I'm trying to fix my girlfriend's Dell computer, and it's boggling my mind. Normally I'm pretty good at troubleshooting, but this is just odd.
She has a Dell Inspiron 530, it's about 3 years old.
- 6GB DDR2 Hynix RAM
- ATI Radeon 2600XT HD
- Intel Q6600 Quad-Core
The problem started about a month ago. Randomly the computer will do one of two things:
1. It will completely lock up. I can't move the mouse, do anything. I have to manually press and hold the button. It doesn't matter if I'm gaming or browsing the Internet.
2. The screen will go black, and the monitor enters "Power Save" mode. However, if music or anything is playing, you can still hear it and anything else running. So it's like the video card just gives out.
I have ran Memtest overnight, it came back with no errors after about 6 passes. So that just makes me think it's the video card.
I have updated the drivers to the card, updated Windows, defragged, etc. Nothing is helping.
Can anyone help me with this frustrating issue? Thanks.
Well the thing is it's what came standard with the computer. No parts have been replaced. And for 3 years it was working fine. The GPU doesn't draw much juice from the PSU (it doesn't even need a PCI-E connector), so I'm wondering if it's an overheating issue or the card is going bad. I can't imagine it's the RAM if it passed through Memtest overnight.
You're correct about the 2600xt; I have one for testing only (I normally use onboard video). Only other item is possibly the cpu getting warm. Some dells use a fanless heatsink with plastic cowl using the back fan to draw warm air away from the cpu. If the cpu heatsink is removable, you might clean it and apply some good thermal grease such as arctic silver. But I could be wrong; the ps may also be overheating. I use a special solvent spray to clean the case and ps fans at least once a year. It's only about $3-5 per can or two for $5 on sale. It's much safer than wiping anything with a cloth.
I opened the case and I see minimal dust. The computer is also using a standard Intel fan / heatsink combo.
I went through it with a shopvac to suck out all the dust, I might try leaving the side casing off just to see if it's something with the heat. But when I used Everest the other day the GPU was only at around 63C on load.