Somebody help! WinXP Home is unhappy. Maybe my whole laptop.

By evanwilson6
Mar 18, 2006
  1. Someone please help. My Thinkquest website is due on Wednesday and my computer is dead. I have an Alienware Sentia M3200 with 1GB of RAM, 100GB hard drive, WinXP Home, Intel GMA 900, DVD-RW Drive, Pentium M 1.86 GHz. Yesterday, while I was playing Half-Life (1) I hit ALT-TAB and got the blue screen of death. Of course it dissappeared before I could read it. (I fixed that in BIOS). I then restarted and the computer was fine. I worked in Dreamweaver for awhile, and then went to play some multi-player Halo. After about half an hour, the computer spontaneously shut down. It may have been the heat. I believe the Pentium M shuts down at 80 degrees and goes critical at 90. Anyways, I left it off and when I tried to start it this morning, just after it passed the Windows splash screen, it gave me a message saying that "Insufficient system resources exist to complete the API". It then shut down. I tried a couple more times with similar results. Next I tried to Safe Mode her (computer's name is Jane). It stayed at the splash screen and wouldn't go any further. This perturbed me further. I finally inserted the System Restore CD from Alienware, and right as it detected the previous versions of Windows, Jane shut down. I tried to enter safe mode with command prompt to reformat the hard drive and I got a blue screen of death saying that the video card is screwed up. At the bottom it said "Beginning dump of physical memory". I don't mind losing everything on my hard drive because I back up everything important. I need my computer back though. Somebody tell my nothing is fried inside the computer, and please help me fix it. I will worship you.
  2. evanwilson6

    evanwilson6 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    More Info

    By the way I am 15 and not all that great with hardware. I've seen a couple threads about faulty RAM modules? I had XP Home with SP2. The laptop is a couple months old. Thanks to all who help.
  3. Qu3ntin

    Qu3ntin TS Rookie Posts: 18

    Maybe you should have been working on your webiste instead of playing half life and halo. nah, seriously though...... i dont know what to tell you. i dislike alienware... a lot.
  4. evanwilson6

    evanwilson6 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24


    I'm afraid you sound like my mother. I feel sad now. I am joking right now to stop myself from crying or worse, smashing my PDA.
  5. evanwilson6

    evanwilson6 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24


    Jane appears to have fixed herself! I rebooted into safe mode and this time, she was fine. I am still baffled as to the cause of her illness. I will still read this thread for any helpful ideas. Thanks!
  6. mattig

    mattig TS Rookie

    sounds like her driver for her video card failed. I have a similar probelem happen to me all the time. but why she would stay off is beyond me. did you try replacing the video card, or just removing it (assuming its not an on board)?
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Do no more games until after your assignment is complete. None.
    You must assume this problem will recur because you have not isolated the cause.
    I agree with others on the Alienware, and on the Alienware Sentia. You will continue to have various problems as long as you have the computer, so treat it gently. Assume it is overheating. 80c is just too darned hot. It can take that heat for very short periods, but you will ruin it if you run at that temperature all the time. At 90c it is already ruined... despite what the Alienware literature tries to tell you.
  8. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    I really believe you have some memory issues. I suspect that as you switch from other activities to games and vica versa, memory is not being released properly. You can check your page file settings and also turn off as many unnecessay processes/programs that are running before you play games( especally TSR's like screen savers).
    More importantly, your laptop is only 2 months old so if you find you have a hardware problem get it back to Alienware and get it checked out properly, and fixed.
  9. Techman1

    Techman1 TS Rookie

    I am working on a friends laptop from alienware, pretty much the same as the one you posted here. Its having the same issues. Basically, its overheating. Once the system cools down you can reboot and get back into normal functions until the temperature rises, then your O/S (win XP home) freezes up and you cannot perform any functions. Rebooting does no good, to include booting into safemode, etc. The computer simply shuts off sooner each time you try and reboot. In fact I had it shut off 3 seconds into booting up.

    Not sure how to fix this issue. Been trying to read all the forums and since Alienware has terrible support and in this case I think her warranty on this laptop is expired, she wont get any support without payng through the roof and talking with some guy in India.
  10. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Typical problem with the Alienware... and I am not sure you will ever find a fix that will make you happy.
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