My Dell Precision 5510 is getting old


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I have had a few issues over the years with my Dell Precision 5510 notebook (https://i.dell.com/sites/doccontent/shared-content/data-sheets/en/Documents/Dell_Precision_15_5000_Series_5510_Spec_Sheet.pdf)

I bought the device specifically to do demos which required a VMs without access to the internet.  The machine has 32 GB of RAM, a 2 TB Samsung 970 NVMe, Amazing touch-screen display.  I had an issue last year and found that the motherboard was a problem.  It would not post – no a peep.  Dell allowed me to pay to have my warranty extended DESPITE the fact that it lapsed!  This saved me a lot of time and money.  Extended Motherboard replaced… moving right along… Until a few months ago…

I had been having some failed recoveries from Hibernation – the way that I keep my 63 browser tabs available to resume where I left off when I return to work… Yeah, I use History and the OneTab browser extension as well, but… I digress… Things hadn’t been going well for a little while, perhaps my last motherboard firmware update – I know, “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke” but, sometimes there is that “Gosh, THAT’s what’s been causing me that pain for SO long?” – So I generally update the firmware shortly after it has come out.  Recovery from Hibernation also started causing issues when waking from hibernation while docked.  My external monitors would sometimes not come on… Sure, I LOVE the WINDOWS + CTRL + SHIFT + B to give the Windows video subsystem a kick in the pants, but I ended up removing the USB C cable attached to my Dell WD 15 dock, unplug the power from the dock, wait, plug the power back in, wait, plug the dock into the PC, and wait… sometime that was enough, sometime opening and closing the lid on my laptop did the trick… I was sad because this just worked before, and then stopped working… 

So then a few weeks back…  WTF?!  My Delete key popped off and wouldn’t stay in place.  I lived with it… then one day… My machine would not POST… No Dell logo, not beep… no luck.  I know, people are quick to throw out ideas, and I know where I could start… But I had also recently receive paper mail (shocking isn’t it) from Dell, reminding me that my warranty was coming due soon.  So, this was my wake up call, I should get these issues fixed soon… and I should get Dell support involved early, if, for no other reason to get my Keyboard replaced.  So, I was on the right track:

  1. get out the anti-static mat & wrist strap (let’s keep it safe people)
  2. unplug power adapter
  3. unscrew bottom
  4. disconnect battery
  5. unplug SSD, RAM, WiFi Adapter
  6. replace bottom with just the 2 big screws
  7. turn over
  8. hold down power to discharge
  9. plug in (remember there is not battery)
  10. Hopefully it will reset the stuff and give you a not boot device error, if not Rinse and repeat by plugging the RAM back in.

This did the trick for me and I found out 2 days prior dell released a critical firmware update for my system, It was advised that I install it immediately – Yeah, thanks guys! 

now on Friday, UniSys comes to install my new keyboard.  When looking at the heat sink and motherboard, the tech noticed that 3 of the 4 thermal pads were not in place.  They must have been missed when the motherboard was switched out 10 months ago!  NICE.  Upon Rebooting, another frustration… Self test showed errors on the my SSD – non stock, not supported by Dell, Nice… So after that was dealt with (thermal pads on order, also new motherboard later approved too) I needed to deal with the SSD.

The error message detail I found were posted here: 

Recommended action

Replace Hard Drive.

The diagnostics indicate that you may be experiencing an issue with the Hard drive.

          • Please update BIOS.
          • Turn of the computer and Reseat the drives/cables/connections for the hard drive. Refer to the service manual for instructions.
          • Restart your computer and rerun the PSA diagnostics.

If you are unable to resolve the issue, please contact Dell Technical Support for additional assistance.

So what do YOU use to test the SMART system of your SSD?  I have a Samsung so it comes with Magician software for that… it said everything was fine.  I installed CrystalDiskInfo (https://crystalmark.info/en/software/crystaldiskinfo/) – It said everything was fine?! – WHAT?!  Okay, I have lots in the cloud, but it would be a pain if I didn’t have a bare metal restore available, so after considering Image backup with the Old Windows 7 app, i changed gears and decided that my Synology Active Backup for Business (https://www.synology.com/…/active_backup_business) which came free with my Synology DS918+ NAS (https://www.synology.com/…/DS918+) was likely a better solution, so I configured that.

Now my Firmware and drivers were updated, my machine seeming fine, I re-ran the ePSA this is the “Dell Enhanced Pre-Boot System Diagnostics (ePSA) – diagnostics that are built into the hardware of your system” …

I ran the quick test – no issues… none…

I ran the detailed test – not issues… Hmmm… I turn off ALL other tests but the Storage tests to be sure… PASS – No issues…

Well, where do I go from here…

Do you know of any other SSD test I might want to try…

For RAM I’ve used the open source project MemTest86 (https://www.memtest86.com) for YEARS and have found bad memory modules on servers and PCs…

Is there an INTENSIVE / Comprehensive testing tool for SSDs?

 

 

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