Thanks for the update. I am going to call Dell Support just to have my problem assigned a case number. I don't expect them to fix the problem based on your (and others) experience. But at least another person will have called them with the problem.
It seems that my machine only has the problem when I do a cold start or restart. Once it crashes and I manually shut it down and power it back up in "start windows normally" mode, everything is fine. So it really is starting to seem like a problem with Windows 7 for me. I left the machine on for several days and did not have the problem. Then I had to restart to finish an Adobe update and it froze again. I also disabled sleep mode and just turn off my monitors at night. Sleep mode always causes it to freeze.
Well, now you got me wondering if sleep mode has anything to do with it, since I changed the power management settings a while back - and don't recall any issues from before that. But then Dell sends me a new card, that is rubbish, illustrating all of the problems 100% of the time, on every boot (and it was supposed to fix things). I'm about ready to just buy a different card. Have no idea what or who or who or whatever is the problem. It's something to do with that card, windows 7 64-bit, some update, or something - but it's there. We, and other people, have the same issues.
I received replacement (refurbished) card from Dell, and just now stuck it in. Will see what happens, no issues booting up. Dell left the door open for possible card upgrade if the replacement card starts failing as well.
It's been almost 3 full days since I replaced my original card with replacement one sent from Dell and so far - so good.
I'll wait few more days before sending back old card; it is starting to look like it might have been hardware issue after all.
Thank you debgar and other guys for sharing these solution. I did the bios reflash to version 62.98.75.00.08 and hope this solve my problem.
I am using a Dell Precision WorkStation T5500 with Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1 (7601.win7sp1_gdr.120830-0333) with NVIDEA driver version 296.70 and my old BIOS was version 62.98.56.00.11. It starts flicking and hanging my computer every time more and more until hangs twice to three times a day.
Until now, the only change I noticed is the new BIOS version reduce the video memory clock from 702 MHz (1404 MHz data rate) to 695 MHz (1390 MHz data rate) .
Same exact problem as debgar and plavnostruev with a T3500 workstation, Quadro NVS 295 card, Win7 downgraded to XP, 2 Dell ultrasharp monitors. System had been working for over 2 years before exhibiting the same issues. Scintillating, pretty colors on a frozen screen requiring a forced shutdown and cold reboot. The problem, fortunately for me, only occurs on average once every couple of days, but a software buddy of mine is pretty adamant that its a failing vid card, not a software issue.
I appreciate other users sharing their experiences and the sequence of diagnostic events Dell walked them through. A replacement card costs about 90 bucks. I make my living at home on this system. Based on what other people have had to go through, I'm not willing to waste dozens of hours of my life and several weeks of elapsed time through Dell to fix this problem. I've had problems in the past when I reinstalled Windows and the drivers on the recovery disk that came with the system did not even match the drivers that were installed on the computer when they shipped it!
Plavnostruev posted a link to purchase an XFX Radeon HD 6770 HD677XZNFC card as an alternative to replacing the Nvidia NVS 295. Does anyone have any advice on how to go about determining what replacement cards are compatible with my system?
You didn't mentioned if you applied the BIOS upgrade solution as debgar and others suggested. From when I applied (7 Nov) to now I got no errors anymore so I consider upgrading the BIOS with the provided HP software fully solve my problem.
I finally gave up and purchased a new video card. I used my service tag number on the Dell website to see which cards would work and then got the NVIDIA Quadro 600 from Newegg. I am sure there are many more cards that would work that are not listed by Dell, so just check the Radeon website to see what the system requirements are for the card you may want to use. What I find interesting is that I purchased the T1500 because of the marketing hype that Dell and AutoDesk put together that said it was "certified" for AutoCad. But now when I look at the AutoDesk website, the NVS 295 is not listed as a certified card. In fact, one of the AutoDesk discussion group moderators stated that none of the NVS cards should be used for AutoCad, only the Quadro cards. My next computer will not be a Dell workstation.