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Please Help! New Motherboard - Laptop crashing ??graphics card/drivers etc?

JennyM

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Jul 13, 2012
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201
:eek: Hi,
My M15x motherboard was replaced 2 weeks ago under warranty because it was no longer reading one of the memory slots. I 'thought' the tech guy reinstalled windows and drivers, but he was working on my sons laptop at the same time, so I could be mixing them up.

Anyway, since then I've been getting flashing screens and blue stop error screens with messages like 'Attempt to reset the display driver & recover from timeout failed'

I've run a diagnostic from the f12 function, with no problems identified.

I phoned Dell and they said it was a software problem not a hardware problem so its not covered under warranty. They also said the OS hasn't been reinstalled since the motherboard was replaced, & told me to do that. They also said that I shouldn't have installed the latest Nvidia drivers for my Geforce GTX 260M, that I should be using the Dell driver for the graphics card - so I resinstalled the Dell driver last night and my world of warcraft is not even playable using that graphics driver. Massive difference in performance - even when I reduce the settings, its still choppy and really irritating to play.

So, my question is I guess mostly about the graphics, do you guys use the dell drivers for your graphics cards, or is there a way I can use the Nvidia drivers without crashes, and is that even the problem that is causing the crashes??? Please help!

Oh, should I also try reinstalling or doing a repair of windows 7 somehow?

Really want my lovely laptop working properly again :(

J
 

JennyM

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Jul 13, 2012
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I found this info under the 'solve pc issues' white flag on my taskbar, if anyone recognises what it might mean?

Problem signature
Problem Event Name: BlueScreen
OS Version: 6.1.7601.2.1.0.768.3
Locale ID: 2057

Extra information about the problem
BCCode: 116
BCP1: FFFFFA80077414E0
BCP2: FFFFF880105661A4
BCP3: FFFFFFFFC000009A
BCP4: 0000000000000004
OS Version: 6_1_7601
Service Pack: 1_0
Product: 768_1
Bucket ID: X64_0x116_TdrBCR:4:C000009A_Tdr:2_IMAGE_nvlddmkm.sys
Server information: 6523c93c-7de3-4ff8-b3e3-e6922657fed0
 

AeonSoul

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Well if they changed the mobo, I guess first of all you need to format and make a clean install, that's kind of a given.
Then, I use nVidia drivers, neevr had problems so far, but I gotta update them, they're kind of outdated as of now.
try checking nvidia control panel for choppy graphics, maybe it resetted and you have to force the use of the nvidia card for wow.
 

JennyM

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Jul 13, 2012
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Oooh Horrors! I just had to do that with my Aurora desktop a week or so ago, if you remember you also helped me out with that, lol! Its working fabuous now!

I also had a BEEP and shutdown last night, error code said bugcheck was: 0x00000101, failure to communicate effectively between the processors or some such issue.

Re the graphics, the Nvidia drivers were 2012 - gave me fabulous graphics but BSOD's. Using Dell's latest 2010 driver fixed the BSOD but rubbish graphics - I'll revisit that issue after I do the format though.

So I'm off to back-up, format and clean install - thanks yet again for sharing your knowledge :D
 

JennyM

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Well the format was a non-starter :( My optical drive refused to read the win7 dvd and laptop refused to boot from it either. It will read some movie dvd's but not game discs etc, weird.... so anyway, alienware guy is sending out another optical drive, he says its faulty - original drive had the same problem after a year, and now replacement drive has gone faulty too - I rarely even use the drive as I play world of warcraft mostly.

I have a question actually if any of you can answer it - is it ok to leave the new memory upgrade in when the tech guy comes? Or will they get weird about me upgrading stuff while its still under warranty? I could swap it back if its likely to be an issue...
 

AeonSoul

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I dont think that adding some extram ram slots will void your warranty, unless you removed the original ones, then that might be a problem yeah.
 

JennyM

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See, I only have 2 slots, so I had to remove the original RAM, they were a 2GB and a 1GB, I put in a 4GB and a 4GB bought from Crucial.

I guess I better put the old ram back in again before the tech comes tomorrow.
 
