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Damsel in Distress!! Dell Latitude D620

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Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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November 13, 2009 4:03:28 PM

Please Help!! My CPA exam is in 4 days and I only have my laptop to use for practice exams!!

My Core 2 Duo laptop T7200 @ 2ghz is about 3 years old. Windows XP SP3. Since 2-3 days ago, immediately on start-up, weird messed up graphics/glitch will show up on the screen.

For example, the bottom 1/4 of the screen will have a horizontal bar cutting across the screen. The part that is beneath the 1/4 bar of the screen is a duplicate of the top portion of the screen.

Also the mouse icon will have some weird squiggly lines trailing the icon.

Now when I start up laptop the windows start-up screen will have a lot of weird graphic glitches accompanying the aforementioned horizontal bar. However the laptop will fail to load pass that screen now. It will just stall on a black screen.

When I turn it off using the power button and restart it, it will give me a Windows prompt saying that there might have been a conflict of software/hardware recently installed. It then gives me about 5 choices, 3 of them are the usual Safemode start-up options, Start-up in the last known good configuration, and or just do nothing and regular boot-up.

The laptop only boots up in safemode now.

Is this some kind of virus? software malfunction or worse hardware malfunction?

Past few months I did notice my laptop heating up quickly and it had actually turned off because it was too hot a few times. I think the fan is working, but it doesn't seem to dissipate the heat as much. After I used the can of air duster and cleaned up the fan with air it got a little better.

Please Help me!! I'm sorry for the long post but I really need my laptop for the Cpa exam in 4 days!!
a b D Laptop
November 13, 2009 6:48:03 PM

The graphics glitches could very well have been a sign of heat damage to some of the internals. However, have you installed anything new in the past few days or weeks? You could try a system restore and see if that does the trick. Go back a few weeks and restore that particular image and see if will boot then.
November 13, 2009 6:55:59 PM

it sounds like it's been damaged

even if you get it working do not take your exams on it, murphy's law will prevail every time. take it from someone who has taken many classes online and learned the hard way.
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a b D Laptop
November 13, 2009 7:12:57 PM

I'm going to call hardware failure on this one. If it does it on boot, there's no way to restore it to the way it was using software. You've got GPU/motherboard damage. With rushed shipping and a skilled technician, it can be fixed in 2 business days, if that's indeed the only problem. You can try reseating the GPU if it's an add-on card...but you'd have to dismantle the machine to get to it; not sure if you'd want to venture that far.
November 13, 2009 8:13:35 PM

Thanks for all the responses!!

What am I looking at (about) in terms of costs??

Is it worth it to fix? Or should I just get a new laptop??
a b D Laptop
November 13, 2009 8:33:58 PM

If indeed the motherboard/GPU is damaged, you're looking at $200-$300 for a new board, plus whatever you have to pay a person to replace it, unless you do it yourself. Could be as much as $400-$500.

Whether or not that's enough to warrant a new notebook is for you to decide. I don't know much about your cash flow.
November 14, 2009 12:06:52 AM

Thank you for all the advice.

Well now my laptop is working again, so hopefully that is a good sign, and that nothing too serious is damaged internally.

I am going to go ahead and buy one of those fans for laptops and hope that it can tide me over until I have this problem fixed.

Any recommendations for a good fan? It seems like the ones I see at Target are not really good, its only two fans at the most and doesn't seem to cover the entire bottom of the laptop.

Thank you again for all your help and advice. I really appreciate it!!
November 25, 2009 4:05:59 PM

Hi all,

I have a similar problem described above with my D620.

On start up, screen is either black or flashes up and down with multiple colours and then the screen directs to a BSOD with the following stop codes:

- STOP 0x00000050 (0x99b434p4, 0x000000000, 0x8052b8f8, 0x00000000)
- STOP 0x00000050 (0x9a1de4?4, 0x000000000, 0x805288f8, 0x00000000)

I've looked around and this is the only post that I have found with a similar problem on the D620. My laptop is just over 3 years old and a spike in heat has been felt at the docking port area recently also. I hope the extra information can help isolate the problem further; I hope it isn't heat damage, as stated for the original poster.

Coincidentally, the warranty just finished too....


JV
!