The World Thru My Eyes - I speak my mind and man does it like to talk.
Published on October 26, 2009 By CharlesCS In Personal Computing

I need some 911 tech help here. My PC has suffered a terrible accident and am not sure if it will survive.


OK, so here is what happened. On Friday night I was playing Call of Duty World At War with my friends online. All of a sudden, I the middle of the game the computer froze; it made a loud buzzing noise (probably from the sounds of the game freezing up) and the screen went all pixilated. I had to force a shut down and when it came back it would crash when ever I started a game, watched a flash video or was on for a while. I tired reinstalling the nVidia driver, adobe flash and even went as far as reinstalling Windows again but as long as the nVidia drivers were installed the computer would stop after the Windows boot screen and would then show a bunch of colored lines on the screen and would eventually reboot over and over again. I had to go into safe mode to uninstall the nVidia drivers and let the system install default drivers just to be able to get back into the desktop.


At this point I am only able to do some basic stuff that are not video hogging like browsing the internet, downloading podcast and office stuff. Watching videos on youtube is a pain and can't even watch a movie on my pc because it lags. I also get a lot of blue dots on my screen and every so often the computer will crash even with the standard video drivers.


Some people suggested it could be the memory, others thinks it's software related. I think it's the video card but could also be the monitor. The PC is a laptop so I can't connect to another monitor to test this. It does have a monitor connection but without the nVidia I can't get it to detect the monitor. Here are the specs for the laptop:


· Entertainment-centric notebook PC with widescreen 17-inch LCD and stylish high-gloss finish with wave imprint, integrated webcam


· 1.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5450 dual-core processor, dual 160 GB hard drives (main drive replaced by a WD 250 GB HDD), 3 GB RAM (4 GB max), Blu-ray ROM drive with dual-layer DVD writer


· Quad-mode Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n); Gigabit Ethernet; Nvidia GeForce 8600M GS graphics (up to 1791 MB of available memory)


· Connectivity: 4 USB, 1 FireWire, 1 HDMI, 1 VGA, 1 S-Video, ExpressCard 54/34, 5-in-1 memory card reader


· Pre-installed with Windows Vista Home Premium (with Media Center capabilities) replaced with Windows 7 Pro Installed; includes remote control


Any help would be appreciated. Hopefully this can be fixed but considering it's a laptop and the video cards I believe is welded to the MoBo I don't see much hope for this. Worst case scenario, if I can't play video hogging games, I would, at least like to be able to watch videos on it. Windows 7 was installed about 2 weeks ago. Have not tried going back to Vista yet.


>Oh, I would also get the blue screen of death with this file as the culprit nvlddmkm.sys. Thank you.


Powered by Zoundry Raven

on Oct 26, 2009

Sounds like the video driver......went thru a bit of the same when I upgraded although I have an ATI card. Check with HP for a video driver.....notebooks tend to have highly customized video drivers. If HP doesn't have one then uninstall the Nvidia driver and let Windows install it's own version. After installation go into Control Panel > Display and make sure it's set up correctly.

on Oct 26, 2009

If HP doesn't have one then uninstall the Nvidia driver and let Windows install it's own version. After installation go into Control Panel > Display and make sure it's set up correctly.

I did that already but it keeps crashing with the color lines right after the boot screen. I will check HPs site to see if they have special drivers for my laptop though.

on Oct 26, 2009

Had a similar thing happen to me some months ago. Short version: Video card was dead. Any attempt to utilize it beyond Windows Classic resulted in BSOD.


on Oct 26, 2009

might just be dust casuing it to overheat (guessing here) try hoovering it though the grills.

on Oct 26, 2009

might just be dust casuing it to overheat (guessing here) try hoovering it though the grills.

Did open laptop and found it very dirty, cleaned it up a bit but still crashes. I have a cooling pad for it as well but when I game it does heat up quite a bit. I know a laptop is not ideal for gaming but it's what I had for now.

on Oct 26, 2009

Search the net to see if your nvidia card is one of those affected by the slow nvidia death from bad components. My 8600M card died twice and had full mobo replaced followed by money back from manufacturer but EU has stricter laws on goods being fit for purpose and replacement or money back. Lots of nvidia chips die due to poor composite lamination even up to 9200 series I think - it was all hushed up for a while but it is out in the open now, nvidia stock value halved at time they verified the problem about a year ago. Apple also was affected too as they used the 8600M.


on Oct 26, 2009

I suspect the issue is with the video card hardware and not a driver issue.

You've already covered the basics: tried a reboot, then updated driver, then a Windows reinstall.

The issue could from part of the GPU frying during your CoD session, or a GPU RAM chip frying.  It could also be from a voltage-regulator (aka capacitor) that died, one that only kicks in during "heavy" GPU usage. 

It is entirely reasonable that the video card works with the default Windows drivers but crashes during heavier use.  There are a lot of unused pathways in today's GPU's when you are using the basic Windows Explorer; these pathways kick in during 3D-accelerated application (ie DirectX or OpenGL) or video processing.

A number of video codecs have shifted their processing to video cards.  I don't know if Adobe Flash also uses the GPU for video decompressing, but your errors are consistent with GPU-enabled decoders.  The 8600M video card in your laptop includes video-decoding hardware.

I agree with Ausvet that you should check for any recalls or warranty extensions due to a history of hardware failures for your laptop's video card.

Good luck!

on Oct 26, 2009

Thanks for the advise. I contacted HP to see what they would say, I will have to reinstall Vista (which was originally on the PC) and reinstall all the drivers and update the BIOS to see if that is the issue (have to go thru every step of process of elimination) to see if it still causes problems. If not so, then I will have to find out if it's the laptop monitor (not sure how to check that), then I will need to check if it's the video card. I still think it's the video card. I am not much of an expert of hardware but as GG_Crew discribed it, makes perfect sense to me since it's the same conclusion I came to. I will let you know what happens later tonight.

on Oct 26, 2009

GG is right on the money, it is your video card.  Similar things happened to me last weekend and I had to run out and buy a new card.  Was very unfortunate due to 5870 X2 coming out next week and Fermi in a few months. 

Just to give you an idea of what happened to me:

Playing Trine, game pixelated and computer crashed.
Rebooted fine, started to play again, crashed again.
Reboot, tried demigod, crashed.

Updated drivers, it still crashed.

Thinking (hoping) it was just heat related: 

Downloaded the video card overclocking program for fan control, bosted the fan to 100%, dropped the temp by 8 degrees, still crashed.

Pulled card, replaced thermal paste, still crashed.

Then the card stopped even booting up.

Good luck bro, i hope it's covered by warranty!

on Oct 26, 2009

hi...the same thing happened to me 7 days ago.....i´m playing Civilization 4 (BTS) - very complicated graphic game.....i changed the Graphic was overheat and burned )).....i bought new one and everything is cool i think maybe you have the same problem as i had...try this

on Oct 26, 2009

Never again will I get a laptop for gaming. I am amazed so many people had this problem so recently.

on Oct 26, 2009

Never again will I get a laptop for gaming.

Gaming is typically there will be a lot of sustained heat....and compact computers of any kind/brand will be inefficent at handling/dispersing heat....ergo...

The only 'good' gaming computer is a big box [where there's room to handle heat properly].

It's a fair bet you have fried your GPU....simple as that....

on Oct 26, 2009

Time for ebay!

Might get a fair price for parts on that laptop - maybe?


on Oct 27, 2009

Unless you get a cooling board for your laptop to sit on I'd say it's generally a bad idea to have a laptop as a pure gaming rig.

As for the problems it sounds like a video issue, maybe even a motherboard issue.