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Old 07-08-2011, 03:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry Acer Aspire 8935G, solid color screen crashes during games and video.

I've seen many threads related to solid colour crashes, but nothing seems to have helped me. I'm pondering If I should just buy a new desktop or not, at this point. But before reaching that point, please hear me out and help If you can... Before we proceed, here's the current main specs:

Subject: Acer Aspire 8935G (It's more of a multimedia laptop than gaming station but I bought it as a desktop replacement for gaming, which frankly was very stupid of me, since with the same money I would have a monster desktop...)
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo P8700 @ 2.53GHz
RAM: 4.00 GB
GPU: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4670 1G/some Intel Chipset 64 MB (this laptop comes with 2 built-in GPUs, one for low battery consumption, one for graphic-intensive stuff)
Operating system: Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit

Let my tale of misery begin!

I've bought this laptop in November, 2009. It came with 32-bit Vista Home edition. After a really short time with Vista (like, REALLY short, it must have been 1-2 weeks only), I got sick of Vista (never liked them...) so I decided to go for Win7 64.

After a really crappy bunch of days trying to figure out how to start windows with the ATI GPU, since it was only loading on the Intel one, I found out how to do that (in case any other 8935G owner is wondering how to do that, instead of the power button press the multimedia button that's located right next to the HOLD button on the multimedia keypad. That will start up the PC with the ATI GPU). I believe the first game I put on was Dragon Age: Origins. It was running pretty decently on high settings, with some overheating (the laptop surface right above the GPU was (and is) unbearably hot to touch after a while of gaming). around 85-95 C at peak temperatures according to GPU-Z), which is to be expected from a laptop, but it never crashed once.

After many months, I started having the problem which made me write this thread. While playing a game, my laptop screen would just randomly go black then start alternating between many different colors, sometimes accompanied by a loud sound, that reminds me of the good old PC Speaker. Of course, I could only force a shut-down by keeping the power button pressed.

I tried many different things. Updated to the most recent GPU driver in every imaginable way through all these months (either through ACER's site, or ATI's, I even used Mobility Modder with the desktop drivers), (since there was no mobility driver update for like an entire year for the particular model's series) Nothing changed. I even updated my DirectX drivers. That didn't help either.

After games, it was time for videos to start taking part on this, apparently... I'm using VLC media player almost exclusively, but the problem takes place while on WMP too. While using the ATI GPU, If I started viewing a video, It WOULD crash in some seconds/minutes. When using the Intel chipset, everything was (and IS) going smoothly.

So, I re-installed Win7, thinking I might have screwed up something (had a virus or messed up the drivers in any way) and just when I booted up for the first time, with the default drivers, I ran WMP to play a random video, and it crashed after a while. The computer was not overheating at all, and I had nothing installed.

I used to play WoW about half a year ago with no crashing whatsoever, but recently I've reinstalled the game, and I'm crashing at random points (in the solid color screen way, as always, not overheating self-shutdown).

Another really curious and interesting fact: I bought Fallout IV: New Vegas some months ago, installed it and went on Steam to play it. I started the game normally and at the introduction video, it ALWAYS (and I really mean ALWAYS, we're not talking randomness, as is the usual thing) crashed at the same point, near the begining of the video!

About one year ago, I bought a fan unit to have the laptop stand on, thinking it might help. Unfortunately, even at high fan speed it doesn't really help much... But I guess it does a bit. I sometimes reach 90+ Celsius on the GPU. What's funny is I've been running at such temperatures many times without crashing or self-shutdowns.

Another thing to note, is the crash occurs on programs that use flash animation always, but not on videos and/or flash games on sites (using firefox 5 if that has to do with anything :P).

I think I may have a power supply issue (and maybe the cooling fan worsens the situation since it's drawing voltage, but If I pull out its usb I tend to get shut-down in games due to overheating, it seems... It's a vicious cycle :P), but I don't know how to check on that. Btw, let me remind you that the crashing only happens when I run with the ATI GPU, so yes, the problem is most probably with this GPU. Also, I haven't tampered with the BIOS at all (haven't updated it or w/e).

Can you please help me with any advice? Btw, I'm not really willing to go to service (out of warranty anyway) If I can't fix it myself, I'll just get a desktop this Autumn If it can't be helped...
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Acer Aspire 8935G, solid color screen crashes during games and video.

