daftwader
1 Copper

XPS 730x Power problems

Hi,

I have an XPS 730x H2C which has developed a rather odd problem... and of course my warranty ran out a couple of months ago

 

I was gaming last week and all of the sudden my monitor went into standby, but I could still hear the game via my headphones and I could still do things in game using the keyboard and mouse. 

Easy I thought.. one of the graphics cards has died, annoying but an easy fix.  I removed both of the graphics cards and replaced them with a single Radeon 5970 that I have ( and I know works). I start the PC, and the monitor stays on standby.. hmmmm. At this time I get a phone call, so while I am on the phone I see the monitor come to life and there's my desktop. 

Awesome I think.... sadly not.  After a few minutes the screen goes into standby again.. I wait about 15 minutes... screen comes to life for a couple of minutes.. screen goes back to standby.

Ok, maybe its the monitor and not the graphics card.. so I get another dell monitor and no joy, same problem.

Hmmmm ok. something must be overheating.. so next time the screen comes back, I start up the XPS thermal monitor and nothing is running above 80f, graphics cards are running 75f.  Maybe one of the sensors is broken, so I turn the fan speeds up to 100% on the XPS Thermal monitor and on the graphics cards.   It sounds like a tornado in my office, but still the standby, 15 minute delay, desktop for a couple of minutes, standby cycle continues.

So my next thought is its a power supply problem.  I have an Alienware Area 51 as well, which, apart from additional GPU cables, is the same as that in my XPS.  So I remove the power supply from the Alienware, install in the XPS and.. surprise surprise the same problem exists.

 

This means I have ruled out, GPU, PSU, Monitor, overheating, I have also reseated all of the cables, memory and everything else I can think of and yet it still has the same problem!

Does anybody have any suggestions where I go next?

 

Thanks in advance

 

 

 

 

 

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7 Replies

Re: XPS 730x Power problems

Hi daftwader,

I appreciate your technical acumen. There is evidently no issue related to the GPU, PSU, monitor or overheating. The operating system may be causing the issue. Please try the steps listed below:

1. Run Hardware Diagnostics (PSA - Pre Boot System Assessment)
- Start the computer and repeatedly tap F12 at the Dell logo to enter the boot menu
- Select 'Diagnostics' from the boot menu using the down arrow key on the keyboard
- Select 'Enter' on the keyboard. Note: The PSA will run a low-level check of 'System Board', 'Keyboard controller', 'Hard Drive controller', 'Display' and 'Memory'
- Capture any error codes if present
- If no error code appears, it indicates that the issue may be related to the software

2. Run 'Microsoft Fixit' to fix display related issues
Please click the following link to run the MS Fixit abd check if that works: http://bit.ly/PQgiEY

3. Check for optimal 'Refresh Rate'
Mentioned below is the 'Maximum Resolution' supported by your graphic card (Radeon HD 5970) with various display outputs:
- Integrated dual-link DVI output with HDCP: 2560x1600
- Integrated DisplayPort output: 2560x1600
- HDMI (With 3D, Deep Color and x.v.Color): 1920x1200
- Integrated VGA output: 2048x1536
Please configure the refresh rate of the monitor as per its capabilities. Fell free to provide the monitor's 'name and model' if you need my support to find out the refresh rates supported by it.

To change the refresh rates, you may find the below listed steps useful:
- Click the 'Start/Pearl' icon
- Click 'Control Panel'
- Click 'Appearance and Themes' (Windows XP)
- Click 'Appearance and Personalization' > ''Personalization' (Windows Vista)
- Click 'Display Settings'
- Click 'Advanced Settings'
- Click 'Monitor' tab
- Select 'Refresh Rate' as supported by the monitor
- Click 'Apply'
Note: If you don't apply the changes within fifteen seconds, the refresh rate will revert back to your original setting

4. If the issue persists, please try a different video output port
Try using a different video port on the card (VGA, DVI, HDMI or DP) and a known good cable to see if that works

Hope this helps. Do reply if you have any further questions. I would be glad to assist.

