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Last reply by 09-21-2022 Solved
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XPS 8950, 2x16GB Crucial ram, screen black outs

I've had my 8950 for a couple of weeks now (i7, 16GB, 3060ti, 750w) and it's been reliable.  I added an OEM air cooler a few days back - all good - all cool.

I upgraded from 2x8GB stock RAM to 2x16 Crucial RAM DIMMs.  I did the upgrade early this am.  As I work on my corporate laptop with the 8950 sitting mostly idle next to me, I noticed that every 3-5-10 minutes, the screen just goes black, about 10 seconds pass, and it comes back.

I just put the stock 16GB of RAM back in to see if it stops.  Will report back.

But, in the meantime, is there anything I should have done after installing the 32GB Crucial RAM?  I ran the diagnostic after the upgrade once it found a different amount of RAM - all good.  Nothing else new.  Is there a setting in BIOS or some sort of set up?

Please advise.  Thanks!

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Well, it's day 2 of investigation into this "issue" and as I suspected, I'd say it's simply a machine that was going to sleep and was being woken up by a new background process (BackBlaze) that I installed just after the RAM.  Duh!

I put the 32GB Crucial RAM back in early today and the 8950 has been sitting idle for quite some time - no black flashes.

Oh well - maybe this will help someone else?

 

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@billyjk It is concerning that your diagnostic test did not report the correct amount of RAM. There are no settings in the BIOS but you could check the BIOS to see if it is reporting the correct amount of RAM. If the BIOS is not reporting the correct amount of memory you should check to see if the memory modules are properly installed in their slots and you could also clear the BIOS by removing the coin-cell battery for several minutes before reinstalling it. After you installed the new RAM you could have downloaded and run Memtest86 to conduct a more thorough test of your memory.

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@Vic384 

I seem to have misled you - bad choice of words - I meant to say that once I put 32GB in the machine, it didn't report just 16GB, but a "different" amount - 32GB.  Which is proper.  Sorry about that!

It may be too early to say, but I may have to apologize for another thing.  There was one other variable that was introduced at the same time as the new RAM upgrade - I transferred my Blackblaze account from my old laptop to the new 8950.  Why might that matter?

I realize now that as Backblaze is chugging along pushing 3tb of data up to their servers, I believe my 8950 was trying to go to sleep, as it was idle.  It's possible that it was falling asleep, and then waking up a moment later due to the running Backblaze process.  The user experience would be that I'd see the screen go black, and then come back.

I am doing a test now.  As Backblaze continues to chug along, I set the power setting for the 8950 to not go sleep at all.  It's been 20 minutes now without a "blackout".  Maybe this is it??

The final test would be to reinstall the 2x16 Crucial DIMMs while the 8950 remains set to "never sleep".  I can try this tomorrow early am.

As I check now, at 30+ minutes, still no blackout.  Here's hoping that a second apology may be forthcoming!

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Sounds like it might not be 100% compatible. Are you sure both DIMMs ended-up in the proper-two-slots (aka one memory bank) so that it still runs dual-channel. AFAIK, the tabs on those two slots should be the same color.

After I upgrade ram, I usually go into BIOS and be sure it's detected properly. Save and Exit.

Then I boot system with my www.memtest86.com bootable flash drive. If it passes 2-long memory-tests, I deem it "working properly". 

 


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@billyjk Thanks for clarifying. I am not familiar with Backblaze but from your description, it is possible that Backblaze is the issue.  If possible with Backblaze you may wish to schedule backups so that the process is not so random. With a desktop PC, I never let it sleep, I only shut it down at the end of the day.

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Well, it's day 2 of investigation into this "issue" and as I suspected, I'd say it's simply a machine that was going to sleep and was being woken up by a new background process (BackBlaze) that I installed just after the RAM.  Duh!

I put the 32GB Crucial RAM back in early today and the 8950 has been sitting idle for quite some time - no black flashes.

Oh well - maybe this will help someone else?

 

10 Diamond
264

@billyjk  You could use the "lastwake" command to see what woke the PC after screen blanks and comes back on:

  1. Open CMD prompt window, run as administrator
  2. Type in: powercfg -lastwake and press Enter

Another possibility is a recent NVidia GPU driver update.  An NVidia driver (installed via Windows Update) was causing random black screen flashes on my XPS 8930 with GTX 1660Ti  GPU. I reverted to the prior driver using the Rollback option in Device Manager and that solved the problem here.  YRMV...

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I'm not a Dell employee

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Possible reasons :

 

A Windows update gone wrong

A faulty startup application

Outdated or faulty drivers

Connection issues between your PC and monitor

Software defects

Hardware defects

Problems with your graphics card

Loose cables connected to your PC or laptop

 

Regards,
William

3 Argentum
169

@Williamjoe 

Thanks!  I already solved this one, and it was on me.  It was simply a sleep state occurring.

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