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M6500 freezes


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M6500 freezes

This question has been answered by tumblweed9999

Three times so far today (and it's only 9:30 in the morning) my brand new M6500 has locked up.  The video is completely frozen (no updates to clock or any other dynamic video).  Keyboard and mouse are unresponsive.  Pressing the power button works only if I hold it down to force a power off.  Despite this, the disk light is still going, indicating some activity.

Does anyone have any ideas as to how I can figure out the problem?

Special note: To try to find a common cause for this problem, members of this thread are maintaining a spreadsheet with their individual configurations.  You can access the spreadsheet at the link below.  Please take care as this spreadsheet is fully editable.


Verified Answer
  • I've been running for just over three months on the replacement M6600 Dell sent me. Except for a minor hiccup with the video card (what else) that was eventually replaced, everything has been running fine since. The only thing I can suggest to everyone is to insist on a replacement with a newer model. It's the only thing that worked for me.

  • I  replaced the Nvidia graphics with an Ati 7820 last nite. But the Nvidia Heat sink doesnt exactly match the ATI board. I had to add a shim because it was running too hot and shutting off. I also had to grind away some metal with a Dremel so that things would mate up to the thermal pads better. Make sure you get your ATI with a Heatsink included. I bought my ATI with no heat sink. and they are different. I had to take my laptop apart two times to make it right. Now GPU is running 49C idle and 56C under load. I used Artic Silver 5 for thermal paste.

    Ok, So now its been running for 3 hours. I've put it to sleep 3 times, and run 3D Mark Vantage 2 times and scored 5869. My Windows Experience Index for graphics has jumped from 6.8 to 7.2.

    Also running Google maps with Street View on 2 tabs simultaneously. You can hear the GPU fan speed up in Streetview. So far no black screens. Netflix is running on another tab.

    I must say that the Cooling pads or Thermal pads in the GPU heat sink were misaligned on the Nvidia in 3 places, that, and the CPU/GPU cooling fins were 60% blocked with dust. But I was determined to NOT spend anymore research time or experiments on the Nvidia. Although I wonder if i were to custom shim the Nvidia GPU and gaurantee good contacts with all the IC's which had Thermal Pads, if that might solve the Black Screen mystery. But that would be a lot of trial& error. and dis-assembly etc....I will report on Computer Uptime over the next few days and weeks. Current GPU temp under load is 55C. AMD driver was installed and is reporting a Mobility Radeon 5800 series. Apparently this is a common occurrence in forums if you search about it. 


  • ATI Firepro 7820 still working flawlessly. Tried coming out of Sleep and Hibernate on 3 different power adapters. 130 watt, 210 watt, and 240 watt. No black screens. Had Adobe Premeire Pro open, Photoshop open, Adobe Acrobat, Roxio DVD creator, Windows AIK command line, And Chrome. No Issues.


  • I think that from now on is useless to charge it with a different charger. Before video card replacement it wasn't working properly with the 240W charger.

    Last night it run flawless for about 4-5 hours, the lowest temperature of the video card was 46 degree and the highest 59. i'm pleased with this values.

    Tonight i'll give it a try with 3dmark06 and maybe some rendering. I'm almost sure it will work without faults.

    I recommend all to go for a replacement with an ATI firepro. It does the job and a very good one. This has to be the end of this endless threat :D .. after almost 3 years of testing, workarounds without any significant results.

  • Well I ordered my new Firepro 7820M from Dell on Monday and the Dell tech installed it the next day. Pretty quick turn-around in my opinion. Funny enough it was the same guy that installed my last FX2800M video card a couple of years ago, which that time was under warranty. He claims he has replaced hundreds of them and could do it blindfolded! 

    Did anyone realize there was a class action lawsuit against NVidia a few years ago for this problem?Unfortunately though it's expired and the url's have now been taken down :( 

    Anyway so far I have had no problems with the Firepro and I'm not expecting any now. Best of luck to you all.


    Hi all... ive been living with the same symptoms for about 8 months now.... I travel a lot and I noticed that (while this issue happens all the time), it happens more often when I move between wireless routers. And it almost always happens if im shutting off / on the wireless (uisng the FN key) multipletimes a day.

    So I decided to shut off the internal wireless card... and I purchased this little $20 USB nub wireless.

    Now its been 9 days and NO FREEZE. This is huge for me as I was getting random freezing at least 3-4 times a week.

    Anyway... wanted to post in case it helps someone else. Likley there are several issues that lead to this symptom... but perhaps this one is yours as well.

  • Yes I have seen choked cooling fins on one m6500 that I disassembled. But once the heat damage is done to the nVidia solder. There is no escaping the Black screen. My 3 m6500's have all been cured with ATI graphics cards. I sold my nvidia cards to a reflow guy. I could have done reflow on one fx2800, but i had already ordered the ATI cards. Plus I was so frustrated, i just wanted it DONE. I didn't want to open the laptop up 3-4 times. and fiddle around. I think I am running 47C Idle and 49C idle temps on graphics/processor on this last one I own. 


All Replies
  • Hi Kevin

    Sorry I have no answer to this but I have exactly the same problem.  Almost out of the box my new m6500 has been freezing randomly.  Sometimes it goes for a couple of hours without fail.  did you get a fix?

    A few things I have noticed and I wonder if you noticed the same...

