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screen display abnormality

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#1 lost1nwords


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Posted 27 April 2009 - 09:02 PM

I have a Dell XPS M1330, its a few years old now but it sports some decent hardware. Inside is a Nvidia Geforce 8400m GS, Centrino duo dual core T7250 CPU, 3 gigs of DDR2, a 120 gig 5400rpm standard hard disk, and its running on a dell 0pu073 mainboard. My system is an x86 Vista home basic package with an A12 version bios.

The Problem:
One day while turning on my laptop i found my bios would not load, and the screen remained black for about a minute, until to my further surprise these colored horizontal lines began to appear until the filled the screen and it turned a bright white then reversed the entire process (looks like some sort of winamp visualization display). I thought my monitor was broken, and i also came to think my os was dead, however for yet another surprise i heard through my speakers the windows login sounds, and after blindly trying my password had also heard my desktop sounds! I had to force a hard reset about 30+ times before apparently my bios booted just fine and visible, and the login was there too, this lasted a short time as my screen was checkered (not just horizontal this time) with green (or sometimes purple) lines, then reverting to a smaller pattern of these only horizontal lines, freezing my HD and forcing an auto-reset. The length of time varies for the amount of time the laptop remains functional, and the number of hard resets also varies before it will work again in any condition.

Attempted solutions:
after looking through forums and discovering several forms of this occurrence it seems its been chalked up to faulty Mobos or GPUs, yet everyone who has replaced these parts have complained of no change in functionality. Aside from a major hardware overhaul i looked into modest software alterations, updated my bios to A15 and then back to A12 where it seems to be more stable, Also uninstalled my GPU and now work of the onboard VGA which is also increasing my stability, as well as checked for viruses and used benchmarking programs (Microsoft problem reports and SiSoft Sandra mostly) to find hardware faults. I also tried to update, change, and reinstall the drivers for my GPU but all to no avail

Other considerations:
-i have always considered overheating as a major problem but this error seems to occur regardless of whether the laptop is ice cold or baking warm.
-damage to Mobo or Gpu due to dropping the laptop (has occurred but not recently and the problem seems to come and go, not that it happened and remained constant)
-Home basic is not the original OS, it was a downgrade from Home Premium to wipe my HD; resulted in a faulty installation which leaves me unable to update my security through the Microsoft website! also i lack essential programs such as .netframework 3.5 and other things: however these problems were preceding this monitor situation by about a month, and seems not to be a direct cause of this problem.
-After my alterations the laptop is more stable when it is on, and seems to operate at startup with less required hard resets to boot normally.
- i tried to take a screen shot of this as it happened only to find that it didn't capture the horizontal lines, so the lines were stationary on the surface of the screen as everything else operated behind them (other than when the checkered lines appear and everything freezes then resets)
-relying on my onboard VGA rather than the Geforce 8400m GS did not solve this problem
- benchmarking programs did not return any errors related to hardware malfunction or damage!

Larger question:
Is this a Hardware situation, perhaps a crappy Mobo on its last breaths?
Or maybe its a software problem stemming from the faulty installation and security vulnerabilities?

If you could offer anything constructive i would be at your mercy, my desktop is out of business until i get a new NIC card (thank you Newegg for fast delivery!)

EDIT* used a box fan to cool my entire room, I placed the laptop in perfect position to cool off too, and so far the lines appeared once just now after 3+ hrs of running torrents and they have disappeared after 2 minutes. The settings are still set for the onboard VGA graphics and not the Geforce card which was in use during the first instance of this problem

Edited by lost1nwords, 27 April 2009 - 10:55 PM.

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#2 fairjoeblue


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Posted 27 April 2009 - 10:54 PM

Make sure the power adapter os disconnected
Remove the battery from it
Remove & reseat the memory.
From the description I assume it has an actual video card
Remove & reseat it
Put the battery back in
Try it.
OCZ StealthXstream 700W,Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R , E8500, Arctic Freezer Pro 7, 3GB G.Skill PC8500,Gigabyte Radeon HD 4850 OC [1GB ], Seagate 250GB SATA II X2 in RAID 0, Samsung SATA DVD burner.

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