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Screen goes blank randomly (Lenovo 3000 N100)

Last response: in Systems
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March 24, 2013 1:05:08 PM

I am having a problem with a laptop that goes blank randomly. It usually happens either right before the login screen or about 10 after logging in or when I open a program (anything ranging from explorer to prime95). It seems to happen more often when on battery power. Once this starts happening, it happens repeatedly when powering up the computer. The power LED stays lit even when the screen goes blank but the hdd led gets stuck (either on or off).

Also, if this doesn't happen in the first few seconds of windows loading, it doesn't happen until I have to restart. I can even run something as stressful as prime95 for a few hours and its fine. When it happens, I can log in on safe mode and I don't experience this problem.

I am running windows 7 (relatively new install) with only a few programs installed.


Things I have tried:
Updated all my drivers (from versions on Lenovo's website).
Checked my temperatures.
Disabled all startup items
Started up with diagnostic startup in msconfig
Disabled all drivers not essential windows to load (video, audio, network, etc)
Tried the three available power schemes
Ran few different antivirus (didn't find anything)

Things I am not willing to do:
Format hard drive and reinstall windows


Please let me know if there is something I can try to narrow down this problem.
March 24, 2013 1:22:40 PM

Get a flashlight and keep it by you.
Next time the screen blacks you, shine the flashlight at it.
Can you see a faint image?

When the screen blacks out, if you close the lid then reopen, does the screen come back on?
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March 24, 2013 1:22:48 PM

Does it happen when standard VGA display adapter is installed?
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March 24, 2013 2:24:46 PM

Thanks for the responses.

Dhamilton said:
Get a flashlight and keep it by you.
Next time the screen blacks you, shine the flashlight at it.
Can you see a faint image?

When the screen blacks out, if you close the lid then reopen, does the screen come back on?

No, I can't see an image at all even with a flashlight.
I tried with an external monitor as well and it loses signal as well.
Closing the lid and reopening doesn't do anything either.

I'm thinking it doesn't have anything to do with the actual screen itself but rather windows crashing.

Feldmarschall said:
Does it happen when standard VGA display adapter is installed?

I'm not sure what you mean. Uninstall non-microsoft drivers for my video card?
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March 24, 2013 2:27:02 PM

Yes.. uninstall drivers completly and reboot computer. Block windows from installing drivers. In that case you should see Standard VGA adapter or simillar under display adapters.
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March 25, 2013 8:41:24 PM

Feldmarschall said:
Yes.. uninstall drivers completly and reboot computer. Block windows from installing drivers. In that case you should see Standard VGA adapter or simillar under display adapters.


I can't seem to get the driver to uninstall completely. I go to device manager -> right click on the video card -> click uninstall. I have already gone to control panel and disabled checking windows update for drivers. On next restart, windows automatically finds drivers and installs them. Unfortunately I am on Windows 7 home and I don't have group policy editor which has an option to disable auto install of drivers.

Any ideas?
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March 25, 2013 8:45:12 PM

Does it happens with this video driver? Have you ran something to clean your registry?
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March 26, 2013 7:06:51 AM

Yes, it happens with this driver too.

No, I haven't tried to clean my registry. Should I do that? I usually use CCleaner. Is that ok?
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March 28, 2013 3:26:08 PM

I ran ccleaner registry cleaner and it claimed to have fixed a bunch of issues.

After some careful searching, I found and deleted all the files for the video card driver. Now device manager says Standard VGA adapter. But the problem is still there

Also, now I am sure that it happens only when running on battery and only when in regular mode (i.e. not safe mode). Safe mode works perfectly even on battery.
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March 28, 2013 3:34:07 PM

Ok. So Safe mode works normally. This is what you should do. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/which-drive...

We solved a power problem yesterday with this method. When you turn on all non essential sevices you should try to turn on 5 by 5 alphabet order so you can easily find the 5 bad ones and narrow to 1 only at the end.

First you could do try to disable is power service, it caused one guy to turn of laptop after some time running on battery. It's good one to start.
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March 31, 2013 2:51:29 PM

I have disabled all the services that I could (there were about 4 that I could not disable) and I disabled all the drivers in device manager that had a disable option. I still have the problem. Now I am really confused.
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March 31, 2013 3:07:34 PM

Safe mode fine, standard mode not. Windows problem 99%. But to rule out that 1% can you connect to external monitor and check if it is happening?

If it does not happen it may be problem with your LCD drivers.
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March 31, 2013 3:17:47 PM

Same problem with external monitor. Monitor does not receive a signal. So this is definitely a windows (software) problem then?

Is there anything else that is different between safe mode and normal mode except for services and drivers?
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March 31, 2013 3:41:01 PM

steamroller16 said:
Same problem with external monitor. Monitor does not receive a signal. So this is definitely a windows (software) problem then?

