Hi, so I've seen this problem reported in a number of places and the responses all seem to be different.
What's happening is my 2-year old 8910 (and out of warranty by a year) will start up, boot into the initial Dell logo, go black, then back to the Dell logo where it starts to show the loading animation which promptly freezes and will remain like that for hours.
It started one day when I got home from work and went to hop on my machine and the monitor woke to the Windows 10 lock screen. I tried to enter my pin and access Windows from there, but it was frozen. Naturally my first response is to reboot the machine. As soon as I did, the result above was my experience and has been my experience for weeks.
I have been able to enter the BIOS and Dell Diagnostics, and everything returns perfect checks—everything functioning well, and I've run it probably 10-15 times.
I've tried booting into Windows recovery, and the automatic repair has tried to start but it results in the same experience as above.
I've run through a number of different suggested BIOS settings to no avail.
I've reset the BIOS and tried different memory configurations also to no avail.
I've tried to load Window to a USB and run it from there, I've also tried to run Linux from a live USB.
I even bought a new hard drive to run a fresh Windows install.
The result is the same every time.
This is the screen it freezes at:
Any help or knowledge would be greatly appreciated. I've only owned the machine for 2 years so I'd rather not be sitting on a brick.
1. I have been able to enter the BIOS and Dell Diagnostics, and everything returns perfect checks—everything functioning well, and I've run it probably 10-15 times.
2. I've tried booting into Windows recovery, and the automatic repair has tried to start but it results in the same experience as above.
1. Well, that's good. So maybe your power-supply, motherboard, and video card are good.
My guess is your HDD crashed.
Try Windows Safe-Mode. If you can get in, the first thing you should probably do is backup your data-files to a flash-drive (I'm guessing you have no backup).
2. Yeah, something to try, but it rarely works.
Hey, thanks for the fast response.
I've tried to get into Windows Safe Mode through the standard channels, but I haven't found a solution that works.
Can you make any suggestions?
I've tried swapping out the main HDD with a brand new WD Blue and booting from a USB to install on that, and the PC still hangs at the same screen.
I'll add that I would like to keep what's on the drive, but there's nothing crucial that I cannot afford to lose. It's mainly a gaming and my Windows dev machine. Didn't store anything critical locally for long.
1. I've tried swapping out the main HDD ... and booting from a USB to install on that, and the PC still hangs at the same screen.
2. with a brand new WD Blue
1a. Are you sure it passes long ePSA ?
1b. Install a new/perfect high-quality SATA-3/600 rated cable.
1c. Are you doing it like this?
2. Why a spinner and not a (small) 128gb-256gb SSD for testing? Seems punishing for no reason.
Recently, I have seen some old spinners die running Windows-10 clean-installs and/or upgrades. I've also seen installs and upgrades that would not complete with a spinning HDD, but work fine with a SSD installed. Later, that HDD checks fine (good SMART) ... end-up using it for data or other use.
Your hard drive is corrupted and may be physically bad.
If you disconnect the sata drive data cable it will get to hard drive error.
Windows is crashing.
Time for a clean install OFFLINE with no windows account but rather a local account.
You can always add an online microsoft account later.
100% Sure it passes the test. I've swapped parts, removed the drives, put them back, moved the memory slots, tried with new drives, old drives, etc. It passes every time. Long test and short.
I did follow those very same steps multiple times with different drives.
Frankly, I just don't need SSD performance there. I need the storage space on this machine. There's no technical reason a WD Blue would not be able to have Windows installed, so I'm not sure what you're driving at.
--> But I will definitely have a look at the cables and try swapping them. I haven't tried that yet.
1. 100% Sure it passes the test.
2. I've swapped parts, moved the memory slots, It passes every time. Long test and short.
3. I did follow those very same steps multiple times with different drives.
4. Frankly, I just don't need SSD performance there. I need the storage space on this machine.
5. I'm not sure what you're driving at.
6. But I will definitely have a look at the cables and try swapping them. I haven't tried that yet.
2. If ePSA passes, about 90% chance all hardware is good (including the memory).
Passmark's MemTest86.com is also good. Memory that completes 2 full passes of that with zero-errors ... almost impossible for it to still be bad.
4. Never heard of a developer who didn't want faster and more responsive Windows (and main programs). That is a tower-desktop, so what other storage drives you install is irrelevant.
5. I can't explain it any clearer.
Does the XPS-8910 have on-motherboard video? Is that what you are using already?
You said you tried resetting the BIOS, have you tried removing the CMOS battery and/or clearing the BIOS with the CMOS reset jumper (CMCLR) on the system board?
A developer who allots money where it's needed, given the job it needs to do 😉
It does have on-board video, but I'm using an MSI GTX 1060 that is working just fine as well.