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Inspiron N5110 freezes with distorted display


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Inspiron N5110 freezes with distorted display

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I recently purchased an Inspiron N5110 with an intel core i-3. The problem is that occasionally the computer will freeze up with a distorted display and the only thing I can do is power it off by holding the power button. I have run the diagnostic test and it comes back good. Dell support thinks I have a virus but I am pretty sure this is a hardware issue. The computer has frozen in a variety of applications. Any help with this issue would be great. 

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  • And the saga continues without success! Round 1: Dell replaces hard drive + ram. Since they took my disk with the system image, they gave me a Dell OEM copy of windows + drivers disk. Lucky me got to reinstall everything as a basic windows installation. No fix for the problem. Round 2: Dell comes out to replace my motherboard and the gadget that connects your power supply to the motherboard. This fires up OK. Unfortunately the bare bones installation is missing my copy of Office professional, so I reinstall everything from the system recovery disks as I didnt fancy the lengthy download. This works OK. Unfortunately, get the frozen screen again well after windows has recoverd using recovery disk. Next step when Dell calls all chipper in the morning to find out how satisfied I am, is to get them to replace the CPU. I had suggested this to them based on previous comments here, but they said, no, the chances of this being defective is 1 in 40000. At this point based on what has been replaced so far, I don't have too much of my original laptop left! Since I've already had two tech visits, I'm beginning to think it might be easier for dell to simply replace this laptop!! One dumb thing I did, was to not create a system image prior to starting this process. If I had, I would not be going through all this reinstallation nonsense. So if any of you go through this, make sure you do a system image using windows backup before you give the hard drive back to Dell. Although, since this is not a hard drive problem, I wouldnt bother going the hard drive replacement route. I had noticed, that Hakushira had mentioned that the motherboard had been replaced without success, but Dell wanted to replace the motherboard. I'm thinking that the CPU and the screen should be replaced next. I've had the freeze when the 1030 card has been disabled and just using the ethernet port. Although maybe Dell can save themselves some trouble and replace that at the same time! Except for the case and the keyboard, my laptop will be all new at that point!! I'm fascinated to see if this problem will ever be solved. In the meantime, I've moved stuff back to the old Dell D520, to head off the favorite excuse of blaming the customer installed software! All I have is Dell supplied software! I will keep the posts coming and I hope to one day report success...

  • Man Shane sorry to hear that. Dell needs to know that this laptop isn't one of their "best" as they told me over the phone recently. As per my recent call-in with Dell they recommended me to connect my laptop to an external display - in this case my television - to see if the distortion occurs. If the distortion is seen on both the displays, they said it was a hardware problem and will replace my motherboard (again?) and if the distortion is seen only on my laptop, they will replace my screen. I told them myself that I'll be doing this test for a week or two or whenever the distortion happens because really its random! Its been three days and nothing has happened. I've had my computer connected for 8 hours or more to the tv and my laptop has been continuously running since.

    Hopefully this test will help Dell and the users who are having the same issue.

  •  Shane you are well with in your rights to tell them replace my cpu or replace the laptop or refund my money. Leave it up to them to choose. Its all down to money that's why they don't want to replace the cpu. 

  • Hi Hakashira, I expect it to be a hardware problem. I have my laptop plugged via HDMI to a Dell 2408WFP monitor. The screen jitters hit there too.

  • Strip laptop down clean out the fans and clean Old thermal paste / cement dell use. Apply artic silver Thermal paste, enable speed step in the BIOS, download Latest BIOS update from Dell. Install latest GPU drivers from Nvidia and lastly in power mangent settings clock the CPU Down to 60% when running on batteries and ac adapter. I Have the N5110 mine used to kick out a lot of heat Now it doesn't problem resolved.
  • Great news! Dell is coming through. They are replacing the laptop with a new one. Seems like my complaining eventually paid off. Hopefully the new one is fine. Its been quite the saga since February. thanks for everyone's help. I had the Intel HD Graphics option, not the Nvidia. I'll let you know how the new laptop goes...

  • if the old one was with the Nvidia chip then the replace should be the same. don't let them down grade you mate you paid the cash. great news happy for you. 

