Originally posted by: cusideabelincoln
Blue screens can be caused by so many different things. I wouldn't necessarily associate it with a bad video card. It could just as easily be bad RAM, bad motherboard, overheating processor, overheating motherboard, or just software/driver conflicts.
Oh the joy of diagnosing BSOD. I used to encounter them on WIN NT when I worked in a bank. The only way we usually solved them was a fresh install of windows. I've not in the past cured them by replacing hardware but who knows. Here is what happened:
First I took the computer out of the car and set it up. Upon power up, the screen was black and a single line of something displayed. I figured, ok, the video card is loose or not seated properly. I opened up the computer, pulled it out and reseated it. Computer boots fine, I use it all evening and play an MMO for several hours. This morning I was killing time and playing the MMO again and suddenly the screen turns blue but no message. Just blue. That seemed to me the 3D circuit was to blame cause after I rebooted, I could still browse with IE. I tried running the MMO but got a message that Windows Encountered an Error. I pull out the card again, reseat it and now the game will run. But ever since then, I get the BSOD every 10 minutes approx. Even if I'm doing no more than IE or just copying files to an external drive - to save everything incase I need to re-install windows.
One thing I don't want to do is get into a buy this buy that scenario trying to replace parts one by one until the machine is stable. I can try pulling RAM chips and replacing the video card tho. The fan on the video card has been noisy for 6 months so it may be getting hot and becoming marginal. That is why I suspect the card. Oh, I did pull out all the RAM sticks and put them back in too when the computer wouldn't first boot after transporting it. Prior to transport, it was solid.
just downloaded and installed latest Radeon drivers to the ol Dell. Then tried running the MMO. It ran for a few minutes and went to a blank blue screen. Not the typical BSOD that shows the memory dump screen. I just pulled out all the memory cards and swapped them in the sockets and reseated the video card again, blowing the dust out of the PCIe slot. It just seems weird this seems to have repeating video problems.
Unless anyone has any revelations, I'll order a new card and see how it goes. I do have all the files I need saved off to an external drive if I need to install on a new computer or reformate this ol Dell, which has been reliable up to now.
Rebooted after solid blue screen. This time traditional BSOD after only a couple minutes. Something is hosed. Being unemployed I don't want to just spend willy nilly but this old old lappy isn't up to every day chores (667 mhz Pentium III) =P