troubleshooting Question

Windows 10 machines "Locking Up" when left idle

Avatar of Jarrod Adams
Jarrod AdamsFlag for United States of America asked on
Windows 10Windows OSNetworking* DELL HARDWARE
11 Comments1 Solution115 ViewsLast Modified:
I know this is a mountain, but any guidance, expertise or experience with this is appreciated.

I have network computers that are "locking up on a black screen".  The computers are on, even showing online and available to connect with remote utilities, often able to ping them...but once a connection is initiated, it goes into a stall at the final stage that is a formality of requesting the connection from the host.
The behavior on-site is that the computer is "on" but the monitors are blank and no keyboard input is accepted.  Sometimes a mouse can be moved but not clicked.  So, for all practical purposes the computer is unusable.

Once the computer is hard booted, it works normally in every way...printers, network shares, online/local/network apps all function correctly and computer is responsive.  The lockups occur when the computer has been left unattended and idle for a period of several hours or days.  the timing is not the same.  While we have different computers and monitor configurations, and many programs installed, our basic network environment has remained fairly similar from computer to compter and year to year for 10 years and we haven't had this type of issue before.  It seems to be isolated to Windows 10 computers, and mostly tp newer (1-2 years) ssd computers that have pci-E NVME ssd drives rather than traditional SATA drives.  All are Dell computers.  The behavior is intermittent.  If an employee goes home form the office, chances are they can sign in remotely later that night or the next day or even the day after, leaving apps open or closing out of apps and files does not seem to affect the behavior but we may see slightly improved access when folks save/close and log out.  

It's a very busy office so troubleshooting is a challenge, and having people not use 1 of 15 or more programs that they use everyday and waiting 3-4 days to see if their computer locks up is less practical than hard booting and getting back to work.

I am not an expert is the event viewer, but nothing stands out when I check the logs.  the computer doesn't seem to think it has locked up...but if anyone knows of a better monitor or admin tool or troubleshooting routine, I'm happy to try. An event diagnostic tool?
A program compatibility analysis somehow? but it isn't a compatibility issue while all programs are active and being worked on, it's only when the computer is left idle for an extended period.

BTW...all Windows updates, Dell firmware updates have been done and are successful.  Multiple antivirus scans have been done, registry cleaned, sfc scannow and DISM tool run.  Dell tech suggested a BIOS setting called "BlockSleep" sould be enabled.  This seemed to maybe help for a few days but then the behavior returned.  

And many of our computers are unaffected.  This is why I have tried to consider the pci-E NVME ssd drives a possibility.  However, I have other identical or similar machines at other clients with the same never-off power settings that have had no issues with this lockup behavior, and Dell so far hasn't revealed any problems with these drives or hardware configurations.  So, I'm a bit stuck every time I feel I've got something narrowed down via the scientific method, the behavior happens again.

Thanks in advance for your help.
fred hakim
Retired IT

Our community of experts have been thoroughly vetted for their expertise and industry experience.

Join our community to see this answer!
Unlock 1 Answer and 11 Comments.
Start Free Trial
Learn from the best

Network and collaborate with thousands of CTOs, CISOs, and IT Pros rooting for you and your success.

Andrew Hancock - VMware vExpert
See if this solution works for you by signing up for a 7 day free trial.
Unlock 1 Answer and 11 Comments.
Try for 7 days

”The time we save is the biggest benefit of E-E to our team. What could take multiple guys 2 hours or more each to find is accessed in around 15 minutes on Experts Exchange.

-Mike Kapnisakis, Warner Bros