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XPS 8900 BSOD's out of box. Exchanged XPS 8900 does the same thing.

RESOLVED! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Main fix: Disable this driver: bcmwl664.sys (Broadcom 802.11 Network Adapter wireless driver, Broadcom Corporation)

This can be done by finding and disabling the wi fi card in the Device Manager - find the WIRELESS driver - not the regular network driver, under Network Adapters, right click, and select "Disable".

If you've already begun to reinstall Windows out of frustration, or in a last ditch effort to save yourself the trouble of another return (like I did), make sure to NOT install the Broadcom Wireless driver from Dell's site. Otherwise, you'll be back where you started.

User dbark has also found another issue, slightly OT but it might help some of you - on his 8900 file explorer won't open when left-clicking from the task bar. Screen flashes, icons reload and wallpaper changes (slideshow mode is on). Right-clicking and selecting a folder works. Right-clicking on a file or desktop icon crashes.

He read that a shell extension was the likely culprit and using ShellExView he was able to ID NVIDIA's "OpenGLShExt Class" (file nv3dappshext.dll) to be the cause by process of elimination. We're still working through the fix there, details on page 7.

Original post below. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Posting my story here so that I'm using all available channels. Also, the three reps I'd been working with over email have gone dark since I mentioned the word "refund". So I thought maybe I could find some help here. I'm spending my last shreds of hope here, before all becomes darkness.

I ordered an XPS 8900 system on 10/15, and received it on 10/27. Within a couple hours of powering on the system, I got a BSOD that said "UNCORRECTABLE HARDWARE ERROR". I'm somewhat computer saavy but I had never seen this BSOD before. After using my other older computer (also a Dell - still works great) to research the issue, I determined that I did not have the skills to diagnose or fix whatever this might be (most resources said power supply issues, bad RAM). I did see that a RAM clamp was not fastened tightly, so I clamped it in. But no dice.

I called Dell and started the age old customer service tradition of, did I try restarting, yes I did. Yes, I tried restarting. Overall my experience was OK. Mostly I feel like there's one guy in any group of phone reps who actually knows stuff about these machines, and everyone asks him what to do. That's my theory, because after each answer I gave, I was placed on hold for several minutes. In the end, the decision was made to try a new motherboard. The conversation moved to email and a Dell authorized tech was scheduled to come out and install the board. 

On 11/2 the new board was installed, but the computer would not boot at all now. Before, it went to Windows but BSOD'd after anywhere from 30 min to 2 hrs. Never more than 2 hrs. The Dell tech spoke with customer care from my home and more parts were ordered - a cable and hard drive. A 2nd visit was scheduled for 11/5, after which the computer was still not functional. That same day I heard from a sales rep who asked if I wanted an exchange, to which I replied, yes, I would like an exchange.

The new computer arrived 11/17 and I sent back the broken one. I ran through Windows first time set up. As I prepared dinner, I started installing my programs and getting other stuff set up. Holding a pan of simmering taco meat (I use ground turkey, try it - it's great), something caught my eye in the periphery. I set down the pan and saw that the screen had changed to the BSOD. It said: UNCORRECTABLE HARDWARE ERROR. Yes, the new computer gave me exactly the same error.

Quick aside -  last night, 11/18 I received an email from the original rep asking if I ever got that hard drive and cable.

So here's the sequence of events that took place:

1. Original BSOD - UNRECOVERABLE HARDWARE ERROR on 10/27
2. First visit from Dell technician to install new motherboard (did not resolve issue) - 11/2
3. Second visit by Dell tech to install cable and new hard drive (did not resolve issue) - 11/5
4. Same day, heard from Sales rep regarding exchange 11/5. I replied I wanted to go ahead and exchange
5. Sales rep initiates exchange and new computer goes into production - 11/6
6. Receive new computer and pack up/send back nonfunctional one - 11/17
7. New computer is unpacked - 11/17 6:00pm
8. New computer gives same BSOD UNCORRECTABLE HARDWARE ERROR, 11/17 6:27pm while software is installing

And here are the steps to repro the BSOD on my system. Remember - this is right out of the shipping box.

1. Hook up my monitors, keyboard/mouse, network cable and the power cable provided
2. Windows 7 Pro first time setup
3. Install Google Chrome
4. Log into Autodesk account, download Maya installer
5. Begin Maya installation - never finished, BSOD

I have written back to the sales rep and the original rep requesting that we start the refund procedure. Normally the original rep would get back to me pretty quick, but not this time. And I asked the sales rep about a refund about two days ago now with no response. What are my other options at this point? My situation is this: I have spent a lot of money on something which does not work. What can I do about this?

