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Gateway laptop with defective CPU or GPU?

Last response: in CPUs
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October 2, 2010 7:19:39 AM

Hi, i have a laptop with AMD Turion RM-72 and ATI Radeon HD 3200.

AMD RS780MN chipset
http://support.gateway.com/s/Mobile/...2625usp3.shtml

Puma platform
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMD_mob...orm_.282008.29

I really don't know what could be wrong with this laptop and i will be very grateful if anyone could help me here.

This are the symptoms and things i have tried:

- Can't install windows vista or 7, laptop restart mostly at windows 7 expanding files stage, sometimes i get a blue screen. Tried install from USB and CD, tried windows 7 32 bit and 64 bit and the same problem.

- Tried Xubuntu 9.10 live cd, when is booting the GUI the laptop restarts.

- Tried Puppy linux live cd, boots fine. (No much testing done here)

- Installed Windows XP SP3 32bit without any problems. In windows XP i can use internet (used a wireless usb adapter). Downloaded all windows xp updates and all that got installed fine, everything works fine except i cant find the drivers for the ATI HD 3200 chipset so all the time i am using generic vga drivers.

So in windows XP i installed CPUID hardware monitor and BurnInTest, when testing the CPU maximum temp with burnintset, i get a bluescreen after a few minutes. But the temps wheren't too hight according to HW (no more than 65C), now when using the CPU Coverage Test after a few minutes the test start giving some FPU calculation errors, this test sometimes can finish and sometimes i get a bluescreen.

- The laptop fan works fine, no dirt. Replaced thermal paste with AS5 did these test again and got the same results.

- The ram is working fine, but replaced it with a good 512mb stick. Tested several ours with memtest+ 4.0 without any errors, tested both slots alone.

- Tried a couple of power adapters, the battery works and charges fine. Hard Drive ok, DVD Drive ok.

- Bios works fine, can use FN keys in Bios to lower LCD brightness, etc.

- Visually inspected the motherboard, everything seems fine. No burn smell or something.

So after all this test i was thinking or the CPU is defective, the GPU or some component in the motherboard. Maybe windows XP installed cause it was using only 1 core and not stressing the thing too much (Is this possible?) or actually in XP the laptop is just not using 3D or whatever GPU related hardware, but how this explains the blue screens when stressing the CPU? Maybe the lack of chipset drivers when i am using XP? or some weak component in the motherboard that goes bad with stress, could the ATI GPU need a reflow like those nvidia GPUs?

What you think? Sorry for the wall of text, any help would be really appreciated. Thanks..
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October 2, 2010 9:32:33 AM

I've seen a bunch of this stuff. OK, so it sounds like your CPU is hotter than the software thinks it is. Here are the problems I've seen on similar systems:
1.) Ubuntu doesn't support thermal management for your processor or chipset: The CPU gets hot, but fan speed stays low, causing lockup. This one is so hard to fix, I gave up putting Ubuntu on a similar notebook from Compaq because of this.
2.) Windows 7 doesn't work right with VIA hard disk controllers. That's right, I've been there several times. After forgetting to check for this issue, I actually scrapped a system thinking it had a bad drive controller, and didn't put it back together when I figured out the mistake because it wasn't worth the effort.
3.) Windows XP works, so use it. Now, you're still overheating, but not as frequently as in Ubuntu because the fan management actually works. Now you just have to figure out what the cause is.

So, clean the CPU and GPU heatsinks and fans completely. If it still overheats at full load...it might be a heat-damaged CPU.
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October 12, 2010 2:36:38 AM

Crashman said:
I've seen a bunch of this stuff. OK, so it sounds like your CPU is hotter than the software thinks it is. Here are the problems I've seen on similar systems:
1.) Ubuntu doesn't support thermal management for your processor or chipset: The CPU gets hot, but fan speed stays low, causing lockup. This one is so hard to fix, I gave up putting Ubuntu on a similar notebook from Compaq because of this.
2.) Windows 7 doesn't work right with VIA hard disk controllers. That's right, I've been there several times. After forgetting to check for this issue, I actually scrapped a system thinking it had a bad drive controller, and didn't put it back together when I figured out the mistake because it wasn't worth the effort.
3.) Windows XP works, so use it. Now, you're still overheating, but not as frequently as in Ubuntu because the fan management actually works. Now you just have to figure out what the cause is.

So, clean the CPU and GPU heatsinks and fans completely. If it still overheats at full load...it might be a heat-damaged CPU.


Thanks alot for your help. Windows XP works but is not very usable. I mean that without the amd graphic drivers the video is very slow, cannot use 3d stuff, change brightness, etc. And yes, i cleaned the cpu and gpu very well added AS5 and the problems still the same.

I guess i should try to test the laptop with other working cpu before anything else, but i didn't know that a CPU can work even if heat-damaged (the processor look fine visually).
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a b à CPUs
October 12, 2010 3:05:53 AM

cerot said:
Thanks alot for your help. Windows XP works but is not very usable. I mean that without the amd graphic drivers the video is very slow, cannot use 3d stuff, change brightness, etc. And yes, i cleaned the cpu and gpu very well added AS5 and the problems still the same.

I guess i should try to test the laptop with other working cpu before anything else, but i didn't know that a CPU can work even if heat-damaged (the processor look fine visually).
You can track down the drivers for the graphics module if you try hard enough. It looks like you're stuck with XP, but it's not the end of the world.
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