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Studio XPS 9100 Crashing/Locking Up

I have a Studio XPS 9100 (about 2 ½ yrs old) that a few months ago started occasionally crashing/locking up (sometimes with blue screen, sometimes not). It’s recently started doing this a lot more.

Now basically every time I start it up it will crash within a couple minutes of logging in (7 Pro is OS). Then when it boots up again it usually locks up pretty quickly, sometimes before I can even log in. So turn off/ turn on again and it may crash one more time or not. After that it can actually operate normally for hours without problem.

Reviewing event logs the only thing I’m seeing at startup is an error with something called PC-Doctor. It’s not available in Remove programs and from what I’ve found apparently it’s something Dell installs and can’t really be removed. I assume this isn’t the problem. Other than that I don’t think it’s a software issue. Also, I’m sure there’s no viruses. I have the latest Kaspersky running and also run Malwarebytes and Spybot scans weekly etc.

From what I’ve found on web searches it sounds like this is probably a hardware issue. Unfortunately hardware troubleshooting is not my thing at all.

My research found suggestions to troubleshoot are all over the place – memory problem, CPU, motherboard, bad voltage regulator, video card, power supply etc.

I tried running Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool, 3 times actually. First and third times it found nothing. Second time while running it reported that a Hardware Problem was detected and that after it completed and rebooted I could log in and get the error information. But it locked up during the test and never got past 2% complete (I let it go for a couple hours and it went nowhere). The ESC key didn’t work, it was completely locked up. I rebooted and logged in and got no information about the supposed problem. So 2 of 3 tests okay and one lockup during the test, not sure what that means but it doesn’t seem definitive.

Any suggestions on what I should try to do next to find the problem? I don’t want to just start randomly replacing major hardware components hoping to stumble on the problem.


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