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If your computer or phone is giving you issues:

• Please read this before posting: 4 Reasons Why IT People Ignore Your Requests for Help
• Restart the computer. Hopefully this will take care of any issues
• If your problem has not yet been solved, try to Google it. There may be a very simple solution
• On a Windows computer, a system restore may do the trick.
(This is a work in progress, please feel free to add whatever you may feel is helpful)


Please post whether or not the problem was fixed

Apple iPhone Master Thread
« Last edited by Thingywingy on May 07, 2019, 08:00:02 PM »

Author Topic: Computer Troubleshooting/Help Master Thread  (Read 1060799 times)

Offline mevinyavin

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Re: Computer Troubleshooting/Help Master Thread
« Reply #6020 on: January 24, 2023, 01:22:30 AM »
Recommendation for software to check on SSD health?
CrystalDiskInfo. Try to ignore the larger downloads with ... pictures...
https://crystalmark.info/en/download/#CrystalDiskInfo


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Offline Thingywingy

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Re: Computer Troubleshooting/Help Master Thread
« Reply #6021 on: January 24, 2023, 02:29:42 AM »
Thanks, @mevinyavin! Below is a screenshot of my results. What does 3% bad mean? Is there a way to find out what the critical warning (or 4 of them if I am reading the "raw values correctly") are? What does the yellow/caution mean regarding the "percentage used"? Should I be replacing my SSD?

« Last Edit: January 24, 2023, 02:34:24 AM by Thingywingy »
I am sometimes accused of overthinking things. I am still mulling over whether that accusation has merit.

Offline mevinyavin

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Re: Computer Troubleshooting/Help Master Thread
« Reply #6022 on: January 24, 2023, 03:43:25 AM »
Thanks, @mevinyavin! Below is a screenshot of my results. What does 3% bad mean? Is there a way to find out what the critical warning (or 4 of them if I am reading the "raw values correctly") are? What does the yellow/caution mean regarding the "percentage used"? Should I be replacing my SSD?
I assume percentage used just means your drive is close to full. By itself that isn't a problem (unless it is REALLY close to full.)
But yeah, if you get a critical warning ever, you replace the drive. I hope your data is backed up already.
If you are in Israel I could swap your drive for a new one. If not you need to pay a tech or do it yourself (far cheaper, but you gotta know what you are doing.) An identical replacement drive should be around $20 at most, $35 or so if you want more capacity (512GB). You may also need an M2 to USB converter piece - those are in the $20-$40 range. PM me with your computer's model number and I can help you find what you need.
As to why SSDs die: It may be that it ran too hot for too long, or that it was written to too many times, or that it was damaged in an electricity surge. It doesn't matter - if you want a working computer, you replace it.
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Offline Thingywingy

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Re: Computer Troubleshooting/Help Master Thread
« Reply #6023 on: January 24, 2023, 04:30:22 AM »
I assume percentage used just means your drive is close to full. By itself that isn't a problem (unless it is REALLY close to full.)
But yeah, if you get a critical warning ever, you replace the drive. I hope your data is backed up already.
If you are in Israel I could swap your drive for a new one. If not you need to pay a tech or do it yourself (far cheaper, but you gotta know what you are doing.) An identical replacement drive should be around $20 at most, $35 or so if you want more capacity (512GB). You may also need an M2 to USB converter piece - those are in the $20-$40 range. PM me with your computer's model number and I can help you find what you need.
As to why SSDs die: It may be that it ran too hot for too long, or that it was written to too many times, or that it was damaged in an electricity surge. It doesn't matter - if you want a working computer, you replace it.
Thanks! That can't be what the percentage means—my hard drive is using 100/222GB. I understand it to mean that 3 of the hard drive is in bad health. Why do you think I would need a "M2 to USB converter piece"? The laptop is a Dell XPS 13 (9380) and the current hard drive is an NVMe. I probably would replace it with the SAMSUNG 980 (500GB NVMe) which is currently on sale for $45 from Amazon.
I am sometimes accused of overthinking things. I am still mulling over whether that accusation has merit.

