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Solved: Dell Inspiron n5010 Locks Up While playing


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peterbehere's Avatar
peterbehere peterbehere is offline
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01-May-2012, 08:29 PM #1
Solved: Dell Inspiron n5010 Locks Up While playing
My Dell Inspiron (Windows 7, 64 bit) locks up while playing somewhat intense graphic games like Skyrim or Fallout 3 or Oblivion (why yes! I do like Bethesda Games).

While playing, and at random moments, the laptop will freeze/lock-up...the image remains, no response from keyboard or mouse, the sound continues to loop the last millisecond of sound to where it sounds like RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
I'm then forced to restart manually. While it loads from the restart, it generally freezes before the Windows Logo has disappeared. One the second or third restart, it finally loads, but if I dare to play good graphics games again, RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR, you get the idea.

I've scoped all sorts of forums on this one and can't seem to find the answer.
Yes, I've updated the Chipset.
Yes, I've downloaded latest drivers from Radeon.
Yes, the fan is NOT blocked.
Yes, All temps are normal range (HDD around 47C, CPU's around 120C [EDIT: 120F], and GPU around 50C).
Yes, I've run Dell's diagnostics Software to no avail.
Yes, I've run the Bios Memory test to determine all is well.
Yes, I've run check disk with no errors.

Do I have something wrong with the inside? Blown capacitor or something? I'm not proficient with that sort of tinkering.
Your help is greatly appreciated.

Tech Support Guy System Info Utility version 1.0.0.2
OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, 64 bit
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU M 460 @ 2.53GHz, Intel64 Family 6 Model 37 Stepping 5
Processor Count: 4
RAM: 6006 Mb
Graphics Card: AMD Radeon HD 6500M/5600/5700 Series, 1024 Mb
Hard Drives: C: Total - 476936 MB, Free - 54794 MB;
Motherboard: Dell Inc., 0YXXJJ
Antivirus: None [EDIT: AVG]

Last edited by peterbehere; 01-May-2012 at 09:45 PM.. Reason: TSG System Info Utility
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flyer0101 flyer0101 is offline
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01-May-2012, 09:22 PM #2
That temp for your CPU 120C is extremely hot. Thats porbably the cause, you system looks fine but always check http://canyourunit.com and see if your computer can handle the games your trying to play. I could also recommend purchasing a Laptop cooling pad possibly.

If theres problems with your OS booting it could also be a Hard drive issue.

Do you have any wierd graphic problems while playing? or random freezes on the desktop?

I also noticed you dont have any anti-virus, It highly recommended that you get a anti-virus program, you can download some anti-virus programs freely off the internet. I personally recommend AVG. I havent been on Tech Guy for awhile so im not sure what they recommend.
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peterbehere peterbehere is offline
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01-May-2012, 09:43 PM #3
OOPS! That should read 120 F for the two CPU's, sorry. 120 C would be WAY TOO HOT. The irony here is that I use - not one - but TWO laptop fans to keep things cool, but it turns out that they don't help the lock-up's.

Like I said, the check disk utility does not detect errors.

I have NO visual graphic issues while playing, or browsing.

I do have antivirus but the utility did not detect AVG. Believe me, it's there.

I do appreciate your response, but...
NEXT!
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peterbehere peterbehere is offline
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02-May-2012, 11:19 PM #4
OK, interestingly enough, I've discovered a breakthrough. If I reduce the graphics level of Oblivion (high, but not max) the game runs for hours without a single lock-up/freeze.

Just in case though, I downloaded Driver Reviver and updated some ancient drivers. This did not prevent a lock-up/freeze when I returned the settings to max and played the game (froze within 5 minutes).

This leads me to believe that there is an issue with the video card. Any ideas? Last time I checked, you couldn't upgrade a video card on a laptop.
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flyer0101 flyer0101 is offline
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03-May-2012, 01:22 AM #5
It may just be that the graphics card cant handle that amount of stress. Graphics cards in laptops 99% of the time cannot be upgraded. If it was a graphics problem you would either need to order a replacement with your warranty or request a new one.

Heres a link about upgrade a Laptops video card: Link
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peterbehere peterbehere is offline
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12-May-2012, 11:40 AM #6
Turns out the graphics card CAN handle the stress...BUT it is constantly overheating at 62 degrees C.

Turns out Dell in their infinite wisdom decided to create this model laptop with NO ability to control the fan through the BIOS. They also jacked up the temperature threshold to 60 degrees C before the fan even kicks on! This spells disaster for gaming. Once the GPU heats over 60 it is in danger of overheating. It typically does before the fan can cool it enough.
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peterbehere peterbehere is offline
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12-May-2012, 11:43 AM #7
SOLUTION:

I've created a monster! Ok, not really, but there is now a USB cable that permanently engages the fan when I decide to plug it in. When I remove it, the thermostat will control it. I've "adjusted" (cough, cough) the laptop case so the modified cable comes out from the inside. IT WORKS!! The fan keeps it cool while running constantly. No more overheating and locking up.
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dell inspiron, freeze, freezes, lock up, locks up

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