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"Display Driver stopped responding" & constant browser crashes


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#1 Luke10101

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 03:44 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm afraid I am having some rather depressing problems with my laptop. Last week I had installed some bits and bobs and a couple of new software packages for my new GoPro camera. Not long after I had a few video card crashes. Figuring it was something to do with the software or drivers that had been installed I uninstalled the new software and rolled back my video card driver. This didn't help so I updated drivers to new and I still got some periodic crashes.

 

I decided to reformat and start again. Backed everything up and was up and running again a few hours later. It was all good for about half an hour and then the same problem persisted – random video card crashes which produced the error “Display Driver has stopped responding and has recovered” as well as Firefox keeps crashing pretty consistently. 

I've tried IE as well and both IE & Firefox crashes persistently and frequently. So with Firefox crashing every 2 minutes and the video card crashing every 10 minutes I’m beginning to think something is seriously wrong. I just don’t understand what could have happened – there has not been any damage to the laptop but as a clean install didn't fix my problems am I to presume that there is something wrong inside?

It is probably worth mentioning a couple of other anomalies which are occurring. Firstly sometime I get random weird lines randomly on the screen – mainly around the edges of menus or toolbars. Sometimes black lines appear on the screen or other weird stuff. I’ve attached a couple of examples of issues. These are most likely related to a video card fault I fear.

Also when I do manage to get a browser open for more than 5 minutes and I try to download various files I very often get an error when trying to open the file (can’t remember the exact error but Google told me corrupt or incomplete download) – this problem is random and only sometimes happens.
I’m willing to take any suggestions. Any advice would be greatly appreciated on anything I could do to try and remedy the situation.


Thanks,

Luke

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#2 ElfBane

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 03:48 PM

Is it stable in Safe Mode with Networking?



#3 Luke10101

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 03:49 PM

Hi ElfBane,

 

Thanks for your reply. I haven't tried that. I will try once I get home this evening and report back. What would that mean if it was? 



#4 Luke10101

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 03:41 AM

Quick update: I have been running the laptop successfuly with no crashes in safe mode with networking. What does this tell us???



#5 ElfBane

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 04:20 AM

It tells us that you do indeed probably have driver issues.

I think we should try to reach stability, then go from there.

Uninstall the GoPro driver suite and the "bits and bobs" you installed. Reboot the machine. See if it's stable,,, make sure your browsers work as they should.

 

 When you " rolled back my video card driver", why did you update the driver to begin with? Was it a normal Windows Update driver update?

We need the make and model #s of your lappy.

 

 

 

And please

Publish a Snapshot using Speccy - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic323892.html/page__p__1797792#entry1797792 , taking care to post the link of the snapshot in your next post.



#6 Luke10101

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 06:07 AM

None of the GoPro software is on the system anymore. When the laptop became unstable I reinstalled Windows as I figured it was a software issue but the problem persists now even after reinstalling Windows .

 

As soon as the laptop became unstable I went to the AMD website and installed their “Automatically detect and install the best drivers for you” software and it downloaded and installed the driver for me. I figured this could remedy the issue. When it didn’t I rolled the driver back but there was no difference.

 

Laptop is a Sony Vaio – PCG31311M

I have an error when trying to publish screen shot (possibly related to my issues) but have attached a screenshot of my system in picture format.

 

Thanks for your help.

 

Luke

 

Attached File  speccy.png   53.93KB   0 downloads


Edited by Luke10101, 09 September 2014 - 06:07 AM.


#7 ElfBane

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 08:14 AM

Your MB is running a bit hot. Recommend you open up the lappy and blow out the cooling fan(s) with canned air (only use short bursts of air) or a blowdryer (not on high heat).

 

I can't find a teardown of your exact model, but laptops are basically the same. Here is an EXAMPLE teardown you can look at ... https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Sony+VAIO+PCG-61411L+Teardown/11670 . It will give a general idea of what you want to do.

 

BE CAREFUL working in a laptop!! There are numerous screws and the ribbon cables are delicate and their connectors break easily. BE VERY careful of using excessive force. DON'T work on the laptop energized!

 

You'll need a screwdriver (probably Phillips head), a container to place screws, and maybe a hard plastic wedge (a hard plastic guitar pick is perfect).

 

Put back together and boot it up. Run Speccy again and see if the temperature has lowered.

Let us know.


Edited by ElfBane, 09 September 2014 - 08:15 AM.


#8 Luke10101

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 08:23 PM

Right okay, I will do this tonight. This is going to be rather nerve racking. Especially as there is not a guide for my exact model. How irritating. Will I need to take the fan out completely to clean it?



