Question about Dell Dimension E510 PC Desktop

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The desktop will come up with just the background. If I open the Task Manager the hard drive will start up and then the icons will appear. I have similar problems on shut down. The screen message will say "savings settings" and lock up. I have a fairly new hard drive, but it worked great for months before I started having these problems.

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Hello:
This is primarily a request for more info and clarification, however, I have provided info on a couple of ways to start the troubleshooting process.

Could you clarify what operating system and version you are running on your PC? Do you currently have an anti-virus product installed, is it current, and do you perform regular scans? If this is in reference to a Windows computer, has your computer been connecting to the internet? If so, are you running safety features available on your browser(s) (ie popup blocker, phishing filter, others) - and what browser are you using primarily?

By the symptom description, I am guessing you are running Windows (although to give you detailed, step-by-step solutions, I will need to know what version of Windows). With activity such as this that you did not initiate either by restarting the computer, or by installing something, or if Windows update has not recently installed new updates, then the first place to look is at possible infection by virus or some other type of malware.

If you know how to boot into safe mode, give that a try. (on XP, Vista, Win 7: as system boots, immediately after the splash screen for the BIOS, and BEFORE the word "Windows" appears, start hitting F8 until a menu of choices appears, and choose "Safe Mode").

Check your antivirus product (if one is installed) to see what the current version is, and whether or not it has been recently updated. Also, check to see when the last scan of the entire system took place. If you are able to get around in your antivirus product without major restrictions while in safe mode, you should go ahead and run a complete scan of your hard drive (or drives), to ensure both that your antivirus product is working properly, and to find out whether or not you have any type of malware on the system. If you are certain that your antivirus product is the most up-to-date version, that it updates daily or weekly and scans the entire hard drive at least once per week, then you can temporarily rule this out and move on to checking the Event Viewer, explained below.

Check your event viewer to see if it is available while in safe mode, - if so, you want to look for any recent events under "System", "Application", or "Security", that appear suspicious to you, occurred immediately prior to system popping up with "saving settings" msg.,or during the process of saving the settings and logging you off. You are looking for any information which might indicate the file that is starting the process of saving settings / logging off / shutting down, or just plain locking up.

To get to the computer management console & event viewer in Win Vista and Win 7:
Click "Start", look in the right column of the menu for "Computer" and RIGHT-click, then choose "Manage" ("Computer" should have a little shield attached to the icon, indicating you need to be logged in as Administrator, or have admin privileges - if you are asked if you would like to allow the program to make changes, etc, click "YES" - Whether or not you see that question, or can access the program with admin privileges, depends on how your User Access Control or UAC is set up); This will open the Computer Management Console.

To get to the computer management console & event viewer in Windows XP:
Assuming you have a "My Computer" icon on the desktop that you can see, right-click on "My Computer" and click "Manage". If you cannot see the icon, but can see the "start" button, you can pull up the start menu, then right click on "my computer" from within the menu, again choosing "manage" to open the console.

In XP/Vista/7, In the left column, look for "Event Viewer" and expand it. How many or which items are listed there depend on your OS version and your configuration, but generally all should be able to see "Application" "Security" and "System" among the items listed. When you click each item listed under event viewer in left column, such as "Application", another list of items will appear in the in the right column. Double click any event listed and a new popup window opens with details of the event. Read the details listed from today (if the issue has occurred on your system today), and see if you can find in the information what program or file is causing this issue.

It sounds as though the system is attempting to log you off, but never completes and shows a log in screen. you may or may not be able to read much info in Safe Mode, but there could be some key info there as to what's causing your problem.

Again, I can only give you limited answers due to the lack of info; so if your problem persists, please respond with more information, and try to keep note of exactly what you do / what computer does / and any popup or system messages that appear (what the system messages say, as completely as possible). Then we can take further steps to troubleshoot.

Hope this info helps! Please post back and let us know what you find out (even if it is that you cannot get to safe mode). Thanks and best of luck

Posted on May 05, 2010

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I would reinstall your operating system.

Posted on May 05, 2010

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