77 Replies Latest reply on Sep 30, 2010 11:46 AM by Jack Lapham

    Dell M6400 Problems

    David Lerner
      Has anyone else here bought Dell's new M6400? I received mine a week ago yesterday. Last week it worked great. Monday the (Quadra 2700) video card appeared to crash. It no longer saw the external monitor, and the display was really, really slow. After 4 hours on the phone with Dell, they finally sent a tech out Tuesday to replace the video card. It then worked great for another 5 hours. Then the same problem occured. They wanted to send the tech out with another video card and a new motherboard, but I insisted they send me a whole new machine. I am hoping this was just a lemon, and a new machine will be fine, but I am wondering if anyone has been using this with SW.
      Thanks.
      Dave
        • Dell M6400 Problems
          Jeff Mirisola
          I had graphics issues with an M90 some years back. Check that they loaded the correct drivers and see if there isn't a BIOS update available as well. With mine, after they changed out the video card, it turned out to be the BIOS.
          Every Dell I've had has come loaded with the wrong graphics driver except for the M4300 I got a couple of months ago.
            • Dell M6400 Problems
              David Lerner
              Thanks for the advise. I had downloaded and reinstalled the video drivers (with virus protection off), but hadn't thought of the BIOS. I checked it though, and it is the current revision. I think the video card is blown now anyway. Now, I'm just waiting for Dell to ship a replacement machine...
                • Dell M6400 Problems
                  Devon Sowell
                  Hi Dave-

                  The 1600M video card failed on my M6300.

                  My laptop crashes more when hooked up to an external monitor or projector.
                    • Dell M6400 Problems
                      Rob Jensen
                      Heard at a 2009 roll-out that there is a issue with dual monitors on 2009. You have to turn off hardware acceleration on the second monitor and that should "help" until they fix it.
                        • Dell M6400 Problems
                          David Lerner
                          Thanks for the feedback. In regards to the dual monitors, I am currently running an M90 with 2009 on dual monitors and projectors without any problems. In my home office I run a Dell 24" thru a port replicator, and use dualview with the external being the primary. At my client's office I often use an external projector plugged in the analong output in clone mode. Since my old port replicator is not compatable and my new one hasn't arrived yet I was driving my external monitor thru the analog port.
                  • Dell M6400 Problems
                    Mark Biasotti
                    Dave,

                    I just got the M6400 Covet but it has the Quadro FX 3700M. I'll let you know if I have any problems.

                    • Dell M6400 Problems
                      Ian Ayton
                      I received my M6400 Covet a week ago. It has the FX3700M with the "as shipped" driver installed and it has problems.

                      SW2008 sp5.1 crashes 2 or 3 times an hour when used with just the built in monitor.

                      There does not seem to be any similarity in the performed SW actions prior to the crash.

                      Occasionally the machine just shuts completely down without warning (instant black screen).

                      Most times the screen image freezes then assumes a "washed out look" and displays " The NVidia open G/L drive encountered an unrecoverable error and must close this application - error 13". About 4 minutes later SW closes down but can be reloaded without rebooting.

                      I believe my installation is clean. I have loaded only SW and Norton IS. No mouse drivers and no time on the web except to download SP 5.1

                      I checked to make sure that an approved driver was available before I purchased the machine but I mistakenly verified that the FX 3700 was OK, not the FX 3700M. (oops) I suspect that a suitable video driver does not yet exist for this system.

                      Has anyone had experience using SW 2009 sp1 on a setup like this?

                      I have reported this to Dell and expect some feedback shortly; I will post developments here.

                      It's going to be very hard to send this one back; it's gorgeous!


                      Dell M6400 Covet X9100 3.06GHz
                      Vista Ultimate 64bit
                      8 GB DDR3 ram
                      FX 3700M

                      Ian Ayton
                      • Dell M6400 Problems
                        Ian Ayton
                        Jeff

                        The FX 3700M is approved and has recommended drivers for the 32 bit OS. I was unable to find approval for Vista 64

                        Dell M6400 Covet X9100 3.06GHz
                        Vista Ultimate 64bit
                        8 GB DDR3 ram
                        FX 3700M

                        Ian Ayton
                          • Dell M6400 Problems
                            Jeff Mirisola
                            Ugh, I missed that nugget of information...
                            • Dell M6400 Problems
                              Mark Biasotti
                              Ian,

                              I'm on Vista x32 with my Covet but it's also the Quad Core version. I'm using the driver that came shipped with it and have not upgraded to the SW recommended driver yet.

                              I'll say in touch here to let you know if I have any troubles.

                              the only one I've come across so far is that I had the ocassion the other day that I could not get my desktop back after the screen saver, but instead got a white blanks screen with the task bar. This was while PV360 was refining in the preview (taking over all four processors) window but I suspect it is the Graphics driver.
                                • Dell M6400 Problems
                                  Neil Larsen
                                  @Mark,
                                  or another reason: PV360 might not be set to 'belownormal' priority.
                                  I get a similar effect when using Indigo (like Maxwell) on occassions that I forget that.
                                  These computation intensive renderers will bind up the processors such that other stuff including graphics etc are held up in the queue.
                                  The screen saver also takes resources to run and end. I would probably disable it for a rendering session
                                  If it isnt already I would suggest PV360 have a 'belownormal' priority as its default launch state.
                                  HTH
                              • Dell M6400 Problems
                                Randy Emert
                                Yes, I've experienced similar crashes with the Quadro FX3700M graphics card both on 2009 sp0 and sp1.
                                My machine:
                                Dell Precision M2400, dual core @ 2.4 GHz
                                WinXP 64 Bit V2003 sp2
                                4GB RAM
                                Quadro FX3700M

                                I'm interested in finding out if there are any new drivers or drivers that anyone has used and worked.

