Laptop randomly freezes - lots of tests, no answer.


Apr 28, 2016
Hi everyone,

I hope you can help me figure this out, because this problem has me at my wits end. My laptop keeps randomly freezing. It completely locks up, meaning nothing works and I can't even enter the task manager. A forced shutdown is the only option every time it freezes. The freezes happen seemingly completely at random, with no prior warning and no easily discernable pattern to them. Sometimes it takes hours before my laptop to freezes and sometimes it freezes directly after, or even during boot up.

The problem started about two weeks ago, when I was still running Windows 8.1. I've since upgraded to Windows 10, but the issues persist.

I don't like to waste people's time with silly questions, but this one I cannot figure out myself, so I hope you're willing to help. I'll outline below what I've done so far, but first let me give you my system specs:

Dell XPS 15 (L521X) from 2012
Windows 10 home 64-bit
Intel(R) Core(Tm) i7-3632QM CPU @2.20GHz, 2201 MHz, quadcore.
8 gig DDR3 RAM
750 gig HDD

Now, as I understand it problems with freezing usually fall into three broad categories: overheating, hardware and software (incl. viruses/malware).

Ruled out because:
- Speedfan shows all temps are consistently between 60 and 65 degrees celsius.
- No problems with dusts or thermal paste. Everything is clean and dust free.
- The laptop freezes even when it's 'cold' - i.e. directly after booting up in the morning.
- The system isn't under heavy strain when it freezes, nor does it feel warm.

I have run:
- Check disk - clear
- Dell general diagnostics - clear
- Dell extended memory tests - clear
- Dell bootup diagnostics - clear
- Dell extended hard drive check - clear
- My battery's life is on 11% so I've removed the battery to see if that is the problem - my laptop still freezes.
- RAM usage consistently hovers between 30 - 40%.
- Disk usage between 1 - 30% when freezes occur.
- CPU usage is usually between 1 - 15%.

- Sfc/scannow - fixed some errors, but the freezes continue. Just ran it again and it now gives the all clear.
- Event viewer shows no critical errors, except the forced shutdowns.
- Virus scans: Avast, Avast in safe mode, Avast boot up scan, Malwarebytes, Malwarebytes in safe mode, Spybot, Spybot in safe mode - all clear.
- Drivers: updated all to the latests version - didn't fix the problem. Subsequently installed all drivers to the version recommended by Dell support - didn't fix the problem.
- System restore didn't work, couldn't get it to work.
- Upgraded to Windows 10 - the freezes continued.
- Did a completely clean install of Windows 10 - the freezes continue.

I don't know what to do next, so please help. Do let me know if you want more info on anything.

Thanks in advance.
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