Dell Vostro 1520 Laptop Freezes – Problem with Dell Laptop.
I am using a Dell Vostro 1520 laptop and recently I came across this problem. My laptop hangs randomly and every time it does (it freezes stops responding completely), I have to restart my laptop by pressing the Power button for a few seconds. If some music was being played when it hangs, you now hear a buzzing noise. My OS is Windows XP Service Pack 3. I had absolutely no idea about the reason why my system hangs. When I looked at the event logs, I could see Netlogon errors being thrown when the system hangs. I did everything I could do to prevent a Netlogon error but with no luck. The Netlogon errors made me think that the problem could be with the Domain Controller since I’m on a Network. I also tried updating my BIOS and re-installing the Network Driver.
Finally I realized that the problem NEVER happens when I use my laptop on Battery Mode without an External AC Power supply. But as soon as I re-connect my AC Power supply, the system hangs. I found out that system hangs when on Low Battery with an AC Power outlet connected. It never hangs if you run only on your battery or if you run on your AC power with a fully charged battery.
The real problem was with the Intel SpeedStep technology which changes some settings to optimize the laptop performance when you switch from one mode of power supply to other (from Battery to AC after using on battery for a while).
To immediate solution to this problem is to change the Power Option Properties (Power Schemes) in your OS.
In Windows XP:
- Right click on the Desktop and choose Properties.
- Click on ScreenSaver Tab and Click on “Power” button at the bottom.
- From the Power Schemes drop down, Choose “Always On”.
- Apply the settings and the problem is solved!
In Windows Vista or Windows 7, you can find Power Schemes (Power Plans) option in Control Panel to choose a Power Plan. Choose “High Performance” which will disable the Intel SpeedStep.
This problem is often seen in Dell Laptops and you can contact Dell for a replacement if you are covered under a warranty.