Last edited:

JennyM

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So, tech guy came & installed new optical drive - it sure is hard to see your beloved lappy in about 100 pieces on the table! I thought the optical drives were usually placed in more accessible locations? Anyhoo, its done & tech guy did a clean install of operating system for me too. I then updated some Dell drivers and installed Nvidia's latest graphics driver rather than Dells version. I put the 8GB ram back in, uploaded all my data & the all important world of warcraft folders!! lol! Played last night for a few hours and I'm cautiously optimistic that all my problems are sorted!!!!! So, currently a very happy bunny! xD

I've asked the support guys to email me a list of all the hardware problems I've had with the M15x in the last 18 months, as I may send it off with an email to the manager to see what he says about it. Maybe he'll offer to extend my warranty or at least give me a better price on extending it - currently its £175 for one year, two years is more than twice that, and its just too much. Mine expires in 3months time.
 

JennyM

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So, the lovely tech guys at Alienware finally sent me a list of my parts failures since purchase in Jan 2011.


833920704 - Overheating - Parts replaced: CPU Heatsink
839990594 - optical drive not able to read discs - Parts replaced: Optical Drive
843721673 - AC adapter error while starting system - no parts were replaced
856534885 - Grinding noise in FANs - Parts replaced: CPU and GPU Fans
860028033 - RAM not detected - Parts replaced: Motherboard
861021416 - Optical Drive not reading any media - Parts Replaced: Optical Drive
861021416 - After Technician replaced Optical Drive he found out that there is wrong right LED Board - Pats replaced: Right LED Board

I've emailed the alienware service manager with the list to see if he's willing to offer me a deal on an extended warranty due to the multiple faults I've had in the last 18 months with the system. I'm planning to hand this M15x over to my son in the next year or so, and get myself an M17x I think..... so I'd like it to have another few years cover with all the problems its had. So fingers crossed guys, that I get an affordable offer :)
 

AeonSoul

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Lol that's like alot of faulty hardware D:
Hope it turns out for the best.
 

JennyM

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I'm getting kinda frustrated; I thought the BSOD was sorted, but it came back, I researched it through http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Fix-the-Nvlddmkm-Error/ (this is what showed as the error on the blue screen) and made sure settings on High Performance in the power options section of control panel PCI express setting turned off like it said on the website. It ran ok for a day, then tonight I got a RED screen of death, lol! I didn't know such things existed!
I do have the latest graphics card drivers.
I read up a bit - didn't get a lot of help, downloaded Furmark which stressed the card up to 87 degrees, I let it run for about 15 mins, but no shutdowns or red/blue screens.

I guess I'm wondering about how to pin down the problem.... this never happened before my moboard was replaced. However, I also replaced the RAM at the same time. I'm tending to blame it on the graphics card but I could be wrong of course. So should I put the old RAM back in and see if I get the same errors or is that unlikely to be the problem? Getting stumped here... I'm reluctant to phone tech support again so soon without narrowing it down - in saying that there's a tech guy coming out to the house to replace the front right light, it got damaged when the optical drive was replaced >.<
 

AeonSoul

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Well if it was the ram you wouldn't be able to load windows to start with.
Download WhoCrashed and check if it gives any helpful information. It's a program that analyzes the dump files generated after a BSOD. Let us know.
 

JennyM

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Thanks! There was two crash dumps analysed, I'll post the two of them below:

On Sun 29/07/2012 00:40:15 GMT your computer crashed
crash dump file: C:\Windows\Minidump\072912-23961-01.dmp
This was probably caused by the following module: nvlddmkm.sys (nvlddmkm+0xD431A4)
Bugcheck code: 0x116 (0xFFFFFA80138B1390, 0xFFFFF8801115A1A4, 0xFFFFFFFFC000009A, 0x4)
Error: VIDEO_TDR_ERROR
file path: C:\Windows\system32\drivers\nvlddmkm.sys
product: NVIDIA Windows Kernel Mode Driver, Version 301.42
company: NVIDIA Corporation
description: NVIDIA Windows Kernel Mode Driver, Version 301.42
Bug check description: This indicates that an attempt to reset the display driver and recover from a timeout failed.
A third party driver was identified as the probable root cause of this system error. It is suggested you look for an update for the following driver: nvlddmkm.sys (NVIDIA Windows Kernel Mode Driver, Version 301.42 , NVIDIA Corporation).
Google query: nvlddmkm.sys NVIDIA Corporation VIDEO_TDR_ERROR


