Clicking noise, random shutting off, struggles to start up (Dell Inspiron Laptop)

Whitehawk99

Prominent
May 19, 2017
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So I got a laptop in August (at Microcenter, open box special) to use for school/personal use and over the past couple months it's gone through phases where it'll have random shutdowns and I can't get it to work for more than a few minutes before shutting off again. I figured it was a fan problem so I did a little vacuuming through the vents and that fixed it for a month or so before it started doing it again.

Now it's gotten worse because even though it's not an overloaded computer (800+ GB free) and I'm pretty zealous about doing defragmenting, virus scans, etc., it's starting to slow down, startup which used to take 15 seconds takes 1-2 minutes + clicking noises from about where the CD drive is and it doesn't work as smoothly or as easily as it used to. It's used by me every day and I need to find a solution.

Is it a fan problem, do I need to take it apart? What will help this?

Operating System: Windows 10
System Manufacturer: Dell
System Model: Inspiron 5559
 

kaptainkuftic

Commendable
Jul 26, 2016
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1,660
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Well, my first guess was that the clicking noise was the HDD beginning to fall apart. If not that, then it's possible something is obstructing a fan, leading to a heat throttling issue. That could absolutely be the case, especially since dusting the vents seemed to help.

If I were you, I would open the laptop up so that you could see any fans / most of the mobo, and, making sure you have some sort of static protection, turn it on and see if you can locate the source of the clicking.
 

kaptainkuftic

Commendable
Jul 26, 2016
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1,660
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Sounds like your hard drive is running on fumes. Download HD Tune or Speedfan, and run a SMART scan. That'll tell you whether or not you need to start looking into a new hard drive. Just in case, make sure everything important is backed up onto a cloud or a flash drive.

Quick edit: you can run a simple SMART scan from command prompt. hit the windows button on your keyboard, type 'cmd', hit enter, then type in "wmic diskdrive get status" into the black box. that'll tell you if you need to start worrying.
 

Whitehawk99

Prominent
May 19, 2017
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If, upon looking through my command prompt it tells me my drive is "OK", HD Tune's error screen gives me a completely green block (in the error scan) and a report of "OK", Speedfan says "no error", and I've double-checked for viruses with Malwarebytes, Hitman Pro, and Windows Defender and they all say I don't have any kind of malware -- what else could be going on?
 

kaptainkuftic

Commendable
Jul 26, 2016
132
0
1,660
20


Well, my first guess was that the clicking noise was the HDD beginning to fall apart. If not that, then it's possible something is obstructing a fan, leading to a heat throttling issue. That could absolutely be the case, especially since dusting the vents seemed to help.

If I were you, I would open the laptop up so that you could see any fans / most of the mobo, and, making sure you have some sort of static protection, turn it on and see if you can locate the source of the clicking.
 
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