Dell XPS 15 (9550) list of hardware and software problems

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by mike_nbr, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. mike_nbr

    mike_nbr Notebook Consultant

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    Hey guys, reading through existing threads I noticed a lot of users are mentioning several problems with their new XPS. To keep track of all issues, and to know which ones are already solved/fixed or how to solve them, I decided to create this thread.

    Please leave a comment if you come across new issue or a solution to the existing ones.

    Everyone please when reporting a problem/suggestion please mention obligatory:

    1. OS version
    2. Drives configuration (M.2 only vs M.2 + SSD vs M.2 + HDD vs SSD only vs HDD only)
    3. BIOS version
    4. BIOS mode: AHCI vs RAID
    5. Installed/not installed Samsung NVMe drivers

    Software/drivers issues:
    1. Device doesn't go into deep sleep correctly. [not confirmed]
    2. Trackpad Scrolling issue - system doesn't record very short moves. [not confirmed]
    3. Display driver crashes. [confirmed] [solved - link]
    4. eDellRoot certificate. [confirmed]
    5. NVMe related SSD Sleep bug - performance decrease after sleep. [confirmed] [solved - Look for solution in "General recommendations" section below]
    6. Installed Intel RST drivers causing various issues. [confirmed] [solved - Look for solution in "General recommendations" section below]
    7. SSD performance problems. [confirmed] [solved - Look for solution in "General recommendations" section below]
    8. CPU performance decrease after when you connect AC power after being on battery power, the CPU frequency gets capped at 1.69 GHz (details: link) [confirmed] [fixing in progress - link]
    9. Screen flickering, most probably related to the MS HyperV. [confirmed]
    Hardware issues:
    • Space Bar sticky resistance tight defect
      - Solution: Dell XPS 13 9343 2015 - Fix Space Bar sticky resistance tight defect problem DIY & disassembly
    • Around the front edge where the aluminium bottom and the carbon fibre effect join there is a slight misalignment and it running your finger down the side it catches the aluminium slighty.
    • Slight light bleed where the trackpad light is on the side where the glue holding the 2 parts together is coming away.
    • The delete key is also stuck down so doesn't press in properly.
    • Gap between the panel and the bezel, making the backlight bleed. Sometimes it seems not properly sealed.
    • Crackle/popping sound from the internal speakers.
    • CPU throttling.
    Unidentified issues:

    • Coil Whine while on AC power. This squeaking noise is most pronounced while cold booting the computer, and is less audible on battery power.
    • Fan while charging: While charging the battery and until it reaches around 90%, the fans run at high speed that is very audible. I do not have express charge enabled in BIOS or Dell Power Command, and have optimal as the fan setting. This has been reported by other, but not all, XPS 15 owners
    • USB-C Powershare: it does not charge when the laptop is off as when using the type-A USB ports. Powershare is enabled in the BIOS, and the phone does charges after logging into Windows. The latest Dell Thunderbolt 3 firmware was installed with no resolution.
    General recommendations:
    • Install latest BIOS update from the DELL site.
    • If you don't use 32GB SSD cache drive or RAID, switch drive mode from RAID to AHCI in BIOS. [This will fix the issue number 5]
    • If you don't use 32GB SSD cache drive or RAID, remove the Intel Rapid Storage Technology in Control Panel and install only AHCI drivers: 1) download latest Intel Rapid Storage Technology in a "f6flpy-x64.zip" variant 2) Extract the .zip package 3) Using system Device Manager manually update AHCI drivers only (iaAHCIC.inf and iaahcic.cat) under IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers in the Device Manager. [This will fix the issue number 6 and 7]
    • Don't install any DELL applications.
    • Look for the latest drivers on each manufacturer site (nVidia, Realtek, Intel, etc) instead of the DELL site.
    • Perform a clean Windows installation, don't use pre-installed DELL recovery systems as it contains old drivers and all sort of DELL bloatware.
    • Keep your OS up to date with the latest system updates.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
  2. g.achrainer