                                I experienced similar crashes on another 64bit machine.
                                AMD Athlon 64 Bit Dual core
                                4600+ @ 2.4GHz
                                4GB RAM
                                Win XP 64 Bit v2003 sp2
                                Quadro FX540

                                On this machine, however, I had Dual Channel chips that my machine read incorrectly. So, I changed those out, updated the driver and bios and still experienced SW crashes. It was originally on SW2008 sp5. I added SW2009 but have not gone back to check if it still crashes in SW2008. The Quadro FX540 is no longer a supported card in SW2009.
                                • Dell M6400 Problems
                                  Ian Ayton
                                  Mark;

                                  After messing with it for a week I gave up, for the time being, on finding a satisfactory driver for the FX3700M. I arranged with Dell to take the Vista 64 machine back and swap it for a 32 bit version of the same thing. An hour before the UPS pickup I checked the SW approved driver list one last time and found the driver I needed; 7.15.11.7653 AO3. (Was it there all the time?).

                                  I've logged about 10hours since loading the recommended driver and all is well so far.

                                  Ian Ayton

                                  SW 08-5.1
                                  Dell M6400 Covet X9100 3.06GHz
                                  Vista Ultimate 64bit
                                  8 GB DDR3 ram
                                  FX 3700M
                                  Aytonco.com
                                    • Dell M6400 Problems
                                      Mark Biasotti
                                      Glad to hear that Ian.

                                      My M6400 seems to be doing well with SW2009 SP1 and the SW driver running x32 Vista.

                                      The only problem I've had so far is my screen saver in Vista has "locked up" my desktop and once I was able to kill the process, but the other time, I need to reboot my machine.

                                      The other complaint is the size of that power adapter - talk about a boat anchor!! Then again this is a workstation class laptop; I just wish that I they could spend a little more money (and I would pay for it) to design a switching PS that wouldn't be so big - but maybe that's technically impossible. I don't look forward to lugging this thing around, Power adaptor and all. I do have the smaller adaptor also, but as you know, they warn you it is only really good for charging the battery and half-power/half performance use of the machine.
                                        • Dell M6400 Problems
                                          Ian Ayton
                                          Mark;

                                          My M6400 ran perfectly for 10 hours following the installation of the SW recommended video driver. Soon after this, the "display driver nviddmkm stopped responding but has recovered" warning appeared 3-4 times an hour.

                                          This requires a system reboot each time. - The operation was a succes but the patient died.

                                          A brief web search reveals occurences of the "nviddmkm' issue experienced with gamers on their systems 18 months ago. Am I being naive in concluding that a standard solution should exist for this issue by now?

                                          SW tech is helping me with this but I would appreciate some outside views.


                                          Ian Ayton

                                          SW 08-5.1
                                          Dell M6400 Covet X9100 3.06GHz
                                          Vista Ultimate 64bit
                                          8 GB DDR3
                                          FX 3700M (7.15.11.7653)
                                          Aytonco.com
                                            • Dell M6400 Problems
                                              Mark Biasotti
                                              Ian,

                                              I'm having some weird glitches with my M6400 in the last few days; the one that is the most troubling is a documented issue here that when I go into sleep mode and then re-wake from it, I can not shutdown after that and in some cases I try to launch programs like IE or MS word and nothing happens - that is they never successfully load and worse yet, I can not even "kill" them in the task manager. I've heard that this is due to driver issues but I don't have anything unusual loaded in that regard.
                                        • Dell M6400 Problems
                                          Ian Ayton
                                          Mark;

                                          I have not experienced any of the issues you describe above. So far.

                                          I have resisted the temptation to add programs until the video driver issue (nviddmkm) is resolved. However IE, Adobe Reader and Norton IS have been loaded.

                                          SW will often stop responding on my machine during a zoom or spin immediatly after a part feature rebuild. If I frantically spin a shaded or wirframe model it will almost always lockup within 60 secs. The video card seems to choke when asked to do more than a certain amount.

                                          The http://forum.notebookreview.co...owthread.php?p=4236835 thread is very discouraging. I was hoping to become a productive SW user once again, sometime soon.


                                          Ian Ayton

                                          SW 08-5.1
                                          Dell M6400 Covet X9100 3.06GHz
                                          Vista Ultimate 64bit
                                          8 GB DDR3
                                          FX 3700M (7.15.11.7653)
                                          Aytonco.com
                                            • Dell M6400 Problems
                                              Brian Buchanan
                                              Ian,
                                              I am just throwing this out there. Is it possible your video card was overheating, maybe the vent is blocked??
                                                • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                  Phil Marra
                                                  Dave,

                                                  I just caught your post. You say you had a new Dell delivered and it crapped out, and you told Dell you wanted a new machine? How did they respond? I tried that with XI computers after a day and only two successful boots and they told me they "couldn't meet my demands". And I was willing to wait for the new machine but they flat out refused to do business with me after they failed to deliver a working machine that wasn't all dinged up.
                                                  I am looking at Dell and I'd be curious to see how they handled your requests or "demands" as XI put it.
                                                    • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                      Matt Lombard
                                                      I have a friend over in East Aurora (South Buffalo) who ordered a 6400, and they got the order wrong at least 2ce so far, and keep sending him a new machine. The only thing that was wrong was that it had 32 instead of 64 bit os. They said just reinstalling the OS voids the warrantee, but that's something I do routinely on receiving a new computer.

