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2021

November 28th, 2023 19:20

XPS 8940, locking up/freezing since 2.15 BIOS update

XPS 8940

XPS 8940

This is a last ditch effort to get some kind of help because I honestly don't know what to do. While my computer was under warranty, I experienced no issues. Everything ran perfectly and it was an amazing computer. Once my warranty expired on July 23, 2023, I began experiencing some intermittent lockups that I brushed off because there was no BSOD. 

The lockups/freezing started to happen more as the year went on, and the past few months have been nothing short of miserable with this computer. It is my only computer and it's what I would consider a good computer, less than three years old - and to have issues like this is kinda ridiculous. However, its out of warranty now and I can only get support if I pay, which I cannot afford right now because I live on a fixed income. 

Since I updated my BIOS at the beginning of the week, the freezing/lockups are happening 3-5 times a day, requiring a manual restart of my computer. There are no other signs that anything is wrong - and my computer passes all other "Support Assist" tests. There are no slow downs, no BSOD, and it doesn't happen when I'm under heavy workload usually - it's typically when I do something mundane like - open a text document while in a discord call, open something in file explorer from another drive, open another browser window. Low effort things. 

Here is my system information: 


Windows 11 Home - 10.0.22631 Build 22631
Dell XPS 8940
11th Gen Intel Core 17 - 11700 2.5GHz 8Core

32G RAM - NVIDIA GeForce 3060 Ti

BIOS version 2.15.1 9/27/2023


NVME WD BLACK SSD 1000GB main drive

WDC WD SSD 1000GB 2nd drive

WDC WD HDD 500 GB storage

Please let me know if I can provide other information. I feel like I cannot use my computer and I don't know what to do. This is my first Dell computer, and in all my life, I've never had issues like this with a desktop PC, which should be more stable. I'm honestly so disappointed in the lack of support options and the lack of help I've been met with and don't know what to do. 

29 Posts

November 28th, 2023 20:15

This has been a known problem ever since the Dell Bios package 2.14 update. The current workaround for Nvidia users to bring back PC stability are to use the Dell provided Nvidia graphics drivers, or to use the official Nvidia Studio Driver version 536.40. The newer Nvidia graphics drivers from Nvidia will freeze the PC as you are seeing. 

Also see forum threads:

https://www.dell.com/community/en/conversations/xps-desktops/xps-8940-bios-2140-freezing/650a16522e626d58fa235d85?page=1

https://www.dell.com/community/en/conversations/xps-desktops/xps-8940-bios-2140/6503779821bb98620255a871?page=1

8 Posts

November 28th, 2023 20:30

This isn't limited to nVidia GPUs anymore. I have replaced the nVidia card with an AMD card to fix this issue on Bios 2.13 because there was no fix and I was locking up multiple times a day.

However, I updated to BIOS 2.14 yesterday and I'm back to getting random lockups again. What's more, my Logitech MX Master mouse keeps losing connection to the computer. I have to unplug and replug the dongle to get it to come back. 

From what I've read on the forum, the 2.15 BIOS actually makes things worse. 

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November 29th, 2023 14:08

If you're experiencing increased locking up or freezing issues on your Dell XPS 8940 after a BIOS update, it can be quite frustrating. Here are some steps you can take to troubleshoot and potentially resolve the issue:

  1. Rollback BIOS Update: If the issues started after the BIOS update, consider rolling back to the previous version. Check Dell's official website for your model's support page, and see if there's an option to download and install an older BIOS version.

  2. Update Drivers: Ensure that all your drivers, including graphics, chipset, and storage drivers, are up-to-date. Sometimes, a mismatch between BIOS and driver versions can cause stability issues.

  3. Check for Windows Updates: Make sure your operating system is fully updated with the latest Windows updates. Microsoft regularly releases updates that include bug fixes and improvements.

  4. Reset BIOS Settings: If rolling back the BIOS doesn't resolve the issue, try resetting the BIOS settings to default. There should be an option to do this within the BIOS/UEFI menu. Be cautious with this step, as it may change settings like boot order and other configurations.

  5. Memory Test: Run a memory test to check for any issues with your RAM. You can use the built-in Windows Memory Diagnostic tool or third-party tools like Memtest86.

  6. Check for Overheating: Ensure that your system isn't overheating. Excessive heat can cause stability problems. Make sure all fans are functioning properly, and consider monitoring temperatures with software tools.

  7. Reinstall Operating System: If all else fails, consider reinstalling your operating system. This can help eliminate any software-related issues that might be causing the freezing problems.

  8. Contact Dell Support: If the problem persists, it's a good idea to contact Dell Support. They may be aware of the issue and could provide specific guidance or an updated BIOS release that addresses the problem.

Always exercise caution when updating the BIOS or making changes to system settings, as improper changes can lead to further issues. If you're not comfortable performing these steps on your own, it's advisable to seek assistance from Dell Support or a knowledgeable technician.

(edited)

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28 Posts

December 2nd, 2023 20:17

I appreciate the advice and wisdom.

Suggest Dell take this BIOS / Video card incompatibility issue seriously, as so far their lack of commitment and lack of focus is just making people move to other PC makers when they next make a purchase ..

