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Laptop crashing during any resource-heavy activity


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#1 Kealan124

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 08:49 PM

Hello. I have an HP Pavilion dv6z 1100 laptop. I have had it for a bit over a year now. Roughly a week ago, it began suffering from very odd crashes. Whenever I tried to play Team Fortress 2, within a few minutes, the sound would cut off and the screen would suddenly change to uniformly spaced vertical lines. The color varies each time. Once, the sound looped the last few seconds of gameplay a few times before cutting off. Also, twice, the game simply froze with the current image on the screen. The laptop became utterly unresponsive, none of the regular commands (alt + f4, ctrl + alt + del, alt + tab, ect) got any reaction. It did not BSoD, it just stayed like this until I held the power button down. Now the really odd thing. It would not immediately boot up again. If I tried to power it back on right after it crashed, the fans and keyboard lights would come on for a moment, then abruptly cut off again. It does this whenever I try to turn it back on for several minutes, and then it boots normally.

It's not just Team Fortress 2, either. I tried playing several other somewhat high-demand games, with identical results. Today, it even crashed while I was downloading a few torrents. However, a few days ago, I decided to try Team Fortress 2 again. I got on, and played for nearly an hour without problems. Then, a message popped up warning about low battery. My charger cable had come unplugged (I keep my laptop plugged in almost constantly (bad for the battery life, I know, but I nearly never use it away from my desk anyway). I plugged it back in, went back to playing, and crashed within two minutes. I honestly have no idea wtf to do. I have never messed around with overclocking, or any kind of power-related settings.

Thank you for any advice you may be able to offer. The below image was not taken by me, but it shows roughly the same problem I am having.

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#2 Baltboy

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 09:58 PM

Sounds like you are overheating. Either the heatsinks on the CPU and GPU are clogged with dust or one of the hestsink fans could be not working. Blast through the vents with a good can of compressed air.
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#3 Kealan124

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 06:15 AM

I have already tried the compressed air, and nothing happened. No dust flew out, and the problem didn't go away. Also, I keep the laptop on a cooling pad. I have felt it after it crashed, and it never seemed abnormally hot, unless the cooling pad is just dissipating the heat from the surface of the laptop.

#4 MrBruce1959

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 10:23 AM

Welcome to Bleepingcomputer.

Please check out this link below for a possible solution to your video card issue.

http://www.playtool.com/pages/troubleshooting/intro.html

Scrool down and read the whole page.

Also, look through the video card associated links in the menu at the top of this page for other possible solutions.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards.

Bruce.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 02 December 2010 - 10:25 AM.

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#5 pachm

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 12:39 AM

check your temps with speed fan sounds like you are over heating....My link you can get it here. post results

#6 Kealan124

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 05:34 PM

Thank you for the advice. However, the problem is still there. I have tried everything listed on playtool that seemed relevant (did not check power supply, since this is a laptop). I opened it up and cleaned the fans + heat sink, as well as replacing the thermal paste. I tried SpeedFan, and it was running somewhat warm, but nothing too bad (never went much above 70 C).

Oh, and it is now crashing in three different ways. It has just instantly cut the power twice, as well as freezing with the current screen image several times, and the vertical lines roughly an equal number of times. Any more ideas? I'm getting desperate, it's beginning to die occasionally with even low-intensity tasks now.

EDIT: I tried the RAM test, and it died before finding any problems. Since this is not run in Windows, I am fairly sure it's not a software problem. I didn't even bother with the CPU test, since it's supposed to run overnight, and my laptop would last maybe a few minutes with such a high-demand program running.

EDIT 2: I am sure it has something to do with the power. Three times now, I have fully charged my battery, unplugged my laptop, then played Team Fortress 2 for a full charge with no problems. Every time I try to play while plugged in, however, it dies within a minute or two.

Edited by Kealan124, 16 December 2010 - 05:58 PM.


#7 killerx525

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 08:57 AM

Have you tried replacing the charger itself?

>Michael 
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#8 Kealan124

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 11:21 PM

Not yet, no. I don't really have a lot of money, I'm trying to try all the free solutions first. I'm getting desperate, though, will probably have to try soon.

#9 Baltboy

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 11:28 AM

70C is a high temp even for a laptop. You are pushing the upper range of what your proccessor is rated for which is probably causing your issues. Since you are now having more issues after messing with the heatsink I would bet that is where the issue lies. When you put on the paste how much did you use and how did you apply it? Did you clean off all of the old stuff using alcohol before recoating? Max amount should be about the size of a BB and it should be spread equally over the entire surface of the proccessor and video chip before the installation of the heatsink. Having excess thermal paste can cause overheating problems as much as having to little.

Also I have not seen that you have verified that the fan is actually working on the heatsink either. Can you hear it spin up?
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
Mark Twain

#10 Kealan124

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 10:44 PM

70 was before the cleaning, it's barely ever rising above 60 now. I used the proper amount of thermal paste, and the fan works properly.

Also, I haven't seen any new problems since the cleaning, besides the variation on the previous crashing. I'm probably just going to order a new charger cable, then return it if it doesn't fix anything. Visually, my current one appears fine, and it charges properly, but I dunno what else it could be. Could there be a problem with some internal component that involves the power jack? It's definitely only when plugged it, I have tested many times now.

#11 Kealan124

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 07:39 PM

While this problem was dealt with long ago, I thought I'd add a note for anyone who comes here looking for advice with a similar problem. Apparently, there's a fairly common motherboard fault in this laptop model, and mine was among those affected. The problem grew steadily worse, until the laptop started dying even during low-demand activities, and while not plugged in. After a while, it just refused to turn back on. I found out about the fault later, and just bought a new laptop rather than pay a few hundred dollars for a motherboard replacement and praying the problem didn't reappear a year later.




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