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XPS 8950, Windows 11 Reliability Monitor

XPS 8950

Screenshot (3).png

 

Hello,

I have a new XPS 8950 Desktop, and upon seeing the PC desktop lag and hesitate in certain instances (file explorer mainly), I looked at the Reliability Monitor in Control Panel of Windows 11.  

Control Panel\System and Security\Security and Maintenance\Reliability Monitor

I see many critical events listed.  Over 100 in 1 day, and occurring every day since machine was first booted out of the box.  Mostly tied to Dell Instrumentation or McAfee or Dell something or other.  Is this normal, and can anybody shed light on these?  I called Dell Support Plus tech support, and I got an agent that did remote pc, and insisted my machine is working normally.  However, he was unable to explain these events.  I am within my return period, and I will be returning this pc if I am not comfortable with it.  And, as of now, with over 100 critical events in reliability monitor occurring daily, I am not happy.  

 

Hardware scan finishes with no errors.  Support Assis runs through and makes its automatic changes (like remove last access timer, remove temp files, empty recycle bin).  

 

Please help, and thank you

 

DB

 

 

Solution (1)

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8 Platinum
768

@Outlaw Wales  ,

Here are the Macrium Reflect Tips you requested. It's a portion of a text file I keep. I most mostly written for v7.x, but also works for v8.x.

Macrium Reflect Notes (by Tesla1856)

http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree

My Required Backup Imaging Features (and compatibility)
- Windows 7, 8, 10, and 11
- Support for Legacy, UEFI, SecureBoot, MBR/GPT, etc.
- Clone a large disk (with free space) to a smaller disk (ie large HDD to smaller SSD).
- Bare-Metal Backup and/or Restore (in this case, via WinPE USB-Flash Boot)
- Verify Image file(s) immediately after creation

* All above Requirements are met with Macrium-Reflect Free v7.x (and still with v8.x )
- This free-version also does Differential backups (after or based-on a Full-Backup).

Usage Notes:
===========

Macrium Reflect 7.x will properly Image system , even if SecureBoot is enabled.
I suggest you always use "Verify Image After Creation" option.

Macrium Reflect will Restore Image to a blank "bare metal" system, even if SecureBoot is On.
(with Macrium-Reflect Rescue USB Media via Win-RE).
It is advisable to use the machine's same BIOS options as when it was created.

In Windows-10/11, running msinfo32 is how you know if SecureBoot is really working in OS.


Install:
-------
Use Download-Agent to Download current installer
- Macrium Reflect Free (64bit/UEFI) v7.x
Note: PE Components are NOT required any more (you can get them later)
Unblock .exe file. Run to install locally on Windows-PC.

After Install, I usually disable New Version checks.
If wanting to do an Upgrade with an Installer file, see section below.

Create Rescue Media (USB flash drive):
------------------------------------

Notes:
- Any flash-Drive used should be erased/cleaned and partitioned/formatted with DiskPart first (SEE BELOW)
- - If you do not, the Rescue Disk will not actually write/create/boot (trust me).
- Starting with v7.2.x , you can also create either Win-PE or Win-RE based media. For now, I create both.
- - It looks like the difference is that RE also supports WiFi.
- - Usually, a (PE-based) Rescue Disk created on old-computer will also work on the new computer
- The written files for Rescue Media drive vary. 2gb flash-drive should be sufficient for all PE and RE versions.
- - Typically, I use blank small 2gb, 4gb, or 8gb flash-drives to create them.
- IMPORTANT - Test any created by booting a machine with it.
- - On a Dell, you press F12 on boot to get to the Dell One-Time-Boot menu. Select the USB-Flash-Drive.

Win-PE USB Boot
- Created to support Windows-10 (64bit) on various machines.
- One Win-PE Rescue Media works for both MBR (Legacy BIOS) as well UEFI systems.
- Start Macrium Reflect. From the main-menu, start Rescue Media Creator.
- Select your USB-Flash drive
- Select the check-box at the bottom to "Enable multi-boot on MBR/UEFI"
- Click Advanced. Select Windows 10 PE, 64bit, C-Drive (only these usually)
- Click Build button (it will download fresh PE files directly from Microsoft if you allow it)
- It will build the WIM file, and then write to USB-drive.
- At the end, you will get a message-box that says it has been written.
- You can add a root folder on the Flash drive, and place the main installer and any notes inside.
- Properly Eject newly created drive. TEST IT.