Thanks & Regards,
Saurabh A
#iworkfordell
To know more about Dell’s products, services and drivers & downloads, click Here. For helpful Dell Support Videos, you may click Here

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daftwader
1 Copper

Re: XPS 730x Power problems

Hi,

Thanks for the super fast response, sadly I missed a rather important detail with my initial post..

When I have been checking components, swapping bits etc, I have pressed the power button on the PC and it does a proper shutdown.   When I then turn on the machine again, the screen stays on standby.. I dont get to see any POST or windows loading screen.  The monitor stays on standby for a while and then the windows desktop will appear. then the routine continues.. standby.. delay.. screen on.. standy.. etc etc

So the checks you have asked me to do arent really relevant as once the screen goes on standby it stays on standby even though the machine has been rebooted - and I have checked with the additional monitor and a GTX295 graphics card as well.. So thats 3 GPUs and 2 monitors that have the symptoms.

This sort of implies that a component that is not cooled directly by the fans is overheating (? maybe?) and once it cools the system displays video.

In the mean time I have also removed all peripherals HDD, DVD Rom, 2 of the Memory chips ( and swapped the one I left in to ensure the one chip wasnt bad) Same problem.

I have also removed the graphics card and get 4 BIOS beeps - no GPU - installed the card and same problem - no beeps though

Some more info... that may (or may not be useful) - The motherboard has a green LED when the PC is powered on - even when the screen is on standy, the 295 GPUs have green LED's to show its correctly powered - this stays green - even when the screen is on standy. 

I am hoping to find a really low end GPU that does require additional power to see if that makes any difference...

 

Hope this additional info is helpful

 

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Re: XPS 730x Power problems

Hi daftwader,

Thank you for a quick reply. I understand that you have isolated some hardware components that are not causing the issue. However, I still recommend you to run the (PSA) Pre-Boot System Assessment and the Dell Diagnostics to double check the same. These are sophisticated tools and have the capability to detect the hardware issues more precisely. You may find the steps to run 'PSA and Dell Diagnostics' below:

1. Run Hardware Diagnostics (PSA - Pre Boot System Assessment)
- Start the computer and repeatedly tap F12 at the Dell logo to enter the boot menu
- Select 'Diagnostics' from the boot menu using the down arrow key on the keyboard
- Select 'Enter' on the keyboard. Note: The PSA will run a low-level check of 'System Board', 'Keyboard controller', 'Hard Drive controller', 'Display' and 'Memory'
- Capture any error codes if present
- If no error code appears, following screen appears:
  
After the completion of PSA process (failure or no failure) you will be prompted to run 'Dell Diagnostics'. If not, it is possible that the 'Dell Diagnostic utility' is not present on the hard drive's utility partition. This diagnostic utility can also be found on the Dell Resource CD. Use the Resource CD and follow the steps given below:
- Insert Recovery CD
- Shut down and restart the desktop
- When Dell logo appears, immediately tap <F12> repeatedly

NOTE: If you wait too long and the operating system logo appears, continue to wait until you see the Microsoft Windows desktop; then, shut down your computer and try again.
- When the boot device list appears, highlight the option CD/DVD/CD-RW and press <Enter>
- Boot from CD-ROM from the menu that appears and press <Enter>
- This message appears ‘Press any key to boot from the CD’
- Promptly hit <Enter>

NOTE: If you wait too long and Dell Diagnostic screen does not appear, then, shut down your computer and repeat all steps.
When the boot device list appears, highlight 'Boot to Utility Partition' and press <Enter>
When the Dell Diagnostics main menu appears, select the test you want to run
- Select Extended Test (Refer to image below)

- For any problem encountered during a test, a message appears with an error code and a description of the problem
- Write down the error code and problem description exactly as it appears

2. Restore BIOS defaults: I understand that you do not see the 'Dell Logo' when system starts up. Let us see if we can get to the system BIOS and restore it to factory defaults. Follow the steps below:
- Restart the computer and repeatedly tap key <F2> (Following image appears). Note: It is possible that you may not this screen on the monitor. Even if the screen is not visible, continue to follow the below mentioned steps. That will help us to restore BIOS to factory defaults.
   
