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slow Latitude XT3 tablets

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I’ve documented trouble with XT3 tablets in the past few weeks, and now they’ve developed another symptom. Previously it was dead hard disks and backlights, now, I think I have another type of hard disk problem with the Latitude XT3.

UPDATED Jan 17, 2012 – found the fix

Specifically, two XT3 systems now have been imaged, had their hard disks aligned(successfully) and delivered to the customer. They worked fine throughout imaging, configuration, and demo, but within a week, they became slow to the point it took over 45min to log in.

One of the Dell systems installed 60+ windows updates, but then upon rebooting wanted to install them again. An error check found a corrupted windows file, so the system was imaged again. Today the user is reporting 45min+ to login.

The second XT3 , from a different batch, was imaged, configured and delivered. It worked fine for about two days, then slowed down to the point it wouldn’t complete login in under an hour. After it finally logged in and I ran a disk check where nothing was reported, the system now won’t even completely boot into Windows. Dell’s drive diagnostics can’t find anything wrong with the drive either.

Has anyone else experienced a dramatic slow down on Dell Latitude XT3 systems?

UPDATE 1-17-2012:

Found the fix. For some reason, specific XT3 tablets were/are experiencing extreme fragmentation on the hard disks. I haven’t found the common denominator with them yet, as all systems are built from the same image and the same configurations of software are used across the board. For now, I’m scheduling defragmentation to prevent it from recurring.

After two weeks of use, these specific Dell tablets take an hour or more to defragment.

UPDATE 6-15-2012:

Other systems may take more in depth tablet repair. They stay slow until re-imaged.

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The systems are using an xp image we built using Dell’s drivers. About 40 or so have been deployed and all are used to access apps on a Citrix farm. Nightly virus scans are the heaviest use the local disks get. We’ve been unable to identify the cause of the fragmentation and just had one that defragmenting didn’t resolve. The system was reimaged and has been working without problem since.
Of the systems that defragmenting alleviated the problem, not one has had it recur since we scheduled weekly defrags. All 40+ systems are using the exact same image, but only 4 or 5 have had a problem. These were geographically dispersed so I don’t specific end user practices to be the root of the problem.

  • How’s this coming so far? How’d you identify extreme fragmentation? Are you using the dell oem image straight out of the box or your own custom image?

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