Yes, it boots and works on my (Legacy-BIOS MBR-based) Aurora-R1.
- This was Macrium Reflect v7.2.4601 and Windows-10 Pro 64bit v.1809
Later (on different computer) created another with Macrium Reflect v8.0.6635 and it was PE-11 (64-bit)

Win-RE USB Boot (Yes, new Rescue Environment support)
- Created to support Windows-10 (64bit) on various machines.
- One Win-RE Rescue Media works for both MBR (Legacy BIOS) as well UEFI systems.
- Start Macrium Reflect. From the main-menu, start Rescue Media Creator.
- Select your empty USB-Flash drive
- Select the check-box at the bottom to "Enable multi-boot on MBR/UEFI"
- Click Advanced. Select Windows RE, 64bit, Add WiFi support, Copy WiFi-Profiles, C-Drive
- Click Build button (no extra downloading on this one)
- It will build the WIM file, and then write to USB-drive.
- At the end, you will get a message-box that says it has been written.
- You can add a root folder on the Flash drive, and place the main installer and any notes inside.
- If named "MACRIUM_PE" you can rename it to MACRIUM_RE"
- Properly Eject newly created drive. TEST IT.

The one I created was made with Macrium Reflect v7.2.4601 and the system was running Windows-10 Pro 64bit v.21H1
- Yes, it boots and works on my (Legacy-BIOS MBR-based) Aurora-R1 (you can see the saved backup-images)
- Yes, it also boots (UEFI-BIOS GPT-based) Aurora-R6 (you can see the saved backup-images)


Upgrading to a new version:
--------------------------

If already installed, you can do a quick-upgrade to latest version of this point-release (to latest version of v7.x for example)
USB Flash-drive Rescue Media: Erase, re-create, and test it.

You can also download the Downloader, and then save the Installer (and the latest PE files).

YOU CAN also use an old installer-file to upgrade an existing-installed version, to this installer's version.
You install it right over the old version. All settings stayed on v6-to-v7 upgrades.
Remember to turn-off Update Check again.

This is why it is important to keep the old-versions (that ended-up being good/stable).
Also, it's matching pe*.zip files (or at least a created flash-drive with this PE/RE).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Preparing a USB stick for Windows PE
Created by Sarah Pineger, last modified by Macrium Software on May 21, 2015

To use a USB stick as a boot device, Windows requires a Master Boot Record (MBR) however some USB sticks are shipped without one and with just a single partition. The USB stick, therefore, needs formatting but the standard Windows format option does not prepare the disk correctly as it does not create a master boot record. You therefore need to prepare the USB stick using other tools, for example, Windows diskpart.


1.Start an elevated command prompt. See Running an elevated command prompt for more information.

2.Type: diskpart

3.Type: list disk

4.Identify the disk number of your USB stick.

Note: Please ensure that you correctly identify your USB stick.

5.Type: select disk <n>

Where <n> is the number of the disk previously identified as being the USB stick. Confirm that the current disk selection is correct by typing in "detail disk".
This will show information relating to the currently selected disk.

5a. Type: list disk

There should be an * on far left side of currently selected disk

Note: Please be certain you have the disk selection correct before proceeding to the next step.

6.Type: clean

This erases all data on the USB stick.

7.Type: create par primary

This creates a primary partition on the USB stick using the maximum size available.

8.Type: active

To make the primary partition active.

9. Since your system likely has GPT disks and uses the newer UEFI booting standard, type the line below:

format FS=FAT32 LABEL="Macrium_PE" QUICK

Note: UEFI booting requires a FAT32 formatted partition and will not recognize NTFS.

10.Type: exit (twice)

Once the format command has completed, to exit diskpart and command-prompt

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Creating Image:
- Normally do "self contained" Full Backups of whole C: drive or whole machine
- Advanced Options - BE SURE TO Turn on "Verify After Creation" (check setting each time)
- Leave recommended long name.
- Save to external drive, in Folder like "Dell Inspiron/ Win8.1 Full Working/"

-----------------------------------

Accessing the PE
- Boot the Macrium Reflect flash-drive
- After Macrium Loads, click the C:\ Command-Prompt button at the bottom.
- Continue as above (like to run DiskPart)

-------------------------------------

 


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.

View solution in original post

Replies (21)
5 Rhenium
1024

@Outlaw Wales It appears that your image shows a problem with Dell TechHub software. Try going to Computer Management / Services and Applications / Services and stop the Dell TechHub Instrumentation User Session Agent. I don't have this software so I am not sure of its name in Services.

10 Diamond
1014

Dell.techhub.instrumentation is part of SupportAssist and is used for scanning the hardware.

See if there's anything helpful here (long thread!).

IMHO, disable or uninstall SupportAssist and be done with it. But, if you really, really want to use SupportAssist, read this to uninstall and reinstall it.

Ron

  Forum Member since 2004
  I am not a Dell employee

8 Platinum
1006

If you want to return it, you should do that.

However, it appears to just have some kind of strange software problem. I'm guessing the main C-Drive was not provisioned properly at the factory (Windows, drivers, and basic apps were not written to the drive properly).

