Forum          FAQ

Loading

Board index » Dell Discussion and Support Forums » XPS 630i - Other




 [ 10 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Troubleshooting problems
 Post Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:26 am 
Offline
Active Member
Active Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 7:09 pm
Posts: 1323
Location: Oregon
Steam ID: devjonfos
Caveat: I'm not an engineer, nor do I work as a technician, nor do I have an A+ certification. And this is not a substitute for proper Dell support if that option is available to you.

Purpose: Troubleshoot BSOD's and Lockups

Platform: Any PC

When I built my second to last computer (the one before my Dell XPS 630), I started with just a very basic configuration: The motherboard, cpu, ram, power supply, and optical drive. And I used the built-in motherboard video. When I got this configuration to boot, I then went to a Memtest CD, and ran Memtest86+ for several hours. This verified my memory and was an initial test of my system's stability.

Notice the above is absent a dedicated graphics card, hard drive, and operating system. Those three items can be a source of BSOD's and Lockups.

Your basic system (motherboard, cpu, ram, and power supply) can also be a source of lockups including the dreaded "beep, beep, beep" from the motherboard speaker when you first build a system. But having verified your basic system, you've established a foundation from which to work from.

I believe some of you having BSOD's and Lockups need to strip down your XPS 630's to just a basic system and boot from an optical drive only. You can boot a Memtest CD or a Linux Live CD. If you can achieve system stability with such a basic system, then you've troubleshooted your problem, and isolated it to the hard drive, operating system, or dedicated graphics system.

Now you add your other components back, one by one, testing for stability with each addition.

I have three hard drives and four operating systems (Win 7 RC, Win XP, Fedora Linux, and Ubuntu Linux). All boot, all are stable, and if I ever had a BSOD or Lockup, I would probably investigate the last piece of software that I installed, the last Windows or Linux update that I did, or the last hardware change that I made.

But if you have a new system you can't enjoy the luxury of saying that your hardware is stable. My XPS 630 and my Gaming Server (the custom build) are both over a year old and I can say they are hardware stable. But for those that have a new PC, you can either trust your PC supplier, or do some basic system stability tests as described above.

Probably the biggest source of BSOD's and Lockups is a bad driver (unless you're infected with malware). Something as simple as an add-on mouse application caused my friend's system to lockup during Crysis gaming. During the normal course of questioning that I do concerning PC problems, I asked him what was the last thing that he changed on his system and that's when I discovered the add-on mouse application. He uninstalled it and voila, his system no longer locked up during Crysis game play.

Being able to get "outside" your normal operating system can also be a tremendous help in isolating problems. Learning to boot Knoppix or other Linux Live CD should not be underestimated. In addition to expanding your knowledge of computers, it helps to understand and run your hardware from a different perspective.

I think there is more that can be added to this topic and I hope others (especially the modders) will add their hardware troubleshooting stories to this thread.


Top 
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Troubleshooting problems
 Post Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:47 pm 
Offline
Tech Guru
Tech Guru
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:24 am
Posts: 3179
Location: In the Green Zone
Great info :mrgreen: This is definitely something to print out and place inside the manual. :)

_________________
ASUS ROG Maximus Gene V w/Core i5 2500k
G.Skill Sniper 1866MHz 8Gb | Phanteks TC120X w/Corsair SP120s
ASUS GTX 770 Direct CU II OC 2Gb | Creative Sound Blaster ZX
Samsung 840 250Gb | WD Velociraptor 600Gb | Corsair AX-760
ASUS PA248Q-IPS | Ducky Zero DK2108 w/Zinc + PBT Keycaps
Razer DeathAdder 2k13 | Razer Manticor | Razer Tiamat 2.2
Fractal Design Arc Mini | HP Officejet Pro K8600 | Windows 7


Top 
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Troubleshooting problems
 Post Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 5:19 pm 
Offline
Active Member
Active Member
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2008 10:21 am
Posts: 583
Location: Germany Hamburg
cool info devjonfos
that need a sticky.


or put it in the Resource Collective ;)

_________________
Z77a GD65::CORSAIR 16 GB DDR3 1600 :: Samsung SSD 256GB x2
intel CORE I7 3770k 3.5Ghz :: Noctua DH 14
Gigabyte GTX 670 2GB OC::::LG Flatron W2353v 23 inch 1080P
Windows 7 Ultimate X64

WWW


Top 
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Troubleshooting problems
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:39 pm 
Offline
Member
Member

Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:18 pm
Posts: 29
I put a lot of time into researching these freezes that people are getting on their new XPS 630s...