Is there anything else that is different between safe mode and normal mode except for services and drivers?


I'm affraid drivers and services are only difference. Try to uninstall video drivers with driver cleaner and do manual install of them. Just pointing driver to device, not running app from lenovo website.
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April 1, 2013 1:41:31 PM

When I initially installed the video card drivers, I installed them manually (not running app from website). I extracted the files and pointed to the inf file. And now I have gone through all the driver files and manually removed them from the system. I also have the "Standard VGA Adapter" device disabled in device manager.

I will run driver cleaner when I get home today but I am beginning to doubt that it's the video card driver. As far as I can tell, the video card drivers are not on the system anymore and are not being loaded.

Any possibility that I have a virus/malware that is not being detected by my antivirus? Is there a good scanner (hopefully free) that I can run. I have Microsoft Security Essentials on the computer currently. I previously had McAfee. Neither one detected anything.
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April 1, 2013 1:47:51 PM

Check your HDD for consistency. It may be that HDD is making problems. HDD regenerator is fine tool for diagnosing altough you need to buy it to repair your disk.
As far sa malware you can use MBAM which is great.

Did not ask you before.. Have you updated your windows to SP1?
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April 1, 2013 2:08:34 PM

Is this the correct website for HDD regenerator?
www.dposoft.net

By the way, thank you very much for your help. I really appreciate it.
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April 1, 2013 2:10:19 PM

No problem.

Yes, that's the one.
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April 5, 2013 2:27:12 PM

I ran HDD regenerator but it didn't find any bad sectors.

I decided to try to eliminate any windows related issues. I shrunk my main partition, made a new partition, and installed windows xp. I didn't install any drivers (or anything else). I downloaded and ran prime95 and the same exact problem occurred. So now I am sure the problem is not specific to anything on my original installation of windows 7. This also eliminates any possibility of malware right? Or could there be an infection on the MBR or something crazy like that?

I also took the hard drive out, put it in a working computer and booted the newly installed windows xp. No problems there. Everything works perfectly.

My guess so far is that there is a hardware problem but it's not the hard drive.
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April 5, 2013 11:03:27 PM

Nope, it must be something other than HDD.
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April 6, 2013 2:33:43 PM

Ok. I think I found out what is causing the problem.

I have 2GB (2x1GB sticks) of ram installed. If I only put in one stick at a time, the computer works perfectly. If I have both sticks, the problem happens. I have tried all combinations of modules and slots and as long as I don't have both installed at the same time, there is no problem. Both sticks work individually but together they don't work.

Does this mean I have a compatibility issue with the particular ram that I am using (Kingston KVR6667D2S5K2/2G) or maybe I can't have 2GB of memory installed at all?

I will run memtest again and see if I can get a repeatable failure.
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April 7, 2013 11:54:05 AM

I am going to open another thread to ask specifically about the issue with the ram. Thanks.
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April 7, 2013 12:01:12 PM

Just got notification.

It may be problem with RAM compatibility.

Googled a bit, and there are problems with kingston 2*1Gb in your model.
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April 7, 2013 12:22:37 PM

Do you have a specific link you can give me.

Anyway, should I go buy some new ram and test it out? Is that the only way to eliminate any compatibility issues? This isn't the original ram that the laptop came with but I don't know if I have the original ram anymore.
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April 7, 2013 1:16:16 PM

Can't find link on lennovo forums anymore.
One guy had perfectly stable configuration with 1Gb Kingston + 512 original memory. 2*1 did not work.

Other guy had the other way arround issue. Could not get one stick 1Gb kingston to work, but dual channel worked (did managed to boot)

Some guys had unsupported memory notification when tried 2*1 Kingston.

Lenovo 3000 n100 (some number) works with Kingston without problems.
But bootom line says that you should go with memory upgrade provided by some scanners online and stuff.
Samsung, Crucial, Infenion works normally. Corsair should work...

For HP and Toshiba kingston works without any problem, in every possible combination.

So it may be that your bios or mobo don't like Kingston memory in dual channel mode. It would be superb if you can find one DIMM of old rams to test it with one Kingston in dual channel mode.
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April 9, 2013 7:27:20 PM

You got it. It is a compatibility issue. I found the original ram (Samsung m470T6554cz3-ce6 2x512MB) and it works. Thanks for all your help once again.

What works:
2x512 original ram
1x1G Kingston
1x512 original and 1x1G Kingston

What doesn't work:
2x1G Kingston


So I guess I will live with 1.5 GB for now. Maybe buy a Samsung or some other 2GB kit later.
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April 11, 2013 12:41:16 PM

I am still curious why memtest would run but not windows? Isn't it supposed to stress the ram (more than windows would).
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