Offline mevinyavin

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Re: Computer Troubleshooting/Help Master Thread
« Reply #6024 on: January 24, 2023, 04:49:10 AM »
Thanks! That can't be what the percentage means—my hard drive is using 100/222GB. I understand it to mean that 3 of the hard drive is in bad health. Why do you think I would need a "M2 to USB converter piece"? The laptop is a Dell XPS 13 (9380) and the current hard drive is an NVMe. I probably would replace it with the SAMSUNG 980 (500GB NVMe) which is currently on sale for $45 from Amazon.
So then it refers to the chips and not the GB amount. Maybe. This isn't my area of expertise.
The reason you need the converter piece is because you can't just put a new blank SSD and expect the computer to work. You would need to mirror the old drive to the new one first, which you can only do if both drives are connected. Hence the external converter.
That Samsung 980 is horribly overpriced. All Samsung drives are. And don't buy it because of the speed when a normal use can't even tell the difference.
Best cheap drive (Yes, these are all name brands): https://smile.amazon.com/Silicon-Power-512GB-Gen3x4-SP512GBP34A60M28/dp/B07ZGJYLNL/ref=sr_1_8?keywords=512gb&qid=1674553110&s=pc&sr=1-8&th=1
Best fast drive: https://smile.amazon.com/Silicon-Power-512GB-Gen3x4-SU512GBP34A80M28AB/dp/B07L6DKM8V/ref=sr_1_13?keywords=512gb&qid=1674553418&s=pc&sr=1-13&th=1
Don't even think about buying a PCIe 4 drive - those will run hotter even though your computer can't run them at their rated speeds. In fact, I think you should buy the cheaper drive - it is slower but shouldn't run as hot and as such should last longer.
Quote from: ExGingi
Echo chambers are boring and don't contribute much to deeper thinking and understanding!

Offline Chuchum Ainer

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Re: Computer Troubleshooting/Help Master Thread
« Reply #6025 on: January 26, 2023, 07:56:15 PM »
After a recent update to windows or windows alarms, every time I open the clock app it asks:
"Let this app access your info?
App info
Windows Alarms needs your permission to:
Read your profile
Create, read, update and delete your tasks and plans
Accepting these permissions means that you allow this app to use your data as specified in their terms of service and privacy statement. The publisher has not provided links to their terms for you to review. You can change these permissions at https://microsoft.com/consent. Show details"
I guess I can just accept, but I don't use any of those tasks or focus sessions, and don't care to add more permissions to what should be a stupid clock and stopwatch app. any ideas to get rid of it?
see here for similar issue
https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/discussions/windows-alarms-amp-clock-keeps-bugging-me-to-quot-let-this-app/m-p/3699850

Offline Thingywingy

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Re: Computer Troubleshooting/Help Master Thread
« Reply #6026 on: January 29, 2023, 11:47:07 PM »
While replacing the SSD on my Dell XPS 13 (9380), I noticed that the battery is quite enlarged. I almost always use my laptop while plugged in—is there any harm in continuing to use the battery? If I want to replace it, is it worth paying $120 from Dell? Are there any high-qualify generic manufacturers? Any way Dell would give me a discount even though I am out of warranty?
I am sometimes accused of overthinking things. I am still mulling over whether that accusation has merit.

Offline Yo ssi

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Re: Computer Troubleshooting/Help Master Thread
« Reply #6027 on: January 30, 2023, 09:04:24 AM »
While replacing the SSD on my Dell XPS 13 (9380), I noticed that the battery is quite enlarged. I almost always use my laptop while plugged in—is there any harm in continuing to use the battery? If I want to replace it, is it worth paying $120 from Dell? Are there any high-qualify generic manufacturers? Any way Dell would give me a discount even though I am out of warranty?
Not sure about the discounts but you shouldn't definitely replace it. There should be a setting in the bios to limit the charge amount (or if dell has a utility)
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Offline Moshe Green

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Re: Computer Troubleshooting/Help Master Thread
« Reply #6028 on: January 30, 2023, 09:20:36 AM »
While replacing the SSD on my Dell XPS 13 (9380), I noticed that the battery is quite enlarged. I almost always use my laptop while plugged in—is there any harm in continuing to use the battery? If I want to replace it, is it worth paying $120 from Dell? Are there any high-qualify generic manufacturers? Any way Dell would give me a discount even though I am out of warranty?
If you almost always use it plugged in why are you getting a new battery at all? And even if you do buy one, you shouldn't need an original but a knockoff should also fit your needs.