                                                      Dell is happy to send you a new machine, but don't necessarily get the order right. Not sure it's a big improvement.

                                                      My dealings with Xi were perfect several months ago for my desktop. You might also try HP. I had a good experience dealing with them for a purchase a year ago.
                                                        • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                          Rich Bolduc

                                                          Matt Lombard wrote:

                                                           

                                                          I have a friend over in East Aurora (South Buffalo) who ordered a 6400, and they got the order wrong at least 2ce so far, and keep sending him a new machine. The only thing that was wrong was that it had 32 instead of 64 bit os. They said just reinstalling the OS voids the warrantee, but that's something I do routinely on receiving a new computer.



                                                          Dell is happy to send you a new machine, but don't necessarily get the order right. Not sure it's a big improvement.



                                                          My dealings with Xi were perfect several months ago for my desktop. You might also try HP. I had a good experience dealing with them for a purchase a year ago.

                                                          I just talked to their Tech Support about this. I ordered a "refrubed" with 8 gigs of Ram, yet it had a 32 bit version of Vista Business. Their tech support was helpful to me and he's sending me a 64 bit OS over night and said if I have any issues installing it, just give them a call. Hopefully this will fix a couple of issues I've run in to (ie: desktop icon's moving after reboot, SW saying there's not enough memory when rendering). Other then that, the system seems to be a beast.
                                                    • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                      Mark Biasotti
                                                      Ian,

                                                      I am not having any problems with SW per say. I'm using driver version 7.15.11.7653 The biggest difference between us is that I'm on x32 Vista verses your x64 Vista.

                                                      Your SW freezing after rebuild and zooming sounds like a video problem. Have you try verifying by using the "software only OpenGL" option in SW?
                                                    • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                      Ian Ayton
                                                      Mark;

                                                      SW seems to run fine (but slow) when in "software OpenGL". This does suggest that the FX 3700M is the cause of my M6400 problem. (Maybe it's running too hot, Brian)

                                                      Dell has asked me to send the machine back to their Early Life System group for testing. I will do that as soon as the new replacement system arrives.

                                                      The M6400 is the latest in a line of four Dell laptops that I have used primarily for SolidWorks over the last 10 years. I have heard of many complaints from Dell users but I have to say that my experience, while not perfect, has always been very positive. I was concerned when I bought the M6400 because of it's recent release and proximity to the cutting edge of laptop evolution. Usually I try not to stick my neck out this far.

                                                      Despite the inconvenience, I am happy with the support I have received so far from both SW and Dell. Let's hope that the configuration of the replacement is correct and that there are no issues with it.

                                                      I will report back here when I've had a chance to evaluate the new machine.


                                                      Ian Ayton

                                                      SW 08-5.1
                                                      Dell M6400 Covet X9100 3.06GHz
                                                      Vista Ultimate 64bit
                                                      8 GB DDR3
                                                      FX 3700M (7.15.11.7653)
                                                      Aytonco.com
                                                        • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                          Mark Biasotti
                                                          Ian,

                                                          One of my colleagues has the m6400 with x64 Vista and he's having extreme problems with the graphics, and it's not just SW but the Vista OS.

                                                          I suspect the killer is the combination of FX3700M and Vista X64 OS. I have had no graphic problems with the 32 bit version of Vista. If you can afford to working in 32 bit Vista until the x64 version of MS Vista gets working, it might be a viable alternative to send back your machine.
                                                            • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                              Phil Marra
                                                              Ian,

                                                              I was about to pull the trigger on a M6400 but I am wondering if I should after following this thread. Sounds like the FX3700M, running Vista 64 has issues.
                                                              Since I will be looking at 4-8gb ram I have to run 64, and from what I have gathered Vista 64 is the better choice. I also want 1gb video so I am looking at the same set up you are running. After wasting my time with XI Computers I cant afford to be sending things back and forth and being in a testing phase.
                                                              I guess what I am asking is would you recomend going with the Dell? Do you think these issues can/will be resolved?
                                                              From what I have read here Dell seems to be very responsive and accomodating as far as getting you a new machine when things go wrong. The knuckleheads at XI computers could learn alot from Dell.
                                                                • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                  Ian Ayton
                                                                  Phil;

                                                                  I recommend Dell laptop products because my experience with them has almost always been positive. The products I have owned have worked well and the technical support has been excellent. I should qualify that by saying I've had little experience with other brands. I shop for the best Dell SW machine I can afford, get the best warrantee available and sign up for gold tech support. Typically it will be three years before I get a desperate need for speed and the price is always about $4.5k. Usually I go for a platform that's been out for 6 months or so but the M6400 specs tempted me to take a chance. I may live to regret this, but so far Dell has been very responsive to my problems and appears to be highly motivated to resolve them. I am, in effect, an unpaid arm of their development effort and this will upset me big time if they drag their feet too much. The quality and performance of the M6400 however apears to justify a certain amount of inconvenience. It's just like being the first to own a new car release; how very un-engineeringish of me.

                                                                  SW will always be demanding for a portable m/c especially when we push its video processing capabilities but I doubt the M6400 has issues that can't be resolved. If you don't have a backup m/c and need something up and running right now you might be better off with a different product or going elsewhere. Keep a look out on the web for what the other SW guys are doing.

                                                                  Running 2008 SP5.0 on my m/c frequently locked up SW during high demands on the FX3700M; upgrading to 2009 SP2.0 however significantly reduced this frequency. I think you're right Mark about it being a Vista64/Fx3700M issue but like Phil my searching suggests Vista64 is a better choice on most systems.