My guess/hunch by now is that the 650i Mainboard simply can not handle the combination of new 45nm Quadcores (Q9650 etc.), 8gb RAM and a state of the art GPU like the 285GTX.
Alternatively it could be that only very very few Dell 650i Mainboards can handle such a config and even small variations during manufacturing, which usually wouldn't be a problem with older hardware, lead to instability on the newer configurations. Same reason why some production batches of MBs/CPUs overclock better than others... except that in this case you would need a perfect 650i just to run your components at stock settings...

When you ask for people who run such a configuration that includes all 3 things, 45nm Quad, 8b ram and recent graphics card, on the stock mainboard, rock stable, you don't get many a response lol. The contrary... you see more and more people who report freezing issues and the huge majority of them seem to have bought their XPS recently and with new/semi recent hardware configurations. (Thinking of the thread about it on the official Dell boards)

I've been building my own computers for over 12 years now and helped my girl with several computers of hers as well, including 3 Dells and i have never seen such an elusive (and according to google/several forums quite widespread) issue with a brand new computer yet.

You certainly give good advice above, especially for general troubleshooting and dealing with BSODs on most computers, where you know it "should" work, if it's only set up right and there is no faulty component... but from everything i read so far about the 630s freeze problems i can't help but get the nagging feeling that it would simply amount to a lot of wasted time.

The only surefire way of *really* fixing a XPS 630 that has the freeze problem at this point, appears to involve replacing the Mainboard with a reliable brand; Replacing the memory next if you want to be safe and continuing with the PSU and Harddisc for good measure if you want certainity lol.


Top 
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Troubleshooting problems
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:45 pm 
Offline
Active Member
Active Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 7:09 pm
Posts: 1323
Location: Oregon
Steam ID: devjonfos
Mikes wrote:
I put a lot of time into researching these freezes that people are getting on their new XPS 630s...

My guess/hunch by now is that the 650i Mainboard simply can not handle the combination of new 45nm Quadcores (Q9650 etc.), 8gb RAM and a state of the art GPU like the 285GTX...

I've been building my own computers for over 12 years now...

The only surefire way of *really* fixing a XPS 630 that has the freeze problem at this point, appears to involve replacing the Mainboard with a reliable brand...


I agree with you 100% and I'm really sorry that you have had to go through this experience with Dell. I hope there will be some sort of compensation for you from Dell.

Of course, if Dell offered a motherboard replacement to all XPS 630's owners...the clouds would part, the sunshine would come through, a booming voice would come down from Heaven, beautiful flowers would spring up from the ground, davbow's CW ping rate would improve, billybigfoot's CW frame-rate would improve, gdonner would buy an RTS (CoH), and there would be a loud collective sigh of relief from all XPS 630 owners worldwide.

_________________
XPS 630 Q6600 @ 3.2 GHz OC | Win 7 Pro 64-bit/Win XP Pro 32-bit | 4GB DC DDR2 800MHz |
BFG OCE GTX 275 896MB | 500GB SATA No RAID | 16X CD/DVD Burner Single Drive |
Sound Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio | BIOS 1.0.8 | 3DMark06 16465 3DMark Vantage P13033
Image
My XPS 630 Blog


Top 
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Troubleshooting problems
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:18 pm 
Offline
Board Moderator
Board Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 6:36 am
Posts: 2717
Location: Bristol, UK
Steam ID: billybigfoot
Mikes,

Also agree, infact that was my first guess, specially when you consider many had to increase the voltages just to get a fewer lockups, no cure, just fewer.

The 650i chipset simply cannot handle the latest hardware, hardly supprising, it was old 12 months ago.......ho hum!

