Un-Explainable Crashes

By TheDarkNiTeX
Jun 27, 2014
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  1. Hey Techspot!

    I've recently done copious amounts of software tinkering to my Windows 7 laptop in order to output my gaming onto two monitors simultaneously. It has a dual core 2nd gen i7 processor, 8gb of ram and integrated Intel HD graphics. I usually use it for web browsing, as well as gaming, (primarily Minecraft.)

    When I hooked up the new 1080p monitor along with another monitor I already had, I had to do a fair bit of work with settings in order to get the output to work as needed. In the end I got what I needed, but ended up with crashes every 20 minutes. (These crashes are illustrated better below.)

    After work including backing up data, system restore, file verification, hard drive defragging and more I have ended up with a slightly more stable machine, with crashes now only taking place around 2 times a day :confused:

    Once the machine crashes I get tv static style flickering bars and fuzz coming out of speakers, with all means of input being ignored except the old-fashioned forced shutdown.



    As a bit of backstory, my laptop has taken a beating in the past, and has experienced these crashes before, but in the past they have been rare, possible once every 3 months and only after heavy continuous game-play. But ever since I hooked up two monitors and fiddled with settings my laptop has been ridiculously unstable and even though I am on summer break as a student, if this continues I'm worried I might have to replace the computer.

    I know that this isn't going to be an easy task, but considering the measures taken any help at this point would be appreciated as I am at a loss for how to proceed.
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    You may be over-loading the on-board graphic chip in the laptop causing more severe over-heating...
  3. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,214   +200

    It’s a high spec laptop that’s done you proud but you are beating it close to death. You would find one of those gaming desktop towers, with powerful cooling fans and the sort of graphics card that makes the street lights dim, useful. :)

    What to do? Maybe replace the thermal paste on the chips and use a free program to monitor the GPU temps. Unless you do something the laptop isn’t likely to last much longer.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2014
  4. TheDarkNiTeX

    TheDarkNiTeX TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I've since downloaded Speedfan, and elevated the machine to increase airflow and have experienced far fewer crashes, (although they are still occurring.) Speedfan hasn't been much of a help beyond activating "Automatic Fan Speed" as it can't seem to recognize the machine's fans. I'm now seriously considering a low-cost cooling mat as I'm really not in a situation to buy a new computer.

    Oddly enough, the other laptop in the house, (albeit one that's far less powerful,) is experiencing wonderful instability and has been taken in for diagnosis and repairs, and the only computer that seems to be working is the 8 year old desktop running on a Pentium processor, go figure.... :confused:
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
  5. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,214   +200

    Speedfan can also read temperatures, which you need, to see how the graphics chip is doing. I like a lttle program called GPU-Temp that's free, extremely light on resources and can be set to give a real time temperature reading in the taskbar. Setting the laptop fan to run flat out as you are thinking of doing was rolled out as a BIOS update for some laptops identified as having the graphics chip problem. It gave them a little more life.
  6. TheDarkNiTeX

    TheDarkNiTeX TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I've checked through BIOS and made sure I was running the latest version. I downloaded GPU temp but had the same problem of it not recognizing the fan, (either because I have a laptop or because of missing drivers.)

    I've propped it up on books and have considered buying a cooling mat. Crashes have been less frequent although I experienced 3 yesterday.
  7. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,214   +200

    GPU temp only reads graphics chip temperatures. It has no facility to read fan speeds or anything else. If it was my laptop I'd have it cleaned out inside and the thermal paste reapplied to cpu and graphics chips. If you wait until the graphics are regularly distorted or you have a black screen it'll be too late. The 8 year old desktop has much better cooling but even that will need maintenance. Speeding up the fan isn't going to help but SpeedFan will give you the cpu and probably the gpu temperatures which will show if there's an overheating problem. I've little doubt that there is one though.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014

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