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Laptop video card in its death throws?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 11, 2010 1:24:56 AM

I have an interesting issue with my laptop video

XPS M1710, Vista 32 bit SP2 (all windows updates applied), Nvidea GeForce Go 7900GS (latest drivers 179.48)

Upon boot, my screen would come up with large purple squares for a few seconds, then tiny green blocks littering the screen. Before I got to my sign in prompt, the screen would go black, and I couldn’t do anything (even caps lock wouldn’t change). So I booted into Safe mode, and after a bunch of playing around, finally found out that if I disable my video card in the device manager, I could then get to my sign in screen and thus to regular run-mode. But I still have the little green boxes. The odd thing is, they only seem to be located wherever the color of a window/background isn’t uniform. The dots remain stationary on the display, which I can test by moving a border or image around the desktop.
I tried 3 different nvidea drivers (179.48, 175.32, and whatever is auto-installed via regular windows search). I assumed it might have something to do with the ram, so I also ran a few memtest tests and found no errors. If I use an external monitor, the display is still bad (should rule out a defective laptop monitor video wire), and when I do a screen capture, the dots aren’t displayed in the paste (other than the ones that show up whenever there is a non solid color is on the screen). I currently have the display running at 1280x1024 32bit, but if I put the resolution to 800x600, the green boxes get larger.
Running vista repair did nothing, and AVG antivirus found nothing,

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

edit: added images:



Thanks!
a b Î Nvidia
a b U Graphics card
August 11, 2010 3:48:40 AM

Thats artifacts, so it should be either the GPU or VRam failing.
You might be able to replace it though, maybe even a newer card.
a b Î Nvidia
a c 189 U Graphics card
August 11, 2010 12:42:21 PM

You can replace it, but it will cost you high.
Hope that Dell are still have a stock 7900GS, if not maybe a newer card, like TImop said above...
August 12, 2010 1:04:38 AM

Hmm.. ok thanks. I tried using SI Sandra to test the system, but the program won't work in safe mode, and I can't boot into regular mode with the vid card active, so I haven't been able to test the vram properly yet.
!