DELL XPS 15 Yellow Screen on startup

Laptop

Laptop
Laptop computer Forums (Audio, General Hardware, Video)

DELL XPS 15 Yellow Screen on startup

This question is not answered

Hi everyone,

I received my XPS 15 a week and a half ago, I've not experienced any problems so far, however recently (the past few days) once the laptop starts and I enter my personal login password the whole screen turns yellow, there's no task bar or anything. At first it would appear for a split second and now it seems to be at least 3-4 seconds before windows loads up normally, finds no errors or any other issues afterwards etc.
I thought this may have been a video card error due to the new Optimus technology however I have updated to the latest NVIDIA drivers (which I believe are 266.58) several days before this issue even started to appear. On the other hand this is not a constant issue either, happening around 60% of the time which leads me to confusion, I am not in anyway inexperienced with computers but I am neither a professional programmer/builder! 

My system specs are the following:

  • DELL XPS 15 (L501X)
  • Intel Core i5 M 560 @2.67GHz
  • RAM: 6144MB (1X2048 + 1X4096) 1333MH
  • HDD: 640GB SERIAL ATA (7200RPM)
  • NVIDIA GEFORCE GT 420M 1GB (Optimus with the integrated HD graphics)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

So if anyone knows a solution/ the cause of the error to start with that would be highly appreciated and a great help! 

Thanks in advance.

All Replies
  • I have the same config, i5 - 560 nvidia 1gb, nvidia drivers 266.58 and windows 7 64 bit, and i don't have this issue, so i think it will be a graphics card problem or LCD problem. Call support center or run dell diagnostics software.

  • Lydian

    I am sorry to hear that you are having the problem with the XPS notebook.  With all video problems the first thing to determine is if the problem lies with the video adapter or the LCD screen. 

    If you have one available connecting an external monitor to the system is a great way to test.   If the picture is fine on the external monitor then you know it isn't a video card problem, otherwise if the external monitor has the same problem, then you know it isn't just the LCD that is at problem.

    If you don't have an external monitor you can try running the BIST test.  Start the system while tapping F12. If you can read the menu choose diagnostics. The PBA (Preboot assessment test) will start and after a few moments it will come up with a video pattern and ask you if all is looking good.  Does the picture look good then?  If not, fail the diagnostics by pressing "N" when prompted.  The diagnostics will beep and give an error and then will likely start flashing random solid colors.  Do you notice the problem after the system was giving the error beeps or do you see the solid colors?  The trick about the BIST test is that prior to failing the video test the signal the LCD was getting was from the video card,  after you fail the test the LCD itself will flash the solid colors to verify if the problem sprang from the LCD.  So if you saw the solid colors after failing the video test then the problem lies with the video card, but after failing the test you didn't see the solid colors or the problem continued then it is a problem with the LCD screen.

    If it turns out the LCD is at fault then a service will need to be set up to correct the problem.

    If it turns out the video adapter is at problem reinstall the video drivers.

    The video drivers can be found from the following links. 

    Intel driver http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/download.aspx?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&releaseid=R286038&SystemID=XPS_L501X&servicetag=&os=W764&osl=en&deviceid=22753&devlib=0&typecnt=0&vercnt=2&catid=-1&impid=-1&formatcnt=0&libid=6&typeid=-1&dateid=-1&formatid=-1&source=-1&fileid=424531

    Nvidia driver 435M http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/download.aspx?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&releaseid=R292130&SystemID=XPS_L501X&servicetag=&os=W764&osl=en&deviceid=24791&devlib=0&typecnt=0&vercnt=3&catid=-1&impid=-1&formatcnt=0&libid=6&typeid=-1&dateid=-1&formatid=-1&source=-1&fileid=435690

    Nvidia driver 420M http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/download.aspx?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&releaseid=R292130&SystemID=XPS_L501X&servicetag=&os=W764&osl=en&deviceid=24792&devlib=0&typecnt=0&vercnt=3&catid=-1&impid=-1&formatcnt=0&libid=6&typeid=-1&dateid=-1&formatid=-1&source=-1&fileid=435690

    I know this must be frustrating for this to happen on a new system.  Please let me know if you determine the problem is with the LCD or it is with the video adapter and reinstalling the drivers failed to resolve the issue.

