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The Dell Latitude E6400 was Dell's mainstream corporate 14.1" notebook introduced in August 2008.

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Why does my system freeze up after booting and signing in?

Dell latitude E6400, 500 GB HD, 2 GB RAM, installed Linux Mint 20 xfce. When I start it up, it boots up the OS, runs the Welcome screen, and let’s me run whatever program I want. Then within a few minutes of startup, it totally freezes up, nothing responds. If I power it off (I have to pull the plug and momentarily disconnect the battery since the power button doesn’t respond either), then immediately power it back up and turn it on, it starts up and then freezes again at about the same time period. I even tried booting from a Windows 10 installation USB and let it idle at the opening screen. Again, after a few minutes, it freezes. What’s eally odd is that it restarts immediately, making me think it’s not overheating, maybe something awry in the BIOS itself.

I removed the hard drive,since I’ve seen some weird things that were caused by a faulty HD in the past, and booted from a live USB version of Linux Mint. Same issue. If I boot from the USB and just leave it in the opening screen, it still freezes after a very few minutes. It doesn’t feel like it’s warm, I’m using a genuine Dell PA-10 power adapter, and I’ve even tried turning off the WIFI switch before starting to be sure it wasn’t something in the network I’ve tried everything I can think of, any suggestions? This is a laptop I bought off eBay, so I don’t have any history of it. Is there a way if re-installing the IOS from a CD or USB?

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Hi dshank07

try running dell diagnostic test and check for issues.

some can be accessible by powering on the pc, go to boot menu / list selection and select diagnostic

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Thanks for the suggestion, Augustine. I’ll try that tomorrow.

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Have you tried?

  • Disconnecting CMOS battery

Dell Latitude E6400

  • Reflashing BIOS
  • You took out the HDD. What about the CD Drive, WiFi, battery and just use charger, one RAM module at a time in different sockets, etc. as it really sound like a component is overheating? All it takes is one little part which would not produce any noticeable heat accept in its immediate area.

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I've tried running the BIOS diagnostics (F5 on startup). It ran up to about halfway thru the mmory checking when it froze up again. I'll try pulling the CMOS and primary battery and do the step-redction in RAM to check those. Interestingly, if I leave the HD out, it boots up to a choice of F1 to continue, F2 to go to setup, and F5 for diagnostics. If I put the HD back in, it ignores the F1, F2, and F5 and boots to the HD operating system.

As for flashing the BIOS, how do I do that? And what happens if it freezes up in the middle of flashing?

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@dshank07

Does the diagnostic have a choice to just test the RAM? Try that. Could just be bad RAM.

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