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Old 02-22-2010, 04:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
Newb Techie
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 5
Default Three problems with my computer

Hello all! I have been having problems with my laptop recently, and it seems that despite many efforts, the same problems still persist. The problems aren't relatively terrible, but still give me quite a bit of trouble, along with confusion. =)

1. My laptop used to display the desktop background at the login screen because I use the older type rather then the blue screen for multiple users. Now it just displays a black screen in the background, and doesn't show my personal background until after I've logged in. I want to restore it so that it shows during both.

2. My computer has been randomly freezing at times, and forums I've looked at make it to seem as though it is due to overheating, but my computer never really gets too hot. I think it may be something in my audio or display drivers. It used to create the buzzing sound at time of freezes, but with RMClock I was able to remedy that problem.

3. The blue screen of death occurred for the first on this computer earlier. My guess is that it may have to do with my RAM, but here's the kicker. My computer has never had a RAM problem before, especially since I always disable unnecessary start up programs, defrag, disk cleanup, etc. This was the error code:
0x0000008e (0xc0000005, 0xba14dbd1, 0xa7c73a34, 0x00000000)

Here are my computer specs to assist you in assisting me.

Operating System: Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 3 (2600.xpsp_sp3_gdr.091208-2036)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: Dell Inc.
System Model: Latitude D420
BIOS: Phoenix ROM BIOS PLUS Version 1.10 A06
Processor: Genuine Intel(R) CPU U2500 @ 1.20GHz (2 CPUs)
Memory: 1526MB RAM
Page File: 435MB used, 2465MB available
Windows Dir: C:windows
DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
DxDiag Version: 5.03.2600.5512 32bit Unicode

Sound Tab 1: The file sthda.sys is not digitally signed, which means that it has not been tested by Microsoft's Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL). You may be able to get a WHQL logo'd driver from the hardware manufacturer. <------One of the suspects.

Card name: Mobile Intel(R) 945GM Express Chipset Family
Manufacturer: Intel Corporation
Chip type: Intel(R) GMA 950
DAC type: Internal
Device Key: EnumPCIVEN_8086&DEV_27A2&SUBSYS_01D61028&REV_03
Display Memory: 224.0 MB
Current Mode: 1280 x 768 (32 bit) (60Hz)
Monitor: Plug and Play Monitor
Monitor Max Res: 1600,1200
Driver Name: igxprd32.dll
Driver Version: 6.14.0010.4764 (English)
DDI Version: 9 (or higher)
Driver Attributes: Final Retail

Description: SigmaTel Audio
Default Sound Playback: Yes
Default Voice Playback: Yes
Hardware ID: HDAUDIOFUNC_01&VEN_8384&DEV_7690&SUBSYS_102801D6&R EV_1022

Sound Capture
Description: SigmaTel Audio
Default Sound Capture: Yes
Default Voice Capture: Yes
Driver Name: sthda.sys
Driver Version: 5.10.4995.0001 (English)
Driver Attributes: Final Retail
Date and Size: 3/24/2006 17:34:30, 1156648 bytes
Cap Flags: 0x41
Format Flags: 0xCC0

I've ran AVG, Avast, and Windows Malicious Remover, along with multiple HijackThis! scans to see if I can find any irregularities, but to no avail. Any help would be gladly appreciated!! Thanks in advance for any hero/heroine who helps me out. =D

Meryx is offline  
Old 02-22-2010, 05:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Denver
Posts: 50
Default Re: Three problems with my computer

There really wasn't much info in your post that anyone could really tell for sure. There's a long list of possibilities.
Have you been to Microsoft Updates and done a "custom" update - choosing all hardware and optional updates (except for toys like Windows Live, Windows Search)?
Did you install all versions of .Netframework plus patches, especially 2.0? Some components require a certain level of .NET to function properly.

If you've done all that, you should run a memory tester from a bootable CD or USB stick, or from your computer's BIOS, if it has that feature built-in.

WHQL doesn't necessarily mean anything. Most drivers that aren't signed work fine, but WHQL is a guarantee that MS tested them.

- Overheating usually causes either freezing, spontaneous shutdown, or spontaneous reboots.
- Memory usually ends up causing program crashes, reboots, or blue-screen-of-death.
- A bad power supply can put out bad power - meaning the voltages or amps are too weak, or they fluctuate on one of the voltages. This can cause either the memory or the CPU to malfunction (or any other part to malfunction).
The more you strain a computer, the more CPU, memory, and power it draws, so some flaky computers will sit idle all day without a problem, but as soon as you launch a bunch of applications, it crashes.
But 1st step is to figure out whether it's hardware or software. To do this, eliminate the software by not booting off your hard drive. Boot off something else and run tests.

JeffO is offline  
Old 02-22-2010, 06:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
nOcLuE98's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,673
Default Re: Three problems with my computer

I would say, blow out your laptop with a dust remover, even if you don't think it is getting too hot, it might be. and then just do what Jeff said above you. Especially the ram tester, just because you have not had an issue before, does not mean you do not have one now.
If all of that fails, then look into testing your power supply with a voltage meter or something of that sort.
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