Dell XPS 18 and Windows 10 Creators Edition


Just pull out a few wires and all will be well......

Last night I broke my Dell XPS 18 tablet. Rather sad. I've had the machine for a while, and I really like it. I'd never be able to get another one, I don't think anyone will be daft enough to try and make this kind of machine again. It's an 18 inch Tablet PC and up until around 8:35 pm it was running Windows 10 a treat. 

Then suddenly it wasn't. 

What it was doing, was flashing the power light red for half a second and then white for seven flashes, which were repeated until I got bored and held the power switch down. Just before I went to bed I searched for some BIOS error codes and found that seven might mean that the graphics hardware is toast. 

Just the thing you want to do before trying to have a restful night.

This morning I had better luck. A proper search revealed that there is an issue with the power supply management on Windows 10 which means that my trusty tablet had put itself into "zombie sleep" mode during the installation of some updates. The way to fix the problem is to remove the back, unplug the battery and CMOS battery for a few minutes and then restart the machine. Full story here

Now you're talking.

The fix worked fine, and I've now got Windows 10 Creators Edition running handily on my "Big Ole Tablet". There is still something dodgy about things though. Entering Sleep mode makes the computer really hard to wake up (in fact it usually results in a crash). I've no idea why this is, or how to fix it, or if it can be fixed, so I've solved the problem by doing the following, which I call my "None Shall Sleep" plan:

  1. Open the power settings and tell the computer never to Sleep.
  2. Change the Power Button action from "Sleep" to "Nothing". This is a good thing to do on the Dell anyway because the power button is stupidly hard to catch by mistake and very irritating when it takes the machine away from you. 
  3. Remove the Sleep option from the power menu. 
  4. Turn off the "Fast Resume from Sleep". I'm not sure what this does, but I've got an SSD in the Dell now, and it boots pretty darned fast without any fancy shenanigans. 

If you've got an elderly Dell machine that has been broken by a Windows 10 upgrade you might want to look into this issue. The effect of the failure really does leave you thinking the hardware is dead, and I was very pleased when mine sprang back into life again.