General Video problems on a Dell Inspiron 1100

By SNGX1275 ยท 5 replies
Jul 2, 2004
  1. My dad has a Dell Inspiron 1100 laptop and I'm having overall problems with anything that has to be displayed on screen. By that I mean anything that moves there is problems, say when you close a window in XP how in the taskbar the others slide over to fit where the closed one was - well they slide about 1/3 of the way then pause and then jerk over.
    When I benchmark the computer (the rest of it; disk,processor, ram, ect) it benchmarks like I'd expect... fits right up with what it should according to SiSoft.

    My main issue is that I cna't play videos on it, I'd like to ultimately send that video to a TV and watch it on a bigger screen, but the video plays jerky...

    Now this is important I have fixed this problem before, but tonight doing what I remebered doing didn't fix it. So the problem is fixable without a reinstall/repair of windows.

    Here is what I have done in the past that fixed it, now I'm not sure which one of these did it, or in what order since it was quite some time ago, but here goes:
    I reinstalled the divx codec (I think...).
    I tried the video in WMP, Winamp 5 Alpha, and WinDVD
    I tried multiple videos, multiple formats (mpg, avi (divx type), and XviD)
    I tried reinstalling Video drivers
    I did Norton WinDoctor
    I did a Norton Disk Doctor scan, but canceled when it told me it required reboot if it needed to repair anything.
    I did the Windows chkdsk thing and did full surface scan and automatically repair things (ntfs drive so it takes 5 phases)

    Now somewhere in that it repaired somethign wrong with a couple *.sys files I believe and out of doing all that it worked fine, video played great and everything worked smoothly like it should.

    an interesting note before I go on in the task manager the SYSTEM process when the video was screwed up was using over 70%, when the video was fine after it was fixed the SYSTEM process used no more than 2%

    Tonight I had same problem as discribed above, and I did Norton WinDoctor, the full 5 phase disk scan, the reinstall of the vid drivers.
    None of that worked.

    Now I know fingers are being pointed to that I didn't reinstall the divx (it was actually an xvid codec but it includes divx - at least the one I installed did), but I really don't think thats the issue because any video type does it, and the system itself when it has to do any animation.

    So based on that does anyone have any suggestions for me? Please refrain from the repair/reinstall of Windows because I do not believe that is necessary in this case, and I don't like to use that as an option in fixing problems.
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    How about updating/re-install the screen's video-drivers?
  3. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    Try clearing the startup environment(use msconfig) This will pretty much just make sure that it isn't a resource issue and will ensure that nothing is running that will conflict.
    Next, try removing all your divx related codecs, you mentioned divx and there are known issues with many of the hacked versions of divx not working well together.
    Next, remove the drivers via device manager and install the latest version from Use the service tag to locate the proper drivers on the site if needed. It is best to use those drivers because they are specifically written for the card/mobo configuration.
    You might also want to check the system files (Start>Run>SFC /scannow)
    You might also want to check to see if the resolution is running outside of what is native to that LCD

    Lastly, it is likely still under warranty, and I hope he bought it through his company, if he did then after checking all those things, call tech support. Even if the warranty is no longer good, they can still troubleshoot. If he bought it as a regular consumer, I'd not really advise this because they will tell you to format/reinstall.
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 10,742   +421

    Haven't yet, but will take a look, my guess is its pretty clean. Dad doesn't install anything.
    Will do that, but I don't imagine this is the problem since it seems to occur with mpg too, as well as just general animations that take place in eye candy XP.
    Haven't removed them that way, I'll try that. I was using (and had been reinstalling) the latest ones Dell had on their site for the comp though.
    Ok, will check that when I get a chance.
    Don't think so, cause last time after I fixed it I hooked it up to the TV, and in messing around with that found that if you drop the resolution the screen just shrinks in size, rather than it filling the screen and just making things appear bigger.

    I'm not sure how he bought it, I'll look into it though.

    Reason I haven't had a chance to do anything on it yet is because we've had relatives visiting and its been crazy here. That on top of me finally getting a job.
  5. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    I agree that the codecs are not very likely the problem since it happens with animation in Windows itself as well as with movies. Resolution settings are also not very likely, since it happens on video out as well.
    The main things this leaves are the video drivers(try the removal and install I mentioned) and clearing the startup(this is a long shot and might help if the problem is caused by something like QT or other multimedia apps conflicting with eachother, or if its some malware, also not that likely, but its fairly easy to test) Also the system files, which is also a long shot unless you are experiencing program errors or other faults that normally come with corrupt system files.(again, this is easy to check, so its worth a shot)
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 10,742   +421

    Heh, problem solved.

    I found out that the video works fine when its plugged into the wall. When its on its battery power the video is crap.
    I know there are settings I have played with before on this, and I've set it up to last as long as possible on battery power, and to run full out when on AC.

    Looking back at when I've fixed it before it was always a problem until I plugged it into the wall, but I was only plugging it into the wall after having run all kinds of disk tests and reinstalling crap and that caused the battery to drain.

    Edit: Fixed it when running on battery power, well not sure if "fixed" is the word, but the problem doesn't occur. Under power management I just set it to always on rather than Max Battery. Everything is good now.
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