Dell Inspiron 1721; Vista; Service Pack 1 regularly updated; AMD Athlon 64X2 Dual Core Processor, 1.9 GHz; 3 GB RAM; 250 GB HDD with 137 GB free space. Using AVG paid subscription with current updates; SuperAntiSpyware paid subscription with current updates; SpywareBlaster, also updated regularly. SuperAntiSpyware found a trojan last week (Trojan.Dropper/Gen), but said it fixed it.
It has been fine until day before yesterday - the playback on sound and video that are on the HDD or online have been hanging up for some reason that I haven't figured out; and there's a notice popping up that the network controller has stopped working, but Windows can't fix it - - but then it always starts up again right away. I ran PCPitStop and I think I may need a new driver, but haven't been able to get the one I downloaded to install. PitStop says the system is fragmented, but I have Vista's defragger set to run weekly.
It has seemed a bit slower the past few of days, but that's the only other sign of trouble before the crash. The only thing different is that I installed iTunes and Quicktime and then uninstalled iTunes a day later. After the crash, I also uninstalled Jasc Paint Shop, Ad-Aware, and some other things I didn't use much, along with the dial up modem that came with the computer, but I never used as we have wireless DSL. Nothing else has changed recently.
Yesterday, as music was playing, the computer hung up and began beeping loudly with the music skipping sort of like a bad CD would - - but the music was on the HDD not a CD. Then the blue screen - - and that hung up - - and I had to turn off the unit manually. It was a kernel data inpage error, whatever that means. Since then, the machine seems a bit off it's usual efficiency. Browser screens 'tremble' occasionally, that's weird. And some functions are slower than usual, especially the internet.
Earlier today, as music on the HDD was playing, it hung up again and sounded like a stuck CD and I quickly turned it off before it crashed again. Later, watching a video on ABC.com, it did the same thing, and quickly was shut down to prevent another crash.
The only other concern I have is that I tried out a streaming movie site. The site didn't work well and I have to wonder about it. It claimed to have free movies to view legally. Not having used movies sites before and therefore not being savvy about them, I think now it was probably naive to think you could get something for free without a hitch.
Any suggestions or advice? The computer is still under warranty, but just thought to check if it might be something simple I could fix before calling Dell and shipping it off.