I have had my new Precision 5820 for 8 days now. I am on my second replacement motherboard. It developed a black screen following an attempt to update the BIOS from v1.1.2 to v1.1.3. The first replacement motherboard had BIOS v1.0.5. The second replacement motherboard was following an attempt to install an ASUS Xonar Essence STX sound card. Got another black screen necessitating a second motherboard replacement (with BIOS 1.0.5). I am reluctant to now try any BIOS update or hardware addition, at least for awhile.
Anyone else having similar problems? Have you resolved them? I am currently planning to wait for the BIOS to stabilize.
Unless there is something in the BIOS that fixes a problem you are having or adds support for new hardware you want in most cases a BIOS update is not needed.
Unless you tried to install the Xonar while the PC was powered on it should not have had any affect on the BIOS or motherboard.
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Thanks for posting.
Apologies your system is not working as expected.
In trying to research your issue, some questions comes to mind:
Did you have the black screen issue prior to installing the ASUS Xonar Essence STX sound card or after?
Were you able to update the BIOS without the sound card installed?
Please post back so we can better answer your question.
Here is the complete, detailed story. Sorry for the length, but the details could be important:
Date Ordered: November 6, 2017
Date Shipped: December 2, 2017
Date Received: December 4, 2017
December 4, 2017
Initial Setup was going well. I performed all the latest updates for the Windows 10 Professional operating system, installed my personal software, downloaded all of the latest drivers from support.dell.com, but did not install any of them. As part of the driver download, I also downloaded the latest BIOS update, v1.1.3, filename 5820T_1.1.3.exe. The BIOS version as I received the machine was v1.1.2, so I ran this BIOS update file from the Windows 10 desktop. The update completed, going through 3 or 4 different sections of BIOS updating and concluding with a message something like “BIOS update has completed successfully.” However, on the subsequent reboot, the system locked with a black screen. I did not see the Dell logo during the reboot after the attempted BIOS update. I tried to reboot the system, including unplugging and re-plugging the power cable, but all I got was a black screen.
I called Dell technical support (1-800-822-8965), gave them my Express Service Code (removed for security) and talked to James_788593. I explained everything in the paragraph above. James had me go through a number of tests, removing various components including the 8GB memory stick and video card (NVS-310) in a quest to determine the problem. The black screen persisted, so James set up a motherboard replacement.
December 6, 2017
A technician from Unisys arrived with a replacement motherboard which he installed along with an additional 8GB memory stick which I had purchased for the machine. After the mobo replacement, the machine booted up about 3 times, finally booting to the Dell logo and my Windows 10 desktop. The BIOS version on the replacement motherboard was v1.0.5. Given my previous experience with BIOS updates on this machine a few days earlier, I was very reluctant to update the BIOS. I left it at v1.0.5 since it was running well. I continued to use the machine for another couple of days without any incidents.
December 9, 2017
One item of hardware that I wanted to install on this machine was my old sound card. It is an ASUS Xonar Essence STX. This is an older, high-end sound card which I purchased in 2011 and use as part of a home audio studio to mix and master music. This card requires power via a Molex connector, so I ordered a splitter cable with the intention of splitting the SATA power to one of my optical drives and running a cable to a Molex connector to the sound card. The splitter cable arrived on December 9, 2017. I shut down the 5820 system and unplugged everything from the back (power, video cables, USBs). I opened the case and installed the ASUS Xonar board in the first PCIe slot (nearest the CPU). The SSD card is in slot 2 and the NVS-310 video card is in slot 4 – just as they came from the factory. I ran the splitter power cable connecting to both the optical drive and the Molex connector on the sound card. I put the cover back on, plugged in all the USBs, vides cables and power cable last. When I powered up the system following the sound card installation, I got a black screen just like I got with the BIOS update that I had attempted 5 days earlier. I tried completely removing the sound card and its power connector and rebooting, but I still got a black screen.
I called Dell technical support (1-800-822-8965), gave them my Express Service Code (removed for security) and talked to Jared_645763. I explained everything in the paragraph above. Jared had me go through a number of tests, removing various components including the two 8GB memory sticks, video card (NVS-310) and even the SSD PCIe card in a quest to determine the problem. The black screen persisted, so Jared set up yet another motherboard replacement.