Replies (96)
864

OK, Windows 10 makes it hard for me to help or debug side by side with your system, since I'm dealing with Win7. But I can tell you what I'm trying today before calling it quits on my system. I successfully installed all of Maya but got the same BSOD again when it finished. 

What I've done is downloaded a program called BlueScreenView. Viewing the mindump files, this points to a crash caused by hal.dll at crash address ntoskrnl.exe. Based on a few google searches, I have seen that this can be caused by faulty/conflicting display drivers. Most of my search results connected to Steam or other gamer forums where people experienced the same BSOD as me.

One of the suggested options was to download a tiny program called Display Driver Uninstaller. This will reboot your system into safe mode and give you the opportunity to clear the current drivers before installing new ones. I downloaded the latest NVIDIA drivers for the gtx 960, rebooted the machine in safe mode, cleared the intel video and factory installed NVIDIA drivers. Then I installed the new 960 drivers. I switched the HDMI plug from the onboard video card to the GTX's HDMI port. So far so good.

Next I typed "Windows Update" into the start menu field and I've begun the download and install procedure for all of those, there are about 96 updates for win 7 pro 64 bit. I'll post back later when I have been able to soak the system for about 5 hours with a Maya scene open. If I can do that I may be in business here. I'll sit with it over the weekend and cancel the refund if I can work uninterrupted. Otherwise I'll be heading to FedEx on Monday.

864

Unfortunately I can't complete windows update due to two BSOD's so far. Same crash addresses as before - hal.dll and ntrtoskrnl.exe - Stop 0x00000124

Same BSOD as the system I already sent back too.

864

Keeping this thread up to date, here's what I've done so far. I installed all the Windows Updates there were. Installed Maya and my preferred AV software (Webroot). Installing UE4 now. As each successive BSOD occurrs, I try another of these solutions. They're all from google research.

I haven't changed my strategy that much since I get the same error code each time. Actually there are two, using Event Viewer, one is Event 41, Category 63 (unexpected crash caused by driver: hal.dll" & "caused by address: hal.dll+12a3b". All of the crash addresses are listed as ntoskrnl.exe+735c0). The other is "Event ID 56 Invalid ID for child device (5)". I don't seem to have a critical failure after that one, but I'd like to know what it is.

In any case, here's the list of researched solutions which did not work (so far):

- Under Power Plan, change Processor Power Management to 65% (55% was tried first, didn't work)

- Uninstall Norton McAfee using MCPR

- Also under power plan, change "Link State Power Management" to OFF under PCIexpress rollout

- BIOS - set GPU to choose NVIDIA as default; uninstall Intel drivers and clean install latest NVIDIA

- Windows Update (pulled 94 updates)

- Under services, Set Windows Driver Foundation to "Automatic" (was "Manual")

- In BIOS, disable USB 3 ports

- Also in BIOS, disable default Audio

- Under services, delete Realtek Audio so NVIDIA has full control (suggested to resolve potential conflict)

- Device Manager, Under Dell Wireless card 1560 802.11 - uncheck "Allow computer to turn off device"

And lastly, what I'm currently testing:

- Disable Hibernate S3/S4 states in BIOS.

I haven't had a BSOD in about 20 minutes, but that means nothing. They happen anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour of operation.

I downloaded Speccy and it shows normal temperatures for the CPU (25-40). I also have tried plugging into the wall directly vs power strip, each time I still got a BSOD (that was the first thing I tried).

I'll keep this thread updated should anything fix this.

864

*Sorry to be clear, I didn't delete realtek audio in Device Manager, I disabled it.

864

And that has also crashed to a BSOD, same exact issue. Stop 0x00000124, hal.dll and ntoskrnl, same addresses. While trying to type in the details from bluescreenview, got the same one again.

I am running out of ideas. Cathaleen - are you a Dell tech? Have you heard of lots of people having this issue? I mean regardless of whether or not I can fix this, your average consumer shouldn't have to deal with this normally, (or couldn't) am I right? Something is clearly wrong.

And yet another BSOD while typing this. Man, I guess I really do have to go to FedEx.

