XPS 14 L421X Variety Of Issues

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by Sam Not, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. Sam Not

    Sam Not Newbie

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    My nephew has this laptop and I've been helping him with it but I'm not sure what is going on. The laptop has a variety of reoccurring problems. It has Windows 10 and is the model that has a Core i7-3667U CPU.

    Sometimes when he wakes the laptop the WiFi stops working. It is as if the Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 WiFi card is missing. The network icon on the right side of the task bar doesn't show WiFi as being an option. It shows only the wired networking icon. He's been going in to Device Manager, disabling and re-enabling the WiFi card, and that usually makes the WiFi work again. I used Device Manager and found a WiFi card driver update and installed it. I don't know if that helped or not, yet.

    He's getting bluescreens about something. Unfortunately every time I go looking for a memory.dmp file or minidumps to analyze there aren't any. Sometimes he refreshes Windows 10 and that seems to set the Windows 10 startup and recovery settings back to default which means no minidumps. I remotely accessed his laptop and set it to save minidumps again.

    Sometimes if he touches his laptop, or moves it, it switches off. There seems to be no pattern to it. Or, sometimes he can't turn it on. I thought the battery is acting up. We have a replacement battery but I haven't had a chance to put it in.

    Sometimes he plugs his iPhone in to his laptop and Windows shows a connection is made, then disconnects the iPhone without him unplugging it, then it reconnects, and disconnects, repeatedly. He told me he never has this issue if he plugs his iPhone in to a different computer.

    Any idea what is going on with this laptop? Is it time to give up on it and get a different laptop?
     
  2. Arrrrbol

    Arrrrbol Notebook Deity

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    First you should check that its not a software issue. If you have a spare HDD/SSD then i'd reinstall Windows onto it and reinstall all the drivers in the correct order. If you still have issues after that then it will be a hardware issue causing it.

    If it is turning off when you move/touch it then it sounds like there is a bad connection somewhere inside the machine. It could be as small as a ribbon cable which has come loose, or it could be a failing solder joint. That is the only reason i'd expect it to turn off occasionally when you move it.

    The disconnecting phone sounds like a USB port which is failing, try another one if you have any spare. If they all do that it could indicate it is a board issue.

    Honestly though if its not fixed by a software issue and there is nothing obviously unplugged or loose inside, then i'd just get rid of it. Its not usually worth trying to fix motherboard issues like that unless its something like an old Clevo where all the schematics are easily available.
     
  3. Sam Not

    Sam Not Newbie

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    Actually, it turns off when it is running off the battery. I'm not sure if touching it causes it to shut off or if it just seems that way to him. Then it won't turn back on until he plugs it in. I suspect the battery may be faulty. One of his relatives bought a new battery for him but we haven't put it in, yet.

    I was thinking of trying a different WiFi card. However, I just learned that laptop manufacturers, including Dell, often use a BIOS/UEFI whitelist to restrict what WiFi cards will work with the laptop. Any idea what is on the WiFi card whitelist for this model, or how I can check this? I tried searching but had no luck.
     

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