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Freezing internet and freezing updates on Windows 7 Dell

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hello. i just bought a dell inspirion last week after a family friend whose 60 and has never used a computer bought one. i don't believe he's had any problems the 3 weeks he's had it but i am debating whether i should exchange my computer due to a few frustrations. when trying to shutdown the computer will often go to a screen that reads: please do not power off or unplug your machine. installing update 1 of 17. it does this after i've unplugged it from the power cord. it also will sit on update 1 of 17 for 20min and am not sure what it's updating. the only way to get out of it is by holding down the power key. also when connecting to the internet or sometimes after using the internet for long periods of time, it will freeze. please help... i just don't want to wait until it's too late to exchange my laptop for a new one.

also, once when I started up my laptop an error message popped up saying that the hard drive was unable to locate the desktop and none of my desktop items were accessible.
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