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Windows 7: Computer Crashes When Left Idle if Being Used Extensively

23 May 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
Computer Crashes When Left Idle if Being Used Extensively

This is a weird problem that showed up in my laptop over the past few months, but I'm just now heading here to try to get some insight on the problem.

So when I first got this computer about two and a half years ago, it could edit/render/encode HD videos with little sweat. Now, it can sorta still do that. The only quaint problem is that it tends to crash if I go AFK for about 10 minutes or so while it is doing so. I can sit while rendering a video and browse the internet with no problem--I don't even really feel the laptop getting very warm, let alone crashing. However if I am to leave it alone while I go to do something else, I always come back to it turned off.

When I reboot, I get the typical "Windows did not shut down correctly" spiel.

It's just weird.. I mean I can work around it, but I wouldn't mind knowing what's causing this and if it's fixable. I even set my computer to where it never dims/blanks the screen, thinking that was causing it, but to no avail.

Thanks in advance.


It should be noted that the computer is perfectly fine if left idle while not doing something strenuous like rendering.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2012   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

You may be getting a blue screen crash without knowing it, but that should leave it in the login screen, not turned off. Even if you are not getting a blue screen, the event logs may help determine the problem. Follow the to provide us with any .dmp files and any event logs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

I think I did everything correctly. Here's what I got.

Attachment 213214

And to answer the questions in that other thread..

- My program files is x86, but System Properties says that it's 64 Bit
- Win7 was installed on this originally
- It's OEM

- I got it very late 2009/early 2010 (can't remember)
- I had to reinstall Windows and completely wipe the hard drive around August 2011.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 May 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

Interesting error:
  Log Name: System
  Source: ACPI
  Date: 2012-05-23T08:56:02.207
  Event ID: 13
  Task: N/A
  Level: Error
  Opcode: N/A
  Keyword: Classic
  User: N/A
  User Name: N/A
  Computer: Darren-PC
: The embedded controller (EC) did not respond within the specified timeout 
period. This may indicate that there is an error in the EC hardware or firmware 
or that the BIOS is accessing the EC incorrectly. You should check with your 
computer manufacturer for an upgraded BIOS. In some situations, this error 
may cause the computer to function incorrectly..
Is there a BIOS update available from your Dell support site?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

Sorry for the late reply, but I sorta procrastinated to looking into this.

I can't seem to figure out my exact model name for my laptop.. I was trying to find a new BIOS update on, and when it asked me to identify my model, I didn't know exactly which one to choose (I assume that picking the wrong one and installing the wrong BIOS can be pretty bad, so I was cautious). I know it's a Studio 17-something. I'm thinking 1747 or 1749 or something...
Do you know of any way for me to find out for sure before I go about updating?

Also, should updating it be fairly newbie-friendly? I've read that updating BIOSes in newer computers is fairly easy (mostly just letting the .exe do its thing) but I don't want to mess anything up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit

Does your computer still have the Dell Service Tag attached to it?

If so, you can go to Dell Support and input the tag and let Dell carry out an inventory of your computer, which should list your model name, number, and drivers available along with a BIOS update if applicable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

Unfortunately not that I'm aware of. I checked the bottom of my laptop for any kind of stickers that may identify it, but they're all pretty smudged up and unreadable.

I found a page on the control panel that tells me the model name. I'll start looking for a new BIOS now.

This is what came up as the only BIOS update. The installation instructions seem pretty easy. Anything else I should know going into this? I won't be able to actually do this till sometime tomorrow or later tonight.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

Your BIOS may already be up to date, but it shouldn't hurt to flash it again. Just make sure you do not interrupt the flashing procedure. Do not turn off your computer or reset it for any reason while the BIOS flash is taking place.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Computer Crashes When Left Idle if Being Used Extensively

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