Oct. 4th, 2011

ongoing

Oct. 4th, 2011 11:13 am
noabsolutes: (Default)
So back in March my laptop started to freeze up and die. Also, a couple keys broke. After trying unsuccessfully to troubleshoot it for a while I gave up and bought the current laptop.

My current laptop is a beast of a machine, at least a portable one. At 15 inches it's big enough that it can have some horsepower under the hood, but it's small enough to be (somewhat) portable. It has 8 GB of RAM! On a laptop! It has dedicated video memory! 2 GB of it! Wow!

It also would freeze like a scared bunny when playing video games, awful irritating crashes that would make the computer ignore interrupts like CTRL+ALT+DEL or, on the super rare cases when you did manage to get the Task Manager up, would make the game you were playing an unkillable task and make you force shutdown the computer using the power button. Okay, irritating: a gaming laptop that can't play games.

I updated the BIOS. I updated the video card driver. I even updated the sound card driver, because the sound stutters before it freezes. Nothing.

And then I googled "xps l502x game crash"

WELP

so I guess it's a motherboard issue, because lots of people said that their issue was resolved by replacing the motherboard. So I put in to Dell support, put down my foot when they tried to blame it on software and direct me to the (paid) software support part of their site, and had a new motherboard put in last Tuesday.

And it worked! For two days, or until I shut the system down for the first time. When it woke back up, out of nowhere it was freezing constantly, there were constant access violation errors, programs (most particularly Windows Explorer) would stop responding and need to be closed -- nightmare. Dell taught me that the Fn + Power when booting up puts you in supermajorheavyduty diagnostic mode, so we did that and discovered that my hard drive was failing tests left and right. Okay, so they put in an order for a new hard drive.

Sometime yesterday it occurred to me to run a CHKDSK/attempted repair on it. BRILLIANT! It found 162 bad sectors, dozens of bad clusters, jillions of orphaned files... the result of force-powering-off my laptop hundreds of times, I guess. It's working (for now), though it did just freeze on me. =/ Also yesterday Dell canceled my order for the disk with WIndows on it and shipped me a blank hard drive without asking if I had the OS disk. I don't.

So today the technician came and I was forced to send him away because lol it's ALMOST working right now, I don't want to put a formatted hard drive in the damn thing and then sit on my thumbs for two days while waiting for the Windows install disk. AUGH. Also apparently swapping hard drives on this thing is a royal goddamn pain that requires going down through the keyboard. The M1530 had two screws holding the hard drive in. TWO SCREWS.

I just wanna play video games, guys :(

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