Solved: System crash - pics

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autogud

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Apr 23, 2007
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Hi,
I have a Dell Vostro 1510 running win xp, it is about 2 years old and now during startup, during the windows loading screen, I get this terrifying screen (image in the attachment). This looks worse than the blue screen of death, although I can still use it in safe mode and I can occasionally start windows normally and use it for a bit, but then this happens again eventually.

I'm not very good and diagnosing and fixing pc problems, does anyone know if a reformat/reinstall will fix the problem, or is it more serious than that?

Thanks for any replies!
 

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Joined
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Unfortunately this is worse than a BSOD as it looks like your graphics card has failed. All you can try is to update the graphics driver.

• Download the latest driver for the card and save it to the desktop.
• Go into Device Manager and locate the card, right click on it and select Uninstall.
• Go back to the desktop and double click on the new driver to install it.
 

SUEOHIO

SUE
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Jan 30, 2007
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If that doesnt work then you might have a problem with the screen itself or replace the graphics card.
 

autogud

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Apr 23, 2007
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Thanks for your replies guys, it does indeed seem to be a graphics card issue. I went into dxdiag to get the graphics card details, and my nvidia graphics card isn't being recognised. Instead it displays n/a next to everything (see attachment). I take it that the means the graphics card is completely gone?
 

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SUEOHIO

SUE
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Im going to assume that yes theres a problem with the graphics card if the driver didnt work.
 
Joined
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The Dxdiag screen shows that the system is using a generic driver, have you followed my first post? You need to make sure that the correct driver is installed before assuming that the card is faulty.

Sometimes it can just be a bad contact, take the card out and clean the contacts with a soft pencil eraser and blow out the slot with a can of compressed air, then refit the card and try it again.
 

autogud

Thread Starter
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Apr 23, 2007
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It's been starting up without problems the last few times, but I've updated the driver as well to be sure. I think the graphics card on this model is soldered to the motherboard, even though its an nvidia card. Anyhow I can't access it by removing the back panels. I must admit to leaving the laptop on for days at a time, maybe the graphics card overheated?
I'll have to wait and see to be sure its fixed. If the graphics card does need replacing, would the cost of replacing the whole motherboard be worth it or should I look at getting a new laptop (and turning it off once in a while).
Thanks for your help guys, I would never have guessed it was the graphics card.
 
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Overheating can be a problem with laptps and if the graphics card has failed you would have to replace the motherboard as the graphics card will be built into it. The cost, unfortunately, could make such a repair unviable, a new PC would probably be a better investment.

As it is still functional that could suggest that heat is a problem and the remedy would be to dismantle the latop to give it a thorough clean out.

One final check you can perform with the driver is to check there are no old drivers in the system which may be causing conflicts, follow this:

•Download the latest graphics driver from the Nvidia site for your card and version of windows and save it to the desktop.
•Go into Device Manager and locate the graphics card under Display Adapters, right click on it and select Uninstall.
•Run through this routine and locate any/all graphics drivers and delete them. Do not reboot, just close all the boxes to get back to the desktop.
•Double click on the driver that you saved to your desktop to install it.
•Now reboot and check the PC's performance.
 

autogud

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Hi Mark, after a lot of weirdness it turns out that the graphics card is fried. I can only start the laptop now if I uninstall the nvidia card in device manager and use the generic driver. I can still use it for basic stuff, but I'll have to upgrade it in the near future. Thanks for all your help
 
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