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57 posts

Master Geek


# 38512 30-Jul-2009 21:07
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I bought a Dell Studio XPS 13 laptop a couple of weeks ago, running Vista Home Premium SP2. All seemed fine except for a number of random error messages which only occurred once or twice each, nothing consistent to follow-up. I thought maybe this was a memory fault and ran the various checks available under Vista and the Dell software. No memory faults were reported but I did get a different value for “physical memory installed” depending on what I used to check with.

There is 4GB installed but this is reported as 2.2GB or thereabouts mostly (4GB via “Control Panel/System”).

I called the Dell helpline and they offered to change the memory and motherboard, which was done within 2 days, excellent service there.

But with the new m/board and RAM nothing has changed as far as memory reporting is concerned.

Now I’ve found on another forum that “Windows 32 bit splits the 4GB of available memory address
space into two separate 2 GB address spaces. One of the 2GB address spaces is used by the Windows operating system and the other 2GB address space is used for user applications”. But wait a minute; my desktop (same OS) has 3GB and all checks say that it has 3GB. This is a contradiction, so what’s going on here, can anybody tell me what I should expect?

I don't have much confidence now in either the Dell Helpdesk or the Unisys technician, who both should know but apparently don't.
 
One thing that has changed is that before the “repair” the screen was less bright on battery than on mains, seems logical, power saving and all that. Now I have a brighter screen on battery, it dims as the power plug goes in – what’s going on here? Maybe one of you has a XPS and can confirm how this should work. I’ve tried all the power saver settings and can’t find anything to change this, anyone know of a solution?

And the third issue doesn’t seem to have a solution judging from various forum postings. This is when I try to open “Control Panel” and I get a “Windows Explorer Not Responding” message, I close and it normally opens on the second attempt, no biggie, but annoying. Forums say this was fixed under Vista SP1, seems it came back under SP2? Anyone else with this issue? Any solution?

So three issues bothering me, can some of you knowledgable guys please help me out here?

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57 posts

Master Geek


  # 240758 30-Jul-2009 21:09
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Sorry about all that rubbish at the beginning of my post don't know how that happened - apologies

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  # 240761 30-Jul-2009 21:25
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alienstew: There is 4GB installed but this is reported as 2.2GB or thereabouts mostly (4GB via “Control Panel/System”).

Now I’ve found on another forum that “Windows 32 bit splits the 4GB of available memory address
space into two separate 2 GB address spaces. One of the 2GB address spaces is used by the Windows operating system and the other 2GB address space is used for user applications”. But wait a minute; my desktop (same OS) has 3GB and all checks say that it has 3GB. This is a contradiction, so what’s going on here, can anybody tell me what I should expect?


It's possible... This will depend on how much memory is required by other devices on your PC, and how up-to-date the BIOS is supporting large memory. I'd say because this is a XPS system it should be quite new.

Also depends on what OS version you're running. For large memory you should be running a 64 bit OS - right-click Computer and Properties to check this.

Read more here.

alienstew: One thing that has changed is that before the “repair” the screen was less bright on battery than on mains, seems logical, power saving and all that. Now I have a brighter screen on battery, it dims as the power plug goes in – what’s going on here? Maybe one of you has a XPS and can confirm how this should work. I’ve tried all the power saver settings and can’t find anything to change this, anyone know of a solution?


Click the battery icon in the system tray, click "[More Power Options]" and on the right side there's a label "[Adjust the display brightness]".

alienstew: And the third issue doesn’t seem to have a solution judging from various forum postings. This is when I try to open “Control Panel” and I get a “Windows Explorer Not Responding” message, I close and it normally opens on the second attempt, no biggie, but annoying. Forums say this was fixed under Vista SP1, seems it came back under SP2? Anyone else with this issue? Any solution?


It sounds to me there's a corrupt applet there. Perhaps something you installed lately added an applet that's causing problems?





 
 
 
 




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Master Geek


  # 240896 31-Jul-2009 11:41
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Thanks Mauricio, appreciate your reply


Freitasm: Also depends on what OS version you're running. For large memory you
should be running a 64 bit OS - right-click Computer and Properties to
check this.
(how do I put that neat box around this?)

Both computers run Vista Home Premium SP2, the desktop is about 2 years old but BIOS apparently current, 3GB RAM. The laptop is new, BIOS is current, 4GB RAM. Both are Dell

The write-up was interesting, sounds like my issue all right. For this laptop Dell give the choice of 32 or 64 bit versions of Vista, so presume there is no compatability issue with running 64 bit as far as the computer is concerned. Don't know anything about this, is it possible if I go 64 bit that I may have compatability problems with peripherals?



Freitasm: Click the battery icon in the system tray, click "[More Power Options]"
and on the right side there's a label "[Adjust the display brightness]".


Tried this but I don't appear to have an "adjust the display brightness" Nearest thing I can find is Personalization/Nvidia Control Panel where I can alter brightness. This just alters brightness the same ratio in both mains and battery states. This must be controled from somewhere else? I've been through the "change advanced power settings" nothing helps there. This present "bright on battery, dim on mains" thing changed from "bright on mains, dim on battery" with change of motherboard, is it likely to be hardware, a jumper on the board or something?



Freitasm: It sounds to me there's a corrupt applet there. Perhaps something you installed lately added an applet that's causing problems?

I thought so to but starting using System Configuration/Diagnostic Startup which only loads the basics at start-up the problem still happens.





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Master Geek


  # 248570 19-Aug-2009 11:19
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An update - the "Windows Explorer Not Responding" error I was getting, where "Control Panel" wouldn't open has been fixed with a new hot fix from Microsoft, KB972685, anyone else suffering from this try the update, it worked for me.

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  # 248823 19-Aug-2009 21:51
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Recommend installing Windows 7 RTM x64!



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Master Geek


  # 250027 24-Aug-2009 10:25
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After 2 years of struggle with Vista it now works reasonably well for me most of the time. I remember all the hype before Vista was released and all the glowing previews, the Win 7 hype sounds just the same. Call me cynical but I'll be waiting for Win 7 SP1 before I "upgrade"

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  # 250029 24-Aug-2009 10:35
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alienstew: After 2 years of struggle with Vista it now works reasonably well for me most of the time. I remember all the hype before Vista was released and all the glowing previews, the Win 7 hype sounds just the same. Call me cynical but I'll be waiting for Win 7 SP1 before I "upgrade"


You will be surprised. Windows 7 is what Vista should've been. Call it "Vista the definitive SP", or just Windows 7.

I have been using it since its first closed beta - this is about nine months now, and on my laptops, Media Center, etc.




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