New Dell XPS Totally Freezes Frequently

Microsoft Windows 7 professional 32-bit
November 8, 2010 at 05:34:12
Specs: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, i7-860
Hello Everyone,
About four weeks ago I bought a Dell XPS Studio from Delloutlet.com.
The system has an Intel i7 860 chip with eight gig of RAM and is
running Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. I paid around $860 for the unit
which was listed as a scratch-and-dent model that actually looks
brand-new without a mark on it. The system ran fine for the first few
days but then one day the system totally froze, it would not respond
to any input from the keyboard or mouse including no reaction to
hitting the control-alt-delete keys. I also tried inserting a couple
of application install CDs and DVDs to see if the install dialogue box
would pop up but it did not. The mouse pointer was also frozen despite
my moving the mouse and clicking the right and left buttons. I also
use Windows Sticky Keys which will generate a beep tone each time I
press the control, alt or shift keys but no beep tone is generated
when the PC freezes up like this. I ended up having to turn the system
off and then back on with the power button. This has happened two or
three more times since then but there's no real pattern to when it
happens, I was performing a different task each time it locked up. The
applications that I run on a regular basis are Zonealarm, Dragon
NaturallySpeaking 11, and Mozilla Firefox. I also have Norton Ghost
Version 14 installed which is listed as incompatible with that version
of Windows 7 but the first of these crashes started prior to my
installing Ghost.

Does the fact that the system did not respond to the
control-alt-delete keys or inserting an application install disk
indicate a hardware problem? Has anyone else experienced similar
freeze ups on a similarly equipped PC? I'm running Windows 7 Business
32-bit version on my Inspiron 1525 laptop and have never had any
crashes or lockups like this. I'd hate to have to return this machine
as I love the speed, Dragon NaturallySpeaking reacts almost instantly
even when running several other applications (the XPS replaced the P4
Dell Dimension 8400 I'd been using for the past six years). Thanks in
advance for any info you can provide!

Dan

Dan G. in CT


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#1
November 8, 2010 at 05:59:06
first thing to do is to save your files and do a factory restore.
then push this machine to see if you can replicate the issue
if all goes well and you cannot replicate the issue, you are on the way to finding the culprit.
install each program and test for a while, until you get the same problem.

if the issue occurs with just the initial factory restore programs return the machine straight away.

it could also be over heating, you can download many free programs to monitor and log your temps..

i would recommend, using the win7 image software installed in backup and restore, it works great.you dont need a third party image software.
you do not need zonealarm as MS security essentials works fine and is free.

i hate computers!
but cant help myself....


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#2
November 8, 2010 at 06:56:32
sounds like a refurb that was probably returned for the reason your are describing. I would suggest returning it and getting a replacement from Dell...they can afford it. You paid PLENTY for it and the longer you wait, the harder it will be to return.

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions Cheers


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#3
November 8, 2010 at 15:07:56
Try creating a Linux boot disc like Linux Ubuntu
http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-u...
Download the .iso CD image and burn it to a disc using imgburn for free.
http://fileforum.betanews.com/detai...

Boot up your PC with that disc in the CDRom drive and Linux Ubuntu should start up. If asked, click the option to "Try Linux Ubuntu without installing". Play around on it for a while, browse the internet, play a game, and see if it freezes up on you. If not, you're most likely looking at a Windows issue or a virus issue. If it's a virus issue, try scanning using Malwarebytes.

If it does freeze up on you, you're definitely looking at a hardware issue. (Most likely RAM or hard drive). To test your RAM and HD. You can use these two utilities by downloading the .iso images for the utilities listed below and burn it to CD using Imgburn (which I made the link for above)
http://www.memtest.org/download/4.1...
Also find out what brand of Hard drive you have, and find the testing tool for it. Test both of those, and if it is the hard drive or RAM, you will know what to ahve replaced.



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#4
November 15, 2010 at 09:56:21
Thank you all for the replies, they were very helpful. I ended up returning the XPS and buying a similarly equipped refurbished XPS Studio. Again, it's an i7 870 chip with 8 GB of RAM running Windows 7 Home Premium. I used the PC for approximately 3 days with out a problem. During that time I was installing various applications such as Dragon NaturallySpeaking, Mozilla Firefox and a few others. I then used the Windows Easy Transfer function to transfer the settings from my Dell Dimension 8400 (running windows XP) over to the XPS. I let all the settings be transferred to the XPS, I didn't customize the transfer to exclude any settings.

The day after I did this I again had the same problem I had with the first XPS where the machine became totally frozen, not even responding to the control-alt-delete key combination.I checked out the system event log for the date/time that the PC froze up but the only thing that stood out was a "error" level log entry with the message
"The previous system shutdown at 11:55:04 AM on ‎11/‎14/‎2010 was unexpected."

And a few seconds later a "critical" level log entry with the message
"The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding, crashed, or lost power unexpectedly."

So I'm assuming it's some of these settings that were transferred from my Dell Dimension that are causing my XPS to freeze up but is there a way to figure out which settings? Unfortunately, I forgot to set a restore point prior to running Easy Transfer. I'm assuming the only other alternative is to reinstall Windows Home Premium on the XPS?

Again, thanks in advance for any info you can provide!

Sincerely,
Dan

Dan G. in CT


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#5
November 15, 2010 at 11:38:08
so it all ran fine untill you ran windows easy transfer, I would restore back to factory settings and the just load the things up untill the transfer...run it like that for awhile to see if all is ok, which I'm sure it will be., Then set a restore and transfer things one at a time, it will be tedious, but eventually you will find whatever is causing your problem.

PS: I opened a thread on Dragon NaturallySpeaking the Lounge
http://www.computing.net/answers/th...
if you'd like to make a few comments on it in there,
Thanks.

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions Cheers


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