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Laptop auto-shutdown and displaying screwy/wrong fonts even during start up

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by transpose, Dec 29, 2011.

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  1. transpose

    transpose Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
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    Hi all,

    I have got a Dell Vostro 1400 laptop that has been giving me a headache... It is more than 3 years old and came with Windows XP pre-installed. I ran Win7 (legitimate copy) on it for awhile (about 4 months) without any problems, then suddenly it would die while in Win7. Things like system shutting down by itself and freezing when displaying videos were common. Then it started showing “Memory Parity” errors. I tried swapping RAM modules but to no avail.

    So I re-installed Windows XP with SP3. Installation was smooth and driver installation was in order. It ran ok for about a week before auto-shutting down again. Now it even screws up the screen during BIOS loading (when the Dell logo and progress bar shows) and when loading Windows (please see attached photo for crazy fonts/capitalisation during Windows Restore screen).

    I am now running Ubuntu from it without installation (i.e. booting and running from the CD) and am encountering no problems whatsoever.

    The Dell BIOS diagnostics would run while I was running Win7 and report no errors, so I’m trying to assume that there’re no hardware errors. Perhaps the photo might be telling to you experts out there.

    Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance!
     

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  2. sonexpc

    sonexpc

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
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    Try to boot from the window 7 Disc and run the Memory Test Program from there.... If it pass.... I think may be teh build in Video card Issue.... I see similar error in Desktop... The video chip have problem ... it work ok without load the driver ... but whenever you load the driver .. it cause problem...

    Did this problem happen in safe mode?
     
  3. transpose

    transpose Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Hi there Sonexpc, thanks for your reply! Have not tried the Win7 Disc's Memory Test yet... would try it this weekend. I too suspect a GPU issue, and for a laptop with built-in graphics and is just over the 3-years warranty mark that would be unfeasible to fix eh?

    I have tried Safe Mode once or twice and it ran alright, however the latest problem occurs even before Windows fully loads (I even see distortions at the Dell boot graphics!), so I'm just trying to confirm here if it's a hardware problem.

    Only thing holding me back from junking this laptop is that Dell's own hardware diagnostics report all systems go, so I'm still hoping... will try the Win7 Memory Test though.\

    Thanks once again!
     
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