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This was sent to Alienware (but I still haven't got the problem fixed) so ignore anything referring to them please...



I purchased an Alienware system last December. It was delivered in early January. Setting it up was easy.


The operating system is Windows XP Home Edition, it has 256 MB Ram, a 40 GB hard drive and a Samsung 16x DVD-ROM system.


I added an IDE TDK CD writer to the system. Everything was working fine until June 27, 2002. I was downloading software from an FTP server that was going to take a long time to download, so I left it running over night. The software was downloaded in the morning when I got up. I closed the FTP client software and left. I came back about an hour later and the computer was frozen. I restarted it and the computer booted up very slowly. (I never installed the software that was downloaded from the FTP server). Now the computer is having major problems. The computer is very slow on boot up. It is approximately 8 or 9 minutes before the computer responds to the mouse. The hard drive light stays on continuously from boot up and after about 15 minutes the computer locks up. To make sure that the computer is locked up I waited two hours once to make sure that the computer did not become active again.


I installed Norton System Works 2002 on the computer about a week after I received it. My first thought when this problem began was that somehow a virus had gotten through. So I ran the virus checker and found no viruses. Then I defragged the hard drive and optimized it with the Norton Optimizer. Still no luck, the computer continues to boot up extremely slow. I tried starting the system without loading any drivers or any of the regular start up programs (via the MSCONFIG option). I've also run Norton Windows Doctor and Win Disk without finding any errors. The computer still acts the same.


Next I tried running the recovery wizard to try and set the system back to a date before the slow startup. However, even though the automatic update was enabled on this system I could not find any recover dates listed in the calendar that comes up with this program. In fact I could not change the calendar from the month that I was in (June). All indications are that the recovery system should have been creating recovery points on a fairly regular basis since January. I use the computer literally every day.

My next step was to try and use the Alienware Product Recovery CD-ROM that you supplied with the computer. Your instructions say to power up the system and insert the Recovery CD into the drive. I followed your instructions and an XP installation window comes up. I also tried to boot off of the Recovery CD and got the same result (an XP installation window comes up). There was no warning message and the four options that your documentation mentions do not appear (Recover Drivers and Installation files, Refresh Windows OS, Recover Hard drive without format, and Format and Recover Hard Drive).


I also tried booting off of the Norton System Works 2002 CD to see if I could use it to check for viruses (in case the Norton Antivirus software is corrupted on the hard drive). I could not boot off of the Norton System Works CD even though the Norton documents say that it should.


Finally, I removed the TDK drive that I added to the system and put the system back to the original configuration. The computer still acts the same. Now when the computer comes up it claims that it has found new hardware (Samsung drive). When I click on the update hardware it does not load a new driver. However, I can access CD-ROMS in the Samsung drive in spite of the fact that the computer claims that it is new hardware.

One last thing, yes I checked the BIOS to make sure that the CD drive was listed as the first boot drive.


I saw something at your web site that implied that there might be some field diagnostic software that I could purchase that might help determine what the computer's problem is. If what I need to repair is not obvious from my descriptions above and the diagnostic software would help, please let me know and I will purchase it.


Thanks in advance, I look forward to your response so that I can get my computer working again.
 

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Welcome to the forum,

Now that you have the TDK Writer removed from the system, have you tried to use any of the bootable Cd's in the original CD-Rom drive, and if so has it worked?
 
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