     

    TB

     

     

     

  • Hi Terry,

    I did not have a spare monitor so I did as you suggested and performed a BIST test, I had the block colours you described appearing on my screen, It passed the test so I suppose that the screen itself is fine and that the problem is caused by the graphics card.

    I also installed the original drivers for the GPU's from Dell's website as you suggested and this too made no difference to the appearing yellow screen on start up (so I reverted back to the latest ones from NVIDIA).  

    The problem with this however is that because I have Optimus technology in my system how can we be sure if it is the i5's Intel HD graphics causing the problem or the physical NVIDIA Geforce GT 420M? I know that it is in fact the Intels HD graphics that powers Windows Aero and the majority of tasks whereas the physical GT 420M card powers bigger tasks such as gaming, video editing etc.

    As you say this is terribly frustrating as I have only had the system in my possession for just over a week and have yet to do any major work on the system, I just fear that if things are going wrong when I am only lightly using it then what will happen when I need it most? I am sure this is just as minor problem, but it is really bugging me. 

    Thanks,

    LD

  • We know at least that it isnt the LCD screen.  So is this something that only happens when you boot to Windows, and once Windows is loaded does it go away?  Or are you able to boot to Windows at all?  If you try to boot to safemode (start the system by tapping F8 and choose safemode from the window)  do you get the yellow screen? 

    So if it is only somethinga that occurs when you boot the system and goes away once windows loads then this is likely caused by a program or device being loaded by the system.  I would think back to just prior to noticing the problem and remember any applications that may have been installed.  The program or device may cause the yellow screen.  If it wasn't too long ago you can try a system restore. For more infomation for system restore please check out the following link.

    http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/kcs/document?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&docid=DSN_362029&isLegacy=true

    If you never get a display other than the yellow screen but you was able to run diagnostics without the yellow screen then you may need to run a PC restore.

    http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/kcs/document?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&docid=DSN_362066&isLegacy=true

    If you noticed the yellow screen even in diagnostics then the system board / video card will likely need to be replaced.

     

    TB

     

     

  • Yes this only happens once I boot windows, it only ever happens after I have put my password in, from going to the password section to loading windows the yellow screen is there then disappears.

    I just booted in safemode and the yellow screen did not appear at all.

    My system restore does not go back far enough to restore my system to a time before the issue arose, I tired to think of any programs / drivers I have recently added and uninstalled them however I still get the same yellow screen! 

    When I ran the BIST test earlier the yellow screen was not there so I am hoping I do not need to replace the system board / video card, I think tomorrow I shall restore my system using the factory image I made when I got the machine, it never had the yellow screen when I originally recieved it so hopefully this works, I shall keep you posted and let you know if I still get the yellow screen after I restore my pc or if I do not any longer.

    Thanks again,

    LD

  • Alright, so at least this sounds like it isn't a hardware problem, nothing on the system is failing.  I would try system restore first, especially if you have a restore point saved just prior to when the system started booting to the yellow screens.  I may save you from having to perform a PC restore which will require you to reinstall all the rest of your software.  Please let me know how things turn out.

     

    TB

     

  • Unfortunatly I do not have a system restore point that goes back far enough to restore my system to a time before the yellow screens so my only option is to perform a full PC restore which will require me to reinstall all my software once more, this is rather annoying but it has to be done to see if the yellow screens disappear! I will start the PC restore now and let you know how it gets on soon.

    Thanks again,

    LD

  • Thanks, please do let us know.

     

    TB

  • Hi Terry, I restored my PC to the factory image and so far have had no yellow screens what so ever! However I am not finished installing all of my programmes etc so I will update you once again whether or not I get the screen once I am done, but so far so good!

    A question I now have is....I tried to log into the forum here with my usual login details and it said that my email was not valid, however it IS the email I use as I have proof that I have received emails from here on it. So I tried to retrieve my password details to log in and got the same error. I then made a new account with the same email address and at the end it said that the email was in use! So I had to make this new account here with a different email address as it would not let me log in with my previous one, another thing I am confused at is how it let me have the same user name as my previous account! I think there is a problem from your end there just to let you know. 

    Cheers anyway,

    LD

  • I will pass your information to one of our Admins.  Please shoot me with a private message with the email that you used with the original account.  I will get back with you on this more on Monday.

