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M6500 freezes

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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.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ArbgwfRFUvfHdDBuT0xhMEkwOVdielJqVHc0MWRFZUE&hl=en&authkey=CM3Qx9YO

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.

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.

     

    Steve

     

     

     

     

     

    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?

     

    Steve

     

  • 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!

     

    Steve

     

  • 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:

    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/datacenter/random-freeze-problem-chills-windows-server-2008-r2-windows-7/411?tag=nl.e539

    which leads to this hotfix released August 12:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2265716/en-us

    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?

    Steve

     

  • 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).