Computer randomly crashes, need help.

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NewtonianRefractor
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Message 958982 - Posted: 27 Dec 2009, 11:56:51 UTC

I have been using an old dell laptop as my main computer, and it has been running fine. I just recently bought an LCD monitor for it and connected it through a DVI cable. Now the computer randomly crashed 4 times already at night while I was not using it with a BSOD. When the computer restarted windows reported the problem to Microsoft and the error solution page stated that it was a stop error caused by the graphics card driver. I have the latest driver from Dell's website, but it is dated.

I have the laptop set to turn off the screen after 5 minutes of inactivity. What happes is that the screen turns off and then several hours later the laptop BSOD's. It never happened before when the computer was using only it's own LCD and it has not happened when I was using the computer. Only when the display was turned off in the power save mode. I have not had the BSOD occur if I also turn off the display by pressing its power button.

Have any of you experienced similar problems, and do you have any advice?
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Profile Michael Goetz
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Message 958993 - Posted: 27 Dec 2009, 13:48:24 UTC - in response to Message 958982.  

This could be due to a lot of things. More information might help.

What kind of CPU is in there? How much RAM does it have?

What video card or chipset does it have? Which driver version?

What version of Windows are you running? XP? Vista?

What version of the BOINC client are you running, and which projects are you running? If it's possible on this laptop, are you running CUDA/GPU tasks?

Is BOINC set to run only when you're not using the computer?

Do you run a screen saver, or simply have the power scheme turn the monitor off?

And a shot in the dark here... are you running Weatherbug? I have seen old versions of Weatherbug have trouble with screensavers under some circumstances.

There's a few things I could recommend. If you have a screen saver running, disable it. It sucks up CPU cycles away from BOINC, but it also may be contributing to your BSOD problem.

Your laptop may be overheating at night when it's running BOINC full time. I don't run BOINC on any laptops. Laptops are thermally challenged to begin with and running them full-bore 24/7 is just asking for crashes and shortened equipment lifetimes IMHO. If it is set to run BOINC only when the laptop isn't in use, that could explain why it doesn't BSOD during the day, but does at night.

Some laptops have had problems with nvidia GPUs overheating in the last few years. Even if the GPU is idle, the problem may be the heat generated by the CPU when you're crunching. Several manufacturers released a BIOS patch to increase fan speed to address this problem.

You could also try downloading the latest drivers from the video manufacturer's website.
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Message 959031 - Posted: 27 Dec 2009, 17:42:53 UTC

All things said, the last thing you did was "plug in an external video the LCD." The first thing to try in unplug the monitor and see if it continues to happen. The next thing would be when teh Crashed screen is there it should give a button that says "Details" that details will give the crash code.

What I would supect is while that monitor does not draw "much" it drawing enough that over a period of time it pulls the power down on the volatage regulators to where the machine shuts down.

Regards

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Message 959033 - Posted: 27 Dec 2009, 17:48:44 UTC

On top of all that, what did the BSOD say? If Windows only had one, it would be easy, but alas, it has a couple of thousand of them, so always give the information on the BSOD.
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NewtonianRefractor
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Message 959498 - Posted: 30 Dec 2009, 7:54:19 UTC
Last modified: 30 Dec 2009, 7:57:42 UTC

So the laptop is a DELL Inspiron 9100. It has a Pentium 4 CPU @ 3.2 GHZ, 1.5 GB of DDR I RAM. The graphics card is an ATI mobility Radeon 9700 with 128 meg of ram. I am running Windows Server 2003 on it. Here is a link to the seti profile.

As I said above when the problems began when I connected an external LCD monitor. The laptop has a DVI port so that's what I used.

I have not seen the blue screen itself because all the times it happened at night while I was sleeping. The computer just rebooted.

It did leave an entry in the error log.


Event Type: Error
Event Source: EventLog
Event Category: None
Event ID: 6008
Date: 12/27/2009
Time: 3:35:15 AM
User: N/A
Computer: JRANDOM
Description:
The previous system shutdown at 3:33:08 AM on 12/27/2009 was unexpected.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.
Data:
0000: d9 07 0c 00 00 00 1b 00 Ù.......
0008: 03 00 21 00 08 00 fa 00 ..!...ú.
0010: d9 07 0c 00 00 00 1b 00 Ù.......
0018: 0b 00 21 00 08 00 fa 00 ..!...ú.





Event Type: Information
Event Source: Save Dump
Event Category: None
Event ID: 1001
Date: 12/27/2009
Time: 3:35:17 AM
User: N/A
Computer: JRANDOM
Description:
The computer has rebooted from a bugcheck. The bugcheck was: 0x0000007f (0x00000008, 0xf772ffe0, 0x00000000, 0x00000000). A dump was saved in: C:\WINDOWS\MEMORY.DMP.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.


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Message 959554 - Posted: 30 Dec 2009, 16:23:58 UTC - in response to Message 959498.  

Morning, You did catch it

The computer has rebooted from a bugcheck. The bugcheck was: 0x0000007f (0x00000008, 0xf772ffe0, 0x00000000, 0x00000000). A dump was saved in: C:\WINDOWS\MEMORY.DMP

so if you google for 0x0000007f it take you to a list of pages and the one I like is General causes of "STOP 0x0000007F" errors


Which tends to indicate a hardware problem. I would say that the Motherboard does not like the LCD monitor.

Regards
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Message 959571 - Posted: 30 Dec 2009, 17:31:45 UTC

Old laptop and random crashes?

Check for dust in the cooling system. I'm not sure why using an external monitor would change things, but maybe the video chip uses a couple more watts of power with the other screen plugged in and tips things over the edge.

Had to open up my Sister In Laws year old Acer last week, lovely mat of fuzz had collected behind the cooling fan, brushed it out and all is well again.

Not sure how you get at the fan on that model. but it's usaully a matter of removing a cover or 2 and maybe unscrewing the fan itself.

Ian
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Profile Mike O
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Message 959620 - Posted: 30 Dec 2009, 23:03:04 UTC
Last modified: 30 Dec 2009, 23:03:48 UTC

Try disabling the power saving from shutting off the external monitor. I had a desktop that would crash every time It tried to 'auto' power the monitor back up.
I think thats why those things have a 'On/Off' button ;)
Good luck..
--Mike
Not Ready Reading BRAIN. Abort/Retry/Fail?
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Message 959652 - Posted: 31 Dec 2009, 1:42:54 UTC - in response to Message 958982.  

There are no definitive answers for this kind of problem. You have to go digging. What you are looking for is anything that automatically changes anything for any reason. First there is the screensaver which you have of course set to simply a blank screen. Then there is the inactivity monitor that calls the blank screen which you turn off. Then for a laptop there is another inactivity which assumes you are on battery and goes dormant which you must also shut off. There may be others. In fact with windows there are almost certainly others because users are too dumb to know what they are doing.
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Profile Reuben Gathright
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Message 959785 - Posted: 31 Dec 2009, 16:11:41 UTC - in response to Message 959498.  

... I am running Windows Server 2003 on it. ...


I see no gains from running Windows Server 2003 on a laptop.

If you need SQL Server, run MSDE.

Honestly, just install Windows XP SP3 Professional.
Overclock with the MSI G31M3-L and Intel E8600 3.33Ghz
Intel D865GLC Socket 478 Motherboard
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Message 960191 - Posted: 2 Jan 2010, 15:29:09 UTC

I can help you.....
Just OC the rig until it crashes on a regular basis.....

No more random crashes. LOL.

Just a joke, my friend.
"Freedom is just Chaos, with better lighting." Alan Dean Foster

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Message boards : Number crunching : Computer randomly crashes, need help.


 
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