dell laptop trying to diagnose possible hardware fault


May 19, 2014
I'm having serious issues with my xps l702x laptop. I'm currently at a point where I can run diagnostics from a boot cd but when I try to install windows, the machine restarts without any blue screens.

Here's a bit more detail on what's happened so far.

Problems started when I began to see apc_index_mismatch bsod. These became frequent to the point that I couldn't get into windows, even in safe mode the computer would bsod with the same error, after the dell splash screen but before windows was loaded. I tried system repair/refresh/restore but had no luck there.

My os is on a separate ssd so I tried to erase and reinstall on that disk; took out the HD with all my data just to be safe and started the install process only to find the mismatch bsod cropping up during windows install along with occasional dpc_watchdog_violation bsod too.

At this point I suspected a hardware problem. I've run memtest86+ for several passes and had no errors yet. I also ran seatools long test which gave a bad sector failure on the ssd. After some research I tried a secure erase on the ssd (write all with zeros) to try and recover the bad sector - the ssd now will pass the seatools long test.

Unfortunately, the problem seems to be getting worse; now when I go to install windows, I get to somewhere around inputting the software key and then the computer restarts - no bsod, just power off and back to the dell splash screen then press any key to boot from CD.

My suspicion at the moment is that either the ssd or motherboard is bad. Since it's a laptop I'm obviously hoping it's the former! Can anyone recommend some way to narrow down the problem further? As it stands I can only run tests if they are in bootable form or run from the windows command prompt from the installation CD.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


May 24, 2014
i dont know, but i think you may have to erase all the data by using Darik's boot and nuke, factory reset your bios settings, and then try to install windows again.
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