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Dell Vostro 1500 & 8600M GT issues


alastair

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Guys, not sure whether to tear my hair out with nVidia or Dell.. . but I'd like to join the "p'd off with laptop graphics cards in Vista club".. .

The Problem: On booting the computer I get as far as the select user/enter password screen without problem. On entering the password the screen flicks to what can only be described as a graphical mess. Horizontal and jagged lines of colour that fill the screen (occasionally the ghost of the Vista "Waiting" frisbee can be seen frozen). The only option is to hard power down, the three-finger salute is unresponsive. This will repeat 3 to 6 times on booting, then it will load normally. The system is then stable for the most part, although a few times it has had the same garbled screen and freeze occur during applications (once in Oblivion, a couple of times in Guild Wars, and once in MS Excel, I think).

The System: Dell Vostro 1500, Core 2 Due T7500 2.20GHz, 2046MB memory, nVidia Geforce 8600M GT 256MB, Vista 32-bit Business.

Solutions Attempted: I've removed and reinstalled the supplied Dell driver (both from the supplied disk and the current version on the Dell support site). I've tried and failed to install the nVidia drivers from their website. I've tried the v.156.10 drivers hosted here - no luck, in fact even worse as the screen fails to black with short white horixontal lines sparesely distributed across the screen as soon as the pc boots (doesn't even get as far as the password screen). I've emailed Dell support, twice, with no response (I've since found out that the Dell Vostro Support Team does not have email support available). I've phone the Dell Vostro Support Team who are at a loss and can only suggest the drivers and have asked me to replicate the problem and try an external monitor. I can only guaruntee to replicate the problem by switching the laptop off for a couple of hours (once the system has loaded once it seems to load ok immediately after a shut-down) and this will do nothing for my productivity (working from home and having a couple of deadlines next week). I'm now trying using just the Windows SVGA driver to see if that stops the problem (and will specifically narrow the problem down to the nVidia driver, I hope). Dell Vostro Support Team told me they are unaware of any similar problems.

Any suggestions from anyone?

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Try to format and re-install Windows Vista with the DVD, install all microsoft hotfixes and then install nvidia drivers (163.44 work great on my Vostro). If the problem isn't resolved, it must be a hardware problem.

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Guest jblack15

Holy crap! I'm glad there's someone else with my problem! Yea, don't bother reinstalling Vista w/ hotfixes and drivers. I've done that 5 times now w/ Vista... both OEM and Dell versions. I've used all of Dell's drivers, and then drivers off of this stie. Hell, I've even installed the Vista SP1 Pre-Beta to see if that resolved anything. Vista ran quicker, but the same screen artifacting. The only ways I've gotten rid of it is moving back to XP which makes EVERYTHING work beautifully, or turning off Aero and going into Basic view. Of course, this is only temporary because the first thing I'm doing after the holiday weekend is getting an RMA on this beast.

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Guest Joshua Walker

I have XP Pro and I have issues as well. Core 2 Duo, 2.0Ghz, 3Gb RAM, 120GB HDD, 256MB 8600M GT. Only my errors aren't graphical in nature; the whole thing just freezes up. This happened twice, and each time after getting back into Windows it would say that the system has recovered from a serious error, etc etc, and then goes on to say it's because of the Dell Video Driver, contact Dell. So I did the only thing I could, which was upgrade the driver (there was one). Didn't help. Same thing happens, couple more times, sometimes it wont pass POST, seemingly random crap, I actually sometimes have to change BIOS settings (doesn't matter what, as long as I change SOMETHING, necessitating a save of BIOS settings). I've reinstalled XP, restored the factory image (which I created when I got it knowing that, well, it's a DUH-ELL), and the problem still comes back. Sometimes it tells me "no HDD found, please reseat HDD" during POST. So I slap the side where the HDD is and all's well.

Crazy. So I have now decided that while I may or may not have a driver issue, I think my HDD just doesn't fit tight! WTF, how do I fix this lol. It doesn't FEEL loose, but it must be. I'm ranting now because NTLDR got corrupted last time around (~45 mins ago) so while restoring that crap with a cool tool in the form of a CD ISO (and a number of DLLs which were screwed up as well) I yelled at Dell who said they'll send me a new HDD... Doubt it'll help, I suspect it's the connector in the laptop being maybe 2 mm too recessed, not an HDD being 2mm too short... somehow I don't think quality control at Toshiba's plant would allow that... either way I may have to jury-rig a fix somehow. We shall see.

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Touch wood.. . but the Dell techie was out today. New motherboard, new graphics card. We strongly susoect that in this case the graphics card was a duffer (but having brought a new mobo he wasn't going to take the thing apart once just to have to do it aain if it still didn't work). Oh, and all under the warranty.. .

