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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. 

3 Posts

January 13th, 2024 15:02

Same issue here. I narrowed it down to the motherboard or CPU in my case. I was about to replace the motherboard and discovered that there is a heatsink missing on the voltage regulator modules!

https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-heatsink-assembly-for-optiplex-7080-7090-xps-8940-gaming-desktop-5000/apd/612f7/pc-accessories

I just bought one from Dell.com for around $9 with free shipping. Will update if it resolves the issue. Does anyone here have the voltage regulator modules heatsink on your motherboard?

3 Posts

January 19th, 2024 22:54

I also experienced the issue where I had updated the NVidia driver to the latest version on 2024/01/12 and since then my Dell XPS 8940 (which to date had been a pretty solid system), starting to hang intermittently through out the day locking up the whole computer and the only resolution was to do a hard reboot. This became exceedingly frustrating as even light workloads like browsing web sites would hang the system.

So I opened a Dell support case, and as with these things, we starting going down the problem resolution script e.g. updating the BIOS again and Intel drivers, running diagnostics, support assist to disable some start up apps etc.

 At the same time, I found this thread and recalled I had updated the NVidia driver. So I shared the article with Dell support, and they advised we try to create a new user profile to see if the system was stable under that profile. I created the new profile, but before signing into it, I thought I should roll back the Nvidia driver which I did as follows:

  • Went to Control Panel > Device Manager > Display adapters
  • Right-clicked on the NVidia GeForce card and selected Properties
  • Went to the Drivers tab in the properties dialog
  • Selected the Roll Back Driver button

My monitor screen went black and flickered a few times while the driver was rolled back. After the display came back, I rebooted the system just to make sure, and since then no issues what-so-ever. I have been running the system for the past two days with no hangs, and running much heavier & concurrent workloads. The system stability has been restored after rolling back the latest NVidia driver.

I advised the Dell support person to share this thread with the appropriate Dell team as this issue of the Dell XPS 8940 hanging seems to be quite prevalent based on searching for this issue, and in many cases it seems the latest NVidia driver is the culprit.

Thanks so much to all on this thread and community for sharing your fixes and insights!

(edited)

1 Message

January 24th, 2024 15:13

I too, surprisingly had the same issue, but as an old man who chose Dell for the ease of communication with reps, I didn't find this thread until it was too late, wrongly assuming they would check their own blogs from disgruntled customers first to recognize solutions and I literally spent several hours over several days attempting to diagnose. To be fair, every staff member I dealt with was wonderful and accommodating. I just feel the tech supervisor should maybe have preformed a simple google search as I did to uncover this thread. I was given these links to update the NVIDIA drivers and have subsequently had no other issues. Will report back if it persists later. I did not revert my BIOS.

Please use these links;
https://www.dell.com/support/home/en-us/drivers/driversdetails?driverid=3yy1f&oscode=wt64a&productcode=xps-8940-desktop
 

https://www.dell.com/support/home/en-us/drivers/driversdetails?driverid=4jrvf&oscode=wt64a&productcode=xps-8940-desktop

2 Posts

January 27th, 2024 03:03

I am having the same problem after updating to 2.16. I tried many things, including resetting to the factory setting and rolling back the BIOS setting. The problem persists. I finally gave up, purchased, and extended Dell Basis Warranty for $151 a year, hoping to fix the issue. After letting a Dell technician remotely work on my computer for an hour, my hardware passed all tests, and he concluded that this was a software- not a hardware-related issue. Software issues are NOT covered in my purchased plan. He gave me a referral to their software team..... My PC is unstable now. What can I do? I spent another $99 to get their software team to fix this issue. Today, the technician spent two hours remotely working on my PC. After that session, my PC was locked again. So frustrated. 
The $99 has a no-fix-no-fee guarantee. The Dell technician will call back on Monday. Hope this can be fixed. 

Just very surprised to see so many people have the same issues. It has been a few months, and Dell and their CERTIFIED EXPERTS still have no solution to the problem! 



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6 Posts

January 27th, 2024 17:19

@xpschisw

So far Zoroyoko​'s posted advice to use an older NVIDIA driver has done the trick.  This is the first morning in weeks and weeks that I didn't have to manually shutdown and restart my computer via the power button nor did I have any issues yesterday since the change. I have DELL extended support, so my rep walked me through the process as a last step before reinstalling Windows 11, which I didn't want to do, but all previous attempts to fix this did not work.  I did not change my current BIOS. 

I have installed both NVIDIA drivers so I can go back and forth if necessary but am currently using the older of the two, 3619. I saw that 3640 fixes some security glitch, so I might try switching to that at some point but wanted to give 3619 a good run before making another change.  The NVIDIA driver I replaced is 31.0.15.4584 dated 10/11/2023.

