Question Dell Latitude E6230 freezing isssue

Jun 21, 2019
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I have a Dell Latitude E6230 windows 7 laptop that I've had for only a few years, but I got it refurbished. Everything seemed nice and fine at first, but eventually it began freezing after a couple minutes of use.
Whether I open up a program or not, the computer will lock up after a few minutes. The keyboard seems responsive, since caps lock lights up if I press it, and my mouse can still move around the screen, but I can't ctrl alt del and I can't interact with anything on the screen. I can press the windows key, but I can't interact with anything in my taskbar.

I'm not sure what is causing this, but it's troubling as I am unable to really use the laptop anymore. I have run it in safe mode twice now, the first time I tried it no problems occurred. But now a few months later, after having set the laptop aside to focus on other issues, I tried safe mode again. Though it lasted more than an hour this way, it still eventually froze while I was doing a virus scan, just in case. More or less the same issue.

When I've done the laptop's built in diagnostic tool on startup, everything seemed fine.
I've run anti-virus scans, and I've run malwarebytes. Although, after updating malwarebytes, it no longer starts no matter what I do. I would really like to get to the bottom of this issue, and if possible at least recover the data on the hard drive if I can't get it functioning again.
Any help is appreciated.
 

lmahek

Estimable
Feb 6, 2015
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4,560
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Is the fan working? have you cracked the case to make sure its not dusty? overheating the cpu can cause a system to be sluggish and even freeze.
 
Jun 21, 2019
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Yeah I've opened it before to dust it out and check on the parts, making sure everything was connected. At your suggestion I opened it up again to dust it off and check the wiring, as well as the fan. I left it open and turned the computer on, being careful not to touch the exposed section, to see if the fan would run. However, I didn't see it spinning at all when the computer was on, so I shut it down and covered the laptop again. Do you think replacing the fan could help, or at least testing a new fan to see if the fan itself is the problem? I know there are programs to let you check the fan and temperature of the computer but I wouldn't be able to keep the laptop running long enough to download and install one.
 

lmahek

Estimable
Feb 6, 2015
19
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4,560
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I would run it until it freezes again and see if the fan is working. when you took it apart to check it may not have been hot enough for the fan to come on yet. If it freezes and the fan is not running, touch the case and see if it is warmer than usual. There are ways to check the fan using a multimeter or by adding power to it. I could explain but it would be much easier for you to watch a youtube vid on it. There are plenty of those. Let me know if it was the fan or not.
 
Jun 21, 2019
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Thanks for the response, I did as you instructed and while it did freeze after a few minutes, the fan never turned on and the laptop was not hot at all. Also, this freeze was different from previous ones as I could no longer move my cursor when it happened. If I remember right, I never noticed the laptop being overly hot in previous freezes either but I know in the past it could get pretty hot through extended use. So, the fan probably isn't the main issue in regards to the freezes, but is it possible that the fan was an issue before and the heat caused some damage to the computer? Or would the issue more likely to be something else?
 
Jun 27, 2019
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Who refurbished it?

Just wondering, when you service you replace the heatsink compound on the CPU, if that is not done properly the CPU will overheat without other apparent heat issues.
 

lmahek

Estimable
Feb 6, 2015
19
0
4,560
0
do you have a restore point? Heat can be an issue but could be many other things. Was there anything that changed prior to this happening? Such as an uptake, new software, drop, adding ram or anything?
 
Jun 21, 2019
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I don't know for certain who refurbished it but I believe I got it at Best Buy and it has a Microsoft sticker on the back with a product key for windows for refurbished PCs. I don't have a restore point and I don't think anything was changed prior to the freezing issue. No updates, new software, physical damage or changes to the insides occurred. It just started freezing one day.
 
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