Offline Thingywingy

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Re: Computer Troubleshooting/Help Master Thread
« Reply #6029 on: January 30, 2023, 01:37:05 PM »
If you almost always use it plugged in why are you getting a new battery at all? And even if you do buy one, you shouldn't need an original but a knockoff should also fit your needs.
Thanks. As I explained above, my question is whether there is any harm in continuing to use the battery? I obviously don't want the battery to explode and am also concerned that it might cause the whole system to overheat.

With regard to original v. generic, I am open to getting a generic as long as it is of decent quality. To quantify that a bit, if the difference would be 30% or less in how long a charge would last, I would rather save $60. If it is going to die after an hour, I would just pay for the original.
I am sometimes accused of overthinking things. I am still mulling over whether that accusation has merit.

Offline Thingywingy

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Re: Computer Troubleshooting/Help Master Thread
« Reply #6030 on: January 30, 2023, 01:38:35 PM »
Not sure about the discounts but you shouldn't definitely replace it. There should be a setting in the bios to limit the charge amount (or if dell has a utility)
Just to make sure I understand, would limiting the charge amount would reduce the risk of overheating and continued expansion?
I am sometimes accused of overthinking things. I am still mulling over whether that accusation has merit.

Offline Yo ssi

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Re: Computer Troubleshooting/Help Master Thread
« Reply #6031 on: January 30, 2023, 01:45:35 PM »
Just to make sure I understand, would limiting the charge amount would reduce the risk of overheating and continued expansion?
Once your battery expanded it should be removed/replaced, with the new battery the feature should prevent the issue
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Offline Thingywingy

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Re: Computer Troubleshooting/Help Master Thread
« Reply #6032 on: January 30, 2023, 02:02:08 PM »
Once your battery expanded it should be removed/replaced, with the new battery the feature should prevent the issue
Thanks! Any thoughts on a generic? specific brand?
I am sometimes accused of overthinking things. I am still mulling over whether that accusation has merit.

Offline Thingywingy

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Re: Computer Troubleshooting/Help Master Thread
« Reply #6033 on: January 30, 2023, 04:24:20 PM »
Not sure about the discounts but you shouldn't definitely replace it. There should be a setting in the bios to limit the charge amount (or if dell has a utility)
So I downloaded Dell's Power Manager and I see it set to "Primarily AC Use." I now recall setting it that way soon after buying my laptop. But somehow it still is always at 100% and I now see in this article that the "Primarily AC Use," mode does not work on all devices. Seems like I have such a device.

Would I be accomplishing the same thing by putting it in ""Custom" mode and not having it go over 80%? When the laptop is in Primarily AC Use, does the battery constantly get charged until 80%, or does the power bypass the battery to power the device directly?
I am sometimes accused of overthinking things. I am still mulling over whether that accusation has merit.

Offline Moshe Green

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Re: Computer Troubleshooting/Help Master Thread
« Reply #6034 on: January 31, 2023, 09:02:50 AM »
So I downloaded Dell's Power Manager and I see it set to "Primarily AC Use." I now recall setting it that way soon after buying my laptop. But somehow it still is always at 100% and I now see in this article that the "Primarily AC Use," mode does not work on all devices. Seems like I have such a device.

Would I be accomplishing the same thing by putting it in ""Custom" mode and not having it go over 80%? When the laptop is in Primarily AC Use, does the battery constantly get charged until 80%, or does the power bypass the battery to power the device directly?
You can always take the battery out and leave it plugged in all the time.

Offline mevinyavin

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Re: Computer Troubleshooting/Help Master Thread
« Reply #6035 on: January 31, 2023, 11:15:04 AM »
So I downloaded Dell's Power Manager and I see it set to "Primarily AC Use." I now recall setting it that way soon after buying my laptop. But somehow it still is always at 100% and I now see in this article that the "Primarily AC Use," mode does not work on all devices. Seems like I have such a device.

