Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

Problem: Bunches of Small White Dots Appearing When Viewing Images and


  • Please log in to reply

#1
adifrank

adifrank

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 202 posts
I have a Dell Studio 1555 laptop, around 18 months old. Recently I've been noticing bunches of very small white dots appearing on the lcd screen while editing photos with Photoshop, or especially when viewing video. They are not dead pixels. When I move the image the dots move with it. The dots don't move within the image or the video, but when I move the window containing the image or video - the dots sometimes disappear or appear elsewhere. So far I haven't been able to find any consistency regarding where or why they suddenly appear. Sometimes they'll be just a few dots scattered here or there, and other times they'll be a few groups of bunched up white dots covering a portion of the image.
I'll just add that from what I can tell, they start to appear in relatively strained conditions, but nothing too crazy. For example, if I'm playing a video on YouTube, I usually won't see the dots. But If I'm playing the same video on YouTube while Photoshop is open in the background with an image - then the white dots will start to appear in the video (and usually in the image, in Photoshop as well).

In the Dell forums, I found a few people complaining of a similar problem, but no there was no reply on that thread as to why or what is causing the problem. I'd really appreciate help with this issue. Thanks!

Here are some specs:
MS Windows XP Professional 32-bit SP3
Intel Mobile Core 2 Duo P8600 @ 2.40GHz:
4.00 GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 398MHz (6-6-6-18)
Motherboard: Dell Inc. (U2E1):
Monitor (1920x1080@60Hz)
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570
488GB Western Digital WDC WD5000BEVT-75ZAT0 (SATA):
HL-DT-ST DVD+-RW GA31N
ATI Function Driver for High Definition Audio - ATI AA01

Regarding the monitor and Graphics card:
Monitor
Name:
Default Monitor on ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570
Current Resolution:
1920x1080 pixels
Work Resolution:
1920x1050 pixels
State:
enabled, primary
Monitor Width:
1920
Monitor Height:
1080
Monitor BPP:
32 bits per pixel
Monitor Frequency:
60 Hz
Device:
\\.\DISPLAY1\Monitor0
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570
Memory:
1024 MB
Memory type:
2
Driver version:
6.14.10.6925

Edited by adifrank, 03 September 2011 - 08:25 PM.

  • 0

Advertisements


#2
phillpower2

phillpower2

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 20,025 posts
Possibly caused by extra heat being generated by the GPU due to the intensity of the graphics demands being placed upon it, what are the temperatures like where you are and can the CPU fan be heard to be working harder?
Lets see if we can get some temperature readings (as it is a laptop you will not get voltage readings as with a dektop)
Download Speedfan and install it. Once it's installed, run the program and post here the information it shows. The information I want you to post is the stuff that is circled in the example picture I have attached.If you are running on a vista machine, please go to where you installed the program and run the program as administrator.



Posted Image(this is a screenshot from a vista machine)

EDIT: Can you also try dropping the screen resolution to 1280x800 and then perform the same tasks, is the same issue still present?

Edited by phillpower2, 04 September 2011 - 06:58 AM.

  • 0

#3
adifrank

adifrank

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 202 posts
Hey phillpower2, I set the screen res to 1280x768 and could not reproduce the problem. I opened two windows of YouTube and an image in Photoshop together and no white dots. Yet now, when I set the screen res back to 1920x1080 and try running the same thing - I also don't get white dots. As I mentioned, the problem is not consistent. For example, yesterday, when I posted this here at the forum, just one YouTube window alone would create white dots.

Here's the SpeedFan reading I just got:

Posted Image
  • 0

#4
phillpower2

phillpower2

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 20,025 posts

Hey phillpower2, I set the screen res to 1280x768 and could not reproduce the problem. I opened two windows of YouTube and an image in Photoshop together and no white dots. Yet now, when I set the screen res back to 1920x1080 and try running the same thing - I also don't get white dots. As I mentioned, the problem is not consistent. For example, yesterday, when I posted this here at the forum, just one YouTube window alone would create white dots.

Here's the SpeedFan reading I just got:

Posted Image

In post #2 I asked;

what are the temperatures like where you are and can the CPU fan be heard to be working harder?

What are the answers please also the readings that you provided where they taken before or after watching a video, the HDD is slightly warm so we need to know if the temperature is likely to increase further, the video chip temp is ok if it does not get significantly higher and the CPU temps are good suggesting that the CPU fan is ok.
If the temperature is naturally hot where you live consider obtaining a cooling mat for the laptop as this will aid the overall laptop cooling and in particular the video chip and Ram sticks.

EDIT: An example cooler http://www.newegg.co...N82E16834997730

Edited by phillpower2, 04 September 2011 - 08:44 AM.

  • 0

#5
adifrank

adifrank

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 202 posts
Thanks for the reply.
Okay, so I opened up a large TIFF file in Photoshop and opened Adobe Lightroom as well. Then I played YouTube videos on two different Firefox browser windows and the white dots started appearing. As this was happening this was the SpeedFan reading:

Posted Image
  • 0

#6
phillpower2

phillpower2

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 20,025 posts
This does appear to be an overheating problem when the laptop is under load!
I asked twice earlier but you have not answered;

what are the temperatures like where you are and can the CPU fan be heard to be working harder?

This is important can you please answer, try directing a household fan beneath the laptop when it is in use and see if it makes a difference, if it does then it is back to using a laptop cooler as I suggested earlier!
  • 0

#7
adifrank

adifrank

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 202 posts

what are the temperatures like where you are and can the CPU fan be heard to be working harder?