                                                                  Is there anybody out there with a productive M6400 in any configuration?

                                                                  I've have the tracking # for the new m/c so I should be up and running soon. I will report here with results.


                                                                  Ian Ayton

                                                                  SW 09-2.0
                                                                  Dell M6400 Covet X9100 3.06GHz
                                                                  Vista Ultimate 64bit
                                                                  8 GB DDR3
                                                                  FX 3700M (7.15.11.7653)
                                                                  Aytonco.com
                                                            • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                              Mike Adam
                                                              We have the new Dell M6400 mobile workstation, everything is great in that machine
                                                              but sometimes there is black lines comes and disappear on the screen whenever I open solidworks 2009 SP2.0
                                                              I don't know if its hardware or software problem, I overall I would recommend that model.

                                                              Regards
                                                              • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                Ian Ayton
                                                                My replacement M6400 showed up as scheduled last Tuesday. Configuration is identical to the original problem unit as far as am able to determine. It came loaded with video driver 7.15.11.7626 instead of the SW recommended 7.15.11.7653 I loaded onto the first m/c.

                                                                I am reluctant to pronounce it free of issues after just 40 hours of trouble free SW use but I am hopeful that it's going to be OK.

                                                                I will be back here if I come across any problems. Thank you all for your help.

                                                                Ian Ayton

                                                                SW 09-2.0
                                                                Dell M6400 Covet X9100 3.06GHz
                                                                Vista Ultimate 64bit
                                                                8 GB DDR3
                                                                FX 3700M (7.15.11.7626)
                                                                Aytonco.com
                                                                  • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                    Mark Biasotti
                                                                    Dell has a new bios as 1/28/09 along with some other drivers (like IDT audio) for the M6400 that came out after recieved my laptop in late November.

                                                                    I installed them two days ago, and it looks like it has helped since i have not had any of the issues I've had previous. Like Ian, I'm crossing my fingers, but so far, so good.
                                                                    • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                      Like Ian, my M6400 came with the 7626 video driver. I've been using it close to a month now and haven't seen a crash or blue screen running either SW or Mastercam. It's actually kind of creepy. x9100 with 2700m and xp32.

                                                                      But in all seriousness, it's not broke so I'm not going to update anything until i have a problem. I've put SP2 on my desktop model, but I'm still at 2009SP1 on this. I'll probably give 2 a try next week, since it seems stable.
                                                                    • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                      Ian Ayton
                                                                      The replacement M6400 delivered on 01-27-09 worked perfectly for 2 weeks. Intermittent boot up problems became more frequent until complete refusal to boot up one week later. Dell diagnostic software revealed an error code 2000-0321 LCD EDID - Unable to access EDID EEPROM. After verifying correct seating of the LCD connector Dell installed a new LCD panel with no change. On 02-21-09 the Dell tech arrived with a new FX3700M video card and another LCD panel which got it up and running. This machine has been running perfectly for a week now but I can't say that I have much confidence in it staying that way. Most of the problems I've had seem stem from the video card.

                                                                      I'm getting P'd off about all this but I have to admit that Dell has done everything they can to minimize the pain. I just wish they'd made sure that the product was sorted before they offered it for sale. SW could do a better job of helping users make better hardware choices.

                                                                      I will report back as the saga continues.

                                                                      Ian Ayton

                                                                      SW 09-0
                                                                      Dell M6400 Covet X9100 3.06GHz
                                                                      Vista Ultimate 64bit
                                                                      8 GB DDR3
                                                                      FX 3700M (7.15.11.7653)
                                                                      Aytonco.com

                                                                        • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                          http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=84273

                                                                          The problem seems to be in the screens, from this and other posts in other forums
                                                                          • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                            John Whittaker
                                                                            Ian - Just curious, your post was dated 3/2/2009 but you said you received the machine on 1/27/2009, and it worked for 2 weeks.

                                                                            I was considering an M6400 Covet, but now I will wait at least a quarter unless you report 99.99% success.

                                                                            By the way, I see you're self employed. The 20.1" HP HDX9000 is great for on-site customer presentations, but it is a real challenge to travel with, Dicsontinued, you can still pick up the 1920x1200 version on ebay.
                                                                              • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                Peter Darby
                                                                                Ian ,
                                                                                Looks like I have the same issue. Initially a washed out SW screen with a driver message warning to do with 'nviddmkm' then 5-10 minutes later "The NVidia open G/L drive encountered an unrecoverable error and must close this application - error 13".

                                                                                The machine is new (10days) with a minimum of other software loaded. SW crashed five times with increasing frequency in the last 12 hours. The model is very simple and I don't believe that I'm doing anything complicated to tax the video card. At a guess it would appear to be basic stability/compatibility ?

                                                                                I was working with SW 2009 SP0 and have upgraded to SW 2009 SP2.1 and it still crashes, and reloaded the video driver to most current.

                                                                                Have you been able to resolve the problem?

                                                                                Dell Precision M6400 Laptop, 8Gb Ram
                                                                                Intel T9550 @ 2.66GHz
                                                                                Operating system: Supplied as XP 64 bit then installed Microsoft Windows Vista x64 (Service Pack 1)
                                                                                Graphics card: Quadro FX 2700M
                                                                                Graphics Driver: 7.15.11.7653
                                                                                Video BIOS version: 62.94.4e.00.02


                                                                                  • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                    Peter Darby
                                                                                    By the way I also have
                                                                                    Dell T3400 running SW
                                                                                    Nvidia Quadro FX 1700 card
                                                                                    4 GB ram
                                                                                    64 Bit Vista Business

                                                                                    with no problems (...yet??)

