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DELL E series - freezes

We have purchased a about 7  new E series machines and all of them are experiencing one critical failure: They freeze totally randomly.  When the freeze occurs, caps lock, Wireless switch + all other functions become unresponsive and the only option is to reboot the machine.

Does anybody know what could be causing this behaviour? I have found multiple reports of this issue from different forums, but no one has been able to isolate the error. DELL support says they never heard of this, which seems very unlikely to me...:)
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Avatar of mosidiot
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Freezing can be caused by many factors, including mircocracks to software problem to hardware unstability...

The best is you keep make full use of your warrantly and ask for on site repair or parts exchange.
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Freezes like this are usually due to a failing/overheating CPU. The fact that this is happening to all 7 machines is a little strange though but I have encounted situations where several pieces of equipment from the same manufacturer fail due to defective compnents being installed.

Are the fans inside the machines running? Does the surface seem really warm? Is there any type of error message? How long does the machine run before freezing?

Check the event viewer and see if an event has been created at the time of the lockup and post the message if there is one. Another test would be to shut the machine down, then remove and reinstall the memory chip, sometimes the chips will loosen up during shipping.

However,  the symptoms unfortunately point to bad CPUs.

Avatar of rid
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Random freezing of 7 new machines suggests software problems to me. What O/S is running? What programs are used when these things happen? What processes are common to all units?

Try running one on a live CD like Knoppix or Ubuntu for at least as long as it would normally take to generate a freeze (if possible). If it doesn't freeze, it'a  pointer to a software or O/S problem. If it does freeze, hardware should be suspected.
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Hi, Symantec endpoint security and pointsec are the most exotic softwares installed..

The weird thing is that the freezes are totally random. Some machines that were crashing in the beginning every day, have now not crashed for a week or two, and E4300 models that had no freezes in the beginning, have started to Freeze totally randomly... OS is XP SP3 in all machines.

We will try mobo change and see if that has any affect for the problem.
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Avatar of JenH2
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Interesting that you accepted this as the solution. It ended up not working for us on the E6400.
Also, Dell has worked with me on a BIOS update (A06) for our E4300s. Although it has not totally eliminated lockups, it has significantly reduced them.

Secondly, removing the multi-core capacity may work, but it is an extreme waste of your purchase. It would be similar to buying a new, four-door car with three of the doors welded shut and a leaky oil pan.

This is something that Dell needs to correct, if it hasn't already.
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I suspect that the issue is an outdated BIOS - dell released a new BIOS to address an issue where minor overheating of the processor was causing it to reduce it's clock speed to 800 Mhz.  
You should upgrade your bios.  It immediately worked for us.
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disregard - didn't see the previous post

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