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Troubleshooting intermittent problems - Desktops

Intermittent problems cannot be consistently repeated and are the most difficult problems to diagnose. Solving intermittent problems requires a skillful, patient, systematic process of elimination approach to troubleshooting.
  1. Make sure the latest BIOS code is installed.
  2. Check for updated device drivers and firmware updates. Use only device drivers and firmware updates provided by Lenovo.
  3. Use Windows Update to check for security updates and maintenance updates to the operating system.
  4. Remove all surge protectors, cable extensions, switch boxes, etc. and use direct connections to all outside equipment.
  5. Perform a power supply reset by removing the power cord, then holding the power switch in for 10 seconds. Reattach the power cord and retest.
  6. Ensure that the computer meets the hardware and operating system requirements of any post-factory installed software and hardware.
  7. Determine a time frame in which the problem can be expected to occur.
  8. Use ConfigSafe, System Restore, or other similar restoration utility (if available) to save the current configuration, then return the computer to the original factory configuration.
  9. Run a full diagnostic test using the latest version of Enhanced Diagnostics.
  10. Run a quality anti-virus and spyware scanner with the latest definitions added. Use of these programs with up to date definitions is a vital minimum step to preventing unwanted attacks on computer operation and personal security. Refer to Viruses, worms, and spyware for more information on this subject.
  11. Document all error messages, including memory addresses, reported when the problem occurs. Investigate possible causes of the error messages using the Lenovo Support Web site, the Knowledge Base tool on the Microsoft Web site, and the support Web sites of any suspect hardware or software.
  12. Reseat all connections such as the system board, riser, cables, adapters, processors, memory, power supply, etc.
  13. Remove any nonessential hardware, any drivers, and added software installed for that hardware.
  14. Clear the CMOS. Follow directions in the Hardware Maintenance Manual for directions on how to clear the CMOS.
  15. Try to duplicate the problem using a different hard disk drive to help determine if the problem is software related.
  16. Swap any suspect hardware with other identical, known good hardware if possible.
  17. If these steps have not solved your problem refer to "Need more help?"

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