XPS 13 9343 - Need help with random freezes

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by HerrKaputt, Mar 26, 2017.

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  1. HerrKaputt

    HerrKaputt Elite Notebook User

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    Hi everybody,

    I hope you can help me out. I have a Dell XPS 13 9343 (i.e. the very first one with Infinity Display). It has had a rough life, with two SSD deaths (the infamous "no bootable device" problem), among other problems.

    I am now struggling with another problem: the laptop has random crashes. These crashes always go like this:
    - if I had some sound/music playing, it starts looping
    - the mouse pointer continues to work
    - if I press Caps Lock, the light on that key still alternates between on and off
    - clicking on icons, start menu, etc does nothing
    - alt-tab doesn't work
    - ctrl-alt-del doesn't work
    - the only thing that can be done to leave this state is a hard shutdown (holding the power button for 4 seconds)

    These crashes don't seem motivated by any specific kind of activity. I've had them happen in the following situations:
    - with the laptop just being idle (I go do something, and when I'm back I'm forced to do a hard shutdown)
    - while playing games
    - while watching Youtube videos
    - while browsing the Internet
    - sometimes they happen 2 minutes after logging in to Windows, sometimes the laptop goes 10+ hours without crashing

    Here's what I've done so far:
    - this happens on windows 8.1, and also happens on windows 10, with all current updates
    - the first time I had these crashes, I complained to Dell (it's still under warranty) and they replaced the motherboard, SSD, and heatsink; since I continue to have them, I don't think it can be a hardware problem
    - I've checked that all drivers are up to date, both manually and using Dell's update utility
    - I've checked that temperatures are OK using HWmonitor
    - I've used Windows 10's reliability monitor, which shows that Windows was shut down unexpectedly (of course) but shows no other significant events

    My last resort would be to use Dell's warranty again, but they would need to ship the laptop to a lab which would take a minimum of 2 months. Furthermore, since I cannot provide steps to reproduce the problem, they cannot guarantee that they will fix it...

    Can you guys help me? Ideally, either you guys know of a common problem of 9343's that matches my symptoms, or you can point me to a way where I can turn on some kind of logs on Windows 10, such that after a crash I can go and check those logs to see what happened.

    Thanks in advance for your help!
     
  2. Fant

    Fant Notebook Evangelist

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    If you do a factory restore to the original software and it's still having the issues then send it back.
     
  3. SkidrowSKT

    SkidrowSKT Notebook Deity

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    My 6 years old Acer laptop had the same freezing and crashing issues, but it was too simple to fix. All I had to do was remove the RAM stick and place it on the other slot. It took me 1 month to figure it out. My issue was apparently a faulty ram slot (due to a tree-length fall).

    Sent from my SM-N900 using Tapatalk
     
  4. HerrKaputt

    HerrKaputt Elite Notebook User

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    Skidrow, a good suggestion, but sadly the RAM is soldered to the motherboard. This means that it's unlikely to be a RAM issue, since I've had multiple MB replacements and all have the same issue.

    Fant, I am precisely trying to avoid sending it back -- it means going for 2 months without my laptop.
     
  5. HerrKaputt

    HerrKaputt Elite Notebook User

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  6. HerrKaputt

    HerrKaputt Elite Notebook User

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    Re-bump
     
  7. AndrewB8489

    AndrewB8489 Newbie

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    Not sure if you're still having this problem, but I also had random hangs like the ones you describe, usually if left idle for a while, and I used Dell Premium Support and the warranty to get a resolution. I had the motherboard and SSD replaced and that didn't fix it, but Dell support provided the following fixes. It turns out there is a problem with the Intel HD Graphics 5500 driver, and (if your 9343 system has an Intel 9 Series SATA AHCI controller) the Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver. To resolve, update the following drivers:

    Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver for Intel 5th Generation version 14.8.14.1063 - https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/26759/Intel-Rapid-Storage-Technology-Intel-RST-?product=35125

    Intel HD Graphics 5500 for Intel 5th Generation version 15.40.34.4624 -
    https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/26682/Graphics-Intel-Graphics-Driver-for-Windows-15-40-

    Both of these updated drivers contain fixes for issues related to system hangs, and I haven't had any problems for the last month having installed them.
     
  8. AndrewB8489

    AndrewB8489 Newbie

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    And while you're at it, update to the A12 BIOS update, which provides reliability fixes and in particular, resolves a security issue with Intel Active Management Technology (if your machine includes that feature). It's available here: http://www.dell.com/support/home/uk...-13-9343-laptop&languageCode=en&categoryId=BI

    If you do those three things, your XPS 13 9343 should have the same basic profile as mine, assuming all your other drivers are up to date. In that configuration, I no longer get the random hangs.
     
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