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  • 1 month later...

I bought a brand new Dell Vostro 1500 exactly like yours (2.2GHz, 8600M GT, etc) and had the exact same problem. It actually failed on me the first time I turned it on before Vista even finished the initial setup. After it failed, I had to power down and boot up from scratch again... This time, it worked for 3 or 4 hours, so I convinced myself that the issue was just a fluke.

Then, the next day, I turned the machine on and the same thing happened. I called Dell and reported the issue. A support tech remoted into my computer and poked around but found nothing. Then he had me reseating memory modules -- a futile attempt at any sort of repair. After a couple of hours on the phone, I told the guy that this was all just wasting time and that we both know the machine is defective and I would appreciate a new one. He transferred me to someone else and they ordered a new computer for me. I was told that I could use the current one until the new one came, then just swap computers and send the bad one back.

During the next few days, I learned how to get around the display problem -- it has to do with components warming up. If I just turned the computer on and logged in, it would fail 100% of the time. However, if I turned it on and hit the key sequence (forget what it is now) to bring up the boot menu, then told it to run the diagnostics tests, let it run till it was done, then booted up to Vista, it would work perfectly.

Clearly, some component was failing when cold.

Anyway, I got my new machine in about 5 days and the new one works perfectly.

A slight bummer -- the new one, while it had the same *sized* hard drive, it was a different brand and had a .1 lower score in Vista's speed tests. It was a little noisier too. I wanted to complain, but Dell never really claimed a specific performance standard on the drive, so I didn't really have a basis. Another difference on the new machine is that when you first turn it on, it says "BIOS Revision A01" below the Dell logo. The old computer was "BIOS Revision A00". I checked the Dell support site and you can't even download A01 yet. I've had the new machine for about a month and a half now.

-Mike

Guys, not sure whether to tear my hair out with nVidia or Dell.. . but I'd like to join the "p'd off with laptop graphics cards in Vista club".. .

The Problem: On booting the computer I get as far as the select user/enter password screen without problem. On entering the password the screen flicks to what can only be described as a graphical mess. Horizontal and jagged lines of colour that fill the screen (occasionally the ghost of the Vista "Waiting" frisbee can be seen frozen). The only option is to hard power down, the three-finger salute is unresponsive. This will repeat 3 to 6 times on booting, then it will load normally. The system is then stable for the most part, although a few times it has had the same garbled screen and freeze occur during applications (once in Oblivion, a couple of times in Guild Wars, and once in MS Excel, I think).

The System: Dell Vostro 1500, Core 2 Due T7500 2.20GHz, 2046MB memory, nVidia Geforce 8600M GT 256MB, Vista 32-bit Business.

Solutions Attempted: I've removed and reinstalled the supplied Dell driver (both from the supplied disk and the current version on the Dell support site). I've tried and failed to install the nVidia drivers from their website. I've tried the v.156.10 drivers hosted here - no luck, in fact even worse as the screen fails to black with short white horixontal lines sparesely distributed across the screen as soon as the pc boots (doesn't even get as far as the password screen). I've emailed Dell support, twice, with no response (I've since found out that the Dell Vostro Support Team does not have email support available). I've phone the Dell Vostro Support Team who are at a loss and can only suggest the drivers and have asked me to replicate the problem and try an external monitor. I can only guaruntee to replicate the problem by switching the laptop off for a couple of hours (once the system has loaded once it seems to load ok immediately after a shut-down) and this will do nothing for my productivity (working from home and having a couple of deadlines next week). I'm now trying using just the Windows SVGA driver to see if that stops the problem (and will specifically narrow the problem down to the nVidia driver, I hope). Dell Vostro Support Team told me they are unaware of any similar problems.

Any suggestions from anyone?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had the same problem too, my lap is dell vostro 1500 2.2Ghz, 2GB RAM, 8600M GT. It crashed few times before i could start normally. I have tried 163.69 driver, it seems ok, but sometimes the error still happens.

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Guest Alastair

I suspect there is a bad batch of graphics cards out there.

I've had relatively few problems with the graphics since the card was switched (considering I've retained the Dell drivers). It seems quite happy with the usual office applications, Guild Wares, Oblivion and STALKER. Even with graphics pushed out.

ps

Not a guest but the OP

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hey guys, check for your bios at start up. Is it A00 or A01 ? I knew some people using dell vostro 1500 VGA 8600M GT with bios version A01 and they do not have this dam error. Mine is A00 now but check dell support website they still don't have A01 yet, what a slow update site. Any one who is using A01 bios with VGA 8600M GT and still get this error?. Anyway, keep waiting for bios update to fix this beast's bug.

