Hey not sure if you still have this comp or not but i figured out what was causing it. iread your post while trying to figure out why and wanted to pass the info along.
I have an xps8300 i7 with 16 gigs of ram that just started locking up and freezong (15 months after i first got it so i was <ADMIN NOTE: Profanity Removed> on the warranty),.
it got to a point where it was locking up in less than 2 mins after boot up. checked everything i could and narrowed it down to one of three possible things.
1. Ram Failure (even though the sticks checked out okay)
2.Windows 7 software issues need to reinstall
3.Bad capacitors on the motherboard (ie replace the motherboard)
i pulled ram stick 3 and 4 out and ran my comp with just 1 and 2 in. The alignment goes from left to right 4231 (from memory may be slightly different) they are very close together. I ran many programs on top of each other until i maxed the 8gbs out and no freezing, i popped the other two in socket 1 and 2 after removing the original 1 and 2 and did the same. again no freezong. this was strange, I had two successful boots with not freezing at this point, so I put all four back in and started it up, this time it froze again.
i did a little detective work on my laptop and found out ram can overheat and cause computer lock ups and freezing. also desktop ram should have heat sinks on them to dissipate heat and keep them at optimum temperatures. mine has none! and they also do not have a fan near them either to blow off heat generated by the sticks. this is what was causeing the freezing. either get two 4 gigs to balance your 4x2gbs or buy some heat sinks and install another fan upto you.
you think the people at dell wouldve figured that out before a 24 yr old, who has almost no background with computers, which is why i had dell build me a comp instead of doing it myself. XD
Thanks for replying. I've been meaning to get back to the forum to report on my progress with this problem. My fix was a lot easier and cheaper. I replaced the Dell mouse (with extra buttons on the sides) that came with my machine with the Lenovo mouse that came with my mother's Lenovo machine. NO (ZERO) lockups while using the Lenovo mouse, for, what is it, weeks? now.
(Tried another 'standard' Dell mouse that I had from an earlier Dell computer -- but I got lock-ups using that as well - just not as frequent as with the original mouse.) Think someone else reported that they had a fix by replacing their mouse with a different style mouse -- no idea what the difference is between the Dell and Lenovo mice, but I'm back in business now & my mom's Lenovo works fine (so far) with my Dell mouse. Weird.
Hi Ken Garrett,
Most RAM is not sold with heat spreaders. This is primarily marketing hype, not technology.
There is a little tool called HWMonitor that I use to check temperatures. Why don't you grab that and let's see what your temps actually are?
Another question, have you tried restoring the factory hard drive image?