Community Manager
864

Since you are getting a refund, you could do this before sending it in. I would simplify. The XPS 8900 should be tested without the GTX 960 installed in the motherboard slot. Use the onboard Intel graphics and only one monitor. The GTX 960 is not on the Maya certified graphics hardware list. Also, I am not clear how long you actually used the system before installing Maya? All the windows updates MUST be completed before installing any 3rd party software. Some of the updates cannot be installed until you reboot. This may take 4 or 5 reboots to complete. So keep checking Windows Updates until it says there are no more to install. Then install Maya.

If still under warranty, click the "Get help now" icon on the right to start a live chat session.
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864

Lots of bsod errors with Maya usually related to bad video drivers.

Glad you tried it after applying all windows updates as I suggested but it is unclear if you also updated Dell hardware drivers using the preinstalled Dell driver update tool or updating manually.  Personally I don't use the Dell driver update utility as I view it as spyware as well as unwelcome to have it update a system without notice, but it can simply the process of updating drivers and the preinstalled Dell driver update tool can be uninstalled later.  The alternative is to update manually, looking up the driver for your video card on support.dell.com, downloading it and installing it.   Alternatively you could downoad a driver direct from ATI.  

ChrisM's suggestion to pull the add on video and only use the integrated video is worth a try, but it complicates how you connect your monitors as there is only one on board hdmi port and one on board DisplayPort.

Again, I would do this all with a single monitor until it proves to be stable, and again I suggest reaching out to Adobe's forum if for nothing more than helping folks there that use Maya not make the same mistake of getting an XPS 8900, at lease not one with the same video card as you.

Good luck

864

I appreciate the idea, but the computer was BSOD'ing before I installed Maya. Like, think about the last time you got a computer for your home or office. And you opened the box, plugged it in, turned it on. You began doing what you would typically do - you install the updates, install your software, copy your files. Except, you're getting a BSOD that says UNCORRECTABLE HARDWARE ERROR every fifteen-twenty minutes. That is what this has been like. This thing BSOD'd before Maya even installed. I couldn't finish the Windows Update because it BSOD'd.

In this paragraph UNCORRECTABLE HARDWARE ERROR I'll give you an idea of what it's like trying to debug. I have my other computer UNCORRECTABLE HARDWARE ERROR open to Google, browsing tom's hardware, browsing tech support forums for Windows UNCORRECTABLE HARDWARE ERROR, and also Dell's support site of course UNCORRECTABLE HARDWARE ERROR, I've also been trying to figure out if this is a widespread issue UNCORRECTABLE HARDWARE ERROR or if I got two bad systems in a row somehow. If a computer UNCORRECTABLE HARDWARE ERROR BSOD's out of the box, there's something wrong. Maya runs fine UNCORRECTABLE HARDWARE ERROR before the BSOD appears. And in the past, I've definitely run Maya with cards not on the "approved" list. Autodesk products are traditionally very friendly UNCORRECTABLE HARDWARE ERROR to NVIDIA cards. When I did run cards that were out of spec UNCORRECTABLE HARDWARE ERROR, I might get a BSOD that mentioned nvdisp.dll, or some IRQ_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL driver error.

"You installed Maya before/after installing that other thing" Is not what I'm looking for here. We both know that's not what this is. I'm looking for a deep dive into Power Plan settings, disabling certain CPU cores in the BIOS, or an anecdote about how disabling the Card Reader on some systems fixed this issue. I want to know what is causing this. It's a vendetta now. A mission.

I'm willing to try unplugging the video card, but look - What happens after that? Let's say it works if I plug into onboard video. Which, by the way, it didn't when the 960 was plugged in - I started this off by plugging in to onboard video per Cathaleen's suggestion. Does that mean I got a bum GTX 960? And if that's the case, did I get 2 bum 960's in a row? Or, should these systems not be built with a 960 option?

Basically, I feel like I have configured a system that probably shouldn't be allowed and is inherently broken. I am starting to think that either the power supply or maybe the cooling are insufficient for the hardware in the computer. It's clear that these systems are not soak tested prior to shipping, this would've been caught in such a test and I would have gladly reconfigured had I been sent an email or something saying "Houston we have a problem". 

864

Oh and to elaborate on the config, here are my specs:

6th gen Intel Core i7-6700k Processor (8M cache, up to 4.2 GHz)

32 GB RAM - Dual Channel DDR4 2133MHz (8 GB x4)

2 TB 7200 rpm Hard Drive + 256 GB M.2 Solid State Drive

Blu ray combo drive

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 2GB DDR5

Came pre-installed with Windows 7, with a Windows 10 disk for upgrade.

864

I have unplugged the video card and I'm letting it soak just idling on the desktop.

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