                                                                                    Did any of Nvidia/Solidworks/Dell ever give any measure on whether the problem is a common one? Looks like there may be a number of people with a similar problem.
                                                                              • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                Ian Ayton
                                                                                Peter;

                                                                                The problems you report above would appear to be identical to those I had with my original M6400. This unit was replaced so I have no idea what caused these problems.

                                                                                The boot up issues that occurred on the replacement were different. (see my 03-02 post above) The video card and LCD were replaced on 02-21-09 and the system has been working well ever since although I am still concerned about its stability. The original M6400 failed after 4 weeks of intensive use after its repair. The replacement unit has been trouble free, under lighter service, for less than 3 weeks after its repair so I'm still anticipating problems.

                                                                                I have no idea how prevalent M6400 problems are and what factors are contributing to them. I would advise anyone considering buying a power notebook to look elsewhere or wait till they hear positive reviews.

                                                                                The issue of LCD color saturation introduced by John Alt is evident on my display, and the other three I have had. This will become an issue with me when I'm satisfied that it can handle SW effectively. A small amount of saturation seems to work quite well with SW but is unacceptable in PhotoWorks and other graphic programs. I had assumed that saturation and color levels could be adjusted.

                                                                                I will continue to update my M6400 experiences here.

                                                                                Ian Ayton

                                                                                SW 09-0
                                                                                Dell M6400 Covet X9100 3.06GHz
                                                                                Vista Ultimate 64bit
                                                                                8 GB DDR3
                                                                                FX 3700M (7.15.11.7653)
                                                                                Aytonco.com
                                                                                  • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                    Simon Pare
                                                                                    HI to all of you

                                                                                    I've been running in a Nightmare with Dell for a MONTH, YES a MONTH.... MY M90 Crash (FEB 6) last Thursday (March 12) I receive MY M6400, 8GIG with VISTA 64...
                                                                                    The Order request XP64, but I give a try to VISTA (3 hours) to get into all issues you guys Have. I Challenge DELL to SEnd me a DOWNGRADE XP (NO It's Solidworks and NVIDIA Problem... so no downgrade for you MR customers)... I then Ran to Staple Depot to Buy XP64...

                                                                                    IT RUN PERFECTLY (But ESATA and INtel Matrix raid ARE NOT WORKING, Need to turn BIOS SATA Setting to ATA Mode for SATA. SO Disabling the ACHI and Raid mode)

                                                                                    Good Lock ... Luck

                                                                                    Simon
                                                                                  • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                    Simon Pare
                                                                                    I was able finnaly to add Esata and raid, You need to use NLITE and edit your windows XP CD and include Intel Driver from Dell website...

                                                                                    And reinstall windows, repair will crash your OS installation
                                                                                    • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                      Rich Bolduc
                                                                                      I just got in a refurbed M6400... Vista 32-Bit, 8 Gigs of ram (don't know why with a 32-bit system), FX3700M video card and a 250G HD.

                                                                                      Only issues I've seen on it so far is that it would lock up after going in to a sleep/hibernate mode. I'd go to turn on the system the next day and it wouldn't wake up. Once I disabled this, I haven't had any issues. Running SW 2008 and 2009 on it.

                                                                                      Wonder if I got one of your old systems?
                                                                                        • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                          Mark Biasotti
                                                                                          Rich,

                                                                                          Mine use to do this and Dell released a new Bios around the first of this year that clear up this problem. I would highly recommend getting it as well as many other updates to hardware specific drivers that dell has downloadable from there site Here
                                                                                        • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                          Rich Bolduc
                                                                                          Thanks Mark, I'll check that out when I get home. I just got the lap top in on Tuesday, so I'd assume they re-flashed the BIOS. Worth checking out though.
                                                                                          • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                            Rich Bolduc
                                                                                            I'll be doing the install over the weekend when I get some time... If there's no luck then, I'll probably be going to the 64-Bit XP. So expect an update Monday. If I get some down time on my contracting job, I'll have an update before then.
                                                                                              • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                My new (as of Friday) M4400 system has been locking up overnight, i assume from sleep / hibernate.

                                                                                                i installed the new bios A13, i installed the latest system drivers from dell.com and i installed the video driver from SolidWorks (for the FX770M card) after having this problem on saturday. thought it fixed the problem, but nope...

                                                                                                When i go to bed, i close the lid, and in the morning the computer starts up, but the screen is black... so i hit the big button and when it boots back up, the screen resolution is stuck at 800x600 (or something like this) and nothing fixes the problem.

                                                                                                When it locked up this am, i installed the latest video card driver from dell.com and the screen went back to looking normal.

                                                                                                i will see what happens tonight, and if it happens again, i will call dell to see what they say.

                                                                                                any ideas out there?

                                                                                                Thanks
                                                                                                Brian
                                                                                                  • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                    Phil Marra
                                                                                                    I have been following this discussion for a while now. I was ready to order the M6400 but was waiting till the bugs were worked out. I ordered a Boxx and its a week late due to similer problems with "sleeping" issue. They assured me they found the bug at least in their set up. I ordered the FX3700 with 8gb of 800 mhz ram, and it would go int sleep or hibernate mode. Their solution was to swap out the 8 gb to 4 gb of 800 mhz or as I chose 8 gb of 667 mhz ram. They are shipping tonight and said it has been running fine since the swap.
                                                                                                • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                  Rich Bolduc
                                                                                                  well there's still issues with hibernate mode. When doing mates in assemblies (about 250 components total including multiple identical toolbox parts like screws and PEM fasteners), it takes for ever for the system to think too, even with a simple coincident mate or concentric.