Have you cleaned it out? Lite4rly cleaned it out. You'll probably find a build up of dust..
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Acer Aspire 8935G, solid color screen crashes during games and video.

Take it apart and clean it out if you can. But it sounds like the ATI video is dying.
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Acer Aspire 8935G, solid color screen crashes during games and video.

I'll try to open the case (haven't done it before on a laptop xD) to take a look and clean it with some pressurized air I guess. I'll update you with my findings, assuming I manage to open it. :P
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Acer Aspire 8935G, solid color screen crashes during games and video.

Ok, so I opened the case and didn't really find much dust anywhere... So I start win7 and run DA:O to see if the temperature goes high. And then it crashes after half a minute (in the solid color way as always).

So I'd reckon as Slaymate said, that the ATI GPU is dying. Probably because I've been using it on extremely high temperatures for extended gameplay sessions when I first got the laptop.

Guess I'll just have to buy a desktop then? Oh well, it didn't really pull through in most games graphics-wise. Got to get ready for TES V anyway. :P

Only thing I regret is that it was pretty expensive (came with blue-ray reader) and now I can't even use it for multimedia purposes with the graphics card that it's intended for this kind of stuff.
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Old 07-09-2011, 09:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Acer Aspire 8935G, solid color screen crashes during games and video.

I have a 8930, so i hear yha.
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Old 07-10-2011, 04:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Acer Aspire 8935G, solid color screen crashes during games and video.

Hello
Subject: Acer Aspire 8935G
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9000 2.0GHz
RAM: 4.00 GB
GPU: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4670 1G/some Intel Chipset 64 MB
Operating system: Win 7

I have this laptop for 2 years and i have the same problem with yours 'black screen' and the temperature 80+. First i believed that the problem was about the ram (for the black screen) and i change the ram with a new one, but the propblem still exists ("greekgeek" tell me from where you bought your laptop)
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Acer Aspire 8935G, solid color screen crashes during games and video.

Dude - I have EXACTLY the same problem. Was fine to start but black screen/colour has becoming more and more of a problem - first on games, then when crunching numbers in MATLAB and now just playing VLC videos with a browser open, temperatures at 80-90 standard, but have been that high for the computers lifetime.

So far I've only had the problem in W7 - I'm a big Linux (Ubuntu) user too, and so far haven't had any problems there, though I might try and run it through some more serious stress-test. Under Ubuntu I'm only using the Intel card though, which might add weight to the fact the ATI card is just crap and starts to die after about a year or so. I'll look at running the ATI card under Ubuntu and see if I get the same problems - if so I guess it's pretty conclusive. Doesn't seem to be a RAM issue. I also cleaned mine out pretty thoroughly which didn't help.

SO frustrating! Blargh!
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Old 12-17-2011, 02:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Acer Aspire 8935G, solid color screen crashes during games and video.

Also got an 8935G with the exact same problem, last's about 30 - 40 min's then freezes, screen goes black then scrolls through the colours

I'm quite techy when it comes to computers and I have opened it up and checked for dust is the heat sink but it all seem's good

The laptop seems to run fine when it is using the intel GPU and not the ATi one so it must be the ATi one is on it's way out.
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Acer Aspire 8935G, solid color screen crashes during games and video.

Me too, though my problem may be slightly worse/different

I had no problems at all until a few weeks back where the issue occurs as soon as the ATI card becomes active, the laptop display just goes through a repeating colour cycle. However I can plug it into my tv via the HDMI connection and it looks fine. As a test, because up until Windows loaded everything looked fine as the integrated card is used up until that point and I wanted to rule out it being a windows 7 issue, I disabled the integrated graphics chip via the bios so that would force only the ATI card to run - this was a bit dumb as the colour cycling started as soon as I turned the damn thing on and the second display only began working when Windows started which meant I couldn't see the bios screen....

Updating the bios via the windows updater (from Acer) appeared to reset the bios settings as well.

I have tried everything I can think of, drivers, bios, cleaning - while decently complement with techy stuff (Software developer by day) I'm admittedly no computer hardware specialist. I find it odd that it will run through the secondary display with no issues.

I've taken a look through the manual and made a start at taking the think apart, was going the attempt removing and reinserting the card in the event its came loose over time - but haven't made it that far yet, these things are a bit of a nightmare to strip down. I've built and taken apart my fair share of desktops over the years but this was my first go at a laptop, this beast is bit of a daunting task for your first go.
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