1 Copper

XPS 15 shuts off without warning, crashes often

About a week or two ago, my Dell XPS 15 started exhibiting a myriad of problems related to its power. It’s only a little over a year old and as far as I know, it’s never been dropped or banged and it looks only slightly used. Sorry for the long post - I’m tech illiterate, so I’m just going to list as much information as I’ve been able to glean off of observation alone and hopefully one of you can do what I haven’t been able to do and figure it out.

Why/When It Crashes

  • The computer has about a 25% chance of shutting down completely without warning whenever the arrow keys are used. As far as I’ve been able to tell, it’s just the down and right keys. The screen will go black immediately and whatever I was working on is gone - Chrome, Spotify, they all have to be restarted when I turn the computer back on
  • The same is true for when the computer is bumped, tapped, or in some cases just picked up. This happens about 25% of the time, and just as with the arrow keys, I need to restart everything the computer was running.

Booting the Computer Up

  • Now that these crashes have been occurring, the computer takes much longer (about 5-10 minutes) to boot up when I turn it on again, even if the computer shut off normally after being closed for about 20 minutes. The backlit keyboard and fans will turn on/off, and it very much struggles to show the Dell logo on the screen. 
  • Once it reaches the Dell logo, the computer always displays a white screen titled “Pre-Boot System Performance Check” that asks me to set the date/time and says “Invalid configuration information - please run SETUP program”. I’m not sure how to run that program, as pressing “BIOS Setup” in the bottom right corner takes me to a screen full of things I don’t understand. I was able to check the “Power Log”, and when the computer powers off it displays the message “ASF2 force off”. 
  • Upon booting the laptop, it often shows not the current time, but the time that it had been upon shutting down. the clock doesn’t always reset, despite my laptop being connected to the internet. 
  • Finally, the booting process will not start AT ALL unless my laptop is plugged into a power source, even if the laptop was at full battery when it shut off. Once it’s been fully booted, I can unplug it no problem and the computer will work as it always does, but the backlit keyboard won’t so much as flicker when I press the power button unless it’s plugged in. 

I’ve been searching through forums for a week now, running every diagnostic I can find, even the ones on the Dell website that take 40+ minutes - they don’t tell me anything beyond my computer being in good health. I read somewhere that there might be a short in my keyboard, but I neither know whether it would explain the long boot sequence or how I might go about fixing it. Thank you for reading, and I hope you can help me out.

1 Reply
3 Argentium

Re: XPS 15 shuts off without warning, crashes often

I agree that there seems to be a short somewhere. The other issue of the computer seemingly losing the time and other configuration information indicates that the small CMOS battery which powers the CMOS RAM containing that information either has failed or maybe loose. You might want to contact Dell to see what they suggest. If you are out of warranty, it might cost you.