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tacocat
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XPS15 laptop randomly hibernates

I have a 4 or 5 year old XPS15 laptop that I purchased new running Windows 7.  Computer has ran great until a couple of weeks ago.  It has now started to randomly go into hibernation.  This will happen anytime and I can't find a pattern.  When the computer does come back on, I don't lose anything even if I was in the middle of typing an email.  All hibernation setting in Control Panel are set to "never".  Below are things that I have seen and tried.

-50% of the time the computer will hibernate then un-hibernate itself within a few seconds

-10% of the time the computer will hibernate and will come back on when pressing the power button as you would normally

-40% of the time the computer will hibernate and not come back on for 2-3 minutes.  I will close the cover and unplug it and that seems to wake it up, but not really sure if it is coincidence.

-I use the laptop screen and a separate monitor.  Sometimes when it comes back on the laptop screen is black but my other monitor works.  Sometimes I have the opposite happen.  Eventually, both screens will work after a random hibernation

-This random hibernation also occurs when I am in the BIOS screen using the F2 key at boot up

-I have updated all my drivers and BIOS to the latest versions with no effect

-The random hibernation has no pattern that I can find.  Does it no matter what software is running.

Please help!

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Moderator
Moderator

RE: XPS15 laptop randomly hibernates

Hi TACOCAT,

What is the exact system model?

If the system was working fine earlier, then perform a system restore to restore the machine to an earlier point where it was working fine - http://dell.to/1Sg6khF 

When you mean hibernate, do you get the message stating - the system is logging off and does the procedure occur like it is shutting down? Or does the system still stay on, however the display goes blank intermittently? 

These are 2 different scenarios and need to be isolated accordingly.

If the system does hibernate - then disable the hibernation and delete the hiberfil.sys file - http://bit.ly/1jQEo5V - restart and check again. This should resolve the issue.

Restart and check in safe mode.

Enable the built in admin account and check - http://bit.ly/1Bgok2R 

If the screen goes blank intermittently, however, the system is still on, then there is a different set of instructions you could follow to help resolve the issue.

Based on your response, I shall advise further course of action.

Also, please click my DELL-username and write me a private conversation with the service tag and your Name for case records.

Let us know if you have any other queries.

Thanks and Regards,
DELL-Rishi
Social Media and Communities Professional
#IWork4Dell
Dell Support Videos 
Drivers and Downloads

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tacocat
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RE: XPS15 laptop randomly hibernates

Hello Rishi,

I sent you a private message with my service tag and computer specs.

I am not certain if what is happening is defined as sleep or hibernation.  But when this happens, there are no messages about logging off.  Both of my screens go black, the fan turns off, and the hard drive turns off.  The system is still on because when it does come back up all my programs are open just the way they were before and you can hear the hard drive start back up.

I followed the instructions in your first link and deleted the hiberfil.sys file.  I re-booted but this did not help.  I am still having the same problem.

I could not enable the built in admin account per your link because it said this was not allowed in Windows 7 Home Premium.

What is strange now is that almost every time the laptop comes back up, it swaps my home screen to the laptop and the next time it is on the separate monitor.  When this happens, the other monitor is black.  But, once in a while both screens will work as normal.

Thanks for helping me.

Brad

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tacocat
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RE: XPS15 laptop randomly hibernates

Today, I disabled everything that would put the computer into sleep or hibernate, including closing the screen and pressing the power button.  The computer now has quit going to sleep/hibernation, but now my laptop continuously switches between the laptop screen and the separate monitor.  When this happens, both screens go completely black for a few seconds, then one of the screens come on and the other goes black.  I know that the computer is still awake because I can keep typing while both screens are black and what I have typed shows up once one of the screens comes back on.

I shut down and unplugged my 2nd monitor.   Doing this caused the laptop screen to go black randomly and then it would randomly come back on.

I started windows in safe mode and I do not have the problem.

What could be causing this?  All drivers are up to date.

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Moderator
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RE: XPS15 laptop randomly hibernates

Hi Brad,

Thank you for the update.

Firstly, have you tried the system restore option as advised in my previous post?

Well, I don't suppose this is an issue with Hibernation, since you have deleted the hiberfil file. 

Until we have isolated the source of the issue, kindly discontinue using the external monitor while troubleshooting.

If possible, update the BIOS - http://dell.to/22k5hkZ - restart the system and check.

Since the issue is not seen in safe mode, then the issue is driver related.

Check in reliability history chart for any driver issues reported - http://bit.ly/1NBWyD4

At this point, I would suspect the video driver that might be causing the intermittent display issue as both the internal and external monitors go blank at times.

Uninstall the video drivers from device manager - restart the system and check.

Download and install the Intel video drivers here - http://intel.ly/1P8sLBO and the nvidia video drivers here - http://bit.ly/2eFO69T

Keep us updated.

Thanks and Regards,
DELL-Rishi
Social Media and Communities Professional
#IWork4Dell
Dell Support Videos 
Drivers and Downloads

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tacocat
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RE: XPS15 laptop randomly hibernates

I had already updated my Bios and the video drivers were all up to date.  There were no driver issues reported in the reliability history chart.

Before your last reply, I had given up and taken my laptop to a local repair shop.  They opened up the laptop and found that there was no thermal paste under any of the heatsinks.  They added thermal paste to all of these and set my fan to run continuously at a low level.  It has been 5 days so far and the problem is gone.  It seems to have been an overheating issue.  I am a little puzzled as to why my computer started running hotter, as nothing that I use it for has changed since I first purchased it.  I mainly use it for email and internet.  I never do any gaming.

Brad

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tacocat
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RE: XPS15 laptop randomly hibernates

It has been almost a year but my problem has returned.  I have the exact same symptoms as before.  I disassembled the laptop and re-applied thermal paste.  This did not help this time.  The laptop stills goes to sleep/hibernation at random times.

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