Try running an ePSA/Diagnostic test on the system, click here to view a Dell article that explains how to run this test. At the end of the test, it will ask if you want to run the extended memory test, please run it and let me know if you receive any errors.
Good example of what happens when you try to "work-around" problem for months ... until your warranty runs out. Scan it here, update a driver there, patch it up quick ... looking for the easy fix so you can keep gaming. So, now ... where are you? Hate to be blunt, but that is the reality of the situation. As Alienware-Eimy says ...
- Run F12 boot ePSA (Hardware Diagnostics). If it passes, (your hardware might actually be good) so continue to next Step. If it does not pass, repair until it does. What you are trying to determine at this point is if your hardware (ie motherboard and other hardware) is good or not. If it is, then it must be "software". There really is no mysterious third option.
Go through the rest of the steps methodically. Don't "jump around" or skip steps. Not much use continuing if you can't complete a particular step.
- Backup important data files to flash-drive, cloud, etc.
- If laptop, disconnect all external devices. If desktop, connect only monitor, keyboard, and mouse to back USB ports. For network, Ethernet wire is best for now (if available).
- If machine still doesn't have a SSD installed (for Windows boot and main programs), you might as well finally install one now. Transfer speed and IOPS will be welcome and removes your possibly failing spinning HDD from system/ equation.
- If you still have a spinning HDD and insist on going cheap (by not upgrading to SSD) ... it's SMART will need to be thoroughly checked with Western Digital or Seagate drive fitness utilities, Crystal Disk-Info, or a new favorite is Passmark DiskCheckup.
- Connect only the SSD (or the one drive that is to be Windows bootable) for now. Setup BIOS for UEFI/SecureBoot. SSD should already be appearing in BIOS screens.
- DiskPart/clean (and/or remove all existing Partitions) . If you do it right, SSD or HDD should initialize as GPT (on this UEFI system). If you have no other way to DiskPart, the WinPE-RE on Macrium Reflect boot-flash will do it.
- Clean-install Windows-10/64bit from installation media created with Microsoft's Windows-10 Media Creation Tool. Pressing F12 on boot of a Dell or Alienware should allow a "One-Time Boot" from the official Windows-10 flash drive you created.
- After doing Windows First Time Setup ... Install proper drivers. Intel Chipset drivers should be first. If this machine is older (maybe didn't ship with Windows-10), I would let Windows-10 update the 64bit drivers from Windows Update. Only install Dell drivers for any error-ed devices in Device Manager. If you can get this far without trouble ... even better chance your hardware is good.
- The idea here is to be VERY CAREFUL and selective about what drivers you install and in what order. Try to get chipset drivers on there first. Try to install a proper current driver for each device only once and keep going forward. It might take more than one attempt unless you take Image Backups along the way ... helps save time if you "fall into a hole" and have to backup a bit.
- Don't visit any websites other than Microsoft.com, Dell.com (and maybe Nvidia.com and/or AMD.com). Be sure Windows Defender and Windows Firewall are running. Set Windows Power Profile to "High Performance".
- Now would be a good time to make a complete system partition Image backup (so you can easily return system to this point in time). Windows-10 has an Imaging Backup program, but I prefer Macrium Reflect Free v6.x.
- Diagnose, Test performance, and Stress-Test system in Windows. I like OCCT (Concurrent CPU/GPU/Power Supply test) and Heaven Benchmark these days, but I think Dell provides something called SupportAssist.
- Install Steam or Battle.Net and test one of your favorite games. At proper resolution and acceptable "detail level", most gamers look for acceptable FPS and game-play.
- If you have two video cards, Optimus, or some other hybrid video-card system ... make sure the system (or at least this game) is set to use the better card (usually the discrete Nvidia or AMD one).
- Like before, if you can get this far without problems, computer should be working. I would say close to 100%.
Nuke and Pave - Windows-10 clean Install with Hardware Diagnostics and Stress-Testing: v1.4
A few questions:
1) After uninstalling drivers did you use a program that removes all remnants of removed driver, such as IOLO System Mechanic?
2) Did you reinstall correct GPU driver "M" type and not the standard video card driver?
3) Did you install driver from Nvidia site (preferred)?
4) When you installed Nvidia driver did you select clean install?
5) Have you replaced ram or added to it?
6) Are you setting GPU fan speeds in BIOS or a 3rd party software? (reference GPU temp)
7) Do you allow adequate ventilation of laptop when using or are the bottom intakes being blocked when resting on legs, sheets, pillow, etc..?
8) In Nvidia Control Panel what are your PyshX settings and Image settings?
Agreed on all points.
Care should be used when selecting proper drivers. That's why I suggest a system Image early-on. If user gets "dug-into-a-hole" ... it's easy to revert system back to just after "First Time Windows Setup" software state.
Yes, system CPU and GPU must be cooling properly so that neither "throttle back" due to excessive heat. I'm not sure if ePSA will catch that (if cooling-system was mostly or barely working), but it WOULD show-up on OCCT (Power Supply Test).
The reason I suggested a Nuke-and-Pave is because the user is talking about system-wide problems (and suspects a bad motherboard or other hardware). I personally think full Diagnostics and loading an un-compromised copy of Windows-10/64bit is best (so does Microsoft ... RootKits and Malware are real). Also, the OP admittedly have nothing important on machine. Now is the best time to do a perfect clean-install and build up from there. Especially, if wanting to finally upgrade to a SSD (as should have been installed in beginning).
Could they fix it some other less extreme way? Possibly. Like maybe a Windows Repair Install ...
However, they might also miss something and start (needlessly) replacing hardware ... and it would still be broken. And if you read the OP's initial "block of text" you can see they have already tried quick-fix/patch and it's still broken. Their post also reveals their skill-level.
So fixed means no more puppies?:
Retrieving data ...