Frequent Blue Screen Crashes (PLEASE HELP)


K

Karim434

My computer keeps experiencing what I think are called 'blue screen' crashes.
The screen does not turn blue; rather it freezes and the graphics become
heavily pixelated and distorted. I think it also turns progressively black
over an extended period of time.

It's an old Dell laptop running Windows XP Home Edition and when the problem
started I used to get a link (on restarting) to this site:
http://wer.microsoft.com/responses/...SGD=960632d3-5133-417c-bcb5-ca3e5719c196#here

I do not get this link any more but I have no reason to doubt it is still
the same problem. I have tried the advice offered here but to no avail.

I have also spoken to Dell and been taken through the diagnostic tests for
my computer, which failed to find any problems. According to Dell this means
there is nothing wrong with the video card; rather Windows needs
re-installing. I have also spoken to the video card manufacturer who say
that, based on the symptoms, there is a problem with the video card and it's
nothing to do with Windows.

Any suggestions for resolving the problem would be much appreciated. I
should also say that I used to connect the computer to a TV from time to time
to watch movies (involving changing some of the display settings) which may
have started the problem but I don't do that any more.
 
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S

Shenan Stanley

Karim434 said:
My computer keeps experiencing what I think are called 'blue
screen' crashes. The screen does not turn blue; rather it freezes
and the graphics become heavily pixelated and distorted. I think it
also turns progressively black over an extended period of time.

It's an old Dell laptop running Windows XP Home Edition and when
the problem started I used to get a link (on restarting) to this
site:
http://wer.microsoft.com/responses/...SGD=960632d3-5133-417c-bcb5-ca3e5719c196#here

I do not get this link any more but I have no reason to doubt it is
still the same problem. I have tried the advice offered here but to
no avail.

I have also spoken to Dell and been taken through the diagnostic
tests for my computer, which failed to find any problems. According
to Dell this means there is nothing wrong with the video card;
rather Windows needs re-installing. I have also spoken to the video
card manufacturer who say that, based on the symptoms, there is a
problem with the video card and it's nothing to do with Windows.

Any suggestions for resolving the problem would be much
appreciated. I should also say that I used to connect the computer
to a TV from time to time to watch movies (involving changing some
of the display settings) which may have started the problem but I
don't do that any more.

Unfortunately - it does sound like the video card. If it is still under
Dell warranty - tell them to replace the motherboard. If it is not under
Dell warranty - given it is an "old Dell laptop", this is the likely
scenario - then you could try replacing the battery/running it without a
battery source but plugged into the wall - to see if that makes a difference
and if not - then it's probably a lost cause would cost more to repair than
replace with something that runs better, faster and is still under some
warranty.)
 
D

Daave

Karim434 said:
My computer keeps experiencing what I think are called 'blue screen'
crashes. The screen does not turn blue; rather it freezes and the
graphics become heavily pixelated and distorted. I think it also
turns progressively black over an extended period of time.

It's an old Dell laptop running Windows XP Home Edition and when the
problem started I used to get a link (on restarting) to this site:
http://wer.microsoft.com/responses/...SGD=960632d3-5133-417c-bcb5-ca3e5719c196#here

I do not get this link any more but I have no reason to doubt it is
still the same problem. I have tried the advice offered here but to
no avail.

I have also spoken to Dell and been taken through the diagnostic
tests for my computer, which failed to find any problems. According
to Dell this means there is nothing wrong with the video card; rather
Windows needs re-installing. I have also spoken to the video card
manufacturer who say that, based on the symptoms, there is a problem
with the video card and it's nothing to do with Windows.

Any suggestions for resolving the problem would be much appreciated. I
should also say that I used to connect the computer to a TV from time
to time to watch movies (involving changing some of the display
settings) which may have started the problem but I don't do that any
more.

How old? What is the model and model number. What are the specs?

I recently inherited an old Dell from my Dad. It exhibited the same
behavior you describe. (By the way, "blue screening is something
entirely different.) A Clean Install did actually fix this problem for
me.

Depending on the specs of this PC, you could boot off a Ubuntu CD. If
there are no problems, then you can be certain your issue is
Windows-related. You could either purchase this CD for a very nominal
fee or create your own if you access to a good PC with a broadband
connection and good CD burning software.

More info on Ubuntu:

http://www.ubuntu.com/

http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/purchase (actually this would be to
purchase the DVD, which would be good only if your laptop's hardware
supports this)

http://www.ubuntu.com/ (the CD is free or you can make a donation, but
you would have to wait a long time for it to ship!)

You can either thoroughly scan for all types of malware (which may solve
your problem or then again might not) or copy all your data and perform
a Clean Install.

If you believe this is still a hardware issue, this page contains very
good troubleshooting information:

http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/page2.html#Hardware_Tshoot

For Clean Install instructions:

http://michaelstevenstech.com/cleanxpinstall.html

(Then again, your laptop may have a different method. That is why I
asked for the model and model number.)

Depending on the age of this laptop, perhaps you might want to purchase
a replacement!
 
K

Karim434

Well, the computer is a Dell Inspiron 8500 and was purchased in late 2003. It
has since been upgraded once (hard drive and RAM, in early 2007) and now has
2GB of RAM and a 120GB hard drive. The processor continues to be the original
Mobile Intel Pentium 4 with a speed of 2.2 GHz.

I should also have said in my last post that it was the 2002 version of
Windows XP with Service Pack 3. Does any of that information help?
 
D

Daave

The specs are half-decent. Then again, the laptop is pretty old and you
probably won't want to spend too much time or money troubleshooting it.

The following group has a number of helpful fellow Dell users:

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.sys.pc-clone.dell/topics?lnk=srg&hl=en

It's worth a shot to post there.

I agree with Shenan that the video card is probably bad. But since I had
a similar experience and a Clean Install fixed the situation, I threw it
out there in my first post.

The problem right now is we are not 100% sure if this is hardware- or
software-related!

Your laptop's specs are robust enough to boot off a Ubuntu or Knoppix
live CD. If the laptop does not exhibit the same symptoms (freezes and
distorted video), then you can rule out hardware. If the symptoms
persist, you do have a hardware problem. I already posted a link to
hardware troubleshooting. If you have access to another video card of
the coorect specs, you could swap it with the current one. Then again,
laptops are nowhere near as easy to take apart as desktops.

Good luck.

(And make sure you back up all your data before it is too late!)
 
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