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Problem Laptop Graphics Issue

Discussion in 'Software' started by JonnyMX, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Hi All.

    Festive support greetings to you.

    I'm having a bit of an issue, which I think is linked to a graphics card or driver.
    I'm using a Dell M1330 laptop, about 2 years old which I've kept up to date and scanned etc etc.
    Never changed the hardware config or insatlled any weird third party cr@p.

    The other day it started doing weird visual stuff - when starting up I ended up with a strange rainbow streaked screen with a broad vertical black stripe which I initially thought may be physical damage to the screen.

    After a few restarts it came back good. But every other time I start it up, I get the same effect. When it is behaving, every now and then the screen goes black and then recovers. According to the event log '4101 display driver nvlddmkm stopped responding and has now successfully recovered' and the solution recommended is to install an updated display driver.

    I've been to the Dell support site and installed the display driver again, then run a Windows update which suggests a display driver update, which I've done.

    This doesn't seem to help, so I've been to the Nvidia website and downloaded their latest 8M series display driver. This gets half way through installing and then tells me that the driver control panel cannot be installed and that the system will revert to the latest working driver - which ironically is the one that doesn't.

    I've also had a BSOD related to nvlddmkm. I've tried running the Dell system scans etc which don't seem to indicate anything out of place, and neither does device manager.

    I've now got streaky lines where I should have CF blue and I'm getting cross.

    Any ideas? Reinstall and leave out the Windows update? Wonky graphics card?
    Oh, it's a GeForce 8400M GS by the way.

    :scratch
     
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  2. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Weird. Think you are right, some update doesn't agree with the driver you already had. I've got the 8400M GT in my Vaio so pretty similar. Checked for you and my driver is version 7.15.11.5655, not sure if thats any help, probably not.

    I'd roll your system back mate to a time before this happened
     
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  3. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Hmm.
    I'm on 8.15.11.8621.
    Odd that nothing really happened in between that might need rolling back.

    What about cold?
    It's bloody freezing here and the laptop was on the floor all night.
    Can't think of anything else...
     
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  4. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    A lot of the higher end 8 series mobile GPU chips ended up melting peoples laptops apparently, although It doesn't sound like thats your issue.

    You can normally get the drivers to install by doing a manual install by pointing to the correct INF file using control panel\system\device manager.

    If you can't unzip the installer (sometimes installers are self extracting zip files) then run the installer until a dialog appears. Then go and look in your temp folders for the extracted stuff, copy it elsewhere and use the inf solution above.

    Sometimes you can even edit the INF files if you are sure the driver is compatible with your device but config is restricting driver use.

    DELL is very poor at updating their driver downloads, always go straight to the source if you can.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2009
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  5. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Thanks mate.
    I'll give it a try...

    :biggrin
     
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  6. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    What OS you on Jonny? You could try uninstalling your graphics card in device manager then let it detect it again, worth a try
     
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  7. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Vista mate.
    Yes, that could be worth a try...
     
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  8. Notes_Bloke

    Notes_Bloke Terabyte Poster

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    Hi mate,
    On this page, have you tried clicking the 'Other versions' link and getting a previous version of the driver?

    NB
     
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  9. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Worth a try! :biggrin
     
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  10. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Who knows mate, Santa might of bought you a new laptop :biggrin
     
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  11. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Actually, Santa's getting bit p1ssed about the time I'm spending on this one... :biggrin
     
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  12. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    This is getting worse.

    I managed to install the latest Nvidia driver in safe mode, but it didn't make a difference.

    It was odd, sometimes when I turned the laptop on, I'd get the streaky lines straight away. Other times it would only happen after I logged into Windows. It has even happened when starting in safe mode.

    Sometimes it wouldn't happen at all and yet there would be an error while using the laptop.

    This was either a reported driver error, or a BSOD as mentioned before.

    All the diagnostics I could run came up fine, DXdiag, the Dell utilities - nothing came up with any errors or faults.

    So today as a last ditch attempt I rolled back the system to the last restore point prior to having the problem.
    Now I can't boot the bugger at all - streaky rainbow lines as soon as I turn it on.

    Aaargh!!!

