new to the forum, but looking for help w/ some odd, possibly graphics/directX related issues...not sure if this is the right forum to post this but here it goes.
I've had an MS-1719/GX700 laptop for over 3.5 years, and it's been working great till about a couple of months ago when my Hitachi SATA HD (80gb) crashed on me (mechanical/read-write heads failure). I replaced it w/ a Seagate SATA 500gb, Reinstalled winXP SP3 and the various drivers up to date/software I had on the original HD....
Everything seemed ok, till I started using Firefox again on the new setup, and all of a sudden, at what it seemed like random sites/pages and even when clicking on the "Add-ons" link under the "Tools" menu, my screen went blank/black, and the fan would start winding up, and nothing...no keyboard/mouse or any input seemed to get things back to normal. The computer was/is still on when this happens, but it's non-responsive. if I click the mouse/keys too much a loud beep/s would come from it, but that was it....the various LED lights are still on. The only way to get back to normal is rebooting the machine. When rebooting, windows doesnt even seem to have registered that anything was wrong, since it didnt give me a choice to reboot in safemode or normally (at least not winXP it does later in win7).
This issue then came up while playing GTA4....I would be playing it for a while all ok, and oddly it seemed that only when it rained inside the game (which seemed to put more strain on the vidcard anyway) then it could blank-out/crash as above, and again the only solution was to reboot.
After some testing/research I realized that the only way to get firefox (either version 4/5/6) to work, was to turn off its "hardware acceleration"...then it would work just fine.
So between this and the GTA crashes, the culprit seems more and more either vid drivers/directX.
I spend some time uninstalling/reinstalling, even rolling back to previous version drivers for my geforce 8600 GT...even using DriverSweeper in safe mode to make sure I cleaned up remains before installing new drivers.....actually rolling back to an older driver seemed to make things a bit more stable.....meaning I could play in some of the areas/conditions in GTA4 that would crash before w/ the newest drivers...but I would still get crashes similar to above, both w/ GTA4 and firefox, just not as many/frequent....
I also decided to use a number of utilities to test my hardware for corruption/overheating:
used/tested the following:
memtest86 for RAM - no errors/issues
prime95 for CPU (torture test) - no errors/issues
furmark/OCCT for GPU/vidcard - no errors/issues
OCCT for ram/CPU/GPU combos - no errors/issues
OCCT for vidcard memory - no errors/issues....
even tested directX w/ dxDiag.....no issues there either.
Also considered overheating...I could not find specific max/safety temps for my CPU/vidcard/mobo....but using CPUiD HW Monitor and OCCT, I could tell that even under full stress my vid card wouldnt go above 75/80C temps (normal around 50), and my CPU on full load (for hours at the time) wouldnt go above 100C...normal around 37. the mobo under full stress would ago around 104C.....none of these seemed to me (and also from doing research) like above normal when under full stress.
btw, this whole time, the idea of a virus/spyware/malaware causing these issues occurred to me, so I've been scanning w/ Norton Internet Security (my default AV/firewall setup), malaware-bites,super-anti spyware, spybot and Hitman Pro...nothing found.
At this point I was at a loss as to what was going on, so I decided to move on to Windows 7 64bit a couple of days ago.
Tried Firefox and at first it worked great!...no crashes/issues...so I was encouraged!
Then I tried the "Windows Experience Index" rating...and as it was processing, the progress bar was saying "testing 3D9 for aero" or something similar...bam!..it crashed again, like the above w/ winXP!...ugh. I tried it 3 more times, same crashes as above.
So I installed GTA4 again, and similar crashes again. I even got the latest redist for directX and ran it (version 9c from april 2011) ...after that things actually got worse!!!!....totally unstable firefox (v6 - usable only w/ "hardware acceleration" turned off)...and still crashes w/ GTA4 worse then before and the WEI rating as above. I was able then to revert to an earlier system restore point before the ran of dx9c redist...so not things are at least ok (so far) w/ firefox w/ hardware accell. turned on....still crashes w/ WEI rating and GTA4....
So here I am...very frustrated and at a total loss as to what's going on. Any direction/help would be MUCH appreciated!
here's a link to my detailed specs/hardware status as it is now..
thanks in advance,