    It usually but (not exclusively) occurs when I am scrolling down a web page (I have tried Chrome, IE8, and IE 8 - 64 and happens with all)

    As you have said the screen, mouse and keyboard all freeze but if I listen closely I can hear the hard drive running

    I thought it might need new drivers - but I have updated almost everything including BIOS.  I have very few applications installed.  These include Skype and Chrome.  I had Avast anti virus and thought this might be the cause so I deleted it and installed MS security essentials.

    I wonder if it could it be something to do with removing MAcAfee and installing a different antivirus.  I have heard that MacAfee does not always uninstall very cleanly.

    Anyway - I am typing this on my trusty old HP Pavillion which worked faultlessly for the last 4 years and is still as fast as it was when I bought it.  I think I might look at HP again - Dell Support is apalling.








    My hard drive LED does not work (unlikely related but you never know!)

  • The problem still exists. It appears to be network-related, however; the problem occurs more often at my office (five times in one day is the record), which has a heavily congested network, than at home, which is very lightly used. So far, I've upgraded the wireless network driver (there was an update last month) and Dell has replaced the wireless card.  The problem still exists.

    In the hope that it might be memory-related, I have been given an extra memory card which I have to rotate through all four slots until I find the defective chip.  I'm not optimistic; the memory passes all detailed diagnostics and if it were memory-related it would occur pretty much anywhere with the same frequency.

  • I also get the feeling it is network related as I almost always am getting my freezes when I am surfing quickly around multiple web pages.

    Do you ever get a freeze in Safe Mode?  I haven't yet although have only tried it for an hour or so at  a time and am usually upgrading something that requires me to restart in normal mode.

    My home router is a fairly old one and I wonder if it might be the version of the wireless protocol that is making it unstable.  I think I am running a B rather than G or N network at home. perhaps you too?

    Anyway - thanks for replying as at least I know I am not alone Tongue Tied


  • Well guys, same problem here. Bought my M6500 a while ago. Thought it froze due to reinstallation of Windows7, with wrong drivers, or mall functioning other software. Formatted it all, installed Windows 7 again, and again. Nothing helped.

    Finally called Dell support. Laptop was picked up, MoBo was replaced. Got it back last week. Same problem occurred twice since then.

    Do not know what to do, except call again, have my laptop picked up again,...without any reason to expect a solution.

    I'm still working on my old computer, because I do not trust this machine. Only activity so far is browsing the web (firefox).

  • Just had my first freeze today and it was simply during viewing local photo files.  So now I am less sure that it is network related. 

    I ran all hardware diagnostics and nothing came out of that.

    Have either of you guys had any freezes in safe mode?  Or when using a network cable rather than wireless?




  • Guys


    I am exploring a few ideas and will let you know how I get on.

    I had two software updaters that would occasionally run on this PC - one for Flash and one for Divx player.  I have removed both of these.

    I have stopped the bluetooth drivers.  Reason being that in the f12 diagnostic my PC says that there is no bluetooth - possibly there is a problem here?

    Finally I wonder if this might be heat related so I have installed CPUID to monitor temperatires.

    The really annoying thing is that my event logs are totally useless - they are not capturing any errors at all.  Even though this is not a Windows 7 problem I am annoyed that Windows can't trap anything at all before it sompletely freezes!




  • Still freezing.  

    Am now running only in safe mode to see if that ever freezes.

    Looks like it will have to go back.  


  • I found this today while digging through the tech newsletters I got while on vacation last week:


    which leads to this hotfix released August 12:


    The mention of the Winsock kernel is interesting; for those not familiar with it, it's the Windows core networking component, so this may indeed be a network-related problem.

  • I've now systematically updated every driver that appeared to be out of date, as well as applied this hotfix, to no avail.  I have the same lock ups mentioned in this thread, as well as no hard drive light.  I wish I could find some match between when it locks up and what I'm doing, but there doesn't seem to be one.  Anyone else have any luck?

  • Kevin thanks for link.  I installed the hotfix but my freezing is still happening.  

    I think this must be hardware related.  I have updated everything like GeoMichael and still it happens.

    There is no common thread I can see - although I think that every time mine freezes I hear the fan start up - so Iwonder if it is related to CPU temperature or it is some routine that is going into an infintie loop and causing CPU to heat?

    Geo Michael it is a strange coincidence that your Drive Status LED is also not working.  

    Kevin is this true for you also?



  • The hotfix didn't work for me either.  I don't know what to try next.

  • The drive status LED keeps flashing away for me when the screen freezes.

  • OK - so I guess the broken LED is probably unrelated.  My drive is also whirring and I can hear the head moving if I listen close - but my drive LED is permanently dark - it is possibly just a faulty LED.  Dell support on the phone have been quite good and they tell me know they have raised the problem to priority 2 (?)

    The really annoying thing is that I have a film to edit - which I dont feel able to, as even though I can work between freezes - the idea of having to retunr the PC and trying to copy over all the working files and then rebuild the project on a new PC is a pain I can do without!


  • I saw somewhere in the thread some talk about BlueTooth....  Since I don't use it, I decided to turn all references to BlueTooth off in the BIOS.  I've been freeze free since then (2 days and counting!).  I had previously applied all the mentioned hot fixes and updated all the drivers, so I'm not sure if what I'm seeing is a culmination of efforts at work or if just disabling BlueTooth worked, but I figured I'd mention it.  I'll post back if it freezes again.

  • I'll give that a shot, but I won't be able to do so for another week and a half.  Right now, my Bluetooth radio is shot anyway (it's still there and all the drivers load properly but none of the devices can connect).