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Hardware Error Now have a Gray screen

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#1 joepdx


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Posted 10 January 2009 - 01:34 PM


I have a Dell Insprion 9400 Intel Centrino Duo, 2mb RAM, Nvidia 128 Geo, 100gb harddrive. Window Vista Ultimate.

My problem started about 2 weeks ago I started getting a message that my battery was bad and should be replaced.
Then a week later my 90w power supply cord stopped working. I then began using a dell 65W power supply from my work computer and everthing seemed to be OK.

Then a few days ago while I was surfing the net using I.E. 7.0 I noticed a Bar at the top of the browser that was yellowish green and it went about a quarter of the way across the top of the screen. I also noted that you could not see the minimize/max X buttons at the top where you could close the window minimize it ect. As I was surfing the the screen began to get strange lines running across it. I clicked where I thought the X to close the window would be and the window closed. The screen still had these strange squigly type lines across it. I shut the computer down and restarted it. The computer restarted and it seemed OK.

Today I logged onto the computer and a message flashed stating there was some sort of hardware error and then the screen began displaying a greenish background with these squigly lines across the screen. I tried to restart the computer and when it began to restart it went to a black screen saying the computer had not shut down correctly do you want to start in safe mode. I started in safe mode and the desktop came up and a windows vista box came up and said windows encounter a problem do you want to search for a solution. I clicked search for solution and the box went away with not apparent solution.

I shut down the computer and turned it back on thinking I would be able to start without being in safe mode.
When I turned the computer on Windows failed to boot up and the screen turned to gray with a faded background that looks like 20 squares across the screen with what can be desribed as lighter gray clouds randomly dispersed across the whole screen.

I am unable to get the system to boot back up or get to safe mode. I stuck the original Windows Vista CD into the CD drive and tried to boot the system from CD drive but was unable to do this. I am wondring if this is a real hardware issue or if it is could be some sort of virus or vista problem. Any ideas? Thanks Joe

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#2 Everard


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Posted 10 January 2009 - 06:53 PM

Definitely sounds like a hardware issue... no virus I've heard of can do this...

It could either be your video card or your display going out... I'm more inclined to say video card since this would effect your system from starting...

Or it could be the motherboard going down too...

Hopefully you still have your warranty on your laptop, so I would contact Dell get them to sort it out.

hope this helps.


#3 joepdx

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 07:32 PM

Here is an update. I would try periodically to boot the system. It randomly booted up and the sytem took me through some sort of system restore. I went through the process and the computer started and I was able to log onto the system. Once I was at my desktop I checked the Vista Problem & Solutions. I was in this process when the screen blinked and an error message came up saying nvmdld driver error or something of the sort. I did a search on this and it appears that there have been reported problems with the Nvidia 7900S graphic card and Windows vista.

From what I could find on the Nvidia forum it usually occurs during gaming but mine is occuring during routine web surfing. There is no fix from Nvidia and the only solution that anyone had posted was to go into the Bios and change the system voltage on the chipset. FSB from 1.2 to 1.3 and SPP(PCI) from 1.2 to 1.3. Someone had also posted that they had altered the Memory Frequency down to 666 or unlinked the memory ?

Before I could do anything the screen blinked again and went to the gray screen. So I believe the problem is with my Geoforce 7900S that came with my dell laptop. I have heard it is not easy to change out the graphic card in an laptop.

Based on this additional info I would appreciated any suggestions. The computer is not under warranty.

I did a search on this forum and found others with Graphic Driver Problems. Many refer to their Power supply not providing enough power. I am now wondering if I damaged the graphic card or that I am causing the problem by using the 65 watt power cord instead of the 90watt that the computer came with.

Edited by joepdx, 10 January 2009 - 07:57 PM.

#4 dpunisher


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Posted 10 January 2009 - 09:00 PM

Based on this additional info I would appreciated any suggestions. The computer is not under warranty.

Call/go online with Dell to be sure. NVidia set aside a big chunk of money to cover their faulty chipsets. Many manufacturers are covering laptops well outside the warranty period as they will be reimbursed by NVidia.

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