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Advent 5401 laptop screen problem

oldmanhouse

Active Member
Hi all

I've been given a laptop* by my friend to have a look at as it's got some sort of problem with the screen. So, here's the symptoms:

- Screen doesn't always display a picture. Sometimes it does, sometimes it just displays a grey screen (sometimes grey on one half, white on the other)

- When the picture doesn't show up, it's straight away from when you press the ON button (BIOS screen, POST screen aren't shown and neither is anything from then on).

- Laptop can output through DVI and S-Video. It's fine hooked up to a CRT TV using S-Video and a bit flaky when hooked up to my VGA monitor through DVI (using an adapter to convert the DVI out into VGA). Not sure if that's just my monitor though...

- It's given a BSOD before.. It reported "BAD_POOL_HEADER" and gave this file: nvlddmkm.sys at the bottom of the error screen. An Nvidia file from what I gather...


What I've done:

~ Using my TV as a screen (via S-Video), I've gotten into the recovery menu. Windows Memory Diagnostics reported no problems (I'm in the process of trying Memtest86+ atm to confirm that finding).

~ Tried System Restore which apparently failed but when I booted into normal Windows, it had actually done the restore (?!). Made no difference though.

~ Uninstalled the video adapter drivers in safe mode and installed the latest ones from the Nvidia website. Didn't help - the laptop actually restarted when the installation was almost complete on one occasion (but that might've been when it was installing the standard Windows display driver.. I can't remember).

Now, the whole BSOD thing makes you think it's a driver issue but I'm not so sure because I've tried reinstalling the drivers which didn't help and also the fact that even the BIOS won't show up on the screen.
With that in mind, I'm thinking it's a hardware issue but what could it be? GFX card? Motherboard -> LCD cable? The LCD itself?
From what I've read about LCD inverters, I don't think it's that as the screen sometimes shows up fine - not dimly or without a backlight..

Anyone got any suggestions? Don't really want to fork out the cash for one particular spare part unless I'm sure that part is causing the problem...

*Specs:
ADVENT 5401 (was Vista but upgraded to Windows 7)
CPU Intel Core 2 Duo T5550 (1.83GHz)
Chipset Intel 965GM Express
Memory 3GB DDR2 667MHz SODIMM (2 memory slots. Max 4GB) *
Hard Drive 250GB
Screen 15.4" Widescreen TFT (1280x800)
Video Card nVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS 256MB (upto 1023MB with TurboCache)
 

anonymoose

Active Member
Was it an upgrade to Win7 or a clean install?

If there is an old version of the nvlddmkm.sys file on the machine it will be causing the BSOD.

Not sure if you've googled sufficiently to come across this?

1. I uninstalled all my nvidia drivers and deleted the nvidia directory.
2. I started in safe mode because the problem was getting so bad that I couldn't even open explorer before the driver failed.
3. I found nvlddmkm.sys and renamed it to nvlddmkm.sys.old as mentioned.
4. I installed the latest driver, which at the time of me writing this was 195.62 WHQL
5. I restarted and it works great.

Source

I'd let Win7 Update find and install the relevant driver
 

oldmanhouse

Active Member
Was it an upgrade to Win7 or a clean install?

If there is an old version of the nvlddmkm.sys file on the machine it will be causing the BSOD.

Not sure if you've googled sufficiently to come across this?



Source

I'd let Win7 Update find and install the relevant driver

It's been working ok for the past few hours so I'll try that. I did come across some info like that but forgot to bookmark it :rolleyes:

def not driver had reread your post sounds like faulty ribon cable or bad screen.

I'm thinking fault ribbon cable or faulty gfx card.. If the cable was bad I don't think this would cause the BSOD so maybe it could be the card itself.
As said above, the laptop has been working ok for the past few hours (touch wood!) so will see how it goes..
 

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