_________________
Image


i7: Intel i7 860 2.8GHz | Intel DP55WG | 8GB PC10666 | GTX275 (896Mb) | HD-1 TB | DVD/CD- LG BlueRay + DVD/CD Burner | OCZ SilentxStream 700w | RealTek ALC 889 | CASE-Lian Li 7FN Black | Win 7 U 64bit | G35/G19/G9 | Dell 22 inch SP2208WFP


Top 
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Troubleshooting problems
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:34 pm 
Offline
Member
Member

Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:18 pm
Posts: 29
Thinking of underclocking the memory or even the CPU, or at least loosening up the timings now; of course, even if that really gets rid of the freezes (and doesn't just alleviate the issue a bit, without curing it), it would be kinda ridiculous having to do that.

Overvolting i don't see as a viable option, as this computer was bought to last at the very least 3 years (just like that last Dell we bought for my Girl) and i don't want to risk shortening component lifespans.


Top 
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Troubleshooting problems
 Post Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:47 am 
Offline
Board Moderator
Board Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 6:36 am
Posts: 2717
Location: Bristol, UK
Steam ID: billybigfoot
Mikes,

Just a thought, seeing as I'm running a Q6600 and GTX285 and not having the problems, do you think Dell would be willing to replace your CPU with a lesser one and refund you the difference.

Oh sorry, Dell giving money back..............

_________________
Image


i7: Intel i7 860 2.8GHz | Intel DP55WG | 8GB PC10666 | GTX275 (896Mb) | HD-1 TB | DVD/CD- LG BlueRay + DVD/CD Burner | OCZ SilentxStream 700w | RealTek ALC 889 | CASE-Lian Li 7FN Black | Win 7 U 64bit | G35/G19/G9 | Dell 22 inch SP2208WFP


Top 
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Troubleshooting problems
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:11 pm 
Offline
Member
Member

Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:18 pm
Posts: 29
billybigfoot wrote:
Mikes,

Just a thought, seeing as I'm running a Q6600 and GTX285 and not having the problems, do you think Dell would be willing to replace your CPU with a lesser one and refund you the difference.


Well i finally found one person (yeah, one so far) who said they were running a Q9650 with 8gb without issues too. However, there also seem to be people with Q6600 or E8400 etc. processors who DO have the issue too lol.

No board or CPU is exactly the same (ask any overclocker), so maybe if you get lucky enough, you can get a board/CPU/memory combo that is up for the task, but it certainly seems that a significant percentage of the 650i SLI boards just is not and the more recent your other hardware is, the more likely you are propably going to run into problems.

It's a common newbie builders mistake to put too much/too demanding hardware on mainboards that can't handle it... just never thought you would get a premade system that had issues like these, i.e. had a tendency to arrive "factory unstable".


Top 
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Troubleshooting problems
 Post Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:18 am 
Offline
Member
Member

Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:08 pm
Posts: 3
My new 630i locked up on the first day. The only thing I could do at that time was open Task Manager and to my amazement I found 58 processes running, my cpu at 100%. I could not close Task Manager or anything else, nor could I shutdown normal. I had just installed Cursor XP from Stardock and was about to customize it when this lock up occured. After powering down, I restarted the pc and Windows loaded, but when it got to my desktop it locked up again after only two startup items loaded. Again I could not do anything but a hard shutdown. I removed the Cursor XP and my problems seem to have gone away, but should I do a clean install and get rid of all of this junk software that Dell has blouted my pc with?
My other problem is I installed a Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium soundcard. I can not find where to turn off the onboard sound. When the start-up items load, I have both the Sound Blaster and the Realtek icons on my task bar.

This is my system:
Dual Core E8400 (3.0 GHz, 1333FSB)
4GB DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz
Nvidia GeForce GTS 240
500GB NCQ SATA HDD
XP Pro Sp3

Any suggestions or comments would be helpful, Thank You!


Top 
  
 
 
 [ 10 posts ] 

Board index » Dell Discussion and Support Forums » XPS 630i - Other


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot] and 1 guest

 
 

 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to: