at the same time and have all of the same specs).

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2 things.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 28, 2005 3:18 AM PST
In reply to: Overheating???
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RE: 2 things
by ThirstyTank / March 28, 2005 3:27 AM PST
In reply to: 2 things.

Thanks for that link, I'll try that.

Yeah, I've contacted Dell, but they really aren't being any help. They just told me to check my Sytem Performance settings.

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1 thing.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 28, 2005 3:35 AM PST
In reply to: RE: 2 things

You gave up too easy. You need to move it up a notch. You may have not been persistent that the machine is failing and you want it fixed or offered a refund.


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by ThirstyTank / March 28, 2005 2:34 PM PST
In reply to: 1 thing.

Yeah, I'm still in contact with Dell. They arranged a in-home service so they can take a look at my laptop. I also heard that a cooling pad might work (if it is just a heat problem and nothing that is actually serious)??

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Never had to have a cooling pad.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 28, 2005 7:58 PM PST
In reply to: Yeah

Sorry, those are for very old machines that no one cleans off the heatsinks or have other issues.


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no cooling pad
by jordanthegreat / March 28, 2005 10:04 PM PST

yea if your friend doesnt need a cooling pad then there is no reason why you should need one either.

might i suggest, if it isnt the heat causing the slowing down, that your system might be getting cluttered with junk that may clog up the memory space hence causing it to slow down. Have you downloaded alot of stuff and do you do spyware scans? chances are that it is just the heat thing but if not, check to see what proccesses are running and do a little spring cleaning.... if you havent tried that already.

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Spyware and virus checks
by ThirstyTank / March 29, 2005 12:46 AM PST
In reply to: no cooling pad

I do spyware and virus checks regularly, and I don't think using up 50Gb of my 100Gb Harddrive would really affect performance to the extent that my computer slows down to a crawl. I could be wrong, but I don't really think that is it.

It's just strange, because when I start the computer it runs fine. When I use just one or two programs its fine. Then if I try 3 it goes crazy, or if I try and play a graphic intensive game it just goes nuts.

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Video card issues
by ikenfixit / March 30, 2005 2:38 AM PST

Just a guess.. Try it on External monitor and check to see if its acting the same.. I've replaced quite a few cards in these newer Dells and they will maybe be an issue down thew road.. (Turn of the laptop screen doing this).. Let me know..

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wrong cooling pads are good
by jedisolo / March 29, 2005 2:40 AM PST

Heat is the number killer of electronics, the cooler it is the longer it will last.

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Try This One
by Fouad Bakht / April 1, 2005 1:48 PM PST
In reply to: Overheating???

The messages and replies posted to your querry are all genuine and correct. I have two opinions to offer. One is that if the notebook is under warranty, then give Dell support a nudge so that you are at ease and the notebook is professionally rectified under authorized tech support. Before that you could try these steps which might prove useful:

1. Backup your entire data. Restore your notebook with the Restore/Drivers CDs that came along with your notebook. After that, install the software only that you really want to use. Dont install every crap.

2. Check the power/battery scheme that Dell offers. In which you may be required to lay down certain perimeters for the processor speed or fan etc. This is important.

3. Fan stoppage/clogging could be another reason so check that while the notebook is running hot.

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Check Fans
by melvis02 / May 2, 2005 1:59 PM PDT
In reply to: Overheating???

I have an Inspiron 9100 as well. I was experiencing the same problems, to the point where scrolling in Firefox was terribly choppy, and playing video was choppy and the video was lagging the audio.

I noticed that I was having the same problems both in WinXP and Ubuntu Linux, so figured it must be hardware related.

Turns out, the fix was much easier than I could have hoped. I removed those two huge fans in the back (the ones that make all the noise), and noticed that there are two heat sinks between the fans and the blowholes on the back of the laptop. These were entirely caked with dust. With a couple quick wipes and blows, I cleaned them off, reassembled, and she's running like the day I got her.

Hope this is the case with you, Best of Luck!!!

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