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Old 08-06-2011, 12:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New Laptop Crashes

I bought an ACER Aspire laptop new from Newegg.com 2-3 months ago. In the time that I've owned it, it's had 5-6 full system crashes--blue screen or just sudden shutdown--that are unpredictable and unexplained (except for the info on the blue screens, which I do not have the knowledge to decipher).

The Newegg page for the laptop, with its exact specifications, is here: ( Newegg.com - Acer Aspire AS5742G-6600 Notebook Intel Core i5 480M(2.66GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory 500GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M w/ NVIDIA Optimus ). But here are the quick specs in case those are all you need.

Windows 7 64-bit
Intel Core i5-480M
nVidia GeForce GT 540M
4 GB DDR3 RAM
500 GB Hard Disk
6-cell Li-ion battery

The problem has manifested itself in a number of ways. One time, I had been watching a DVD movie for maybe 15-20 minutes when suddenly the image stuttered and then froze, while the audio turned into a long, monotonous buzz; soon the computer rebooted on its own.

Another time, I was just browsing the web and using Microsoft Word, and the system came to an absolute halt (would not accept input of any kind) before soon rebooting.

A third time, just today, I had been playing Half-Life 2 for about 20 minutes when the game suddenly became choppy. The moment the slowdown started, I had been moving some objects around in-game (so it was doing physics calculations), but after I stopped doing this the game only slowed down more. I restarted the game and loaded the same save file I had just been using, but the same choppiness came back, and got progressively worse until the computer simply turned off. This was not an automatic reboot like before; this time I had to turn it back on myself.

It's hard to give you any more info about the crashes themselves because they are so unpredictable and difficult to record (I can't exactly PrtScrn a blue screen).

Where do I go from here to try and remedy this problem? I've already run a full system virus scan (MalWareBytes Anti-Malware) and run CHKDSK after about the 5th crash since purchase. Neither one turned up anything suspicious. I come here to ask this because I figure I should run some sort of further diagnostic, but there are so many advertisements online for "Fixing PC Errors" and I don't know which one to trust.

Recommendations?
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Old 08-06-2011, 12:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Laptop Crashes

Browse to C:\windows\minidump and upload a .DMP file for someone to look at. Or post it on technet.
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Old 08-06-2011, 12:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Laptop Crashes

I would start by running memtest and a hard drive diagnostic.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Laptop Crashes

Well, I've run 5-6 full passes of RAM testing using the MemTest from HCI Design, and I've run all the non-destructive basic tests provided by "SeaTools for Windows" (apparently an HD diagnostic tool) from SeaGate. All tests were passed without errors. The only possible issue would be that I ran MemTest using the "All unused RAM" setting during normal operation (while using FireFox, Microsoft Word, Windows Media Center, etc.). But I figured the fact that I ran 5-6 passes would make up for this...?

(Also, I could not find any "minidump" folder in my WINDOWS directory.)

Suggestions for what to do next?
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Laptop Crashes

How are the cpu\gpu temps?
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Old 08-07-2011, 02:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Laptop Crashes

Well, that was interesting! To test my temperatures, I downloaded and installed nVidia's nTune. Upon launching NVMonitor from the nVidia Control Panel, the computer promptly crashed to a blue screen. (The only thing I memorized about it was "SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION" near the top of the screen.) Upon automatic restart, I got the "Windows has recovered from an unexpected shutdown" box for the first time ever.

Here's the details that the box gave me:

Problem signature:
Problem Event Name: BlueScreen
OS Version: 6.1.7601.2.1.0.768.3
Locale ID: 1033

Additional information about the problem:
BCCode: 3b
BCP1: 00000000C0000096
BCP2: FFFFF88008E32AB7
BCP3: FFFFF88007C9DE50
BCP4: 0000000000000000
OS Version: 6_1_7601
Service Pack: 1_0
Product: 768_1

Files that help describe the problem:
C:\Windows\Minidump\080711-30981-01.dmp
C:\Users\Klope\AppData\Local\Temp\WER-136329-0.sysdata.xml


And here's a link to the dump file--apparently the first one that my computer's generated. I hope it reveals something. Not sure what kind of program is supposed to open it, but it looks like gibberish in Notepad...
080711-30981-01.dmp
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Laptop Crashes

Is the .DMP file helpful? Does anyone have a guess based on this information as to what might be wrong with my computer?
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:15 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Laptop Crashes

The .dmp file contains information about the crash, Have you tried windows restore?
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Laptop Crashes

Are you talking about System Restore? I thought that just reverts system settings to a previous restore point? The crashes have been happening for a long time; they started not long after I got the computer, so I don't have a restore point available from before any crashes. Doesn't seem like that's an option now.

Does anyone find the .DMP file helpful? Shouldn't it contain information about the cause and exact details of the crash? Maybe this can help in a diagnosis of the problem?
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Old 08-16-2011, 06:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Laptop Crashes

Yes the dump file tells me a lot of things. For starters you need to update your nVidia Drivers.

http://www.techist.com/forums/f127/r...anager-246852/

That is a guide i wrote up specifically with nVidia drivers so you can see how it is done. The process in question is this:

nvoclk64.sys

Other than that I would say done try to overclock your video card.
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