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(Help) Freezing and Crashing

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#1 Marth_01


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Posted 14 July 2010 - 10:59 AM

3 Year Old Laptop
Dell Precision M4300
WinXP SP3 32bit
Intel Core 2 Duo T7100
Nvidia Quadro FX 360M
2 GB of DDR2 RAM

What happens:
Computer screen shows green/grey lines and blotches covering the entire screen and freezes, audio stutter-repeats, computer unresponsive, turn off by holding down power button. Looks like graphical error.

When does it happen:
Whenever I run anything that requires video. If I went to Youtube right now and watched any video full screen or not, or played any video game that I've been playing, I will get the above stated crash.

When did it start happening:
I left my computer on for probably 72 hrs straight (which I've done before). It wasn't doing anything, it was hooked into an external monitor and only displaying on that screen, and also hooked into a laptop air cooling mat. Even at room temperature and with a cooling mat the laptop was hot (but not burning). I had the external monitor displaying a resolution higher than that of my normal laptop screen, but I have done that for the past 2-3 months playing tons of games requiring all of my system to run them. I have heard that making the graphics card display a resolution higher than it is meant for can be bad, so I have reduced it to normal.

What steps I have taken:
Stopped using monitor to see if crashing still occurs.
Unplugged all other devices than my external mouse and power supply.

I have noticed that on the startup screen when it displays DELL in big blue letters, they now have black dots. It might only be on restarts from crashes though. I can run normal applications fine, such as this internet browser with the little flash animation smilies.

Is my graphics card shot?
Should I try to update certain drivers?
It can't be a failing power supply with a laptop because they have batteries, right?
How can I run diagnostics on different parts of my computer to see if they are okay?

I do have the laptop backed up as a Ghost and as regular files on an external hard drive, but I need this thing to take to class with me! I can't lose you now buddy! Don't you die on me!

More testing and edits
I can run Windows Media Player full screen playing a song with the crazy designs on full screen or a music video I have saved on my computer with no signs of crashing or anything - But me and my laptop are deathly afraid of youtube or games.

I've been moving around some files around to flash drives and things for the past hour. I've gotten two freezes - music stutter-repeats, screen shows no sign of problem, computer unresponsive to any keyboard or mouse input, hold power button to turn off. I only had open a couple folders and windows media player on a song. Hmm... is my hard drive failing or something?

Edited by Marth_01, 14 July 2010 - 12:05 PM.

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#2 hamluis



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Posted 14 July 2010 - 12:55 PM

<<How can I run diagnostics on different parts of my computer to see if they are okay?>>



#3 Barajiqal


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Posted 14 July 2010 - 01:04 PM

"It can't be a failing power supply with a laptop because they have batteries, right?"

A laptop power supply is external, but it can still fail the converter is the larger black box inline with the power cord. Also have heard of the charging circutry(sp?) failing as well.
"I am Become Death, Destroyer of Worlds" - (Verse 32 Chapter 11 of the Bhagavad Gita) Robert J Oppenheimer

"Any Man Who Has a Habit and Cannot Bear to Share it Should not Have the Habit at All" - Misqoute From Rolland of Gillead in the Stephen King Series The Dark Tower

#4 Marth_01

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 09:12 PM


Tried diagnostics on the hard drive using Seagate Tools and it passed all of the tests. No problems there.
Tried system restore to last week way before this was happening, no avail, still black dots in the DELL letters on startup and still crashing after either 10 minutes of being on or a video or game being played.

Next tries are going to be playing around with the drivers.

It is so odd that I can still get on the internet and everything acts perfectly fine until a surprising freeze.

#5 cryptodan


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Posted 19 July 2010 - 03:25 AM

What you are describing is indicative of a failing video card.

#6 Marth_01

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 12:26 AM

Ah, cryptodan, you hit it right on the head.

My laptop was still under warranty, and Dell came out and replaced my motherboard/videocard.

All is well now, thread can be locked. :thumbsup:

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