My Dell XPS 8000 (Win 7, i5-750) has become very unstable. It freezes frequently, requiring me to reboot by shutting off the computer with the on-off button. Sometimes it is a program that freezes, sometimes Windows itself. This problem seems to be worse since the recent upgrade in Windows Live Mail-- which is one of the applications that often freezes-- but it was happening before then too. CTL-ALT-DEL frequently does not bring up the Task Manager, or does so only after a very long wait, which is why I have to use the on-off button to reboot.
I have cut back drastically on the programs that load at start up, because a major issue had been freezing if not everything had loaded (and it was hard to tell if everything had or not), but this has not eliminated the problem.
Could be hardware, software or both... I believe there were issues with a recent update to Live Mail so look for a more recent update that may fix problems.
Have you scanned thoroughly for malware lately? Malware, or incompletely removed malware, can cause random freezes.
Does it freeze if you run in Safe Mode for a while?
Open Windows Event Viewer and click System. Look for error messages around the time of a crash. They may point you in the right direction.
Reboot and press F12 before Windows starts to load. Go to Utilities partition and run extended hard drive tests and memory tests. Note down any error messages that may be reported.
If no errors reported, power off, unplug and press/hold power button for ~15 sec. Open the case and carefully reseat the RAM modules and PCI cards in their slots. Make sure all fans turn freely, and use canned air to blow out the dust bunnies. (Don't use a vacuum cleaner!)
Reboot and run chkdsk c: on the hard drive to fix any file system errors
If none of that helps, you might try uninstalling the video driver and reinstalling a fresh download of the latest version that's compatible with your hardware and version of Windows. Get the driver from the manufacturer's site (eg, nVidia or ATI), since Dell tends to be behind on video drivers.
Forum Member since 2004
I am not a Dell employee
Yes, but that also doesn't work under these circumstances.
Just to keep you updated, I discovered that somehow my computer had not successfully installed SP1. I finally got it to do that, and so far things are running smoothly. So maybe the problem was there. But we shall see how things go over the next week.