  • Great news - I'm tempting all the fates here - this issue is resolved with a new laptop. Thanks for the tip on the Nvidia chip - I double checked the hardware - 2GB of memory had been left off the replacement! With go ahead from Dell hardware support I installed the 6GB from the old laptop, so my machine is now as I had purchased it. I must say that the follow up from the Dell escalations department is excellent. They have been on top of the situation to get this resolved. It seems you have to get beyond the people on the first step of the hardware support line and you may have to go through a couple of on site support calls before things get escalated. They have been calling me every day to get this resolved to my satisfaction and it would appear that this has been resolved. I am happy.

    In hindsight, I should have suspected hardware right away. If you think about it, you've got Win 7 running on many machines (I can count 4 machines at home including this one) and all home machines were working fine except this one. Whats the common factor - this particular laptop. Also usually you get the blue screen with a write up from windows as to which driver upset the apple cart. Updating or disabling the driver that caused the blue screen should have cured the problem. Also the fact that it was random solid freeze is also a clue. Normally a software bug should be repeatable as the code isnt sitting there reprogramming itself unless its maybe a virus.

    The driver ( for the centrino 1030 is the same one that I posted previously about and it works fine. Actually I wonder if the 1030 hardware is not perhaps the culprit as the connection to the gateway is now pretty solid and quick. Even when the defective laptop was running between freezing, the centrino 1030 would drop the link regularly and be slow. Speculation, but maybe changing that piece of the puzzle may be the better option first than going through the hard drive, ram & motherboard. Easiest would be to take it out of the machine and just use the ethernet port for a while. One of the techs showed it to me when he had the laptop open. Its small maybe 5mm x 20mm and located at the back right corner of the laptop. Maybe there is a tech article on how to replace this item.

    Thanks to all of you who commented and helped. Hopefully you can use this to get your laptop fixed.

  • Hi Shane1965,

    It's been nearly two months now, how are things going?


  • Dear everyone on this thread, (if anyone still reads it)

    I have had enough of the freezing on this computer. It had returned (after a short period of peace and quiet) with a vengeance. For three days in a row I've had constant freezing, another day with multiple freezes, and so on and so on. The reliabilty monitor sometimes doesn't even record them. What strikes me odd is that just now I had rebooted my computer, opened a document, the computer freezes, then after a few seconds, the computer turns off by itself. I wonder if anyone else's computers have done the same?

    That was a first for me. Another similar occasion could be when it froze and I unplugged the battery cord and the computer too just shut off...

    I've noted these anomalies in my little crash log along with other little theories that I hope to god the people at Dell take a read if they do decide to ship my computer to the depot to not only help solve my problem but many others. I really hope a person from Dell reads these threads... I may love this computer but these crashes are too much.

    Good day.

  • Well, it has been two months and the replacement laptop is working as one would expect. No crashes, freezes or problems. I'm very happy. I'm looking forward to putting Win 8 on it when it comes out. I'll make an image first! The bottom line, is that if your laptop freezes, its probably a hardware fault and Dell needs to replace hardware. When dealing with Dell tech support, escalate it as fast as possible to a higher level where they start replacing hardware. Scream and be a pain. Ask to speak to supervisors, etc. After they've done that a couple of times, they they sent me a new laptop. Unfortunately the first tech support you deal with are pretty useless. Dont buy any of their extended warranty nonsense (software). When Dell sends you an automated "how was your tech support" email, reply back in an extremely nasty fashion. This gets a response as what's written can be read all over the place these days. Unfortunately, you have to fight like crazy, but remember it is your money that you paid and you should get a working product. Dont give up. Good luck. Please let us know how it goes.

  • Hakushira, I take it the hardware diagnostics are not showing anything (the one you launch from using one of the Function keys?

  • Strip it down get some artic silver on the processor and down clock the processor speed job done :)

  • Shane, none of these crashes ever really appear on any diagnostic that I've done. But just to clarify which keys are you speaking of? I've done the one the before you boot it.

    And ally_uk, my warranty hasn't expired yet so I don't feel like I should do that just yet.

  • Hakushira, same for me. The diagnositic that you run before you start windows never revealed anything, which is part of the problem you have with Dell. If it had failed, the argument with the Dell rep would have been easy. To start the diagnositics you had to press F12 (I think) to get it to do the test before windows boots up. Mine never revealed anything. If this is still under Dells warranty, then it is their problem, and I (and others like yourself) spent countless hours trying to fix a hardware problem by adjusting the software. I would not fiddle with any of the hardware until your warranty has gone, otherwise you will get blamed! Dell needs to come through for you on this by replacing the laptop.