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Old 04-13-2007, 11:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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Default Boot/Video/HDD/Something Issues

Earlier today, I opened my Dell Inspirion 8500 laptop as I normally do and clicked on my name to log in. I left for about 40 minutes, then returned to do some work. Upon sitting down and moving the mouse to see what the latest Windows Update was for, the screen got green dot packets all over it and froze. I turned the laptop off, then restarted it. The screen got a green/white tint, but nothing else happened. The HDD didn't seem to be spinning, nothing. I shut it down and left it. I came back later and it booted up. Got to the Bios screen, the Windows XP splash screen, then I logged in. From there, the green dots happened again.

I tried several things, but the computer would either freeze with the green (or other color dots/lines/freeze, then die to a black screen) or stop doing anything before even reaching the Dell Bios Screen, showing me a color, usually purple or green. I connected the laptop to an external monitor, which worked...whenever the laptop screen did.

I eventually tried using a bootdisk, hoping that I had a virus. When I used the bootdisk, it worked, but I later discovered that it was a coincidence. First I booted to DOS. Lines of color appeared on the screen. Pushing on the keyboard/screen makes the colors change/go away, which led me to believe it was a hardware connection. After getting it running, I ran some virus scans and etc. It sat there for three hours, running the scans. Whenever I came back, seeing it had finished, I brought up FireFox and changed the page. It froze with the green and died to a black screen. Tried using the bootdisk, but nothing happened.

I'm racking my brain trying to figure anything out. I've never had this problem before and it showed no signs of a problem whenever I was using it last night. Any help is appreciated.

Tidane is offline  
Old 04-14-2007, 01:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 146
Default Re: Boot/Video/HDD/Something Issues

Sounds like the graphics chip has worn out.

If it's still under warranty, get dell. If you're trying to fix it yourself, look under the keyboard, some of the dells I've seen actually use a detachable graphics chip, make sure the connection didn't work loose (I spent an hour working on one because I'd just barely pulled the card out of socket once). You may even be able to order one from dell if it's not attached to the motherboard.

Memtest and update your bios. Neither is likely to be the culprit, but it never hurts to try the free stuff first

System: Athlon 64 X2 3800+
EVGA Geforce 8600 GTS 256mb PCIE
ECS (pile of crap) Mobo
1.5 GB Corsair PC3200
Soundblaster Audigy Pro
Windows XP Pro, Lemming Optimized.
ShackledPhoenix is offline  
Old 04-16-2007, 06:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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Default Re: Boot/Video/HDD/Something Issues

I called Dell and ran through their tech support (still under warranty, so I had to). Their decision was to send a technician out to replace the motherboard (next business day in-house). They said if that doesn't fix it, I'll have to call back to have something else replaced, which I'm fine with. I'm fine with replacing every piece of it.
Tidane is offline  
Old 04-17-2007, 03:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Boot/Video/HDD/Something Issues

The technician came and replaced the motherboard. Whenever I got home (my dad was there with the technician) the computer was sitting on the table, working. I shut it down to move it and it restarted with no problem. After I started working, the same thing happened.

He moved the graphics card from the old motherboard to this one, so a worn out graphics card is possible, while a loose card is unlikely.

A question: how would the graphics card stall the computer from even reaching the BIOS screen?
Tidane is offline  
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