    Does this sound like hardware to anyone? Not really my cup of tea with a laptop...
     
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  13. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Does it happen with Standard VGA drivers ? I think standard VGA display drivers are used in safe mode ?

    Try removing all display drivers from system control panel and setting installing only Standard VGA drivers. (Turn on show hidden devices ! ).

    What are the error codes on BSOD ? Do you have a kernel crash dump or minidump to analyze in WinDbg ?

    ( Turn off restart on system failure and ensure dump generation is turned on and you have a pagefile of at least 2 GB.)

    What drivers have you changed on the machine recently ? When did the issues first appear and what changes were made to the machine at that point ?

    It could be hardware or software at this point, if software was not changed and all drivers are good then I'd say its probably hardware.

    Can't boot at all ? You mean its streaky in VGA / bios mode before windows starts its boot sequence ?

    Consider turning on the driver verifier and boot logging.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/244617
    http://www.watchingthenet.com/how-to-enable-boot-logging-for-fixing-startup-problems-in-windows.html
    http://thebackroomtech.com/2008/01/...debugging-tools-to-analyze-a-crash-dump-bsod/
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
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  14. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

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    Randomly leaping in after most of the diagnostic work is done - I'd have gone for a hardware problem from the beginning - but the process you've gone through has at least ruled some things out.
     
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  15. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Is there any chance of posting a picture of your screen?

    Things like "streaky lines" and "broad vertical black stripes" makes me think of a hardware issue, possible need to reseat the internal VGA connector (the one that connects the monitor to the base of the laptop).

    Other things like '4101 display driver nvlddmkm stopped responding and has now successfully recovered' makes me think that it could be a software issue.

    Just a thought to rule things out, do you have a spare laptop HDD that you can install a fresh copy of Vista/XP on, this will determine if it is a hardware or software issue without losing anything. You may also want to spray dust out your laptop, I've had instances where dust/dirt really caused weird issues on machines.

    -Ken
     
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  16. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    You could try booting a CD distro of Linux just to see what it does (or usb distro)
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
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  17. dazza786

    dazza786 Megabyte Poster

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    Jonny I'm having the same problem but with my desktop. It was fine working on W7 RC, but when I installed W7U 64 it started doing the same thing yours is doing. I've tried every possible driver and it still does the same thing and I'm starting to think it's a hardware issue.. not because the artifacts on the screen (cos if I take a SS, the artifacts appear on there), but purely because I've tried everything else in the world :@ (bar a reinstall- cba with that at the moment though).

    I've noticed my drives stop responding at the times which the driver stops also, so may be connected to my RAID controller? Who knows?!

    Just means I can't play any games or watch videos... I'm sure there's loads of other things I could be doing on my pc though... ::blink
     
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  18. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Good idea ! Booting from a live CD Should allow you to see if its hardware or not...

    If its a driver issue It could be any driver on the system, a bad driver can be corrupting the other drivers memory. Crash dump analysis is generally the best bet along with some of the diagnostice tools like driver verifier.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
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  19. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Well, as I say, it's weird.

    Sometimes it would happen the moment you switched the machine on, other times it would boot normally but would conk out as soon as you logged into Windows, which didn't make sense.

    I also got a similar (but not as extreme effect) when in safe mode.
    I've take a photo and will upload it as soon as I get the chance. I'd describe it as a vertical rainbow, a bit like the northern lights in 'Vista' colours, with a thick vertical black bar just off centre. That's what firstly made me think hardware or a connector.

    Sometimes there is a lesser version which is just vertical dotted lines or streaks through a normal screen.

    Since rolling back the driver I can't do anything with it at all because I can't even get into safe mode or DOS or anything.
     
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  20. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    I'm starting to think hardware.

    The laptop is well looked after and I didn't install or update anything - I probably hadn't used it for a few days.
    The only thing I can think of is that we were away over Xmas and it was on the floor in the lodge which was VERY cold - I mean so cold that the freezer stopped working.
    So I was wondering if that could have been an issue, expansion/contraction etc.

    I think the next step os to open it up, which is something I don't really fancy.
    Hey Ho, first time for everything!

    :biggrin
     
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