Last reply by 12-12-2022 Unsolved
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2 Bronze
2 Bronze

XPS 17 9720 randomly freezes

My XPS 17 9720 Laptop freezes after being Idle for a day or two. The screen completely locks up. There are no messages.
<control><Alt><Del> does nothing. I have to press and hold the power button several times to get to reboot.
This seems to be a random event as I can't duplicate or make it happen on purpose.

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2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Here's what worked for me:

You'll need to follow these instructions to disable Intel VMD:


Note: The instructions are for a different BIOS, so to find this in the Dell BIOS, go to Storage and ensure that instead of Intel VMD, you select standard AHCI/NVMe

Be aware that you need to follow the instructions in the link precisely in order for Windows to boot again after disabling this.

Apparently, Intel VMD is still relatively new for non-Xeon processors and if I had to guess, the implementation on this particular laptop is rather buggy. It is enabled by default (at least in my case).

I sincerely hope that this works for others, as I was considering returning this otherwise lovely laptop. And for those that don't happen to find this, or if this doesn't work for folks, I sincerely hope that Dell puts a little more effort into testing beyond making sure the system just POSTs.


Update: froze again. It seems like it took longer to experience a freeze after taking the actions described in my last post, but clearly it's not a real fix.


Hi, I ended up doing a complete Windows install. It's been two weeks so far with no freezing.

2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Neither reinstalling Dell's image nor fresh installation of the latest 'clear' Windows 11 doesn't work for me.
The longest time without freezes is 3 days. Usually, it happens 1 or 2 times a day. It's really weird. Dell's support proposed me the on-site motherboard replacement, but they can't do it in Thailand where I live now. I already filled out the warranty/ownership transfer form but it requires up to 15 business days for finishing. Twice weird. Actually, I can't use the notebook for work: it's totally unpredicted.

2 Bronze
2 Bronze

I probably have the same issue. XPS 17 9720 with a Dell WD19TBS docking station and 2 Dell S2721HS monitors connected to the docking station.

Funnily enough what seems to happen when it freezes, is that the screens flicker before freezing. And also that the external monitors freeze and show garbled images, while the laptop screen looks fine (but frozen).

As per above, nothing moves, no way out apart from a hard restart. And as per the above, it seems to happen every other day or so. Maybe once a day maximum. Never twice on the same day, while i spend about 11 hours on it. 


2 Bronze
2 Bronze

I have worked out that this freezing of death only happens when the laptop screen is on (on top of the 2 external monitors). When the laptop is closed, it never freezes.

Also when it freezes and the strange pixelated images appear on the external monitors, the laptop monitor shows the image without any distortion.

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