XPS 16 Sound problem. Frustrating experience with Dell tech support. WOW

  I have a problem with my new XPS 16 laptop's sound. Sometimes when I turn on my laptop it would lose all sound and any applications needing sound will crash, including any games, windows media player, and even windows volume mixer. And then error message sometimes occur saying "server execution failed". It does not happen every time i turn on my computer, but I've just got this XPS 16 for 5 days and it has already happened 4 times.

 But, here's what I had experienced with Dell tech support today when I had this sound problem again: 

The tech rep first could not resolve my sound problem, and then simply restarted the computer for me. Of course the sound returned as I heard it at Windows start up, but I've already told him that this problem doesn't come up every time I turn on the computer. It does however happen often enough to be a problem for a BRAND-NEW laptop worth $1500. So he went to sound property and simply turned my speaker volume to max and turned off sound enhancements and changed the sound frequency/quality to highest and told me HE "FIXED" the problem through adjusting sound properties and asked me to confirm that HE "fixed" the problem. Well HE did NOT fix the problem because I had heard the Windows Welcome sound on restart before he did any adjustments in sound properties. And the problem is still there and waiting to happen again at inconvenient times. He said he asked me before the restart whether i checked sound properties (which he did not ask) and insisted it was sound properties misadjustment on my part. This is stupid because when I had the problem earlier, even opening sound properties will crash. And this laptop is not supposed to just work with ONE particular sound quality setting. He kept asking me for his "fix" confirmation and diverge the problem to heating issues and told me to not play demanding games on this laptop because it's only designed to be a "multimedia" laptop?!! WOW I find that suggestion very ridiculous and it has nothing to do with the problem I'm having. It was obvious he's just trying to get a "yes" answer out of me and hang up to get his commision. I would understand if he could not resolve the problem but just told me so honestly and make a note to their engineering dept to come up with a fix. But NO, he had to pretend HE "fixed" the problem for me.  It was a very frustrating experience and I feel my intelligence was insulted. I now feel inclined to return this laptop and NEVER buy a Dell product again. I'm taking a 2 week vacation without my laptop, and when i come back, I will look into this issue further. If I run into this problem again and there is still not fix, I will return this laptop and go for HP Envy or Macbook Pro. Anybody know what steps I need to take to return this newly purchased laptop (Ordered Jan 23rd) and get my refund? And if anyone knows the solution to my sound problem PLZ HELP!   

Thank you in advance.

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3 Replies
Jim Coates
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Re: XPS 16 Sound problem. Frustrating experience with Dell tech support. WOW


There is only a 21 day return policy so if you are going to return it don't dawdle.


What I would do is to run Factory Image Restore (page 40 of the manual if you have a Studio XPS 1640). This will return the computer to the exact configuration as when it was shipped to you. If the problems then return before you make any changes to the configuration then it is absolutely not caused by you. Then if you do return it you should be able to do so because it is defective and not be charged a restocking fee.

Jim Coates -- 15 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

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1 Copper

Re: XPS 16 Sound problem. Frustrating experience with Dell tech support. WOW

i have a studio 1555 and i have the same problem, the problem most of the time occurs after coming out standby. sometimes it happens 5x on a day - sometines 1x a week. i have this problem from day 1, first with Vista / then with Windows 7. i contacted Dell support several times. and last week they have replaced the motherboard, but i'm sorry to say, the problem is still there......

other things i tried :
reinstalling audio drivers x10 - didn't fix the problem
upgrading Vista - Windows 7 - didn't fix the problem
reinstalling Windows 7 - didn't fix the problem

will contact dell support again on Monday, will keep you informed. please contact me asap if you know how to fix this issue


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1 Copper

Re: XPS 16 Sound problem. Frustrating experience with Dell tech support. WOW

I have a studio 1555 that I just purchased less than a month ago. SAME EXACT PROBLEM. It's refreshing to know that other people are frustrated with this issue, but not very comforting that DELL has no solution to the problem when its obvious their problem. I contacted DELL support and I was thinking it was an issue with how I went about updating the drivers. So, there suggestion was to swipe the computer back to default factory settings. I didn't want to lose everything on the computer, so I opted not to do that. Their other suggestion was that I pay them to fix the problem. Which I find laughable since I just bought the computer.

Anyway, It won't even let me roll back the audio drivers because when I tried to it was during one of those times where the sound issue was in play, so the driver utility crashed, just like everything else. Now its saying I have no audio output device.

I'll keep checking back to see if a solution presents itself, or if I'm miraculously find an answer. Did any of you experience this problem AFTER updating any of the drivers/utilities? That's when mine happened...but again, I've only owned the computer for less than 30 days so it could have been this way right out of the box.

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