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17 Posts

December 3rd, 2023 14:43

Hi, I have the very same problem. I have just (yesterday) upgraded my XPS 8940 from 360v PSU to the 500w Platinum (purchased from Dell) also upgraded the ram from 16 to 32gb, and finally, installed an NVIDIA Eagle 3060 Ti card. I tested the system after installing each new component(s) and everything fine. The late yesterday my screen froze, and like you, the only way was to do a hard shutdown and restart the PC. It has done it again this morning. I too am on the latest Bios update. I have looked in event logs an all I can see is error 201 - connection to metadata, error 200 - windows update not established, and 131 Metastaging failed. Like you, the computer seems to be working fine otherwise, so if you have found any way of resolving this it would be much appreciated! BTW, I am just within my warranty, so it may be a call to Dell on Monday.

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17 Posts

December 6th, 2023 15:53

@john771​ Just to update, after uninstalling the Nvidia Eagle 3060 Ti using Cleansweep, I then installed the Nvidia Studio driver version for the 3060 Ti. Nvidia had automatically installed the gaming driver and I don't do gaming, just photographic work. I had also rolled back the bios as this was also suggested given my freezing up problems. Anyway as of now my XPS 8940 is working fine, I may risk updating the bios to the latest version again at some point.

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December 12th, 2023 18:18

@Penwell​ I did the same a few days ago and got the same results. Also just updated to BIOS 2.16 and am still OK after several hours. I'll report if there are any problems.

(edited)

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17 Posts

December 20th, 2023 11:05

@richardkra​ Thanks for that. I am also on the 2.16 bios now with the Nvidia Studio driver, but the lockups have started again, although not as frequent. I am now wondering if I should have gone for the stock Dell OEM 3060 ti instead of the Nvidia Eagle.

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3 Posts

December 27th, 2023 14:36

@john771​ I Updated XPS 8940 BIOS from a stable 2.15 to 2.16 (Build 4400.12 UEFI ROM) yesterday.  Running NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER (31.0.15.4633) and Intel UHD Graphics 750 (31.0.101.4502) drivers.  Intermittent hanging now occurring.  Ran Pre-Startup Performance tests just to confirm no HW errors.   So based on reports above,  seems like a bug in the BIOS has been introduced in 16 since all was stable in 2.15. 

(edited)

1 Message

December 28th, 2023 01:09

Thanks to all for giving me hints to a solution that finally worked. Pulling my little hair out for weeks with cursor freeze and lockup of the XPS8940 computer. Weeks ago I did a major upgrade with 32 to 64GB Ram, CPU cooler replacement, additional SSD drive. I thought I had a heat problem but core temps were ok, but replaced thermal grease just in case. I replaced and tweaked all the software I could suspect and installed Malwarebytes to verify no hidden malware. Still no joy. Finally read this thread and downgraded bios to 2.14 and changed NVidia driver to Studio version instead of Gamer version. IT WORKED ! All is good.

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December 28th, 2023 01:55

@Nunya biz​ Update on my recurring freeze.  For all those seeking relief that still  had no success after postings above, I uinstalled my NVIDIA 31.0.15.4633 driver (latest from NVIDIA) for NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER using DDU and installed the "Official"  June 2023 version  (6/6/2023 31.0.15.3619) of the driver from Dell support page.  So far, roughly 12 hours later, it  I have not seen a freeze.

I ran, as recommended, DDU twice to clean out the files from the  '4633' driver. My attempt to install back level '3619' on the first DDU "clean up" attempt resulted in the '3619' driver installer reporting that the driver was not supported for my hardware.  So perform the 'clean' twice as recommended to guarantee removal of all driver files.  Second 'clean' by DDU worked.

2 Posts

January 5th, 2024 08:41

I am suffering with this too, however, I'm running Ubuntu. Any advice on this for linux users. No issues were found with the diagnostics. I had thought it was issues with the 6.2 version of the kernel and downgraded back to 5, which seemed to fix the problem for a while.  Downgraded the BIOS and still have the same issues.  I can batter the machine either playing games or running Blender, but when left to its own devices it just freezes, the mouse still moves, but the keyboard doesn't work, and cannot connect to the machine remotely.

As can be seen in the attached image, there seem to be no temperature issues, I stopped working on the machine at about 16:50, where you can see the temperature drops as the machine idles.

1 Message

January 10th, 2024 06:32

@Penwell​ It solved my issue! Thanks!!!

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January 11th, 2024 19:59

I am having the same problem after the update to 2.16.  This is infuriating that Dell lets this happen.  The PC is almost unusable now.

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January 13th, 2024 06:41

I had EXACTLY the same issues. After the NVIDIA update (from 31.0.15.3619) my entire PC would freeze (no mouse, keyboard). This first occured when I was watching a video on VLC...happened 3 times on Sunday about 10-minutes after I started watching the video so I switched to WMP. Same thing happened. Then I was watching a YouTube video and the same thing so know I knew it had something to do with my video card/driver. I found some random posts on MS and on NVIDIA, so I downloaded the current version of NVIDIA GeForce 31.0.15.4633 but I still had the same issue. It was so frustrating and I was about to toss this thing and start using my back-up 8940 or try a factory reset. Then I saw this thread and downloaded the June 2023 version of NVIDIA 31.0.15.3619 and did a clean install and 8-hours later I have had ZERO issues. A notification should have been sent by Dell to all owners...or, as soon as I log in with my Model number and service tag it should flag a warning about a defect or conflict with NVIDIA. Thank you to everyone who posted about this!!

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