                                                                                                  One other thing I noticed. When rendering last night, it took 45 -60 minutes to render this assembly. This morning the same assembly with the same settings and it took about 5 minutes. Only difference was that it wasn't in the docking station this time. Has anyone else noticed anything similar to this? Don't think it was a thermal issues as the laptop had been on all night since it locked up while doing some renderings.
                                                                                                    • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                      Mark Biasotti
                                                                                                      Rick,

                                                                                                      That could be that when the M6400 is not on the official power supply brick, but on the smaller one or it's own battery, that the processors will not work at full speed.
                                                                                                        • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                          Devon Sowell
                                                                                                          Mark-

                                                                                                          There may be a setting for that, look for the Power Settings in the Control Panel.

                                                                                                          Look for something like configure for conserving battery power or maximun performance.

                                                                                                            • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                              Phil Marra
                                                                                                              John,

                                                                                                              I just gat back to this post and saw your response to the 667 mhz ram. So far I am happy to report no issues with the BOXX mobile work station and that configuration. I will admit I havnt had alot of time on it but so far pretty good.
                                                                                                              I dont do rendering so I guess if that is the only real issue I have with the slower speed RAM I'll be OK.

                                                                                                              One day soon I will try to run some benchmark test to see what results I a getting.
                                                                                                          • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                            I have had problems with hibernate from day one. In short, if SW is open and it goes into hibernate, i must close whatever part was open to get it going again. I get a display full of a black and white checkerboard where the part was. I usually just close SW and open it again to make sure all is well and my work wont go off to the ethers. I'd rather not hazard a guess as to the cause, as other programs have issues too. Probably the fault is on the Dell side.

                                                                                                            I'm surprised you let them put 667 memory in there. The system should have 1066. You are really putting a bottle neck into your rendering time with that RAM.
                                                                                                          • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                            Rich Bolduc
                                                                                                            ohh and the system specs are

                                                                                                            -- Precision Mobile Workstation M6400 Laptop: Intel Core 2 Duo X9100 (3.06GHz, 6M L2 Cache, 1066MHZ) Dual Core
                                                                                                            -- NVIDIA Quadro FX 3700M, 1.0GB Discrete
                                                                                                            -- 8 GB DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz (2 DIMMs)

                                                                                                            Windows Vista 64-Bit Small Buisness
                                                                                                            • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                              Ian Ayton
                                                                                                              It has been nearly ten weeks since Dell installed the new display and video card and I reloaded the Vista 64 bit OS. Apart from some minor issues with waking after hibernation that were resolved by updating the Bios, the system is now working as well as I hoped it would.

                                                                                                              The experience has been frustrating but I have to say that Dell has always been there for me every time I needed help. My only criticism being that the product was released before it was ready for SW use. Maybe those involved will work together to create a stable mobile SW machine before it's time for the next upgrade.

                                                                                                              I hope I will not have to continue to update my M6400 experiences here.

                                                                                                              Ian Ayton

                                                                                                              SW 09-SP2.1
                                                                                                              Dell M6400 Covet X9100 3.06GHz
                                                                                                              Vista Ultimate 64bit SP1
                                                                                                              8 GB DDR3
                                                                                                              FX 3700M (7.15.11.7653)
                                                                                                              Aytonco.com




                                                                                                                • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                                  dennis stutz
                                                                                                                  Ian,

                                                                                                                  I have been following the form on the dell m6400 laptop workstations.
                                                                                                                  I want to purchase a dell m6400 or a m6400 covet, but would like to know if you system is working, and have you had any other problems.

                                                                                                                  Dennis Stutz
                                                                                                                  Sr. Mechanical Engineer
                                                                                                                • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                                  Rich Bolduc
                                                                                                                  New video driver out (week or so old) on dells page... Giving that a shot now.

                                                                                                                  Matt: I don't have a MS disk, just the one Dell sent me to go from the built in 32bit Vista to the 64bit
                                                                                                                  • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                                    Ricky Jordan
                                                                                                                    Hi everyone,

                                                                                                                    My M90 video card went belly up two weeks ago and I received a brand new M6400 replacement system from Dell. It has WinXP 32bit, and an Nvidia 2700M card. I'm using the new 6.14.11.7950 driver. So far, I haven't had any problems. I really like the system. Hopefully the 64bit graphics issues clear up soon as that is where I want to go with this machine in the near future.

                                                                                                                    I'll try to give an update in a few weeks after getting some more seat time with the new system. So far, I REALLY like it!

                                                                                                                    Best Regards,
                                                                                                                      • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                                        to fix the wake from sleep problem.....

                                                                                                                        download 181.22 drivers from nvidia website. unzip the folder. download the file I attached, unzip and copy into unzipped driver folder replacing the file alredy in there, then run setup. i recommend you uninstall your old driver first.

