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Possible motherboard/video card failure. Need advice.


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#1
PauKea

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Hi guys and gals. Any help here would be smashing!
First time posting here but ye have sorted our a few problems for me before without having to register and post so hoping ye can help me diagnose this one.
My advent roma 2000 laptop recently started acting up. At first the screen flickered a little (not on and off, the images/movies stayed on the screen but it looked like the backlight was flickery) and then the next day the battery wouldnt charge while the laptop was on, it will while its off though. So iv been just running it without the battery in it. It happened first just on the laptop but I used a VGA to connect it to an external monitor and it was flickering on that too, but it wasnt happening at home with my hdmi. Until today when my laptops screen went completely white and i had to hold the power button and then later it white screened when i was using my hdmi out to my monitor. Sometimes putting pressure on the right and left of the touchpad makes it flicker more or less.
If ye could point me in the right direction to diagnose before I go buying anything that would be great. Tried to cover whats happened as best as i can, If ye need any info about the laptop just ask.

Paul
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#2
phillpower2

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:welcome: PauKea

As the problem occurs on an external display it may suggest one of the following as the cause, overheating, bad power supply (battery/AC adapter or jack port) or worse case scenario a failing video chip.

Couple of questions if I may;
Does the issue occur when you are connected to an external display with the battery removed.
When if ever was the last time that the notebook was cleaned out of heat trapping dust.
Can the CPU fan be heard working and if so does it sound as it always has.
Have you tried doing a hard reset by removing the battery + the AC adapter and then holding down the power on button for 30 seconds.
I would also recommend removing the Ram and blowing out the slots when doing the hard reset as this will also remove any static charge that may have built up in the notebook.

Good luck and let us know how it is going.
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#3
PauKea

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Hi Phill, Thank you for replying.
The flickering issue happened on an external monitor only when using a VGA not with a hdmi, but it did white screen on the external monitor using the hdmi.
I took the laptop apart about a 6 weeks ago a cleaned it for the first time and it was running great after i took a huge lump of dust/dirt out from in front of the fan until about a week ago, took esd precautions so don't think i fried anything.
Yes fan is working fine although it sometimes sounds like its running a little slower/quieter when i put pressure next to the touch pad.
Just tried blowing and reseating the ram and a hard reset there and that didn't change anything unfortunately.
I took the cover off and it seems there's a little wear on two little black cables running to the screen, nothing very deep but the outer layer of what ever covers the wire did look a little damaged. I have nothing to put on them at the moment but i will put electrical tape on it as soon as i can get my hands on some to see if that it.
Do you know of any test i can run on the hardware to eliminate them from the diagnosis?
If you need to know anything else about the laptop feel free to ask.
Paul
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#4
phillpower2

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Hello Paul

Unfortunately I am not aware of any way of testing the two wires that you have mentioned, if the wires are indeed damaged it is possible for them to cause a short circuit, a damaged notebook screen would not affect the external display so it is back to heat, video chip or Ram.

You have cleaned out the dust and can hear the CPU fan running so it may not be heat related, the next thing to check is the Ram, see my canned text below;

How to physically test your Ram.

The following checks require the computer case to be opened so take the following safety precautions 1st, disconnect the power cord from the wall socket and take anti static precautions before touching anything inside, you can do this by touching a bare metal part of the case.

Have a pencil and notepad to hand.

Remove each stick of Ram and blow out the memory slots.
Insert the first stick of Ram in memory slot one, reconnect the power and in the case of a desktop computer the video to screen cable.
Power up the computer and see how it goes.
Make a note of the results.
Repeat the procedure until the first stick of Ram has been tested in each memory slot and the results written down.
Remove the first stick of Ram and put it to one side on top of a piece of paper with the number one on it for identification purposes.
Repeat the procedure with all Ram until each stick has been tested in all slots, the results written down and the sticks identified numerically.
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#5
PauKea

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As i was waiting for a reply i tried change the ram in one of the slots and it didnt do anything, i swapped it with the old ram that was in it. Both new and the old stick booted with the problem, I will try the other stick of ram tomorrow but its buried under the keyboard as far as i know and I have my compTIA 701 exam tomorrow morning so i will have more time to check it after that. I will run memtest tomorrow and let it run while im out to see if that brings any errors in and will try rule ram out tomorrow.
Thanks for the speedy reply.
Paul
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#6
phillpower2

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OK I will look out for an update tomorrow, good luck with the exam :thumbsup:

Also worth running http://www.technibbl...ry-stress-test/
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#7
PauKea

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Just so i dont forget to tell you tomorrow, the screen went grey just now. I was doing anything on the laptop just had this page open and left the room and when i came back in it was a very pale grey colour. When i was re-booting the screen went blue like it does just before the windows logo like normal but for a very brief second it all went black and then went back to blue and the windows logo appeared. Dont know if this helps diagnose it but i feel better if i tell every abnormal thing it does. Thanks for the good luck.
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#8
phillpower2

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That sort of behavior is often caused by bad drivers, so that we are not missing the obvious run DriverMax and see what if any driver updates are suggested http://www.innovativ....com/drivermax/ you are only allowed to download two drivers per day for free so if available video and chipset drivers should be done first.
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#9
PauKea

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Sorry for the delay i was up the walls. Passed my exam so that's good.
As for the laptop, It isn't the ram i tried that.
When i took it apart i noticed the thermal pad under the graphics card was worn, cleaned and added fresh thermal paste to CPU, graphics card and another part that had paste on it. I put in minimal screws and taught i had it fixed but in the end it wasn't the thermal paste was the problem.
But what i discovered was the tighter i made the case, as in the more screws i added, the worse the light flickering got! With minimal screws, 4 corners and 1 holding hardrive in it only happened with pressure to the left of the touch pad. And only with enough pressure to flex the plastic case. With all the screws in it happens by itself and with slight pressure anywhere to the left, right of the touch pad and the touch pad itself. I tried adding one screw at a time but that didn't narrow it down.
Also it doesn't charge while on, but it does while its off.
Do you think maybe when the case if flexed its touching some part of the motherboard its not supposed to? Do you have any idea what i should try next?
If i am being unclear about the problems let me know and ill try be clearer and more detailed.

Paul
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#10
phillpower2

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Congrats on passing the exam :thumbsup:

Have you checked the condition of all internal wires, cables and ribbons, look for signs of pinched or damaged insulation, check the power board and button and your USB, VGA ports etc for signs of damage or wear/looseness.
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#11
PauKea

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Sorry i took so long to reply, i had to wait for thermal paste that i ordered to dig deeper. In the end i folded a piece of cardboard and put it between the case and the motherboard to stop the case flexing and it stopped the flicker. Thanks for all the help.
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#12
phillpower2

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No worries - we all have other responsibilities and so cannot be here all of the time <_<

Thank you for the update and posting how you have resolved the issue so that it may help others :thumbsup:

You are most welcome BTW, good luck for the future.
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