The main problem is that my Display adapter doesn't always work, and I'm pretty sure that it is a hardware issue, but I am trying to make sure. The problem started near the beginning of the summer. At that point I was running the RC of Windows 7 on my computer. One day when I was playing L4D with one of my friends, it suddenly started to get choppy. After about a minute of choppy play, the video stopped, and the audio got stuck in an infinite loop. A blue screen then came on, and I don't remember all of the what it said, but it basically said that my computer had encountered a problem with the graphics card, and that it was shutting down to prevent damage to my computer. It was doing something which I believe it called a "crash dump" and dumping all of the temporary RAM memory to the Hard Disk. So... after that my computer still worked fine, but every now and then, the same thing would happen again. Unfortunately I was never able to copy down the whole error message because it was very long, and I couldn't take a screen shot of it. I tried to take a picture with my camera once, but it didn't come out well. So... moving on a little... About two months ago, my computer started doing something very strange. It started refusing to fully boot. I have two hard drives in my computer, so it would start to boot, and then it would come to the screen where it let me choose which hard drive I wanted to boot off of. I would select one, and it would continue to the "loading Windows" screen. Then, right before when the windows logo should come up, the screen would flash white (extremely quickly), and then go completely black. Then, about 10-15 seconds later, my computer would restart. Well... I suspected that my graphics card might be a problem, so I booted up in safe mode (which worked fine), and uninstalled the driver for my graphics card. Then, I restarted in normal mode, and it booted properly. So... to make a long story short, I tried many, many things to try to resolve all of the possible problems I thought I might have. I went online and found the most recent version of the driver that I need for my graphics card, and installed it. Still no change. Eventually, I took the route that I didn't but I thought would probably fix my problem, and I re-formatted my hard drive, and re-installed Windows on it. Still no change. So, then I remembered that sometimes if you have two hard drives, and there is a problem with one of them, it can cause the other one to have problems, too. So, I re-installed windows on both of my hard drives at the same time. Still no change. At this point, I consulted a friend of mine who knows a lot about computers, and she told me that the driver software I was using was compatible with my video card and with Windows 7, but not with my computer, and that there was not a driver like that which was compatible with my computer. I was skeptical about this, especially since at one time my computer did work with Windows 7 and with this driver. But, I took her advice anyways, and installed Vista on both of my hard drives. Still no change. It would start to boot up, but it would restart before it finished booting. But then, randomly, one time it worked. It booted fine, even with the display driver. It then worked steadily for about 3 weeks, until recently, when it started going off and on again. No matter what I am doing, every now and then everything will get choppy, then the video will freeze, and the audio will get stuck in an infinite loop, and the computer will shut off and re-start (and sometimes the blue screen error message will come up again, but not always). So, at this point, it works every now and then, but sometimes it doesn't.
Now, here are some of my observations:
- When I start up my computer, sometimes while it is booting, random vertical, white, dashed lines appear and disappear.
- Sometimes when it gets to the part of the boot process where it stops working, rather than re-starting, it simply freezes, and some kind of horizontal, colored, dashed lines appear.
- A few times, I also got a blue screen error message saying something about framebuff.dll not responding or getting stuck in an infinite loop.
- Every now and then, something very strange happens. Sometimes when I boot up my computer, there will be a white horizontal line just below the middle of the screen, and the display will be doubled. In other words, my whole display will appear above the line, squished down to fit in the smaller space, and then also, as much as would fit would appear below the line, also squished down very small.
- I tried re-setting my BIOS settings just in case that could possibly have anything to do with it, but it didn't help.
- I have a Gateway P-173X Fx-edition (laptop).
- My graphics card is an NVIDIA GeForce 8800M GTS
- The current driver that I am using for my graphics card is version 220.127.116.1146