    g.achrainer Notebook Geek

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    Hi,

    IMHO it's also worth mentioning that there is no turbo boost on battery, so you'll see a maximum of 2,6 GHz for the i7 (compared to 3+ GHz on AC).
    For my unit, I can confirm:
    • the CPU throttling after AC -> battery -> AC
    • the "NVMe related SSD Sleep bug - performance seems to be cut in half after Sleep" -> happens only in RAID mode, not in AHCI
    • Display driver crashes here as well (easy to reproduce using "http://speedof.me" speedtest site). The fix doesn't seem to work here.
    • RAID to AHCI mode in BIOS -> this actually caused a performance decrease (CDM 4K reads where at about 20-25MB/s) for the already poor performing Notebook - might be specific to my unit, see additions
    In addition, I see:
    • After standby, Screen brightness setting is on minimum
    • There is a Diagnostic tool when pressing "F12" during start. Using it, I see:
      - being in AHCI mode -> HDD error
      - switched to RAID mode -> no HDD installed
      -> could be a defect SSD
    • Color is changing while scrolling websites -> seems to be related to Dell's color management software
    Gerhard
     
  3. mike_nbr

    mike_nbr Notebook Consultant

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    @g.achrainer

    What's your drives configuration? M.2 cache + HDD or M.2 SSD + SSD?
     
  4. g.achrainer

    g.achrainer Notebook Geek

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    512 GB SSD, i7/4k/84Wh
    Trying to get a return or repair since nearly two weeks now, not really sure if my unit has defects.
     
  5. fred2028

    fred2028 Sexy member

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    Driver support for the keyboard Fn keys and touchpad is also pretty crap ... My previous Dells always had third party drivers where you could customize 3- and 4-finger gestures, but not anymore here
     
  6. mike_nbr

    mike_nbr Notebook Consultant

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    Ok, thanks for the info. Also, do you have latest BIOS installed?

    What's the HDD error you're getting when running Diagnostic Tool (F12)? I guess it can't check the drives in RAID mode as you have just a single drive installed. The RST contains AHCI drivers but it doesn't change the fact that RAID needs more then one drive.
     
  7. g.achrainer

    g.achrainer Notebook Geek

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    Yes, 1.0.7 BIOS. RAID mode just means to use the Intel drivers basically. This is the default configuration by Dell, even for the single-SSD units.
    The error is kind of generic, just failure sending some command. Would need to test again tomorrow to see the exact phrase.
    Thanks and best regards from austria,
    Gerhard
     
  8. mike_nbr

    mike_nbr Notebook Consultant

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    Is it possible to use non-Intel drivers? AHCI is also part of the Intel RST driver. After changing RAID/AHCI in BIOS do you see any changes in the device manager under Windows?

    RAID mode = Enables use of AHCI option ROM and AHCI features, but also makes use of RAID functionality if you want it. My theory is that if you have it set to RAID but have no RAID drives configured, it'll fall back to AHCI automatically. One benefit in manually selecting AHCI is you save a few seconds in a cold boot as it skips the RAID setup screen.

    I believe that DELL is using RAID mode by default to support 32GB cache + 1TB HDD drives configuration with Intel Smart Response Technology (SRT). For SRT to function, your system must have a compatible chipset, the system's storage controller must be configured for RAID mode, and you must install the proper Rapid Storage Technology drivers.
     
  9. mike_nbr

    mike_nbr Notebook Consultant

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    @g.achrainer

    Can we test something? Please switch to AHCI mode in BIOS and boot the OS. You said the performance of your SSD decreased... that's suspicious. Now after OS is booted, in the Windows Device Manager please check the IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers and make sure that the Intel controller (whatever name it'll have, but should be something with SATA AHCI) is the latest 14.6.0.1029. If it's not, please update it manually by downloading Intel Rapid Storage Technology floppyx64 version. Extract the ZIP and manually update the drive via Device Manager by pointing the path to the extracted zip. From the list, pick the Intel 100 Series Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller.

    Let me know if it worked and if it increased your SSD performance.
     
  10. MLev1777

    MLev1777 Notebook Consultant

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    I created a thread on the Dell Community forums to report some of these issues to Dell as I was very pleased with their response to the CPU throttling issue. Please see the link below. I listed my personal issues with the model as those are the ones I am best able to describe, but everyone please add any other issues you would like to see addressed

    http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3518/t/19662879?rfsh=1448921878757
     
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