#9 rockysosua

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 09:02 PM

If you're not really tech savvy and there isn't a video guide for taking your laptop apart, I suggest that you might stick with blowing the compressed air into the intake and exhaust ports.

If you have to go to the store to buy compressed air anyhow, you might as well pick up a can of contact cleaner.

You first blow out with air, in short burst as mentioned above, or you could overspin the fan and damage it.

Then you do the same with the contact cleaner, in a generous amount, then blow the air through again, boot up and see if it made a remarkable difference and if it didn't, then you either have to take your risks opening up your machine, or have a qualified person do it for you.

 

PS: As you mentioned, there are no video tutorials for opening up your model, but there are a few here that deal with other PCG models and if any of them resemble yours, maybe that would be good enough.


Edited by rockysosua, 09 September 2014 - 09:15 PM.

All is well in Paradise.

#10 Luke10101

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 03:38 PM

Okay so I bought myself some compressed air and some new screwdrivers. 

 

Started off skinning the laptop pretty well - hard drive and RAM came out easily enough. Removed all of the screws and the front half of the laptop came disconnected but for the love of me I couldn't get the back end to come away. I used as much force as I comfortably could. It felt as though part of the motherboard was still held to the casing with screws but every single screw had been removed. I will try again at the weekend to see why I couldn't open it. There are absolutely no reference guides or help for my model of laptop, shouldn't these things be provided? Every guide or video was completely different to my model. 

 

Anyway I tried scooshing everywhere with the air, including into the exhaust vent. No change - still runs at the same temperature. Do you really think that this is the cause of all my problems? I'm relatively intelligent so I refuse to accept the fact that I have been foiled by opening a laptop - I'm also quite scared that I'll break it (it's actually belongs to my girlfriend!). 

 

Anyway I will try again at the weekend but any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

Luke 



#11 Luke10101

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 06:58 PM

I actually had more luck searching for the Product name as opposed to the Model number. VPCYB3V1E

 

All I could find though is the back opened. I got to this part, removed all of the screws and the front part (the bottom of the picture) comes apart but the area around the battery housing (top of the picture) just feels so secure. It feels like if I put any more pressure on it, I will certainly break something!

 

 

Attached File  pic.jpg   107.12KB   0 downloads



#12 Luke10101

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 07:17 PM

Found a guide. Will attempt at the weekend 



#13 Luke10101

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 09:42 PM

Okay so I opened laptop up, removed fan and gave it a good clean. Cleaned motherboard and other companents too. Put it all back to gether and fired it up and no change in  temperature. Motherboard and GPU is running ~60 degrees.

 

The fan is certainly running because I can hear and feel it. The exhaust air does seem pretty hot though. I've published my new Speccy results below:

 

 

http://speccy.piriform.com/results/dKzHNZOLNmeTXt6docq27Fn



#14 ElfBane

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Posted 13 September 2014 - 04:44 AM

Well, if you're up to it, I would reload the OS again. This time run your browsers before doing Windows updates so you can get a benchmark. Be aware that some browsers (IE) may NEED some of those updates to work properly.

Do a round of updates, now check your browsers. Rinse and repeat. When you get to a point the browser crashes re-appear, then one of the previous updates may be at fault.

 

The video faults are, unfortunately, probably a failing MB. An expensive part and a PITA to replace. So you'll have an idea of what your facing;

 

So you'll know what we're looking at, there are 3 or 4 things that could be at fault;

1. The screen itself.  They are usually around $70-$100 in price.

2. The inverter. A small part, not very expensive usually, but it's usually not the failed part. But it's in the signal path and must be considered.

3. The wiring harness. If it's crimped, bent or partially broken, it can cause odd problems.

4. The mainboard. Usually quite expensive, and very challenging to replace if you've never done it before.

 

A PC shop would charge $250-$400 to troubleshoot and repair this. You can do it cheaper, but it won't be fast. You'll be ordering one-part-at-a-time, changing it in the lappy, then seeing if it's fixed. If it turns out to be the mainboard, then you've ordered those other parts for nought.

 

So, your options are,

A. Fix it yourself. Cheaper in the long run and you'll get a wealth of experience tearing down a lappy, but it won't be fast.

B. Let a PC shop fix it, at the above mentioned estimate.

C. Apply any monies mentioned toward a new lappy, instead of trying to fix the old one.

 

Hope this helps


Edited by ElfBane, 13 September 2014 - 04:47 AM.





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