Question I'm totally confused about an almost-new computer

May 4, 2019
About a year ago, my boyfriend bought a computer (for me, actually, but he uses it the most, while I use a laptop). I'm going to list some of the specs here:

Dell XPS 8930 Desktop, 64 bit, running Windows 10, always updated.
Processor is Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8700K CPU @ 3.70 GHz, 3696 Mhz, 6 Cores, 12 Logical Drives (or Partitions?) Please Note: I have no idea what the 12 logical drives or partitions means.

I had said I wanted a solid state drive, and that's what I have -- at least partly. I didn't realize until tonight that C: is apparently a regular hard drive, of 1.76 TB, and D: is a solid state drive. 178 GB are used, while 760 GB are free.

I can't find any in-depth information about the SSD, or even about the regular hard drive, for that matter.
It may also be important to note that we have a 27" monitor.

My initial reason for posting is this: My boyfriend likes to play computer games, but I'm not talking about huge, online, multi-player games. He likes the games that can be found on We're both 70 years old, and he doesn't have any interest in the "Sheldon" (Big Bang Theory) type games.

Sorry this post is so long. The games my boyfriend plays will sometimes freeze up. Once they freeze, we have no choice but to do a hard shutdown -- which I hate to do.

  1. Can someone tell me what might be causing the freeze-up problems?
  2. When a freeze-up happens, is there some way to avoid the hard shutdown? (Control + Shift + Escape doesn't work.)
  3. Considering that I have (apparently) a mechanical hard drive and a solid state drive, do I just ignore that fact, and use the computer as usual? Or should I be doing something else?
  4. Under the SSD "properties," there are three options: Do not use this device, Dedicate this device to Ready Boost, Use this device. The first option was checked. Is this the way it's supposed to be? (If so, it seems the SSD isn't being used, so what's the deal on that?)
  5. This computer system is very fast, but, oddly enough, it has always been slow to boot. That surprised me. Is Ready Boost something that would make the boot faster?
I swear, even at my age, I've managed to learn a few things beyond the computer basics. I've even managed to "fix" a few problems -- and, if all else fails, I can do a clean install. But now, with the XPS 8930, I'm totally out of my depth. Thanks in advance for any help anyone can give me.


Starting point is to find more information about the freeze-ups.

Look in Reliability History and Event Viewer for error codes, warnings, or even information events.

Reliability History is more user friendly and a good place to start looking.

Just start typing "Reliability History" in the "Type here to search box".

Look for error codes and warnings that occur just before or at the time of the freeze ups.

Event Viewer can be applied in much the same manner. However, navigating around is much more cumbersome.

And, with either tool, you can right click on any given entry to get more information.,

Just explore and see what you can find.

Do not become overly alarmed if there are lots of red and yellow icons. Most systems have errors that are just handled and the system continues on.
May 4, 2019
I wanted to say thanks again for your help. I've told my boyfriend to write down the dates and times when the computer freezes up. Also, I'll see what I can find for yesterday, when he did have a freeze-up.

In the meantime, can you tell me anything about some of my other questions? Like, is it normal for a newer computer to have a regular (mechanical) hard drive and an SSD? And is it normal for the SSD to be set by default to "Do not use this device"? Would there be an advantage to changing that setting to "Use this device" or "Dedicate this device to Ready Boost"?