You will see that these two drivers are recommended by DELL for the XPS 8940:

https://www.dell.com/support/home/en-us/drivers/driversdetails?driverid=3yy1f&oscode=wt64a&productcode=xps-8940-desktop = 31.0.15.3640 6/23/23 Dell Date 8/14/23

https://www.dell.com/support/home/en-us/drivers/driversdetails?driverid=4jrvf&oscode=wt64a&productcode=xps-8940-desktop  =  31.0.15.3619 6/06/23 Dell Date 8/08/23

Once installed, the drivers will show up in a listing when you try to update the NVIDIA driver manually, browsing your computer instead of doing an automatic update, so you can go back and forth as necessary.  Be sure to reboot after making a change.

Hoping this is the resolution.  Good luck.

P.S. I see that @theslyfox​ also posted about rolling back the NVIDIA driver, but unfortunately that option was grayed out for me, but definitely the right solution.

(edited)

2 Posts

January 29th, 2024 19:24

@arlenev​ Thanks for this suggestion.

Unfortunately, my GPUs are Intel(R) UHD Graphics 750 and
                                             AME Radeon RX 5700XT.

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1.7K Posts

January 30th, 2024 07:43

@xpschisw​ 

Try opening the Nvidia Control Panel and under the 3D settings change the Power setting to Max. Power, see if that helps.

3 Posts

February 19th, 2024 13:42

I was having all of the problems mentioned in this posting trail for the last few months. I tried everything mentioned above and ultimately reset Windows 11 and still had the freezing issue.  Then the NVIDIA Studio Driver Version 551.23 was released on January 24, 2024. I updated to this version a few days after was released, and I haven't had a freeze since that time. I still don't know if it was the Dell BIOS or the NVIDIA driver, but everything has been fine since that change three weeks ago.

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1.7K Posts

February 19th, 2024 15:08

@ssurpren​ 

I'm on the Game Ready driver of the same version number. Yesterday, my FIRST lock up since probably 5 months ago with the Control Panel set to Max. Power.

Like almost everyone one in these threads, NOTHING is a sure fire always fix. It always seems to come back and bite you eventually.

I'm still on BIOS V2.13.1 as that one is stable for me (mostly). Never went to a higher one. Sometimes rolling back to a stable BIOS doesn't work, so I'm not chancing it now.

1 Message

February 19th, 2024 22:04

I've had this issue for about 1 month or so since a bios update.  I read through this thread mainly and maybe some others.  Now I'm on 2.13.1 bios.  3060 TI, have that running 536.40.  Seems to work.  I tried the most recent game ready driver, froze in an hour or so.  Unsure if the newest 1/24/24 studio will work or if I just stick to 536.40.  wanting to run some games as well as music.  maybe I'll try latest studio and see what happens or I may contact support also, i'm still under warranty.

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1.7K Posts

February 20th, 2024 22:02

@onewattfury​ 

You have to CHECK the Nvidia Control Panel's 3D Power Setting after EVERY Nvidia Driver install. Some will RESET it to the Default (varies by card, Adaptive or Optimum) on you. It should always be on Max. Power.

3 Posts

February 23rd, 2024 19:19

@ispalten​ I'm using Dell BIOS 2.16.0 with NVIDIA Studio Driver Version 551.23 and not having issues anymore.  I may be one of the lucky ones.

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1.7K Posts

February 24th, 2024 18:11

@ssurpren​ 

I'm still on BIOS V2.13.1, and with the Nvidia CP 3D power set to Max. I have been 'basically' stable for months, no matter what versions of the Game Ready Driver I've been running and I update always to the most recent available.

Lock ups on an Nvidia active card is not guaranteed to occur on all systems, as there are some that have no problem it seems. Some that 'get' stable  as well with what appears to be a 'variety of fixes' that remain stable or fail at some point in time later as the fix no longer works.

No clue why this is?

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2 Posts

February 29th, 2024 21:29

I have two XPS 8940's. They are configured differently but both have NVidia cards. Each started randomly freezing after updating to the "Critical" 2.13.1 BIOS update. Along came the "Critical" BIOS 2.14.1 with no change to the freezing issue. Then the "Critical" BIOS 2.15.1 update was released and freezing still occurs regularly. I completely removed the NVidia driver using the DDU tool and installed the Dell-recommended driver; NO CHANGE to the freezing issue. I can only back up randomly since the computer tends to freeze during a backup. I have since updated to the "Critical" BIOS 2.16 and "Critical" BIOS 2.17. They still freeze randomly every day. I don't have any idea what to do and apparently, Dell doesn't either. My wife and I have had many Dell computers through the years. These two are our last!

(edited)

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1.7K Posts

March 1st, 2024 01:09

@dlindsey103​ 

All I can see is set the power in the Nvidia Control Panel to Max. Power Preferred and test.

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