On Sun 29/07/2012 00:40:15 GMT your computer crashed
crash dump file: C:\Windows\memory.dmp
This was probably caused by the following module: dxgkrnl.sys (dxgkrnl!TdrResetFromTimeout+0x214)
Bugcheck code: 0x116 (0xFFFFFA80138B1390, 0xFFFFF8801115A1A4, 0xFFFFFFFFC000009A, 0x4)
Error: VIDEO_TDR_ERROR
file path: C:\Windows\system32\drivers\dxgkrnl.sys
product: Microsoft® Windows® Operating System
company: Microsoft Corporation
description: DirectX Graphics Kernel
Bug check description: This indicates that an attempt to reset the display driver and recover from a timeout failed.
The crash took place in a standard Microsoft module. Your system configuration may be incorrect. Possibly this problem is caused by another driver on your system which cannot be identified at this time.

Conclusion
2 crash dumps have been found and analyzed. A third party driver has been identified to be causing system crashes on your computer. It is strongly suggested that you check for updates for these drivers on their company websites. Click on the links below to search with Google for updates for these drivers:

nvlddmkm.sys (NVIDIA Windows Kernel Mode Driver, Version 301.42 , NVIDIA Corporation)

Researching the information in the links gives two main causes, graphics driver or faulty graphics card. So my thinking is delete the latest driver from Nvidia and go back to the basic driver on the Dell site. If the problem still occurs then it could be the card, whats your thoughts?

I also note there is no dump data on the red screen of death that occured last night. No data available about it on the Reliability History either - not sure why...
 

AeonSoul

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I've never heard of any red screen of death, so idk how to help you with that, BUT.
Looking at that thing you posted, I'd say, downgrade your graphic drivers to some previous version. I've had issues with 301.42 myself, so just get a prev version and see if that stops happening.
 

JennyM

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Jul 13, 2012
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Engineer was out this afternoon to replace the corner light - I was kinda disappointed that it involved another full stripdown of my beloved laptop to get to the light card etc... it can't be good for it to be stripped so many times..... So, anyway, since I had him here, I thought I'd give him my list of info on the graphics problem too, lol! He checked out the heat sink etc, all fine, no overheating issues, so he said same thing as you, go back to previous driver or Dell's driver, but that he thinks the card might be faulty. I'll try the drivers first though.

Fingers crossed....
 

JennyM

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So far I've had two clear nights of gameplay without incident, so I'm cautiously optimistic that i'm all fixed now, lol!

I'm thinking of staying on Dell's drivers for a week or so and if all remains stable I'll try the nvidia driver previous to the 301.42 release.

Things are looking up :)
 

JennyM

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Jul 13, 2012
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So, tonight I had a few black screens during gameplay and video playback, reliability history showed it as a video hardware fault each time.
Phoned Alienware support & I'm getting a new card. I asked if I could pay the difference to upgrade the card and it wasn't a problem. So I'm getting a GTX460M, anybody have that card, is it good? There wasn't actually any other options for the upgrade, so its that or nothing... hoping its gonna be great! xD

Had to pay £54 so I thought that was decent enough.
 

JennyM

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Jul 13, 2012
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Just thought i'd post a little update - been using the new GTX460M 1.5GB card for 2 weeks now and I've had no, i mean NO problems with my laptop since installation - games running great, dare I suggest that I'm now all fixed? :p

Still not paid the £175 for another years warranty; do you guys extend your warranty? It seems a lot of money but with 8 (or is it 9 now?) tech visits to replace parts am I foolish not to extend it again?

Advice on a postcard pleeeze! - no really, on here will be fine xD
 
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