What worked for me:
(1) Download the January 2010 driver from the NVIDEA website, and
(2) In Control Panel, Power Options, uncheck the Dell power plan, and check the Balanced power plan.
I had the described problem several times per hour before doing the above. It has not happened even one time since I did the above, after over two weeks and 80 hours of use.
I have the same configuration as the original poster: Studio XPS 9000 with Windows 7, 64 bit, with 1024 MB NVIDEA GeForce GT220, bought in November 2009.
I have a similar computer as you. I also downloaded the latest Nvidia driver and the problem disappeared. I am also not a gamer but have been playing a lot of videos without any problem. I thought it strange that Dell would not have the latest driver on its site to download, since this seems to be the solution.
Well, it doesnt seem to be the solution for EVERYONE. For example in the case of XPSinUSA it didn't help.
Therefore I have the same question for you: Did you just install the January driver over the existing one, or did you follow the procedure of first uninstalling the preinstalled drivers one by one until Windows resorted to the standard VGA driver?
I just installed the driver over the existing one. In fact, I first went to the Dell web site and tried theirs but experienced the same problem with the video black outs. I went to the other web site and downloaded the January driver over the latest Dell one. Never experienced a problem again. It has been over a week. When I had the problem, Iit occurred over 30 times. My Dell arrived just before Christmas.
I also just installed the January 2010 driver from the NVIDEA website, without first uninstalling anything.
As noted in my first post, I then had a problem with the computer going into sleep mode and not coming out (unless I unplugged the computer and started over), which I fixed by unchecking the Dell power plan within the Control Panel, Power Options. Maybe a coincidence, but this second problem arose immediately after I had downloaded and installed the January NVIDEA driver.
My xps 9000 is working perfectly now, and has been for two weeks.
I haven't had any xps 9000 problems since updating the Nvidia driver as described in my post almost four weeks ago. My power options check is still the original Dell power plan.
Dell Studio XPS 435T/9000, 8G Ram, i7 CPU firstname.lastname@example.org,GT220/1024MB, Integrated Audio Dell S2209W Monitor with DVI cable, Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit, bios A14
Apprecite the posts and experiences. Maybe I'm alone with this, but every hard crash created another issue; after each crash, the second hard drive in RAID 1, had errors and needed to be rebuilt, the last time after rebuild, dying altogether. This was the new, replacment hard drive from Dell. Sometimes a blue screen, sometimes a password lockout, sometimes programs not working, each time requiring safe mode and restore to get a boot..And each time with the uncertainty as to whether it would boot up at all. Rather tiring. But the forums have spared me the grief of reinstalling Windows. And when Dell support tried to send another GT220, I pointed him to the forums and a Dell search. I got another card., but it was full height and did not fit, but whatever, we'll get that fixed.
XPSinUSA, I have had terrible problems with the XPS 9000. First of all, it looked like I needed a new hard drive. I called Dell support who took over long distance control of my computer. He confirmed the crash and made arrangements for a techniciian to come out to my house and replace the hard drive. The day before he was to arrive, I got a call from Dell support who said that he wanted to try a last minute software patch, which did fix the problem. Although I had to go through the long process of having the one hard drive copy all the information from the other. Before the fix for the black screen problem with the latest driver, I also experienced twice the rebuilding of the RAID 1, which also takes some time. Another problem I discovered is that my eSATA card isn't working. I bought an external hard drive which uses eSATA which is the fastest backup possible. Dell support has not resolved this problem yet. I am currently using a firewire connection with the external hard drive. I originally bought a Dell computer after I read many posts in the HP forum about all the problems their computers were having. It seems we are struggling with the XPS 9000 and its problems. I find when I call Dell support, it ties up a good portion of my time. I did not call them on the screen black out. The Forum was more help than possibly Dell support.
Video blacks out occasionally for a few seconds on Studio XPS 8000
Engineering would like to capture a Studio XPS 8000 for the above issue. If you are willing, we would setup a "like for like" exchange. When you got the exchange, there would be a special Return Airbill to send the original PC to the engineers. If you want to do this, send me the following in a Private Message (Click my name, click Send a Message) -
PC Service Tag number:
Reason: Studio XPS 8000 Capture Request For Video Black Out Issue