I am also having this problem and I am really disappointed and frustrated with Dell.
I've spoken to their support and they say it's a software problem (??!) and they are asking me to pay for a fee to investigate the software issue.
Even though Dell says "it's not hardware" (because the boot time diagnostic passes), I am convinced *it is* a hardware issue. I say this because:
- the problem happens even after resetting the software to its original factory state;
- the problem happens if you use, for example, a Linux bootable CD (which is a completely different operating system);
- the computer only freezes if there is a power cable connected. If it's running on batteries, without the power cable, it doesn't freeze.
To say that it's not a hardware problem based solely on the "hardware diagnostic" boot test is something very superficial for Dell to say. It's perfectly possible to have hardware problems that don't manifest in that diagnostic routine!
Bottom line is... they are not wanting to replace my system or give me a refund!
Now I've just spent £550 and have a computer that freezes all the time 😞
I had the same problem with aVostro 1700.
Fixed the problem as follows
Start/Control-Panel/Nvidia-Control-Panel/Mobile/Change-PowerMizer : Tick DONT manage my power consumption.
My freezing magically disappeared. Spent days online with Dell, they couldnt hep.
I found the answer somewhere on the web
I have encountered the same freezing problem that the others have described in this post, and I think I have determined the cause of the problem (scroll to the bottom of my post for a quick answer).
I ordered a set of 4 Vostro 1520 laptops, all of them with the same specs (most important of which is the 6-cell battery and the 65W adapter).
All four of them, without fail, froze with the power cord plugged in and the battery charging, usually within 15 minutes. The laptop was completely unresponsive (even to Ctrl+Alt+Del), and the only way to recover was to hold down the power button for 5 seconds. However, when they were on batteries, they were fine.
Failed attempt 1: Installing a new operating system (I tried Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7) did not solve the problem. In fact, with the AC adapter plugged in, the system froze mid-installation.
Failed attempt 2: Updating the BIOS from A02 to A03 did not solve the problem.
Failed attempt 3: Running the full Dell PSA Diagnostic did not detect any problems.
Failed attempt 4: Using a known "good AC adapter" from an older Vostro 1500 laptop did not solve the problem.
Future attempt 5: Other reports of the same problem reported using either a 6-cell or a 9-cell battery with the 65W adapter. Thus, I wonder whether the problem can be resolved by using a 3-cell battery with the 90W AC adapter.
Around the same time, I noticed that I would only have this problem when the AC Adapter is plugged into some wall outlets, but not others. Thus, what I determined is that the problem is due to a flaky wall outlet, combined with the laptop which is of poor quality, and is not robust at all (I did not have these problems with any of the other laptops that I own)
SOLUTION: Thus, one solution would be to fix the problem behind the flaky wall outlet, or to get a good power conditioner, which should solve this problem. The other, of course, would be to return or sell your laptop, and get a laptop that is of higher quality (if you want to stick with Dell, the Latitudes might be a better option).
As for me, I am going to go with the power conditioner option, due to time constraints. When I ordered these laptops, I was thrilled that I was getting such a great deal. Had I known what was going to happen, I would have gladly paid extra for laptops of higher quality.
I had exactly the same problem and after hearing that it might be a motherboard problem, I found an EBAY auction by laptoprestoration. They claimed they could repair the motherboard by replacing faulty chips. So, I paid the $175 and, as it turns out, the I/O chip (input/output) chip was faulty and after replacing it, my laptop works fine. I highly recommend their service and it sure beats paying over $400 for a complete motherboard replacement.
I had the same issue here.
I did the following based on readings from other posts and my own knowledge.
1. Turned off Vista Home Basic power management.
2. Disabled SpeedStep in the BIOS. This laptop has a Celeron Processor with a gig of ram.
3. Updated the BIOS from A04 to A06