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New Dell computer with 8.1 locks up partially/randomly

Posted on 2015-01-25
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I have a customer with a high end Dell tower.  It is running 8.1.  For the last year that they have owned this tower it will randomly lock up so that all applications are locked, but the mouse still moves.   Other times it completely locks up and the only way to turn off is to shut power (power button will not shutdown computer by holding for 10 secs), other times the power button will work.   Other times not all icons or tiles show up.   Could this be software, or is this more likely a hardware issue?  What would be your line of attack on this?
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Question by:syssolut
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Assisted Solution

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 50 total points
ID: 40569958
hardware: failing disk or not enough memory
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Author Comment

by:syssolut
ID: 40569960
I will run test on hard drive, but it has 16 Gig of RAM
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Assisted Solution

by:Daniel Foye
Daniel Foye earned 225 total points
ID: 40569991
Based on the provided information, two things come to mind:

1) Additional hardware specifics would be helpful.

2) Without said additional info, my first hunch is to suspect the video card and/or driver.   What video card does does the tower have? Is the driver up-to-date?

How about Windows Update? Is the computer updated regularly?
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40570084
without more info; you can follow 2 routes for identifying the problem; soft or hard
you can try the minimum setup for identifying many hardware problems : disconnect all external devices, leave only 1 ram stick, 1 disk drive, and disconnect cd drives

more info here : http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Components/Motherboards/A_1945.html                  (Short-overview-of-how-to-troubleshoot-bad-hardware-when-a-pc-does-not-post)

in case the disk has problems, here's what i do :
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Hard_Drives/A_3000-The-bad-hard-disk-problem.html

**it can even be overheating - install speedfan to monitor : http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php
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Author Comment

by:syssolut
ID: 40578761
I am picking computer up in two days.   Owner said the computer locks up only when it is in sleep mode or coming out of sleep mode.   Even though the disks never go into sleep mode.   When the owner is using it intensely with printing and running her applications, it does not do this.   Again, the user ran into the issue that the computer locked up and they tried shutting down with the power button on the tower by holding for 15 secs. but it would not shut down, they had to pull the plug.
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Expert Comment

by:Daniel Foye
ID: 40578805
I would alter the current settings for sleep mode.  
Have seen these types of problems before, and I can't tell you an exact fix, unfortunately.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40579221
you can change the settings in the bios for sleep mode, if available
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Author Comment

by:syssolut
ID: 40592731
How do you get into BIOS on Windows 8.1
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Author Comment

by:syssolut
ID: 40592754
Bios says:
Wake up by integrated LAN               Disabled
AC REcovery                                         Power Off
USB PowerShare in S4/S5 State        Disabled
USB Powershare in Sleep State        Normal
Auto Power On                                   Disabled
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Author Comment

by:syssolut
ID: 40592765
Dell XPS tower.    16 GB RAM.   Intel Core i7-4770@ 3.4 Ghz.    2TB Seagate HD,    NVidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti
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Author Comment

by:syssolut
ID: 40592796
I am downloading an updated Video driver from NVidia.   The sleep mode is set to 1 Min (Per customers request).  It takes almost 1 more minute for the pictures to start on the monitor (pictures set to run while in sleep mode).   In between the computer going into sleep mode and the Pictures starting up, the screen is black and you cannot get it to wake up with the mouse or keyboard before the pictures start.  Any ideas?
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Author Comment

by:syssolut
ID: 40592821
Let me change above statement.   The computer is set to never go to sleep and Never to turn off display.
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Accepted Solution

by:
nobus earned 225 total points
ID: 40593052
it can also help updating the video and other drivers
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Author Closing Comment

by:syssolut
ID: 40635229
After finding this and  running it, the computer seems to have stopped locking up.    Thanks for suggestions

Open cmd.exe with Run as Administrator.
 DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /Scanhealth (takes 15 - 20 minutes).
 DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /Restorehealth (takes 15 - 20 minutes).
 Restart the computer and test.
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