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Videos no longer stream smoothly, if at all. I can hear the sound, but the video moves jerkily (if at all). When I type things, such as in this box, the letters sometimes do not appear right away, the cursor freezes, then the letters pop in a few seconds later after I have typed a whole string, they appear all at once.
Also, when I drag windows, they do not move right away, if at all. Or they move a few seconds after I have let go of the mouse button. And lastly, windows do not become active every time I select them in the task bar, or they take a few seconds, sometimes 10 or more, to become active.
What I have tried to solve this: The RAM door was very hot, so I got an external belkin fan thing to set this laptop on and this keeps the ram really cool. Didn't help.
I was due for a reinstall of XP Home, so I went ahead and did that, and that has not helped. I have downloaded all the critical updates as far as I know, and installed SP3.
The machine is a Dell Inspiron 9400 Core 2 Dupo T7200 2ghz with 2gb Ram, ATI Mobility Radeon with 256 MB ram, and I upgraded the hard drive to a 320gb.
I suppose this could be hardware related, but just not sure. About a year ago, Dell replaced the motherboard, memory and fans, trying to solve a fan problem that I had. At any rate, as I said this just started about two weeks ago.
Thanks for any help you can offer.
You can clean it yourself, but unless you're comfortable taking the whole thing apart (fascia and keyboard off, unclipping the wires going to the LCD etc.) you may want to leave it to a professional.
I should have said that yes, from completely cold startup, I have been able to stream videos and get smooth screen draws, but only for 5 minutes or so. I didn't think that the chip could heat up so fast, but I bet that is what is happening.
I watched the DELL tech repair the machine, so I think I can take it apart and see if the fan and air channel is blocked.
Slow typing response can be the result of spell-checking. For instance, if you have a dictionary installed in Firefox (as I do) then the echo of characters when typing can be erratic.
This morning I turned on the computer, and went to HULU. I watched about 2.5 minutes of a video before it started getting jerky. I heard the fan turn on at about the same time the jerkiness started. All the time I was running the belkin fan underneath. (also the internal fans make much more noise now than they used to, not a rattling or anything bad, just a whirring)
So I am thinking the graphics processor is overheating, and perhaps the new whirring sound is the air channel being restricted. This weekend I will be taking this thing apart to see what, if anything, I can see inside.
I pretty much solved the CPU usage problem with the reinstall of windows.
If your system displays the same issues then it is almost sertaily a hardware issue, if not then it is likely to be somethign installed along with your current bootable OS.
The "jerky" screen issue is quite common if the incorect drivers are installed for your graphics card.
[edited by: bill at 4:12 am (utc) on Apr 21, 2010]
[edit reason] a little cleanup [/edit]