The fact is ... none of that Dell software is required for Windows-11 to run properly on your hardware.

https://www.dell.com/community/XPS/What-Dell-Software-Can-I-Remove/m-p/8249792/highlight/true#M10094...

Since time is of the essence here ...

The easiest (and most thorough) thing to do is to erase the machine completely, and clean-install Windows-11 from microsoft.com (not Dell's version). It only takes an hour or so. Windows should have all the drivers you need. Windows will also activate without problems.

If you are up for that, I can give you detailed directions here, in this thread. You can also likely find them here somewhere ... as I've typed them up many times for various users.

Really, it's like Nuke-and-Paving any other Windows machine, except I like to first switch the BIOS from (single-disk) RAID to AHCI. This removes the dependency on Intel-RST (ie, you never re-install Intel Optane Memory and Storage Management inside Windows).

Please post your intentions. I'll be glad to help you in any way I can. The only thing you need is a couple of flash drives (one or two 16gb ones should be fine ).


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
1002


@RoHe wrote:

Dell.techhub.instrumentation is part of SupportAssist and is used for scanning the hardware.

IMHO, disable or uninstall SupportAssist and be done with it. 


Agreed.

But seeing as though:

a. the machine is new (ie not really "moved-into" yet)
b. OP has already attempted contacting Dell Technical Support (and they said this was normal).
c. it should have never been that way in the first place (ie, this issue is not common)
d. Support Assist (and the other "Dell Programs" ) are not required for Windows to run properly on XPS-8950
e. This XPS-8950 needs perfect Windows-11 installed so they can install their programs/apps and start using it.

I thought clean-installing Windows-11 might be a more prudent solution. Also, the best way to verify the hardware is good.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
10 Diamond
954

Lots of users are having trouble after a recent Support Assist update(s), so even a brand new machine can have similar problems if SA got updated after purchase.

Seems it happen because Dell.TechHub.exe may want dotnet 5.0.0 which isn't installed and there are other dotnet issues, depending on which version of dotnet 6 is currently installed.

If you still want to use SupportAssist, read the two posts marked as Solutions here.

Ron

  Forum Member since 2004
  I am not a Dell employee

901

Hi @Tesla1856 , thank you for responding.  I would like to try the clean install of windows 11 as you suggested.  I would like to be able to use support assist and other dell software--but as of now that is not worth the trouble.  Support Assist and Dell Update are most likely the problem causing apps here...along with their cooperation with Microsoft.NET runtime versions. I have a couple of flash drives.  Please advise when convenient for you.  

 

PS-Dell Support already took me through a dell os recovery factory reset, and the troubles are still prevalent.  Even more hangs. 

 

Thank you for your suggestions.

 

DB

898

Also, @Tesla1856 , could you expand a little on, 

 

"e. This XPS-8950 needs perfect Windows-11 installed so they can install their programs/apps and start using it."  

--are you meaning that 'Seeing as this PC is fresh from the factory, windows and apps should be working perfectly?'  or that 'Windows 11 22H2 is a brand new rollout of major feature update, so things must be installed very precisely...otherwise, you run into lots of software issues since win 11 22h2 is new.  Kinks may get worked out software wise over time.'

 

or something else?   thank you

 

 

DB

8 Platinum
869

Either Windows-11 21H2 or 22H2 (from microsoft.com ) will be fine... As long as:

- The XPS-8950's C-drive is completely erased first (including all troublesome Dell programs and Dell Recovery Partitions) .
- The BIOS is first reconfigured for UEFI/AHCI-mode/SecureBoot

 The idea is to get JUST THE PERFECT WINDOWS-11 on there properly. That's all you need ... WINDOWS ... not all the other troublesome nonsense.

Since you received the machine with this strange problem, there is really no telling what other software is bad or corrupt. Personally, I think it is better to erase it all and starting-over, but with MICROSOFT'S version (not Dell's OEM customized version).

When we are finished, Windows-11 will be cleanly-installed, Activated, basic drivers loaded, and eventually ready for you to start using. We will create a proper software foundation (that you can build upon). We will make an effort to verify the hardware itself is working. We will do it like if it was my machine and I was faced with this situation.  We are not going to be in a hurry. Instead, we will do it thoroughly and properly. How does that sound?

Do you have another modern Windows computer to use for a day or so while this one is being worked on? Can it (or a tablet) be used to communicate with me in this forum while we are going through the steps?

Do you have everything important backed up, or was there really nothing important on the XPS-8950 yet anyway? 

As you have been doing ... read my posts carefully. If I ask a question, please answer because I will use those answers to formulate my next post to you. I don't see a problem accomplishing this task.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
8 Platinum
863

Please list your XPS-8950 system config (including all drives and video-cards).

Then go here and download the Media Creation Tool. Create the Windows-11 installer flash-drive.

https://www.microsoft.com/software-download/windows11


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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