December 12, 2017
The same technician from Unisys arrived with a second replacement motherboard which he installed. After the mobo replacement, the machine booted up about 3 times, finally booting to the Dell logo and my Windows 10 desktop. The BIOS version on the second replacement motherboard is v1.0.5, same as on the first replacement mobo, but earlier than the original mobo as it came from the factory. The machine is running well again after the second mobo replacement.
Given my previous experience with BIOS updates on this machine a few days earlier, I am very reluctant to update the BIOS at all, at least for a while. I am leaving it at v1.0.5 since it is running well. My plan is to continue to use the machine without any BIOS updates or hardware changes since it seems to be extremely sensitive (in a bad way) to both. My current plan is to wait several months for the BIOS updates on the Dell support site to stabilize. Right now (12Dec17) the BIOS update history on the Dell support website is
Version Release Date
1.0.8 05 Oct 2017
1.1.2 08 Nov 2017
1.1.3 30 Nov 2017
I have a similar hesitancy with adding any internal hardware to the machine, given my experience with the ASUS Xonar sound card.
My feeling is that the Precision 5820 is such a new machine that Dell does not have the BIOS dialed in very well and that is the basic source of my problems. The machine is usable now, so I plan to at least get some use out of it for awhile before I venture into the dark unknown of a BIOS update or hardware addition. I know that I will eventually have to do both, but I have a 3-year warranty, so I can afford to wait until Dell gets the BIOS sorted.
I am interested in any advice that Dell technicians may have. Is my experience typical for a new model workstation?
Thanks for that information. Which brings up some additional questions:
"which he installed along with an additional 8GB memory stick which I had purchased for the machine"
Was that a Dell validated memory stick? I wonder if the BIOS updates might have passed with only the original 8GB memory stick installed?
The last Windows 10 driver that ASUS released for this 2009 Xonar Essence STX was version 22.214.171.1243, dated 6/9/15. Is that the one that you have installed? Or did you install an older driver off of its CD?
The first black screen occurred with only the single, original Dell memory stick installed. When the second memory stick was installed (I got it from Crucial, guaranteed to work with the Dell 5820), the BIOS on the new mobo noted that "memory has changed, press F1 to continue" so I think the second memory stick is OK. even though I didn't purchase it from Dell.
Yes, I am using the most recent ASUS Xonar Essence STX driver for Windows 10, 64 bit which I downloaded from the ASUS website that you listed. The driver filename is STX_8_1_8_1823_Win10 driver Win10 64bit.zip, so I think that it's version 126.96.36.1993, dated 02Sep15. This driver never had a chance to work, however, because the machine failed to POST and boot after the sound card was installed.
Will the system boot without the sound card? It would appear from reading this, that the sound card is not compatible with your machine and may be the cause of the motherboard failures.
After the attempted sound card installation bricked the system, I removed the sound card completely and went back to the hardware setup as it was before the sound card installation was attempted. Attempted reboots without the sound card showed that the system continued to be bricked, necessitating the second replacement motherboard. I am currently operating using the second replacement motherboard without the sound card, using the native 5820 sound capability. The BIOS on the second replacement motherboard is 1.0.5. I am very reluctant to make any internal hardware or BIOS update changes to the system now that it is operating again.
I just wonder how a sound card can cause a motherboard failure. I understand that it could be incompatible and just plain not work, but how can an incompatible device actually damage a motherboard?
After you get a black screen, have you ever tried resetting BIOS by removing the motherboard battery and pressing/holding the power button for ~30 sec before reinstalling the battery?
If BIOS isn't seeing the changes to hardware correctly, you may get a black screen. So removing and reinstalling the battery forces BIOS to re-examine the hardware.
Do you know that the audio card is compatible with the PCI bus running on this motherboard?
Do you know if the OEM power supply has enough power for all the installed hardware plus that added audio card?
Always power off, unplug and press/hold power button for ~15 sec before working inside the case.
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