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Multiple Studio XPS 16 Laptops w/ Radeon HD 4670, crash on full screen flash videos and more

I bought a Studio XPS 16 Laptop wit a Core i7 and a Radeon HD 4670.  After discovering this problem with it, I talked to the "returns" department and was sent a new one.  I currently have 2 identical laptops that both experience the same issue!

Here's the issue:  There seem to be many crashes after waking up from sleep, but one crash which is reproducible 90% of the time is watching an online streaming comedy central video full screen.  Here are 2 videos that have worked well for me:



When watching these videos on full screen, 90% of the time, one of the following will happen:

1.  Things will get extremely slow and choppy until I reboot.  Nothing will crash.

2.  The screen will turn black, then SLOWLY windows will come back and say that the ATI Family driver has failed, but windows has recovered.  Only for the screen to go black again and repeat.

3.  There will be a blue-screen that mentions ATIKMDAG.SYS

I know it seems silly to watch these videos on fullscreen, but they've worked well for me to reproducing the problem.  I'd love for someone else to try that either has an XPS 16 or a Radeon HD 4670.

I currently have 2 identical laptops both experiencing the exact same symptoms.  Here are the following things I've tried:

1.  Upgrade the BIOS

2.  Use the video card driver from ati.com : 8.650.0.0 (8/13/2009)

3.  Use the video card driver from windows update:  8.632.1.2000 (8/17/2009)

4.  Run the Dell diagnostics tests by booting up holding the function key.  Everything passes.

5.  Reinstall the OS using the dell recovery partition.

6.  Reinstall the OS using a Windows CD.

From a fresh OS install, I can reproduce the problem simply installing flash, and watching those videos.  Nothing else is installed, period.

Again, this must be a bigger problem than just me, because I currently have in my possession 2 brand new laptops from Dell experiencing this issue.  I'll need to return one of them soon, but for now, I can troubleshoot this issue using 2 laptops.  Maybe all Studio XPS 16's have this problem.  Maybe all Radeon HD 4670's have this problem.  Maybe there's a bug in ATI's driver.  Maybe there's an overheating issue.  I currently have no idea.  Tech support is no help.  I'm about to return both laptops.  Any suggestions are welcome.



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2 Replies

Re: Multiple Studio XPS 16 Laptops w/ Radeon HD 4670, crash on full screen flash videos and more

There is a post on the Laptops - General board where Seraph has posted some information on how to resolve the lockup problems with those systems.  People have had good results  using some of the newer beta drivers from ATI.

There are step by step instructions in that thread to help out.   Hope it works for you.



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1 Copper

Re: Multiple Studio XPS 16 Laptops w/ Radeon HD 4670, crash on full screen flash videos and more

Thanks for the reply.  I saw the post you mentioned just after I made my post.  It definitely appears to be fixing the same problem, even though it doesn't mention my laptop at all.  It only mentions the studio 17.

I downloaded the weird 10.1 ATI drivers from filedropper and installed them.  I would think correct drivers would be enough to prevent my machine from crashing, but no, I had to also get the beta version of flash just like it said.  That's strange.  The beta version of flash seems a little buggy, but I haven't been able to reproduce a crash!  So this seems to have fixed the problem.

I seriously don't even understand how Dell can even be selling these laptops.  How is it possible that Dell is selling laptops that can't play flash videos reliably?  It seems that if anyone buys a studio XPS 16, (and apparently other dell laptops), then immediately watches a comedy-central video on fullscreen, it probably won't make it to the end.  And ATI doesn't even offer drivers to allow it to work?  How is Dell still selling these laptops?

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