Dell issues BIOS Fix for Studio 17 with Core i7. Core i5 Now Default CPU Choice

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Dell recently issued a BIOS fix for its Studio 17 with Core i7, designed to solve a serious crashing issue. However, after the release of Intel's new Core i5 processor and a number of vocal user complaints about its Core i7 product, the company has made the lower-powered and priced Core i5 the Studio 17's default CPU choice. Though, as of this posting, we did not see a Core i7 option on, a rep assured us that the Core i7 model, labeled the Dell Studio 1747 has not been discontinued and will return to the site within days.

When we reviewed the Dell Studio 17 with Intel's Core i7 processor (aka Dell Studio 1747) in November, we gave the notebook a 4-star rating due to its blazing performance and relatively affordable price. However, we noted two major problems we experienced with our review unit. First, the initial system we received stopped booting (and made several beeping noises) just after testing had been completed and, second, we noticed that the exterior of the chassis got hot, with the underside of the system registering a troubling 112-degrees Fahrenheit after just 15 minutes of playing a Hulu video.

We returned the first unit to Dell, which repaired it and sent it back to us a couple of days later, saying that the first issue we encountered was an isolated incident. The repaired unit worked, but we did experience experience a couple of mysterious blue screen crashes the first time we tried to play Hulu videos on it, though these seemed to disappear on subsequent tests. After we informed Dell about the uncomfortably hot temperatures, they sent us a second review unit to test. This second unit  did not break or crash, but was just as hot as the original.

Readers Respond

Without having tested an entire assembly line of Dell Studio 17s with Core i7, it was impossible for us to tell if the one defective review unit we received was a fluke or a harbinger of trouble. However, after the product began shipping, we began receiving negative reports from many users, claiming that their Dell Studio 1747s (with Core i7) had died after a few days or hours of use.

A number of users also posted on forums that their Dell Studio 1747s slowed down after intense use. For example, a French-speaking user posted this experiment, which claims that after running two CPU-intensive programs, Prime 95 and Furmark, the CPU speed dropped from 1.6 to 1.06-GHz., a professional review site, did not see a clock speed drop but did see their test notebook's 3DMark06 scores drop significantly after 12 hours of intense use. We did not test our review unit for performance throttling before we had to return it to Dell.

Dell's BIOS Update

Recently, Dell  issued a BIOS update that fixes what they call the "7 beeps problem," the same issue that bricked our first review unit. Dell advises that, if you own a Dell Studio 1747 that is working properly, you should install the BIOS update to insure you never get the 7 beeps problem. If your Dell Studio 1747 has already stopped booting, you can call Dell support or try re-seating the CMOS battery to bring the system back to life.

Whether the new BIOS update (termed the A04 BIOS) makes the system cooler or resolves its alleged performance issues remains to be seen. If you have a Dell Studio 1747, please let us know if the BIOS update has improved your system by posting in the comments below.

Own another Dell notebook or netbook? Sound off here on what you think of the brand.

Author Bio
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director on
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  • Paul D Says:

    I bought a Dell studio 17 with a q720 I7 processor for $100 on craigslist. After using it and noticing the overheating issue I removed the bottom panels and drilled holes in spots where nothing important would catch and fry the computer, then go an under laptop fan system, ti no longer heats up at all and runs great. Crazy solution for a big problem. But it worked great and still does to this day. Even under stress tests like playing memory/cpu usage type games and video editing.

  • sreenivas Says:

    I have dell inspiron N5050 with i5 and 4GB. It got default OS as ubuntu. I want to change my OS to win 7. Total installation is completing but when it restarts after completion it is not starting up. It is showing an error as BIOS is not fully ACPI Compliant. Contact your vendour for BIOS recent update. How can i fix it?

  • Master Says:

    i have a dell 17 studio with 8 gig ram and a i7 and its almost a year now since i got it, i upgraded to A14 Bios and its still the same problem crash everytime i play games, i dont know y dell dont fix dis but i tried contacting them caz i havent finished my warranty yet, and they still dont help me, they just prefer me to the email and stuff.....dis laptop is suck, no good and performance is 10% out of hundred.......any help with dis pls

  • Karen Says:

    My daughter is on her 2nd (i.e., replacement) Studio 17 with i7 processor, and it has begun crashing after 2 weeks. Wish we had read this before choosing a computer.

  • Ben Says:

    I have a studio 1558 with i7 core. It crashes when I play hulu movies.

  • Josh Says:

    I have a 1747 and it would reach 99 degrees then shut off as for the beep codes i have never got them and the current bios version is 11. I sent my laptop in to fix the heat problem which they did. As for the performance it still becomes slow. I have the ram upgrade to 4 gb ddr3 1333 but the ram video card and processor never run at their full potential. My review is A 4 due to it being able to play crysis at near full.

  • Carrie Says:

    Bricked my Studio One 1909 with version A08, why would dell release any BIOs that can brick your system? then NOT help the customer without charging me??????????????????????? sent it to and had it repaired for about 1/3 of the price dell wanted.

  • Frank Says:

    Well to follow up on my previous post - Dell replaced the laptop with a new one. Out of the box it has BIOS A08, no apparent fan issues, temperature remains low, and it hasn't crashed yet.

    It still shipped with a 90W adapter, which is kind of strange.

  • Ken Says:

    I have a Studio 1747 and haven't had any issues with it really except heat. Currently, with load hvering at 40% on one cora and rest in the 20% area, CPU temps are ranging from 71 to 77 degrees celcius. That's up to 170.6 °F. This unit is bearely 3 months old and heat has ALWAYS been an issue. Whenever I call Dell, they want to remote into my system to "check things out". I seldom allow this as this is used for my business primarily and I don't like the idea of them poking around in it.