                                                                                                                        you problems will be fixed. cheers, brian

                                                                                                                        btw, here is the link:

                                                                                                                        http://www.nvidia.com/object/winxp_181.22_whql.html

                                                                                                                        note: these are the same as 181.20 quadro drivers. the modified ini file allows install onto mobile cards. drivers run great, fix the sleep problems, and run fast on my 6400 with a 2700M.
                                                                                                                      • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                                        Kirk Liebscher
                                                                                                                        We got 3x of the M6400's in Jan. and ALL of them are have had problems. Either it's a video problem (seeing the background through the Solidworks window), crashes (DON'T open Excel and SW at the same time!), OS (lot's of crashes and driver issues with XP64 and Vista64 U.) or the HUGE power supply (I think Mark said it well; "boat anchor"). We have so far scrapped one for a desktop, swapped one in and out of IT daily and the other one is just barely used. IMHO, I would seriously look (which I'm doing now) at another brand. It just seems that these are not robust enough for a working CAD environment. Spending my time recovering from reboots is not cost effective (especially for a $4000 machine!). Please take it all with a grain of salt, your mileage may vary.
                                                                                                                        • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                                          Kirk Liebscher
                                                                                                                          Thanks, I'll give it a try Brian. I'm on XP64 and the driver version is different than the one I already have (it's older). I'm going to try and rollback to the older driver though. Anything but crashes!
                                                                                                                          • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                                            Ricky Jordan
                                                                                                                            Hi all,

                                                                                                                            Here's an update on my M6400. I will be moving to Vista 64bit soon because I'm tired of constantly running out of memory with the XP 32bit that came loaded on the system. I have had some video issues and thanks to Mark's advice on the power supply will be swapping my power supply on the docking station tomorrow with the one that came with the system. It is ridiculous that dell sells a docking station "for the M6400" and the power supply doesn't match what the system needs.

                                                                                                                            I'm going to be adding some RAM as well. How have the latest Vista 64 video drivers been working for those who are running the 2700M video card? I was hoping to wait till Windows 7 came out..but I'm loosing too much time on the project I am currently on with the memory issues. I'll report back here on how the upgrade goes...

                                                                                                                            Till then...

                                                                                                                            Best Regards,
                                                                                                                            • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                                              Simon Pare
                                                                                                                              Hi All,

                                                                                                                              I'm wondering why you guys are fighting with Vista... I'm Running with XP 64 since 2 month... No more problem?

                                                                                                                              I have 8 GIG with M2700 graphics

                                                                                                                              ....

                                                                                                                              Later
                                                                                                                                • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                                                  Ricky Jordan
                                                                                                                                  Simon,

                                                                                                                                  Interesting results...I've heard from many reliable sources that XP64 is slower and buggier than Vista64.

                                                                                                                                  Glad it is working out for you though. What video card driver are you using and did you tweak the profile or use any particular settings that made it perform better?

                                                                                                                                  Best Regards,
                                                                                                                                • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                                                  Ricky Jordan
                                                                                                                                  Hi all,

                                                                                                                                  I'm having a bit of a strange graphics issue with my Dell M6400 laptop (with Nvidia M2700 graphics are installed). I'm not running Vista64 bit as the OS and get some "stuck" 3D graphics on the screen when zooming and rotating. Sometimes panning catches up the display...but other times I have had to maximize or minimize the window.

                                                                                                                                  I have a presentation to give next week and really want to resolve these issues this week. I'm using the 7.15.11.7950 driver. It is a "Certified" SolidWorks driver yet there is no selection for SolidWorks under the "Global Presets". I'm starting to get a bit annoyed. I've had more graphics issues with SolidWorks 2009 than any other version in recent memory. Any ideas?

                                                                                                                                  Best Regards,
                                                                                                                                  • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                                                    Simon Pare
                                                                                                                                    Manufacturer: NVIDIA Corporation
                                                                                                                                    Card: Quadro FX 2700M/PCI/SSE2
                                                                                                                                    Driver: 6.14.11.7950

                                                                                                                                    All as default setting in graph driver.

                                                                                                                                    I really don't like waiting and lag... I'm doing Large Piping (Hydraulic and Power Units) 2500+ Parts and this system work very well!
                                                                                                                                    I've done tweak like 2 hard drive no Raid, swap on an other drive that CAd files but that's it. As I wrote before I did my own Windows installation CD to add the ICH9 driver on it cause I got no floppy to have the sata controller driver!

                                                                                                                                    I should buy an other HD to test win7 during my wife delivery late June!
                                                                                                                                    • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                                                      Ian MacPherson
                                                                                                                                      Although I don't think I am the Ian you are referring to (lol). I would just like to say that I have been running the M6400 for 6 months with little troubles.

                                                                                                                                      Within the first couple of weeks the screen started flaking out (would sometimes not light up to full brightness and required multiple restarts until it did) but a Dell tech came next day as per the warranty and replaced it. Been working fine ever since.

                                                                                                                                      I am running XP 32bit and SW2007sp5.
                                                                                                                                      Machine specs:
                                                                                                                                      Q9300 Extreme
                                                                                                                                      FX3700 Quadro
                                                                                                                                      4GB RAM
                                                                                                                                      2x 160GB HD Raid0

                                                                                                                                      I get the modified video drivers from laptopvideo2go and removed most of the Dell applications. Also I am in the process of creating a modified install disk using nlite. It allows you to include all the drivers and some software but also tweak OS settings and make a complete unattended setup. This will allow me to reinstall the OS so much faster, you should all try it!

                                                                                                                                      Next time around I am going to disable RAID so that the page file can be on a separate HD as I believe this will actually boost performance over a single logical disk in RAID 0.

                                                                                                                                      Ian.
                                                                                                                                      • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                                                        Ian Ayton
                                                                                                                                        Dennis;
                                                                                                                                        I am very pleased with the performance of my M6400 since the initial difficulties were resolved. That's 4 months of trouble free use after 5 months of hassles.

