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Old 07-04-2005, 12:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Problem with LAPTOP (Screen going on and off)

Background:
Laptop = Gericom Hummer FX 5600
Purchase Date = Feb 2004
Warranty = Expired Feb 2005

Hardware:
Intel Pentium 4
512MB DDR RAM
Nvideo GeForce FX 5600

Software:
Windows XP: Home

Problem:
The screen will either:
(1) go black [assume it goes off] and back on and produce some messed up image like in the attachment (although that's the worst I have ever had - usually it's just the mouse image that's messed up)
(2) go black [assume it goes off] and stay off, requiring a restart. Note: If I press something like caps lock, it takes 5-10seconds for the caps lock image to show as on on the keyboard, so it lags up when it does this - possible CPU problem?

If it returns, and the GFX are messed up, I can get it back to normal by minimising the window and reloading it. So it doesn't stay like that.

When problem occurs:
If I'm in Microsoft Word it'll do it every now and then (go black and stay off), if I preview some animations on Microsoft Powerpoint it'll do it (go black, then come back on) and after doing this about 25 times after trying to preview 25 animations it'll go black and stay off. In addition, at random times that have no pattern. But if I use microsoft word I can place a bet that within some time it'll go black and stay black.

History:
In Jan 2005 my laptop power cable stopped working, so I had to send the laptop back (Feb 2005) for a new one (As the replacement didn't work).
They sent it back, with a new charger, and working. And they said they changed the CPU too.

This problem started straight away. I contacted them, saying that I can not send it back for some time as I needed the computer for exams and college, they said to contact them near the time when I could send it back. So after phoning them today, and trying to explain to a dutch man (the dutch like to stand their ground) that it was their fault because the problem occured AFTER they had 'fixed' the original issue, during the warranty date, he said they could pick it up but I 'may' get a bill. So I figured I'd try and fix it myself, or try.

What i've done:
For some reason I thought it was a graphic driver problem (after getting the problem using powerpoint today).
So I tried to re-install my graphic drivers, and well, I got the error: ''The NVIDIA Setup program could not locate any drivers that are compatible with your current hardware. Setup will now exit.'' - so it says it cant detect/identify my video drive?

Anyway, I then had some idea to update all drivers I could, so next was the CPU. After realising there are no driver updates for CPUs I found a program to test the speed of your processor, slightly bored and annoyed I downloaded it anyway, only to get the error: ''ADVISORY! The Hyper-Threading Technology Test Utility
was unable to identify if all the core components are present'' (Full details in attachment)

Why post here?
Well, I have no idea of I can fix it myself, and would rather see if I can before sending it off.
I was going to consider re-formatting the computer, but that's annoying and such a long process, and I am sure it's not needed (And may not even fix my problem)

Attachments:
(1) Error - showing what happens after the screen goes black and if it returns (remember: If it returns, and the GFX are messed up, I can get it back to normal by minimising the window and reloading it. So it doesn't stay like that.)

Here: http://www.spark911.com/tech/screen.gif

(2) CPU report

Here: http://www.spark911.com/tech/cpu_report.txt
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Old 07-04-2005, 12:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wow. First of all, thanks for all the backround info on your computer. More people need to do this when they ask questions. But honestly, I dunno what to tell you. Try reinstalling windows? Maybe a connection problem or a GPU problem, though.
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Old 07-04-2005, 01:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by woot6600GT
Wow. First of all, thanks for all the backround info on your computer. More people need to do this when they ask questions. But honestly, I dunno what to tell you. Try reinstalling windows? Maybe a connection problem or a GPU problem, though.
Yeah, I will try and re-install window if it comes to it.
But I'm trying to avoid it for now.

My host is offline for a while, so I will host the image here.
The txt file wasn't so important.
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Old 07-04-2005, 02:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sorry for double post, needed to host image.
Attached Images
File Type: gif screena.gif (22.7 KB, 56 views)
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Old 07-04-2005, 02:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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sounds like harware for sure. I would get the ultimate boot cd and run some tests. Can you tell if there are fans running? It may be heat releated. Most of the time issues like these are memory related. Get memtest86 and run it for a few hours. The Ultimate boot cd requires a cd burner and bios boot from cd support. Double check that you downloaded the correct video dirvers from http://nvidia.com/content/drivers/drivers.asp
Get cpuz http://www.cpuid.org/cpuz.php#download and post a screen shot of the cpu page.

On another track, do you have antivirus/anti-spaware software? Could be viral. Go here http://housecall.trendmicro.com/ and run the free scan to rule that out.

Try some or all of that and let us know the results.
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Old 07-04-2005, 04:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by daappleby
sounds like harware for sure. I would get the ultimate boot cd and run some tests. Can you tell if there are fans running? It may be heat releated. Most of the time issues like these are memory related. Get memtest86 and run it for a few hours. The Ultimate boot cd requires a cd burner and bios boot from cd support. Double check that you downloaded the correct video dirvers from http://nvidia.com/content/drivers/drivers.asp
Get cpuz http://www.cpuid.org/cpuz.php#download and post a screen shot of the cpu page.

On another track, do you have antivirus/anti-spaware software? Could be viral. Go here http://housecall.trendmicro.com/ and run the free scan to rule that out.

Try some or all of that and let us know the results.
Fans: Yes they run, although when the problem occurs they also come on straight away as if it's overheating.
Drivers: they are the right ones.
cpuz: See attachment.

Anti-virus/memtest86: Scanning now, and i'll get back to you.
Although usually I run AVG and ad-aware.
Attached Images
File Type: png cpuz_spark.png (50.5 KB, 55 views)
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Old 07-04-2005, 04:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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how savy are you with hardware? There are many cases where the small flat connector for the monitor will come loose inside.

On most laptops the keyboard is easily removed, just clips not even screws. Once the keyboard is off you can find the connector relativley easily. If they replaced the cpu then it highly likely that they didn't lock that connector. If you feel able open er up and check that out.
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Old 07-04-2005, 04:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by daappleby
how savy are you with hardware? There are many cases where the small flat connector for the monitor will come loose inside.

On most laptops the keyboard is easily removed, just clips not even screws. Once the keyboard is off you can find the connector relativley easily. If they replaced the cpu then it highly likely that they didn't lock that connector. If you feel able open er up and check that out.
Problem is it seems to occur at certain times. And the fact that when it's black if you press caps lock or something it takes 10-15seconds to light up the light makes me feel it's not a bad connection.

And I can turn it off after it happens, then back on without moving it and it comes back on fine. OR if I try and move the screen when it happens it never comes back on.

So I don't think it's that, still waiting on the virus scan (on 87% now).
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Old 07-04-2005, 05:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I doubt the viurs scan will have anything, just making sure though. It sound like a driver issue more than anything. Or you have an application that is being a resourse hog. Another thought; I have seen similar issues with USB devices, specifally flash drives, that cause a system to hang or just run really stupid slow. If you have any usb stuff plugged in try removing it....

maybe run hijack this in windows safe mode and post a log in the av thread to see if there is somthing bad running.
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Old 07-04-2005, 05:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm guessing it's a problem with your video card. Run memtest86 first to make sure it's not your main ram causing the problem though. Since it ALWAYS happens at those times you described thats what makes me think it's the vid card. Do you play any games on it?

I also agree that it is probably not a loose connection. Did you buy it refurbished?
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