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Hoping someone here can help. I have a Gateway MX8739 laptop. I bought it used on ebay a couple of years back and until recently it always worked fine but couple of weeks back it started saying it has encountered a problem and must shut down to protect itself or whatever... Blue Screens of Death I guess they're called... It was giving me multiple error messages like something is "...LESS_THAN_EQUAL" or "BAD_POOL_CALLER". Well I have no idea what a "POOL" is or why it would be calling lol.. Anyways this would happen intermittently at first then constantly (i.e. within a few minutes of powering up and trying to send an email or view webpages).

I have a friend downstairs who seems to know a lot about computers but I need a second opinion (not to be greedy but maybe third and fourth lol).

Well here's the thing.. he said there could be several things wrong like virus, bad software, bad ram, hard drive problem etc. and offered to check it out. But every time he did something he would give it back thinking it was fixed and I would return to my apartment and the same thing would happen... either I would get a blue screen and an auto-restart or it would just freeze up (can't use ctrl+alt+delete to unfeeze), or the blue screen would say it is preparing for crash dump and it might even freeze up on that screen as happened today.

Well the first thing my friend tried to do was delete recently added programs... later he gave me a disk to put stuff on and wiped the computer completely clean and re-added windows (a different version I think.. I had vista) he said he tested it and it was working. But when he gave it back to me after that it did the same thing but when I did a hard reset I could not return to the desktop it would just say loading windows or whatever and never proceed from that point from then on.

My friend said the computer needed a new hard drive that he took it out and tested it and it did not work and that that was probably what was wrong to begin with. Well apparently he put a new hard drive (I never saw either the old or new one but I had 120 GB and now it says 110 so I do think he switched the hard drive) in. He said he and his old lady used it for hours, played World of Warcraft etc.. and it was working fine, I took it home and it worked fine - for about 5 minutes.

I let it freeze up or shut down 3 times.. each time within 5 minutes or so of using. Then I went to his apartment the next morning - worked fine for hours.

Here's my (much belated) question.

Could it be the power supply?

I live in an old building and the electricity seems kind of funny... occasionally my bedroom light dims and brightens.. I cannot put a bulb in the porch light because it emits sparks (!).

It occurred to me that I never used the particular outlet I was using for the laptop during all the time it was giving me those problems until I took my laptop out for a day.. when I returned home I used a different outlet than the one I usually used. So my friend and I were convinced that it was the crappy electricity in this building and he said all the hard resets probably fried the hard drive. He advised that I get a Uninterrupting Power Supply. Meanwhile I returned home and plugging the laptop into a different outlet had no problems at all - until last night.

Now the same thing is happening again but only occasionally... seems like it's more likely to happen if I have a lot of windows open... Yes I'm still plugging it directly into the wall socket which I'm told is stupid but the power-off thing also happened when I was using a multi plug w/shut off switch.

Well I bought a Uninterrupting Power Supply online (APC CS 350, used) and will probably receive it in a couple of days...

One thing I learned the day before yesterday is now my battery apparently has a life of roughly 10 minutes (even with dimmest screen/power save mode) :)...

I'm really sorry if my message is too long. I just wanted to chronologically explain what has happened thus far in case anyone reading can discern the answer as a result... I'm willing to buy a new battery (lowest price on ebay is $50) in addition to the UPS but cannot afford to keep dumping money into this thing if power supply turns out not to be the real source of the problem... If something internal is wrong I'd rather sell the laptop as-is for whatever I can get and start over though to be honest I do like this laptop and am hoping this takes care of it because I can get the battery fast (local seller) and need to work online everyday and don't really have oney for a whole new laptop.

Whew! Hope you made it through all that and can provide some valuable insight!

Thanks in advance!

Edited by jeremy33, 04 October 2009 - 04:51 PM.

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