Screen Turns Black, but computer still on

By hoPs57
Sep 11, 2007
Topic Status:
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  1. Hi, at first I thought this might be virus related. I went through with help from Howard_Hopkinso, and removed all virus' and malware. But my problem persists.

    I have an Alienware Area 51 m7700, 120 Gig HD, 3 Gig memory, 3.8 GHz Pentium 4 HT duo processor. NVIDIA GeForce Go 6800 Ultra.

    What happens is when i try and playing a source game for little while the screen goes black, sound skips, but the laptop still runs. Also happens when i click on certain internet links.

    I assume that i need updated drivers, which i did. but that didn't work either.

    I am lost, any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,732   +156

    Try doing a system restore... If this doesn't work, you will have to wipe the laptop's hard drive and do a fresh install of Windows
  3. hoPs57

    hoPs57 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    so you think this is a windows problem and not a Processor Problem. I asked a friend who is a computer science major, and he said that my Processor may be dying.

    If anyone else has any input, that would be great.

    also, when i disable DirectDraw. I could get to all places online, but could not play any games (such as Counter Strike: Source).
  4. Jase123

    Jase123 Banned Posts: 1,122

    well there could be a problem with your processor.. have you got another one you can try maybe ask your mate.... If not i would back up all data and do a fresh install of windows to see if that resolves your issue.
  5. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,732   +156

    CPU's (processors) don't gradually fail. They usually fail completely, all at once because of heat or by static electricity or power supply malfunction. The processor could be overheating, but the motherboard has built-in things to protect the CPU. It may be these things that are shutting down the video. Since this is a laptop, there are issues with the battery and its possible that the graphics chip on the motherboard is overheating.

    "Taking the laptop to a repair center might be very wise to do at this point..."
  6. kirock

    kirock Newcomer, in training Posts: 1,598

    I don't know this laptop, but it has a Go 6800 Ultra, is that a separate card?
    If so can you remove it and clean it? sometimes just removing and reinstalling graphics cards clear up weird behavior like this.(they become a little loose)
  7. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,732   +156

  8. hoPs57

    hoPs57 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Does anyone think that this maybe a memory problem? I have had this laptop for awhile, have not added any new memory to it. However, I posted this same topic on another forum and they suggested it may be RAM related.
  9. Jase123

    Jase123 Banned Posts: 1,122

    i think this is very likely to be a ram problem.

    Test your memory with memtest 86+ Click here

    Regards Jase
  10. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 837

    Try newer video card drivers. Screen problems in games with stuttering sound is usually a video card crashing. They've fixed a lot of SLI problems with the last few driver revisions.
  11. hoPs57

    hoPs57 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    I have updated drivers numerous times.
     
  12. Jase123

    Jase123 Banned Posts: 1,122

    have you downloaded that memtest86 +?

    Regards Jase
  13. hoPs57

    hoPs57 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    yes i have downloaded the memory test and ran it. No errors found. I am thinking my Video card may be dying, not sure though.
  14. Jase123

    Jase123 Banned Posts: 1,122

    Well mem test 86 + does not always find a problem.

    Theres two possibilities its either your ram or your graphics card.

    How long have you had your Graphics card.
    ?

    Regards Jase
  15. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,732   +156

  16. hoPs57

    hoPs57 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    had graphics card as long as laptop (February).

    I have taken apart the bottom and cleared out the dust. I could not however find the graphics card. I found the HD, Processor, Memory, and Battery. I couldn't get the keyboard off because there are 3 screws beneath the monitor which are unreachable.

    Tomorrow I plan on reformatting to see if that will work.
  17. Jase123

    Jase123 Banned Posts: 1,122

    This maybe a problem with your monitor.

    Go to your manufacturers website and d/l the latest drivers for your monitor, see how you go.

    If you cant find the drivers then give me the details of yur screen, serial number, the lot.

    Also try booting in safe mode.

    And try a different monitor if you can.

    And maybe try running the games at a lower resolution.

    Regards Jase
  18. hoPs57

    hoPs57 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    when I go to Display Properties/Settings Tab/Advanced/Troubleshoot and adjust the hardware acceleration to disable all DirectDraw and Direct3D Acceleration (3 notches from left) everything seems to work fine. However, now i can't play any games.

    I tested the DirectDraw and Direct3D and they passed.
  19. Jase123

    Jase123 Banned Posts: 1,122

    try a lower screen resolution

    Regards Jase
  20. hoPs57

    hoPs57 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    lower resolution did not work.

    I checked with PC wizard, just wanted to compare L1 Cache to L2 Cache.

    L1 Cache: 5 cycles Latency
    L2 Cache: 30 cycles Latency

    RAM: 111ns Latency, Bandwidth Efficiency Float 102%, Bandwidth Efficiency Int. 92%

    How much Texture Memory should I have, because it says 1 MB for Texture Memory
  21. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,732   +156

    Did you look at the pictures in the Alienware link I provided? The graphics card(s) are covered by the heatsink assembly of the processor and it's cooling fans. Your laptop should be very similar to the one pictured.

    Are you calling the LCD laptop screen a monitor? It is actually a LCD display screen. Have you tried using an external monitor?
  22. hoPs57

    hoPs57 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    lol yes i am calling the LCD laptop screen a monitor.

    i found the video card cleaned it off, but that did nothing. didn't reformat yet because i don't have my windows xp pro cd with me.
  23. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,732   +156

    I am afraid you are "way out of your league" attempting to work on this beautiful laptop yourself. You don't just dust off the video cards, you have to disassemble the entire cooling system, remove the video cards, clean of the old thermal compound and reapply fresh thermal compound to all the necessary areas, reassemble the cooling system and then reassemble the laptop...

    This would be a big job for an experienced laptop tech... A tech that doesn't call a LCD display a monitor for sure. You haven't told us where you are in the World. Where are you living? If that makes more sense to you
  24. hoPs57

    hoPs57 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    i sent the laptop into a repair center to clean off the video card and other parts.

    i am in wisconsin, usa.

    quick question...does an LCD display have a bulb? just curious.
  25. Jase123

    Jase123 Banned Posts: 1,122

    Yes it does.

    Regards Jase
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