Sorry I missed that...

I'm in New York. I'd definitely say it has been on the hot side over here (mid 80's F).

Having said that, today I tried playing about 5 youtube videos at once, plus opening two heavy raw images with multiple layers in Photoshop, plus I opened Lightroom as well. And this time there were no white dots.
A few things I'd mention:
1. Today the weather is much much cooler. Temperatures have dropped dramatically (currently low 60s F)
2. Also, last night I ran CCleaner which to my surprise deleted about 3 GB of junk from my computer (most of which had to do with Firefox).
3. I might add that the computer hasn't been on for very long. Maybe just an hour or so.

While this was going on, I could definitely hear the fan spinning, but I wouldn't say it's the loudest I've ever heard it. Here's the SpeedFan reading I took:

Posted Image
  • 0

#8
phillpower2

phillpower2

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 20,025 posts
Thanks for providing the requested information it is helpful.
Overheating is definitely a strong possibility as the cause, had the NY temps been in the 80s when you took the latest readings then I suspect that the issue would have reappeared, try directing a household fan beneath the laptop as suggested and use the laptop under load and see if it brings the temps down.
Also the CPU usage is relatively high what programs did you have running when the last readings where taken?

Also, last night I ran CCleaner which to my surprise deleted about 3 GB of junk from my computer (most of which had to do with Firefox

This is also something that we can look at as it may explain the high CPU usage and tidying up your HDD is a part of the process, disabling or removing unnecessary programs that are running in the background is another.
  • 0

#9
adifrank

adifrank

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 202 posts
Thanks phillpower2. I agree, it looks as though you've diagnosed my problem correctly.
The last SpeedFan reading was with two fairly large psd files (with multiple layers) open in Adobe Photoshop. I also had Adobe Lightroom open and I think 5 Firefox browser tabs - each playing a youtube video.
Apart from that I have some standard stuff running in the background - antivirus, dropbox, launchy and maybe a couple of others.

So if in fact it's a heating problem - isn't this something that should be fixed? The computer is about a year and a half old and I've never had this problem before, even during hotter days. Or would you suggest to not start replacing hardware and rather stick to a cooling mat?

I haven't had the chance yet to test out the computer with a household fan on it.
  • 0

#10
phillpower2

phillpower2

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 20,025 posts
You are welcome adifrank, always willing to help and to do so can I summarise your last post.

The last SpeedFan reading was with two fairly large psd files (with multiple layers) open in Adobe Photoshop. I also had Adobe Lightroom open and I think 5 Firefox browser tabs - each playing a youtube video.
Apart from that I have some standard stuff running in the background - antivirus, dropbox, launchy and maybe a couple of others

Demanding stuff for a laptop that only has a CPU fan for cooling at any temperature let alone 80+ in NY.

So if in fact it's a heating problem - isn't this something that should be fixed?

Without doubt and exactly what we will help you to do, trying the household fan is the first step towards this and with the temps where you live a cooling mat would be a good idea in any event :)
At present I believe this is purely a heat problem and the suggested cooling solution may resolve it, however if not addressed it may become a hardware issue which in most cases would require a new MB in a laptop.
  • 0

Advertisements


#11
adifrank

adifrank

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 202 posts
hi phillpower2. i haven't forgotten your advice about checking the laptop heating situation with a household fan aimed at it.... just haven't gotten around to it yet. will update once i do the test.
  • 0

#12
phillpower2

phillpower2

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 20,025 posts
Hi adifrank, no worries we all have other things going on so reply when you are ready :)

Edited by phillpower2, 11 September 2011 - 03:56 AM.

  • 0

#13
adifrank

adifrank

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 202 posts
Hi phillpower. So here's the deal. I got to a point where SpeedFan was showing high temperatures (all flame icons) and video playback was showing lots of those dots on the screen. In fact, much more than before. It seems like it's getting worse. Now the dots were so many and bunched up that it looked more like large patches rather than scattered dots.
In any case, I didn't have a household fan nearby, so instead I just moved the laptop over to an open window which had some cool night breeze (around 60F) blowing in. I just held the laptop there in the open window and watched as the SpeedFan icons started showing a few green arrows. A couple of indicators remained flames, though. I tried playing the video again. But still got the video interference during playback.
Is this an adequate test? Should I try to find a household fan and try the test again as you described (with the fan)?
  • 0

#14
phillpower2

phillpower2

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 20,025 posts
Hi adifrank, yes try the household fan as suggested as your update shows that better cooling brings the temps down, for the long term consider the cooling mat suggested or similar http://www.newegg.co...N82E16834997730
The problem with heat is that when it is prolonged it weakens components and causes failure and the video chip and the CPU are normally the first casualties.
  • 0

#15
adifrank

adifrank

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 202 posts
Ok thanks for the input. I'll make a point of testing that out with the household fan and let you know the results.
The only question that comes up for me is: why deal with the symptom rather than the problem? I mean, if something is causing a laptop to heat up (a bad fan, dust, faulty hardware...) then why not replace the fan, or clean the inside of the laptop from dust, or replace a bad piece of hardware - rather than use an external cooling system for the laptop to function properly?
I assume there's a reason for that - since cooling mats seem to be a popular item among laptop users... but I'm curious to know.

Thanks.
  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP