Last Sunday, my laptop began to have a serious and annoying problem. Whenever I typed on the keyboard, in ANY program, online or off. The keystrokes took an extra 30 seconds to repsond on the screen. It did it in Outlook, Word, internet, ANYWHERE.
I'm sure you can imagine my f r u s t r a t i o n .
I ended processes in the Windows task manager. I checked my memory and CPU usage, everything was fine. I ran MSCONFIG and stopped all the startup processes from running. I ran a disk cleanup and defragmented. I cleared out cache. I used-to work for a computer company. I know what I'm doing here. It's not as if I'm some technophobe or novice around a computer. I was like, "WHAT THE HE%%?!?! is happenin?" My machine, a Dell Latitude 131L, is only a year old. Sadly, I only had a one year warranty. Been expired since the end of August. Not that I would call those idiots anyway. I'll get to them in a minute.
I consulted my tech-savy associate and fellow realtor, Ryan Edwards. He's got a degree in computer troubleshooting. (God knows why he's a realtor, he's so brilliant at computers, but that's another story for another day.) He quizzed me on everything I had failed at trying. "Did you try _____?" "Yep." "Did you try this?" "Yeah. Tried that." I had tried everything.
I ran 3 different virus scans and 3 different malware/spyware scans. Notta. Called on a few other folks I trust for computer advice, just hoping someone had a new idea. Not so much. I was just hoping the inevitable would not be that I would have to wipe the hard drive and re-install Winders.
Well, too bad, Jay. Looks like this is not your week. By Wednesday, I was distraught.
So I spent about 9 hours backing up to my external hard drive, (By the way, if you don't have an external hard drive to back-up your files, RUN don't walk...) wiping the hard drive, reinstalling Windows, reloading all the drivers, updating everything, and getting my programs back on my desktop.
Guess what? It was still doing the same thing! T - y - p - i - n - g s - l - o - w.
Holy crap. Got to be hardware. Just went thru an incredibly slow season of almost NO sales, Christmas, and a new baby in the house. I can't afford to buy a new laptop. And having to replace the motherboard in one of these things requires a left-hand monkey wrench.
So I get online, back to all the blogs, forums, and support groups I had browsed before. Searching for an answer, any answer.
Decided to call Dell. Damnit.
After a freakin' 30 minute wait, I hear on the other end, " ELLO, Wellcomb to DELD teckinical sahPORTD. Ow kahn eye elp yo?"
Angels of grace defend us.
"Yes. I have a problem. My laptop..."
"Sird. Kahn yo gi mee yourd eggsprez serdviss code?"
"Ok. Yeah. It's 11_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _"
"Thak yo. Holdld on ford a mament. (5 minutes go by.) ......Id ap ears yord suhvis with us has expireddd. Yo will hahv to cole our Ot of wadranty suhviz depardmant. The nomberd is 888_ _ _ _ _ _ _. Hald on. I'll cahnectd yo..."
Phone rings forever. I get an answering machine that says "We're closed."
I'm close to tears at this point. All the while, I've been searching thru Dell support forums.
On PAGE 10 of a thread, I read something about FLEA power. I know, I had never heard of it either. Neither had my friend Ryan.
It seems that flea power is the power left over in your battery that needs to be discharged every once in a while. You power down your machine, unplug it, remove the battery, and depress the button on the battery for 5 seconds. Knowing that my laptop would run without the battery but plugged in the wall, I left it out and logged back on.
YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!!!!!!
It worked. I mean better than ever, it worked. Put the battery back in. Same problem. Slow typing. Took it out. Problem solved.
This battery was the culprit. I found a new one online for pretty cheap. Little did I know that taking the battery out should have been a troubleshooting tip. That's not said or written ANYWHERE in Dell's support/troubleshooting documents.
I can't wait to buy a Mac.