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More I8200 Video Problems


HockeyPhool

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I am still having video problems with my Inspiron 8200. After video memory diagnostics failed originally, I purchased a 64MB GeForce 440 Go to replace the 32MB card that seemed to be failing. When I replaced the card today, it seemed to be working fine at first. I downloaded and installed the 84.21 drivers as recommended. I decided to run NERD to gather information about the system and left it to run by itself.

When I returned this afternoon my laptop had rebooted itself and the video was displaying problems similar to what I was experiencing before - basically video "noise" in various parts of the display. This occurs whether I'm viewing on the LCD display or an external monitor. I re-ran Dell diagnostics, and the new card is also failing video memory tests. From the results, it seems that several of the high-order bits are stuck on. I took the card out of the system and inspected the connector on the card and the socket on the system board. I saw what looked like a bit of debris in the socket, so I blew it clean and reseated the card. However, it still fails video memory diagnostics. Luckily the system will boot in safe mode with no problems (unlike the earlier failure).

I'd really like to find a way to narrow down this problem. The fact that a second video card is failing the memory diags makes me think the system board is the problem, but it could also be true that the replacement video card is faulty. The only diagnostics I have available are the Dell diags that came with my laptop. Are there better or newer diags I can download and run to find the fault? Or am I left to buy a new system board and see if that resolves the problem?

I'll attach the NERD logfile to provide further information.

advTHANKSance for any assistance!

Scott

LaptopVideo2Go_LogFile.txt

LaptopVideo2Go_RegInfo.txt

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Have a search for "MicroScope"

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Well, that got me nowhere fast. If you are referring to Micro-Scope from Micro2000, there's no way to purchase the tools and download from the website, and there are apparently no resellers in my area. Thanks anyway.

Scott

Have a search for "MicroScope"
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Does it display fine in safe mode, even at higher resolutions?

Also do you see graphics corruption in the BIOS screens and windows loading screens? (sign the card is definitely bad, no just driver issue)

I'm thinking 84.xx drivers are probably too new to bother trying to use on those NV17 cards. (77.xx drivers should hold up just fine, even on newer games that actually can run on fixed function cards)

You should uninstall any drivers from safe mode and start over with an older driver.

The sad thing is these 440 Gos do have problems with memory failure, maybe it overheats or something? (put small heatsinks on RAM?)

To really test for a motherboard problem could try the card in another Dell laptop (doesn't have to be I8200) or try buying a really cheap I8200 compatible card.

Probably the best way to get a new mobo is to buy a used I8200/C840 on ebay and take the mobo out of that one, or move some of your components into the refurbished laptop. Some of them actually have nice specs, even for only $500 (faster CPUs, lots of RAM, UXGA screen, ect)

After looking through your log files you might need to do some driver cleaning.

Edit: WTF!

DELL   - 27d20404","Phoenix ROM BIOS PLUS Version 1.10 A02

You really need to update to A11, A02 is a VERY VERY OLD BIOS.

If you don't update your BIOS I really can't help you, there were a ton of fixes between the many versions.

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Bill, thanks for the feedback.

I wasn't able to increase the resolution in safe mode, although I tried. I selected 1024x768 and clicked Apply, but nothing happened.

I do see problems during Windows loading. I haven't yet seen problems in BIOS loading with the new card, but that might be coincidence. With the old card I saw errors in all aspects, including CMOS config. Interestingly, I was having other problems in CMOS config: it wasn't reading all system information (such as the service tag number), and the keyboard wouldn't respond. I also noticed that the BIOS was down-rev and upgraded to A11 this morning. CMOS config is working correctly now, but I am still having video problems. If the computer has been shut off for a while, the video seems fine for a while. That does point towards a heat-related problem. I'm using the I8K fan GUI application to keep the fans running at higher speeds, and I've removed the metal cover from the back of the system to help with airflow.

I'm currently trying an experiment with the Dell diags. I just ran the VESA interface diags with the 64MB card and saved the errors to text file. I'm going to run the same tests with the 32MB card and compare the failures. If the same data lines are stuck on in both tests, to me that will point to the mobo rather than the video cards. Wish I had a second system to verify whether or not the cards were good - but if I did, then I'd have a working system. :)

(Actually, my work system is a Latitude D600 but the cards aren't compatible AFAIK).

Thanks,

Scott

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  • 3 weeks later...

Scott, I have the same video problem as yours. I have a 4 year old I8200 with Geforce4 440 32 MB. It is known for this model that re-sit the video card will fix the problem. I saw serverl 4-year-ish I8200 have the video card issue.

I notice that the video card is so close to the CPU, and maybe the heat from CPU causes a bad connection (or whatever) between the card and its socket in these aging machinse. I guess some heat conducting stuff has been worn off from CPU socket. Based on my observation and assumption, I started run I8kfanGUI (http://www.diefer.de/i8kfan/index.html) lately and kept both the CPU and GPU temperature below 50C most of the time. It seems that the video card issue disapear. Give it a try. :)

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Mike, thanks for your tips. I've also been running the I8k Fan Gui and keeping the fans at full speed but it hasn't helped. Likewise I reseated the video card, plus I bought a 64MB GeForce 440 Go. That card also had very similar problems and diagnostics indicated video memory issues again. The folks who sold me the card (mypcwerks.com) very quickly replaced the card with another, which is behaving a little bit better but still does not display properly until Windows has booted.

If not the video cards, the only other possibility is the motherboard. I found a C840 mobo and case for sale on eBay (where else?!) and it should arrive on Friday. Assuming it resolves the problems, my daughter may be getting her first laptop soon.

Since I first had these problems, I've built a brand new dual-core Pentium D system with a 256MB PNY Verto GeForce 7600 GT. :)

Regards,

Scott

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  • 3 months later...

HockeyPhool,

Try flexing the chassis while the video is displaying normally, if it acts up then you need to reseat the video card or (more likely) resolder the video card header on the motherboard. I repair motherboards and i8200/C840 video card header solder joint failure is a problem I see quite often.

Edited by Bytesss
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