Dell Inspiron XPS 1340 laptop experience

jwatte's picture

For work, I'm using a Dell Inspiron 1340 laptop. It's a wonderful piece of machinery, with Windows 7 professional 64-bit, a Core 2 Duo with 6 MB of cache, 4 GB of 1066 MHz RAM, 128 GB SSD and (this is the key) an NVIDIA 9400M and a G210M working in tandem (SLI) to get me a 13" laptop that scores 5.8 on Windows Experience Index. Yay technology!

However, it has a few bugs. I'm wondering if anyone has seen these, as my Googling (and even Bing-ing) hasn't found anything pertinent yet.

First, whenever I shut down the machine, it hangs on the "logging off..." screen for at least 5 minutes before moving on to actually shutting down. There is nothing in this world that's worth waiting five minutes or more just to shut down a machine; this is quite annoying! I usually end up pressing the power button for 10 seconds to do a hard shut-down

Second, and perhaps more damning, there seems to be a kernel or driver memory leak. After using the machine for half a day to a day, I will get a "your machine is low on memory" warning. However, no user-space process is especially big, and even if I quit all running programs and services, the warning still comes back. Curiously, when profiling memory usage using perfmon, everything's great for many hours, and then, suddenly, with no apparent reason, the memory available plummets. See graph below.

I have only a few bits of software installed. These include Visual Studio 2008 SP1, Apache 2, MySQL, OpenVPN 2.1.1, Photoshop CS4, Putty and 3ds Max 2010, as well as all thee browsers (Chrome, Firefox 3.5, IE8), but nothing *really* esoteric. I also have the Sprint WLAN card option in the laptop. However, this apparent kernel or driver memory leak problem happens even if I'm not running Apache, MySQL, Photoshop, 3ds Max or Visual Studio, and I'm not connected using OpenVPN. I think I'm using the latest BIOS (A11) and other drivers from the Dell site. I think there's some Symantec Endpoint Protection installed, too (which does blue-screen the machine once a week or so). I can't really remove this for various policy reasons, much as I'd love to.

So, for anyone who may know what's going on, please let me know! For anyone else searching on the same kind of problems, well, you've got a compatriot in your woes. Perhaps we can share links and figure out what to do about it someday.

performance counter graph of possible kernel or driver memory leak

Looking at this performance graph, it seems as if, suddenly, after hours of use, something is starting to leak memory (look at the sudden downwards slope of the fat red line), and even after quitting everything (the upwards blip second from last on the red line), it keeps leaking. Really strange! Any tool I could use to try to figure out what is causing this would be quite helpful!