                                                                                                                                        It turned into the machine I originally hoped it would be and I just love it. Performance is very good. The display is the best I've seen and is as effective as my Dell 24 inch LCD although color saturation is high. This is fine for SW but no good for photo processing. Mine gets dragged around a lot and is showing none of the signs of wear and tear that my machines usually inherit. It feels like it's hogged out of a solid lump of aluminum. The keyboard is the best I've used; the whole machine just exudes quality. Dell service (gold support) has been excellent throughout the whole experience.

                                                                                                                                        My only real complaint is the size of the 210 watt power supply brick which is 3 times the power and 3 times the volume of the 90 watt unit for my M70. Does it really take more than a quarter horsepower to run a laptop? A noisy DVD drive and an awkward display release button are other minor annoyances.

                                                                                                                                        I think the M6400 is the current ultimate mobile SW machine when configured correctly but I would not recommend you buy one until you have checked out what's happening with other users. I think the product was released and approved for SW before it was ready but, for me at least, it works perfectly now. This may not be the case for many others.

                                                                                                                                        It would be valuable to get an idea of how many units there are out there that are functioning satisfactorily but those with machines that do work fine have no reason to visit the forums.

                                                                                                                                        Good luck Dennis, finding a suitable mobile SW workstation is a lot tougher than it ought to be.

                                                                                                                                        Ian Ayton

                                                                                                                                        SW 09-SP2.1
                                                                                                                                        Dell M6400 Covet X9100 3.06GHz
                                                                                                                                        Vista Ultimate 64bit SP1
                                                                                                                                        8 GB DDR3
                                                                                                                                        FX 3700M (7.15.11.7653)
                                                                                                                                        Aytonco.com
                                                                                                                                          • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                                                            dennis stutz
                                                                                                                                            Hello:
                                                                                                                                            Frist I would like to thank both Ian Macpherson and Ian Ayton for replaying to my post. The information you both supplied makes me feel better about purchasing a M6400 laptop work station.

                                                                                                                                            Here is what i am looking to purchase(budget)
                                                                                                                                            Dell M6400 x T9550 2.66 GHz
                                                                                                                                            Vista business bonus windows XP professional downgrade
                                                                                                                                            WUXGA (1920 x 1200) lcd display
                                                                                                                                            FX3700M video card
                                                                                                                                            4 GB DDR3
                                                                                                                                            320 GB non-raid drive

                                                                                                                                            I am using 32 Bit because some times I have to VPN to the network and the program we use is not 64 Bit, and it will not run on a 64 Bit system.
                                                                                                                                            also I have heard that Micro Soft Office 2007 doesn"t play well with Vista 64 Bit and Solid Works 2009.

                                                                                                                                            Thanks again for all of your support and if you or anybody has any comments or suggestions, please feel free to post.
                                                                                                                                            Thanks again,

                                                                                                                                            Dennis Stutz
                                                                                                                                            Sr. Mechanical Engineer
                                                                                                                                            • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                                                              My quips with the 6400 are the same as Ian's. I want to add that the option in the bios to turn off the trackpad when a mouse is plugged in doesn't work. My left hand will hit the trackpad while typing and send my cursor off somewhere. It's annoying to the point that I have the trackpad turned off, and change the bios on boot if I know I'll be needing it. They should have had a DVI port on this machine, too. Yet another adapter to drag out when doing a presentation.

                                                                                                                                              I've heard a lot of people saying good things about the HP 8730w. You get about the same specs for about the same price, except the Hp has 800mhz memory vs. the Dell's 1066. It's not as big an issue as some would make it. It's a viable option for those not sure about the Dell's.
                                                                                                                                            • Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                                                              Rick McWilliams
                                                                                                                                              Reading of your trials with respect to the Dell 6400 machine discouraged me from upgrading. I just bought two more classic M70 laptops for $300 each from eBay stores. There must be some big surplus of these old machines. The NVIDIA Quadro Go1400 video card works well with Solidworks. The M70 is thick and heavy.
                                                                                                                                              • Re: Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                                                                Jack Lapham

                                                                                                                                                I was about to start using mine as a boat anchor until I loaded Windows 7 x64 and SolidWorks 2009 (sp4.0).  It solved all [of my many] issues involving video and crashing.  I would severely recommend it.  This configuration is smoking everything I've used - even desktop workstations.

                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                I'm running the SolidWorks approved video driver for Vista x64 (7.15.11.7950).  All my hardware is listed in my profile.  Good luck.

                                                                                                                                                • Re: Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                                                                  Troy Bungard

                                                                                                                                                  I also have an M6400 - running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit.  I happen to have the ATI FirePro card.  It's not on the solidworks list that I could find.

                                                                                                                                                  I did a fresh install of 7 however, as Dell shipped it from the outlet site with XP pro on it.  Granted, I used the Dell win7 discs, but it's still "clean" as it doesn't have all of the Dell extra stuff on it.

                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                  Driver wise, I downloaded the latest from the Dell site.

                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                  So far no crashing on Solidworks 2010 no SP's yet.  I just got this about 2 weeks ago, and have been installed on a demo key - just got my actual key today.

                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                  I have 4 gig RAM as well.

                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                  Personally, I don't like the "CAD" video cards.  Most software has gone from openGL to Direc3D anyway - and the "gamer" cards do really well.

                                                                                                                                                  That's my opinion though.

                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                  For what it's worth...

                                                                                                                                                  • Re: Dell M6400 Problems
                                                                                                                                                    Jack Lapham

                                                                                                                                                    Update:

                                                                                                                                                    I've been running the covett with Win7 x64 and SolidWorks 2010 for about a year and it's AWESOME.  I have no complaints.