Would I be accomplishing the same thing by putting it in ""Custom" mode and not having it go over 80%? When the laptop is in Primarily AC Use, does the battery constantly get charged until 80%, or does the power bypass the battery to power the device directly?
Was completely offline yesterday... So I'll try to address each of the above comments. (Full disclosure: I am not a PC repairman. My gemach is focused on purchases and component upgrades, primarily laptops. However, I do read about ten computer magazines as well as technology articles. My answers here are based on several articles about batteries and laptop power usage.)

Don't use a battery that has started to expand. Assuming your power cable plugs in well and is not in danger of being pulled out by a passing kid or the like, it is better to do that instead of using the computer with the battery inside - it stands to damage your components if it leaks (even without the possible fire hazard).

So far as a new battery is concerned, generic batteries lack the efficiency of the brand, but this usually translates into less time per charge and an earlier drop to dead than the original. I would think it depends on how often you use the entire charge (as opposed to the occasional two hours off the plug) and how much extra you would need to pay. Not sure where to buy replacements if you go generic, but buy somewhere with great customer service so you can get a replacement hassle free if you get a dud.

The battery doesn't expand because of overcharging unless something went wrong. You can totally use your laptop plugged in always - it is powered directly from the AC. Most laptops that I use have a setting to charge only to 80% enabled, which is a good idea if you rarely use the battery but helps only for how long the battery lasts before it dies completely (which is based on the number of charge cycles used). I let one of my laptops charge to 100% because I often need all of the battery power on that one. You save some stress on the battery by not doing this, but so far as that one is concerned, the tradeoff isn't worth it for me. It isn't the end of the world to let it charge completely.

As MG said, you can take the battery out - but only if you don't run the risk of suddenly losing power. If you would suddenly lose power, you may corrupt the data on your drives. You certainly would lose your work if you haven't saved it (or autosaved it).
Quote from: ExGingi
Echo chambers are boring and don't contribute much to deeper thinking and understanding!

Offline Thingywingy

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Re: Computer Troubleshooting/Help Master Thread
« Reply #6036 on: January 31, 2023, 05:09:53 PM »
Thanks @Moshe Green and @mevinyavin! This is all very helpful!

One more question on this. Aside from Generics, I see that a few are being sold on eBay in  "New" condition for about half the price as Dell. Some of the the sellers have a long history and high rating. Does this make sense? How can they sell a brand new product for half the price? Is the assumption that they are knockoff? Is there were someway to know if its original, even once I get that battery? Do they have some serial number that I can confirm with Dell? (looking at this one if there is any info that would tip off whether it is really genuine.)
« Last Edit: January 31, 2023, 05:22:38 PM by Thingywingy »
I am sometimes accused of overthinking things. I am still mulling over whether that accusation has merit.

Offline mevinyavin

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Re: Computer Troubleshooting/Help Master Thread
« Reply #6037 on: February 01, 2023, 09:33:10 AM »
One more question on this. Aside from Generics, I see that a few are being sold on eBay in  "New" condition for about half the price as Dell. Some of the the sellers have a long history and high rating. Does this make sense? How can they sell a brand new product for half the price? Is the assumption that they are knockoff? Is there were someway to know if its original, even once I get that battery? Do they have some serial number that I can confirm with Dell? (looking at this one if there is any info that would tip off whether it is really genuine.)
Googled the model number and got this: https://www.amazon.com/Battery-Inspiron-Latitude-Vostro-Notebook/dp/B08D6QRLNJ
A review there says this:


I suppose you are relying on ebay to back you up in case it is not genuine. If the laptop is old enough, the manufacturer might get rid of most their stock, which would get bought up by dedicated battery sellers. But I have no idea.

(When my battery goes, I tend to buy a new computer and sell off the old one to someone who would buy it. Then they get to deal with the replacement battery... Of course, that would depend on how old your laptop is and what a replacement would cost.)
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Offline Definitions

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Re: Computer Troubleshooting/Help Master Thread
« Reply #6038 on: February 01, 2023, 09:38:26 AM »
I would say they are counterfeits much quicker than they are liquidations. But if it works it works.
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Offline mevinyavin

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Re: Computer Troubleshooting/Help Master Thread
« Reply #6039 on: February 01, 2023, 09:41:20 AM »
I would say they are counterfeits much quicker than they are liquidations. But if it works it works.
Which is why:
I have no idea.
(When my battery goes, I tend to buy a new computer and sell off the old one to someone who would buy it.)
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