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'Silent' Crash? Keyboard Failure?

Last response: in Windows 7
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May 10, 2012 9:13:52 PM

Hello. I'm wondering if anyone can help me out with a question - I have a Dell Inspiron PC that I got a few months ago, and everything's been going pretty well. I've had one or two BSODs, but nothing major. Now, though, I'm faced with kind of an issue.

Whenever I leave the computer alone for some time, it crashes. It used to be where it would only do it sometimes if I leave it alone for hours (like overnight), but today it crashed while left unattended for just around 4 hours. When it crashes, the computer seems to be on as the power and busy lights are on (the busy light blinking occasionally), but there's no output on the monitor. I can't use the keyboard or mouse to 'wake it up', so I have to hard reset it with the Power button.

After the hard reset, it powers up, but it displays that there's a "Keyboard Failure", and continues to boot up. I restart it again at this point, and then it boots up as usual. The keyboard is responsive, and it asks me if I want to boot into Windows normally. I choose to do so, and it runs normally.

It seems like it only crashes if I'm not using it - there's not really any weird behavior otherwise. Any ideas?
a b $ Windows 7
May 10, 2012 9:39:59 PM

is it new? if it is talk to dell, use that warranty that's built into the price.

Sounds to me like a sleep issue. can you set it to never sleep/standby in the power settings and see if the same thing happens again. Before you talk to dell, backup your data, in case they ask you to rebuild from disks. Use Windows Skydrive/google Gdrive something like that if needs be.
May 10, 2012 9:43:12 PM

Thanks for the advice - I set it to never turn off my monitor (I almost ALWAYS do it myself anyway), as well as not to require passwords on start-up. I'll see if that solves the issue.
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a b $ Windows 7
May 10, 2012 9:59:04 PM

also set to never go to sleep at all. Do you have spare keyboard?
May 10, 2012 11:00:56 PM

It's already set to never go to sleep. I do have a spare keyboard, but it's not really as nice as the one that came with the computer. It's also not a USB keyboard, though I think the PC does have standard PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports.
a b $ Windows 7
May 11, 2012 8:20:56 AM

well this is for testing purposes only, BUT if the whole thing is not set to never sleep or STANDBY then its not a resume issue.

That probably points to memory then, you need to run memtest. Win7 & Vista (I think), use memory randomly and not from the bottom up, hence if you have some bad memory it will occasionally get hit, under xp, it would only get hit once it was a certain amount full.

How old is this machine? The other thing I have seen about Dells (and others I'm sure, but I have experienced it with 5-6 dell laptops) is that the initial install of the operating system is not imaged very well, and they always benefit from a proper install, not a re-image from the recovery partition but a proper install from the disks.

seriously if it is in warranty talk to their tech support people, you've paid for it, make them work for it. perhaps they start sending stuff out that works properly. this might sound anti dell, i'm not, i'm just anti companies getting away with shipping bad stuff to customers.
May 11, 2012 8:27:52 AM

I believe it would turn off the display, but not the computer, originally. Now that the options are changed though, I can't look and see.

I don't think it would be a memory error, since the computer would BSOD if it ran out of memory, right? Yet when I would go to turn it off, it wasn't 'ready to turn off', like it was at a blue screen. In addition, it never crashes while I'm using it for games and other high-memory usage applications - just when I leave it alone.

I might talk to the tech people, though I doubt they would tell me anything outside of the usual.
a b $ Windows 7
May 11, 2012 8:39:19 AM

If a machine runs out of memory it will crash that program and not windows. If windows trys to randomly access that bit of memory that is bad it will blue screen.

I'd reinstall windows from recovery disks, back everything up first, i've seen similar before. Its a crappy solution, but it should work, if it doesn't you have a hardware problem .
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