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Laptop video/graphics problem?

Toefur

Two Sheds
NLC
I have just encountered a video problem on my new laptop. See the attached image? I was playing Fable for about 20 minutes with no problem, and then the screen went like that, and the game froze. Now, I can't play the game more than a minute or two without it doing that.

It hadn't done this with any other games, though I hadn't played many serious ones, but I never had a problem with Morrowind, Simcity 4, or IL-2.

So I thought it might be an issue with the game. I just tried playing Mafia, and after abotu 20 minutes it did the same thing.

Is this likely to be a problem with my laptop itself? (Maybe I shouldn't have got it off eBay) Or is it maybe something to do with it overheating? (Which shouldn't be this bad anyway, should it? It makes most games virtually unplayable?) My laptop has an ati mobility radeon 9700.

Any help much apreciated. :confused4 :cry2:
 

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WideBand

New Member
Laptops are usually designed to handle the thermal load imposed by the components when running at peak power levels (e.g. while playing). However, if any of the cooling fans failed for some reason, something similar to your problem could result. One of my ex HPs had apparently been damaged in transport so that one of the main cooling fans didn't run at all. This obviously caused problems when it started to heat up (crashed every five minutes or so), and I decided to return it. I got a new one the same day.

It's a long shot, but I think you should check the fans.

The problem you're having could very well be caused by some other HW/SW issue, but if it is caused by overheating, it's probably a hardware failure rather than a design flaw.
 
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Toefur

Two Sheds
NLC
WideBand said:
Laptops are usually designed to handle the thermal load imposed by the components when running at peak power levels (e.g. while playing). However, if any of the cooling fans failed for some reason, something similar to your problem could result. One of my ex HPs had apparently been damaged in transport so that one of the main cooling fans didn't run at all. This obviously caused problems when it started to heat up (crashed every five minutes or so), and I decided to return it. I got a new one the same day.

It's a long shot, but I think you should check the fans.

The problem you're having could very well be caused by some other HW/SW issue, but if it is caused by overheating, it's probably a hardware failure rather than a design flaw.
The fan is going fine, and I just opened all the compartments up and there's not even a fleck of dust in there.

I have just discovered, though, that this doesn't happen when the machine is running on battery. I can play the game for an hour on battery, not a problem, and anly seconds after I plug the power in... it freezes, and goes like it does in the attached picture.

What would this suggest? Too much power when it's plugged in?
 

WideBand

New Member
I just talked to a friend of mine who works at IBM. He thinks the problem could be caused either by a Windows power management bug (apparently it's possible, at least if it crashes when switching from AC to battery power), or a hardware issue. One possibility is that the voltage regulators have failed either on the AC adapter or on your motherboard.

If this is the case, I really hope they've failed on the adapter, since it’s naturally much easier/cheaper to replace... Probably the easiest way to diagnose this would be to borrow a similar adapter.
 
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Toefur

Two Sheds
NLC
WideBand said:
I just talked to a friend of mine who works at IBM. He thinks the problem could be caused either by a Windows power management bug (apparently it's possible, at least if it crashes when switching from AC to battery power), or a hardware issue. One possibility is that the voltage regulators have failed either on the AC adapter or on your motherboard.

If this is the case, I really hope they've failed on the adapter, since it’s naturally much easier/cheaper to replace... Probably the easiest way to diagnose this would be to borrow a similar adapter.
Hey thanks for that, I appreciate it. It sounds about right. Which of the two though, I don't know. I'm not sure where I can borrow an AC adapter from, I'll have to have a hunt around. I have a feeling it may be the motherboard that is faulty, since I also can't get any readings from my CPU, and isn't the thermal sensor for those on the motherboard?

Also, I've downloaded a program, "Centrino Hardware Control" and it has let me chnge the ATI’s Core and Memory clock. I put those down by half, and I am no longer having this issue at all, and games run fine. I am unsure about whether I should continue to do this though, ym system may be eating itself up inside.
 

WideBand

New Member
Toefur said:
Hey thanks for that, I appreciate it. It sounds about right. Which of the two though, I don't know. I'm not sure where I can borrow an AC adapter from, I'll have to have a hunt around. I have a feeling it may be the motherboard that is faulty, since I also can't get any readings from my CPU, and isn't the thermal sensor for those on the motherboard?
No problem. Finding a compatible AC adapter can be tricky, but you could always try to borrow one from a computer store/repair outlet. Normally you should be able to get voltage/temperature readings from your motherboard. Some manufacturers disable that feature though.

Toefur said:
Also, I've downloaded a program, "Centrino Hardware Control" and it has let me chnge the ATI’s Core and Memory clock. I put those down by half, and I am no longer having this issue at all, and games run fine. I am unsure about whether I should continue to do this though, ym system may be eating itself up inside.
That would suggest that there's a power supply problem. Unstable voltages may seriously damage your components, but I doubt that reducing the clock rates would speed up the process.

I hope your motherboard voltage regulators are unharmed (it's still possible).
 

Daniel

Megalomaniac
NLC
It depends. I know for a fact that my laptop runs at 800mhz on battery(not much heat going on), and 1800mhz when on AC, and I know it gets pretty damn hot on AC.
 

hottweelz

b&
b&
If I may just add my .02 ... You could very well have a (just starting to go bad) DC Converter Board... when plugged into AC, it's job is to convert to DC. Ironically, on many laptops, its just below the Video Card, or "pancaked"
 
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