- Tap <F9> and save the settings (Mouse does not work on this screen. Please use the 'left' and 'right' arrow keys on the keyboard to navigate to the correct option.
- Tap <F10>
- Restart the computer

3. Run 'Microsoft Fixit' that fixes display related issues
It is possible that the issue may not be related to the hardware components or graphic card settings. You may try the following link to run the MS Fixit and check if that works: http://bit.ly/PQgiEY

4. Monitor's Status: Could you provide me with more information on the status of monitor. This may help in finding a resolution.
- Monitor's name and model
- Status of light on the power button of the monitor when it goes into standby mode (Either of the two monitors)
- Any other light indicator on the monitor (if present)

5. Computer's Status
- Status of light on the power button of the tower when monitor is in standby mode (Solid white, Flashing white or No light)?
- Any beep sounds heard?
- Does the computer produce any 'Error Codes' at start up or randomly when in use?

6. After the monitor comes back from the standby mode, does it show a fresh 'Desktop Screen' or previously open contents are restored?

Do reply with the findings. I would be glad to assist.

Thanks & Regards,
Saurabh A
#iworkfordell
To know more about Dell’s products, services and drivers & downloads, click Here. For helpful Dell Support Videos, you may click Here

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daftwader
1 Copper

Re: XPS 730x Power problems

Hi,

Here's the results of the tests I have managed to run so far.

1)a) PSA reports no errors

b) Havent been able to run the dell diags yet ;-( I will get this done when I have a chance

But of course the problem could be on visible to the diags when the problem actually occurs, which sort of puts me in a catch 22 type situation.

2) Done - No change - I actually did this this morning. Great minds think alike ;-)

3) Done - No change

4) I have access to 2 monitors  -

Dell 3008WFP - This is the original monitor that I got with the machine.  Power light is blue when all is OK and I can see stuff on the screen. It goes orange when it goes to standby.

Dell 24 inch monitor that I got with a XPS420 (service tag 5GSGY3J) Power light is green when all is OK and I can see stuff on the screen. It goes orange when it goes to standby.

Both screens run the self test when the cable is not connected to the GPU.

As I mentioned in my first post, I have swapped the the monitors when the one screen goes on standby to see if its the monitor - but the second monitor also goes into standby.  I am not using the same DVI Cable for both monitors. I have 2 DVI cables and I unplug one from the GPU then plug the other in.

5) When the monitor goes to standby the power button on the tower stays solid white - See answer 6 as well. There are no error beeps. I have had no BSDs or device failures.  Fans stay constant, HDD light occasionally flashes, network activity LED flashes..... everything is normal apart from not being able to see anything.

6) When the monitor comes back, the desktop is how it was when it went into standby.  I was using Ventrilo voice comms today with a friend, and when the screen went into standby I could still talk to and hear my friend.  He was watching my character in the online game I was playing and when I pressed keys on my keyboard my character performed appropriate actions in the game.

So as a brief summary.

My screen going into standby is the problem but.....

It happens with 2 dell monitors - both of which work fine on my Alienware and XPS420

It happens with 3 difference graphics cards - nvidia GTX480, nvidia GTX 295, ATI Radeon 5970 - All of which work fine on my Alienware.

I have replaced the PSU with the PSU from my Alienware.

When it does happen all other computer functions (as far as I can tell) are unaffected.

It really does make no sense......

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daftwader
1 Copper

Re: XPS 730x Power problems

Just found the model of the 24" monitor.... its a dell 2408WFP

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Re: XPS 730x Power problems

Hi daftwader,

Thank you for responding. The troubleshooting you performed is very exhaustive and brings about a lot of clarity to the situation. However, I would still like to see the the results of 'Dell Diagnostics'. System's motherboard is one possible component that may be causing this issue.I also recommend you to try an HDMI cable to connect the GPU to the monitor and re-check the result. I also support your idea of trying a low-end GPU to see if that makes any difference. I would also like to know if you have tried re-installing the operating system to check the results.

Do reply with the findings. I would be glad to assist.

Thanks & Regards,
Saurabh A
#iworkfordell
To know more about Dell’s products, services and drivers & downloads, click Here. For helpful Dell Support Videos, you may click Here

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Re: XPS 730x Power problems

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