Problem with Dell 8200: Fan spikes CPU to 100% when using modem

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Argo, May 11, 2004.

  1. Argo

    Argo Guest

    I would REALLY appreciate some help with this. I spoke to a person
    from Dell for over an hour, all he managed to do was to really screw
    up my computer. I had to get the memory wiped and the problem STILL
    is there.

    My System

    Dell 8200 Inspiron
    I'm running XP Professional

    The exact problem: About 10 minutes into using my computer the fan
    kicks in (it is VERY loud actually)

    If I happen to be using the modem the CPU will spike up to close to
    100% (which I view with a ctl-alt-del), interestingly it does not
    remain there if I am NOT on the internet. Of course with 100% CPU
    used my connection generally shuts down or at best goes so slowly that
    it is pretty useless. As I am a professor and need to be in contact
    with my students this has been driving me crazy.

    I am pretty much a novice (although I can generally follow directions
    well) so please pass along your help in layman's terms.

    I greatly appreciate your help-remember the life you save maybe my

    Cheers and thanks in advance.

    Doug Stemke
    Argo, May 11, 2004
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  2. Argo

    Tom Scales Guest

    Well, I'd guess you have a WinModem, where the CPU does most of the work, as
    opposed to a Hardware modem where the modem itself does the work.
    Therefore, 100% CPU, hot cpu, fan.

    Replace it with a cheap hardware modem or, better yet, get broadband.

    Tom Scales, May 11, 2004
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  3. Argo

    Jeff Bean Guest

    Or another possibility: your computer has become infected with a virus
    (such as the recent Sasser worm) which only springs into action,
    searching for new victims, when you are connected to the Internet.

    If you have a virus checker, make sure it's virus signature database is
    up to date. If you don't have one, get one. Also make sure your
    computer has all of the security patches installed (go to
    Start/Programs/Windows Update).

    Jeff Bean
    Jeff Bean, May 11, 2004
  4. That's not very helpful. It's a laptop and presumably the guy wants to
    use it with the internal modem rather than lug around an external. Further,
    he might be using it at assorted locations (such as office and home) where
    he might not have access to anything but Plain Old Telephone Service. I have
    broadband at home, 1x cellualr data service, but still find the need to use
    POTS. Perhaps he is in the same boat.

    I have an Inspiron 8200 and can say that this behavior is abnormal when
    using the internal modem, but unfortunately, I don't know what to suggest as
    the problem. Perhaps if the poster could provide some info on what's running
    when the CPU hits 100%. You can do a control-alt-delete and see what's
    running under the processes tab. The might give a clue as to what the
    culprit is.

    When you say you got the memory wiped, does that mean you formatted the
    hard drive and re-installed Windows?

    Have you run the Dell Diagnositics? That could indicate if there is a
    hardware problem. So far, when I have had a hardware issue, Dell has been
    decent about it, espcially if their diagnostics program indicated a fault. A
    copy of it should have come with the laptop.
    Thomas M. Goethe, May 12, 2004
  5. Argo

    Tom Scales Guest

    You're right. For some reason, I read "Dimension 8200" when it said
    "Inspiron 8200". Bad advice on my part, sorry.

    Tom Scales, May 12, 2004
  6. And you would be right on that one, Winmodems are bad juju. There's not
    much choice with laptops, alas.
    Thomas M. Goethe, May 12, 2004
  7. Argo

    Argo Guest

    Again I really appreciate your help everyone.

    To the requested question:

    * When you say you got the memory wiped, does that mean you
    formatted the
    hard drive and re-installed Windows?

    Yes. I had a professional (not associated with Dell) do the

    * Have you run the Dell Diagnositics?

    Yes with the Dell technician. However since I only have one phone in
    the house I couldn't do it in real time with the tech. And, no, it
    didn't pickup anything.

    * That could indicate if there is a hardware problem.

    I'm sure it must be so. Facing what has happened so far, is the next
    logical step to get a new fan or modem? Is this something I'll need to
    send the computer off to Dell for?

    Thanks again Y'all.

    Argo, May 12, 2004
  8. Argo

    Argo Guest

    PS. Please forgive my delay time it responding to your advice. As I
    don't have a useable internet computer at home I'm doing this at work.
    Thanks again for your help.
    Argo, May 12, 2004
  9. Ah, that probably eliminates the software issue. Did the tech install
    all of the Dell drivers? This also should have eliminated virus or worm
    issues. I presume he installed all of the Windows updates and you are
    running an anti-virus program with current definitions.
    There could still be a hardware issue, but the diagnostics should have
    picked it up.
    The fan should not be an issue. It just follows orders to turn on when
    things get hot. The modem is part of the motherboard. Do you know if you
    have the right drivers installed for it? I presume it worked fine and then
    started having problems.

    ` As to how it gets fixed, that depends on what sort of warranty you
    have. I paid extra and got the onsite warranty so that the guy came out and
    replaced the motherboard when mine was bad. Some warranties require you to
    send it in, assuming it is a hardware issue. If it is software, they will
    wnat you to reload it. I wish I could be more specific.
    Thomas M. Goethe, May 13, 2004
  10. Argo

    Argo Guest

    *Did the tech install all of the Dell drivers?

    I think so. However again the problem existed pre and post the techs
    work. And yes, all worm/virus software is up to date. It certainly
    sounds to me like a modem problem. Again this is my first laptop (my
    old PC I used to yank cards out all the time). I had been reading
    here that Dell fans are bad, and mine is actually very noisy. To get a
    new modem and presumably fan, can I get anyone to take care of this or
    is this going to be a Dell-only fix? I'm going to have to read
    through my warrantee to see if this is still covered.

    Thanks again 100% for all the words of wisdom. I still have some hope
    for my computer.


    Argo, May 14, 2004
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