My laptop has started randomly freezing - up to 2x per night, but usually only 1x per week. The freezes can occur at any time: while using Internet Explorer 9, ripping CDs to MP3s, playing Plants vs. Zombies or Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, or even while the laptop is sitting idle. The freezes are usually accompanied by graphical corruption such as the mouse pointer turning into an interleaved white square, wavy vertical purple lines, etc. Rarely, I will see a TDR event (stop and reboot of the graphics driver) just before the freeze, and I will sometimes also observe a system slowdown or 30 second temporary freeze before the final freeze event. I have never seen a BSOD.
I have tried every (software) recourse I can think of to resolve the issue, including:
- Chkdsk and Defrag
- RAM memory tests
- vRAM memory tests - revealed errors when onscreen buffer was used, but no problems otherwise
- Temperature monitors - both CPU cores and the GPU stay well below 70
- Antivirus/antimalware scans, using Norton IS 2013 and Malwarebytes
- Windows updates
- BIOS and driver updates (including the Intel chipset)
- Registry cleaners
- Temporary/useless file cleaners
- Windows troubleshooting, Administrative Tools, Event Viewer, etc. - no relevant Events are ever listed
Because of the vRAM memory test results and the symptoms, I suspect a problem with the graphics card, but cannot be certain.
So, here're my questions:
- Is there any diagnostic tool/software/etc. I can use to definitively isolate the root cause? What software would you recommend to check the GPU, vRAM, power supply, etc.?
- What other causes, or tools/memory dumps/etc. to isolate the cause, could I be overlooking?
- Why would the onscreen buffer vRAM test fail, but not the standard vRAM test? (I was using "Video Memory Stress Test".)
- If this is a graphics card failure, then why is it as likely to happen when I'm running Internet Explorer as when I'm running a 3D game?
- How could I go about replacing the card? (We are talking about an old laptop, after all.)
Asus M50VM-A1 laptop (Sept. 2008) Windows 7 Ultimate x64, DirectX 11 Intel Core II Duo 2.26 GHz Nvidia GeForce 9600M GS 1GB, stock clock, latest WHQL driver (310.90) 4 GB RAM + 15 GB ReadyBoost (via SDHC card) 320GB hard drive
Edited by BFG99, 09 January 2013 - 02:23 PM.