     

    TB

  • My wife had this same problem with her new (less than one month old) Dell XPS 17 laptop.  She said it booed into a yellow screen several times today.  When I got home from work, it booted into the yellow screen twice for me, then I tried going into Safe Mode.  It booted into Safe Mode fine, so I tried again to start normally and the laptop booted normally this time.  I decided to call Dell Support to report the issue anyway since it is a new laptop and it happened several times.  I like Dell laptops and pc's but it has often taken me two, three or more support rep's until I get a good one.  I was told by the first person I spoke with that it was a software problem and questioned me several times as to what software I installed and that my laptop had hardware support but not software support.  WHAT?!  My first thought was "I'm not buying or recommending another Dell".  This was very annoying in addition to the usual language barrier of not being able to understand due to them not being able to speak English clearly.  She said she had to transfer me to XPS support and that I might get charged $150-$200 if its a software problem.  Off to XPS Support and I had to give my service tag info again.  This person was helpful in that he was the one to forward me on to someone who could help.  They sent me to a department called Early Life Support for owners of new Dell computers.  This person had me run diags, and run a repair on Windows 7, and neither showed an issue.  He connected to the laptop and ran a BIOS update and suggested I run the latest Windows 7 updates including Service Pack 1.  He is going to contact me again tomorrow to see if the issue shows itself again.  Well, it may not show itself between now and tomorrow, but I'm not convinced the problem is gone, unless they say specifically that this was an issue and is corrected in the new BIOS update.  Either way, it reminded me how painful it is to contact Dell Support and now how much they seem to nickel and dime you on it too.   

  • dcs001

    My wife had this same problem with her new (less than one month old) Dell XPS 17 laptop.  She said it booed into a yellow screen several times today.  When I got home from work, it booted into the yellow screen twice for me, then I tried going into Safe Mode.  It booted into Safe Mode fine, so I tried again to start normally and the laptop booted normally this time.  I decided to call Dell Support to report the issue anyway since it is a new laptop and it happened several times.  I like Dell laptops and pc's but it has often taken me two, three or more support rep's until I get a good one.  I was told by the first person I spoke with that it was a software problem and questioned me several times as to what software I installed and that my laptop had hardware support but not software support.  WHAT?!  My first thought was "I'm not buying or recommending another Dell".  This was very annoying in addition to the usual language barrier of not being able to understand due to them not being able to speak English clearly.  She said she had to transfer me to XPS support and that I might get charged $150-$200 if its a software problem.  Off to XPS Support and I had to give my service tag info again.  This person was helpful in that he was the one to forward me on to someone who could help.  They sent me to a department called Early Life Support for owners of new Dell computers.  This person had me run diags, and run a repair on Windows 7, and neither showed an issue.  He connected to the laptop and ran a BIOS update and suggested I run the latest Windows 7 updates including Service Pack 1.  He is going to contact me again tomorrow to see if the issue shows itself again.  Well, it may not show itself between now and tomorrow, but I'm not convinced the problem is gone, unless they say specifically that this was an issue and is corrected in the new BIOS update.  Either way, it reminded me how painful it is to contact Dell Support and now how much they seem to nickel and dime you on it too.   

    this is called free market, capitalism and globalisation combined. Smile Dell's customer/technical support centers are located outside the U.S.A in countries such as India and Philippines etc.. The main reason is money. People there working for Dell get paid only a fraction of what a Dell employee in US gets paid occupying the same possition. That's where the different language accents spring from. But for me the most annoying part is the "robotic" mentality training they receive. It is almost as if you are talking to the radio. They keep repeating a few phrases over and over again. Their expertise does not go any further. Change

  • CS001

    I am sorry to hear that you have had such a poor experience with tech support.  Dell does offer software support, there are just too many products out on the market right now that can cause so many problems.  Training reps to be able to detect, find and eventually resolve software issues, not necessarily caused by Dell hardware does take time and frankly money, so we do pass on the costs to our customers. 

    With that being said though it is the job of our warranty support to first verify that the Dell hardware is working correctly before passing off to software support.  Sometimes unfortunately in a call the zeal for passing off to software support is more than verifying the hardware is working correctly.  For that again I apologize for your poor experience. Please let me know if the problem returns, if this is the same issue that LydianDominat had, a PC restore was required to correct the problem.  I certainly suggest backing up any data that you may have already stored on the notebook just in case. 

     

    TB