  • Wietssss Says:

    Dell Studio 1749 i5 is showing the SAME SYMPTOMS!

    I ordered and received a brand new Dell Studio 1749 with i5 processor and the new 5650 videocard, but it died the same way as the i7 from the review after just one week of moderate use. I only installed MS Office 2007 and copied some mp3 files on it during this week, so it didn't go through any benchmarks or anything like that. Black screen, no booting and only hearing beeps when I turned on the power. Called Dell support and they say it has to be repaired and that could take two weeks!!! You all probably understand that this makes me very sad, as I paid for a laptop that I can't use now, in fact it is not even in my possesion anymore, and how do I know that my laptop that will be returned is not going to show the same symptoms after another week?

  • Frank Says:

    Have a 1747 as well, it just drops dead every once in a while. You hear the hard drive panic when the laptop dies, so it isn't the OS that's at fault. The PSU, mainboard, cpu, cooler and screen have been replaced already. Old mainboard had BIOS A08, the new one is back to A05 but the laptop doesn't last long enough to flash the BIOS to A08.

  • Carl Says:

    I'm on A08 and a 130W adapter now. Wish me luck. ;)

    I've gone down to a single crash every few days under A07 and 90W... so with A08 I started running tests and I seem to go right up to 2750+ MHz if I control the threading -s we'll see. ;)

  • Shaun Says:

    Studio 1747 owners least in Canada anyway. After a couple of hours on the phone with tech support, my new 130 watt power supply is in the mail and bios A08 should be available soon. This should fix all the wonderful problems we owner s have endured thus far. Use the provided link when dealing with the tech's or they'll tell you to pound salt immediately.

    Users try ATI 10.2 Radeon drivers...good so far but awaiting 10.3 which will porvide mobility support.


  • maureen coveny Says:

    Have been a long time fan of Dell - till now! Disheartening to read all the posts here and on Dell forum over the same issues with the Studio line. Have brand new Studio 1747 i7.

    My experience so far - Hourly crashes/freeze-ups, particularly around video applications since purchase in late January. Updated BIOS to A07 - no change. Had blue screen crash moments ago - "unable to reset display driver".


  • Peter Kristensen Says:

    Dear Laptopmag! I´m owner of one of these throttling things and its a bit frustrating that Dell don´t do anything but still sells these units - my return of item time is running out and I need to know what to do! Could you as Laptop reviewers do something to get Dell to talk or just tell us wher we are standing - The Dell hardware forum has reached a extreme high numbers og members with the same problem, and same frustrations... now something has to be done!! Maybe if you tested the studio 1747 again - Dell would speed up solution.
    Dell delivered new bigger 130 w supplies for the studio xps 16 i7, and afterwards updated the bios to a version that allowed to draw more power from the adapter... By doing this, Dell actually admits that they could solve the studio 1747 problem the same way... but its very costfull and they keep promising to solve the power/throttling issue with a change in the Bios....wy didn´t do that with the xps 16 i7???

    No - I think you LAPTOPMAG guys should confront Dell and ask if they think they are behave like serious computer designers - and even one of the largest worldwide!!!

    Looking forward to see this article!!!

    PS! In danish television - they confronted Dell Nordic with a lot of custoomers claim, and the journalists will keep up on the issue - One journalist mailed me, to ask if I could participate in a broadcast, but as long as I´m sitting waiting for a solution, then its difficult for me to go in public - then Dell would slaughter me - I´m shure!!


  • Juberg Says:

    Dell has released ythe A06 BIOS. On Dell community forums, some users report greater limitations to the cpu AND the graphic card under load.

    Dell has stated that they will not ship the 130 Watt unit, and are trying to make this computers meet the specs with only BIOS update with the included 90 watt psu (too small fro this machine). This is not working, and a lot of users are frustrated.

  • Juberg Says:

    I updated my DELL Studio 1747 with the AO5 BIOS a few days ago. Runnig PC wizard 2010, the READ frequency is 0.93 GHz while typing this? Strange...

    does the AO5 BIOS reduce the clock rate of this 1.7 Ghz core i7 ??
    Also the Power supply unit at 90w gets very hot under web surfing.

  • AX-Turbo Says:

    The A05 is still available at Dells FTP server: | You only can´t see it directly at Dells Driver download page. Still no problem with A05, works fine since the day of upgrading it.

  • Juberg Says:

    I got the Studio 1747 last week. I flashed the BIOS to the A04. A05 appeared on Dell site for only 3 days! Afterward it disappeared! We do not know what to do, and they keep silent. This model configuration has for sure a problem.

    Just surfing on the internet and using a notebook cooler Zalman NC-2000 at full speed, the average temp of the 8 cores are at 53 Celsius, or 127 F !!
    I am considering returning it. However Dell is so hard to reach, and customer service tells you that they will call you back, and nothing is heard from them. So this is it with their 30 days customer satisfaction...

  • Ibrahim Jadoon Says:

    This "performance throttling" that the French user noted was originally found in the Studio XPS 1645 (i7 model of the 1640).

    To sum up the issue, just look at the first two posts on this enormous thread:

  • AX-Turbo Says:

    Hi! After the A04 DIDN´T fix the "7x Beep"-issue, Dell released the A05 two days ago! Can´t say if this fix the Beep-problem now, but with A05 the Core i7 doesn´t throttling down so heavy as before - so it´s worth to upgrade! Sorry for my english (Germany)! ^^

  • Brian Sullivan Says:

    I have a Dell Studio 16 that suffered from a failed BIOS update that bricked my system. Dell wouldn't cover under warranty. after weeks of telephone and email and searching the web, I finally found a service that did the BIOS repair for me. did a good job.

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