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I have the same problem. Do you think it is hardware issue? Where can I find A01 bios? I have A00 and on dell site I can't find A01...

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Count me as another person who has the Vostro 1500 256megs 8600M GT video card and Vista issues. I was able to get things to work using the following (NOTE: Since I just made this work, I will be monitoring this for any side effects):

1) Reformatted and installed Vista Ultimate x86 OEM DVD (NOTE: You need to load the Dell drivers CD in order to make sure that the SATA AHCI setting works; otherwise you will get a BSOD - during the Vista install, click "Load Driver" option and insert the Dell CD - you can take out the Vista DVD)

2) Since Vista Ultimate installs the basic VGA driver, I downloaded the 163.67 and modified INF file from this site - installed and restarted. This finally fixed the problems of video tearing when using Dell's video driver

3) Reset the Aero option - by default, the Basic theme was selected - Aero was listed and selected

So far so good, but what a pain in the arse - obviously Dell is modding their drivers to do something because they simply do not work with a retail version of Vista (I wonder if someone with a Dell laptop and Vista Basic tries to use the "Windows Update Anytime" option - will they experience the same issue faced by myself and others posting on this thread?

By they way, I have the A01 BIOS and Dell is still only listing A00 as of 2007-10-28

[8F] The NyQuil Kid

Edited by 8F Consulting
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Oh what the hell! Dell have updated their vostro 1400 bios to A03 as 10/24/2007 at their site, but there's nothing for vostro 1500 bios, and we still stuck with this error.

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Do you think that new bios will resolve to problem? I think that this is rather hardware issue than bios...

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US Support wrote to me, that we can install A01 bios from Vostro 1000 and it will work but they suggest to wait untill official version for Vostro 1500...

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Don't make me get crazy with this news guys, I'm waiting for a solution for moths. I can even sink in sea of happiness. Lolz. I have send dell US an email fews days ago and haven't received reply yet. Is that what they told u? Have u tried it? And there's no A01 for vostro 1000 in dell website, only A04 is available, does this A04 work too? And what if the new bios doesn't work

:) . I'm so afraid to think about that situation. :)

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Sorry I don't mean to spam but did they tell you when they will release A01 version? And another problem is dell vostro 1000 using AMD CPU, Ati X1150 so it must use another kind of mainboard, will its bios work on vostro 1500?

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well, I've tried and it's impossible to install bios from differen model than 1500...

Yes, I recived an e-mail with information, that bios A01 is still fixing and preparing. I don't know when they will relase it, but I hope it will be soon.

But I also think, that it wont be the soultion for artifacts...

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All we can do now is just waiting for Dell, hope the new bios is the solution for artifacts . I don't wanna send my laptop back to the US to fix its problem, it will cost much of shipping fee,time and my laptop will be subject to import and export taxes again (10%-20% the value of the laptop).

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If you send a notebook on warranty you have to pay all tax again? holly... where do you come from?

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I'm from Vietnam, more than 20,000 km away from the US. All electronic products, both brand new or second hand ones must be under taxes when getting in or out the country. The only method to prevent those taxes is to ask someone who will go to the US to bring my laptop and declare to the customs that the laptop is belong to them and they bring it for business,personal and non commercial purposes. ( 2 laptop are allowed per person in this way).

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Is anyone else finding that on the Vostro 1500 with 8600M GT card that turning on the Aero theme causes artifacts to show? When using the basic theme, it works well.

Thanks!

[8F] The NyQuil Kid

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Yeah it works well because it doesn't use graphic acceleration. You can start up perfectly without windows aero, but when trying to run some directx 3D game at the first time you start up your computer, it will crash for sure. The problem here is our laptops fail to start its graphic acceleration at the first time they boot after few hours turned off.

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Guest brad28304

I am having a similar problem on a Dell 1520 with a Geforce 8600m GT running on Windows XP with bios version A03. I have tried several drivers everything from the newest, 169.04, 169.01, 163.75, 163.44, and the dell drivers. About 95% of the time my computer will boot up from a cold start fine and everything works normal. The problem happens when I put the computer into hibernate, then start it up, as soon as I try to watch a video or play a game, the screen goes a crazy and the whole computer freezes up. I also tried reflashing the video card bios with the bios from my brother?s video card which is the exact same thing (except he does not have the problem).

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I have the same problem with BIOS A01, It seems hardware problem because I am using also SuSe 10.3 and have the same problem in SuSe also :) , or may be problem in BIOS in any case DELL and nVidia sell untested product and a lot off people have problem.

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