What a bunch of sissies at Dell (sometimes).
Here are some general instructions to provide us more info, catch your BSOD (if you are having one) and how to post events from the Event Log. I know it is boring exersise, but we won't have to ask some many questions later...
Have any hardware oriented changes been made to the system since it worked? RAM, video card, USB devices, etc.
Click Start, Run and in the box enter:
Click OK, and when the System Summary info appears, click Edit, Select All, Copy and then paste back here.
There would be some personal information (like System Name and User Name) or whatever appears to be only your business that you can delete from the paste.
Disable Automatic restart on system error to stop the error on your screen so you can see it:
Right click My Computer, Properties, Advanced, Startup and Recovery Settings.
In the System failure section, untick the Automatically restart box, OK, OK.
If you can only boot in Safe Mode and are seeing a BSOD, choose the option:
Disable automatic restart on system failure
Then you can see the BSOD when it happens again.
Here are some BSOD blue screen of death examples showing information you need to provide:http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/images/Windows_XP_BSOD.pnghttp://techrepublic.com.com/i/tr/downloads/images/bsod_a.jpg
Send the information pointed to with the red arrows (3-4 lines total). Skip the boring text unless it looks important to you. We know what a BSOD looks like, we need to know the other information that is specific to your BSOD.
Look in the Event Viewer for clues around the time of the incident
Here is a method to post the specific information about individual events.
To see the Event Viewer logs, click Start, Settings, Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Event Viewer.
A shortcut to Event Viewer is to click Start, Run and in the box enter:
Click OK to launch the Event Viewer.
The most interesting logs are usually the Application and System. Some logs may be almost or completely empty.
Not every event is a problem, some are informational messages that things are working okay and some are warnings.
No event should defy reasonable explanation.
Each event is sorted by Date and Time. Errors will have red Xs, Warnings will have yellow !s. Information messages have white is. Not every Error or Warning event means there is a serious issue. Some are excusable at startup time when Windows is booting. Try to find just the events at the date and time around your problem.
If you double click an event, it will open a Properties windows with more information. On the right are black up and down arrow buttons to scroll through the open events. The third button that looks like two pages on top of each other is used to copy the event details to your Windows clipboard.
When you find an interesting event that occurred around the time of your issue, click the third button under the up and down arrows to copy the details and then you can paste the details (right click, Paste or CTRL-V) the detail text back here for analysis.
To get a fresh start on any Event Viewer log, you can choose to clear the log (backing up the log is offered), then reproduce your issue, then look at just the events around the time of your issue.
Edited by joseibarra, 27 February 2010 - 04:21 PM.