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Gateway 4012GZ laptop: dead video card?

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November 18, 2008 5:00:54 PM

I'm guessing that I have a dead or near-dead graphics card on my wife's Gateway 4012GZ laptop ... let me know if that sounds like the right diagnosis...

Past two days: occasional freezes - display stays on, no mouse, no Ctrl-Alt-Del, only thing to do is hold down power button to turn off.

Last night: Freezes got more frequent, then wife reported that it wouldn't start up at all. Press power button, fan comes on, small noise from CD drive powering up, no BOIS, no video, no hard drive noise, nothing. Repeated attempts to startup would sometimes be successful, and it would run for a while before freezing as above.

I attached an external monitor and ran with the laptop screen turned off, and that seemed a bit better, but certainly not all fixed. I found newer video drivers and installed them. It seemed happier - I shut down and restarted several times and left it running for quite a while - no freezes, always started up fine. I saw that there were a lot of windows updates pending, including XP SP3, so I left it updating and went to bed.

This morning: dead dead dead - won't start up at all, as described above. I've probably tried over a dozen times this morning with not a single successful boot.


Like I said - my guess is dead video card - does that sound right?

Whether or not that's right, is there anything I can do or try to do to bring it back to life?

I assume the graphics card is integrated on the 4012GZ - I see lots of other accessories for sale on eBay but no replacement graphics cards. So if it is a dead card that's the same as a dead mobo, right?


Thanks for any assistance you can provide...
November 19, 2008 2:04:22 PM

Yes, on that machine a dead graphics is a dead board.

Could be that or some weird power thing, but either war the board might be dead. Can't tell from here, but it sure looks like you tried everyting. You can always contact Gteway and see if this is a known issue with this model. (Like the A series Thinkpads)
November 19, 2008 4:36:00 PM

dwellman said:
Yes, on that machine a dead graphics is a dead board.

Could be that or some weird power thing, but either war the board might be dead. Can't tell from here, but it sure looks like you tried everyting. You can always contact Gteway and see if this is a known issue with this model. (Like the A series Thinkpads)


Thanks for the reply. I just remembered that my sister has the exact same laptop, so at least before I throw it in the trash (or give it to her for replacement parts) I could try replacing the CPU or memory on my machine? But does it even make sense to do that? If the memory or CPU were bad (or not seated properly) would I still get the BIOS screen (slightly embarrassed that I don't know that)? The fact that I get no screen activity whatsoever and no HD noise makes me think that the graphics card is dead and the mobo knows it, so it doesn't bother going any further - but maybe it would do the same thing with a seemingly missing CPU? OK now I'm just rambling...

If anyone has any other ideas of things to try before I give up, let me know...

thanks
November 19, 2008 6:12:31 PM

Well, the thing is to take everything out, CPU RAM battery, mini-PCI cards, drives, detach the LCD-- basically to the bare board-- and see if the board gets power (indicator lights or whatever). . . then you put the CPU in and connect the speakers-- if aplicable-- and see if you get beeps. If you get beeps then start adding components until something fails.

But, since it's been acting wonky before, there's no guarantee that it won't continue to be wonky if it decides to ressurect itself.
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