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View Full Version : g53sx weird stalling and lock ups + bonus



baxter411
03-26-2013, 09:23 AM
hello all-

i've had a pretty frustrating day with my laptop.

some background information:
-i only use this laptop for 1 game(guild wars 2)
-occasionally watch movies(more of a youtube viewer)

i bought this laptop in november of 2011 from tigerdirect as i had received a gift card to their website. it arrived just fine and i was able to do a fresh install of win7(64-bit) to remove all bloatware. all necessary drivers were installed.

flash forward to today. i play gw2 on a daily basis for about 3-5 hours a day. there's only been 1 BSOD since before today and an updated driver fixed that issue.

this morning i logged in and played routinely with no problems. i logged off for a few hours and when i came back, i BSOD'd and that was my cue to install the latest driver(314.22-released today). i thought all was well until i BSOD'd back to back to back to back. my first thought was maybe i was overheating, but my core temps read 40c idle/70c in game. my gpu temp reads 40c idle/80c in game. i used a compressed air canister to blow out a small amount of dust. i also throttled my fps to 30, reduced my textures to low and while i no longer experienced any blue screens, i would see weird artifacts in game and then i started to get some stalling/locking up. this is only when the gw2 client was up.

i ran whocrashed, a dxdiag, driversweeper(fresh audio/video driver installs), avg(nothing), malwarebyte(nothing). whocrashed pointed to an nvidia TDR, which i'm unsure of how to fix. just in case, i tried older driver builds, but the problem persists. now, the stalling is happening outside of the gw2 client. just navigating in firefox or chrome induces the screen flicker and redrawing.

at this point, i'm unsure whether it's a hardware or driver problem. it doesn't seem to be hardware as heat is within acceptable ranges and i'm no longer getting BSOD's(not a reliable litmus test, but still....). i ran fumark and all my temps were again, acceptable, yet the stalling occurs. i'm going to attempt a repaste tomorrow of the cpu/gpu and do a thorough cleaning, although i don't know what that will accomplish other than a few c lower idle temps. i'm currently defragging so we'll see if it's HDD related. i have not run memtest86, though i guess i should when i'm done defragging tomorrow.

is there anything else i should try before calling it quits? a fresh install won't do anything from other cases that i've read about. what really worries me is the random screen redrawing when my system is under any kind of stress, be it opening another program while navigating or just scrolling through pages on the internet.

oh, the bonus?
my e, g and h keys randomly stop working and i have to actuate them repeatedly for anywhere from 5seconds to 4minutes to get any response from them. it started happening about a year after i had the laptop. it's never been dropped and i take good care of it. should i order a new keyboard? i haven't touched the ribbon nor opened up the laptop yet.

sorry for the huge walls of text, but i figured if anyone could help, it would be here.

Thanks a ton!

Regards,
Chris

dstrakele
03-26-2013, 12:31 PM
You could boot up to a Linux "LiveCD" distribution to allow you to test if your video issues occur under a different OS. Since Linux runs from the CD, you won't need to alter anything on your HDD. If they don't occur, it's likely a Windows software problem. If they do, it's likely a hardware problem. You won't be able to run GW2, but can try to reproduce your issue by Browsing.

It's also a good idea to connect your laptop to an external monitor or HDTV to see if the video issues appear simultaneously on both your laptop display and external monitor. If they do, it's likely GPU or video driver. If not, it's likely LVDS cable, its connection, or your laptop display.

I've read of cases where uninstalled NVIDIA driver remnants caused video problems. Typically, an NVIDIA 'clean' install or cleaning up driver remnants after uninstallation by deleting them with Driver Sweeper from Windows Safe Mode is the solution. But it sounds like you already tried that.

Your key-specific issues indicate keyboard replacement is required to eliminate your Bonus Features.

BTW, a repaste is unlikely to significantly improve your current temperatures or resolve your video issues.

baxter411
03-26-2013, 04:32 PM
thanks dstrakele!

i don't have access to a linux livecd, but i will try to get my hands on one over the week.

if it's a software issue, where do you suggest i start(would a fresh install do anything for me?)? after i read about people with the same problems, solutions did not include a new install.

same for hardware? speaking of hardware, when i place my ear right on top of the keyboard, i hear a faint clicking that i swear i didn't hear before, like the fan is clipping on something like a small piece of paper. could be psychosomatic because i want to find something wrong, but i don't remember hearing that sound before. it is very faint.

as you suggested, i tried connecting to a few different external monitors and the stalling persists. i don't think it has to do with the actual lvds cable, as the stalling is not just a visual thing. my mouse becomes unresponsive, the keyboard stops working and nothing happens for about 2 seconds, which sounds like tdr.

while typing this, JUST typing, i got a stall and a small lockup where the screen did a redraw and i could not move my mouse nor use the keyboard for 2 seconds. does this sound like a software issue?

(i didn't think a repaste was necessary, but i'm at my wit's end and ruling everything out 1 step at a time would make me feel better)

a defrag didn't do anything, so i guess a memtest is next after i get off work.

thanks so much!

Regards,
Chris

[edit]
clicking the edit post cause a redraw. it's so bad it's almost funny...sigh

[edit2]
something disturbing that i didn't mention in my OP(it was near 3am and i'd been trying fixes for the better part of 8 hours) is that when my gw2 client is up, it will randomly minimize the game to desktop, stall 2 seconds, then maximize the window, all on its own without any user input. i tried to see if there are any processes that would interfere with my gaming, so i turned off all services through msconfig and it was still happening. very weird.

baxter411
03-27-2013, 05:25 AM
Ok another update-

After rolling back to a stable build(my only solution to the nvidia TDR) I was able to enjoy a few hours of error free gaming and browsing. My temps ran even lower than before without the fan kicking in, even under load.

As soon as I powered off my laptop, windows installed 2 updates and when I got home, started up gw2, I immediately got artifacts and a hard lockup that resulted in a BSOD with another TDR.

Is there a surefire way to fix this issue? I only see workarounds that involve messing with the registry, which I want to avoid and isn't really even a fix(not sure if it will allow gaming or watching videos even).

memtest results were normal. I'm leaning toward software issues at this point.

Regards,
Chris

dstrakele
03-27-2013, 04:49 PM
If I were in your situation, I'd try using Windows System Restore to restore your system to a time before the recent Windows Updates and see if that resolves your issue. Configure Windows Update to allow YOU to choose whether to download and install future updates.

If this fails to resolve your issue, you're moving closer to performing a clean Windows installation as a last software attempt to resolve your problem.

You can download the file necessary to create a Linux LiveCD to help confirm if you have a hardware or software problem before reinstalling Windows. See http://www.pendrivelinux.com/live-cd-repository/ and http://www.osnews.com/story/9569.

Another option is to get a disk image backup utility like Acronis True Image, backup the disk image of your current system, then reinstall Windows. If the issue persists, you'll know reinstalling Windows is not the answer and you'll be able to easily restore your current system.