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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Sup ppl?
I got a serious problem with my Toshiba Qosmio G35 AV650.
After playing Crysis and CoD4 demos, I wanted to play Gears of War. I installed it successfully, and launched the game.
After about a few seconds, ma laptop seized up, with some bright red colour boxes on the screen. I plugged it out and removed the battery, then turned it on again.

Immediately as I booted, I saw some green vertical lines on the screen, but in the section where I can select Safe Mode and so on, didn't have the vertical lines, but some of the letters had a flashing white box around them. I tried to load windows normally, the boot screen with the scrolling thing had the vertical lines again, then after the boot screen, the BSOD flashed, then the laptop restarted.

I tried to start in Safe Mode and it worked, but the vertical lines were still there. The Display Setting didn't have any information about my video card, but in the properties I saw VGASave. I went to I checked device manager and saw Standard VGA, I went to the properties and roll back drivers, then restart.

The laptop started normally, with the lines. But strangely, I could still go up to 1900 x 1200 resolution at 32 bit, and I even played videos okay (I didn't try any games though), but in the Display Setting, it still showed VGASave enabled. I disabled it (my God) and restarted, Safe Mode or Normally wouldn't start, the BSOD just flashed. I connected it to an old monitor and boot up the laptop and it re-enabled VGASave.

I tried booting without the two hard drives and the vertical lines were still there. I installed some newer nVidia drivers and the PC would boot normally, but after the boot screen, the entire screen is black with no lines, and it seems the PC isn't seized up. I still cleaned the drive and reinstalled XP, no help.

I looked in the resources tab for VGASave and it showed some conflicts with what appears to be an Intel onboard video card, at Root Poor 27A. Maybe this is the problem, but I was thinking that maybe the video drivers in the CMOS got currupted somehow. Can you people help me out please? (assuming you've read this far)

I assume Gears of War will have some probs, since it's a console port. If you need anything else just ask.
Specs:
Processor: Intel Core Duo T2500 / 2 GHz
RAM: 1 GB DDR2
Graphics: nVidia GeForce Go 7600 256 MB GDDR3, PCI Express x16
Motherboard: Mobile Intel 945PM Express

Thanks in advance guys. I hope I can get my awesome laptop working again :(

-Des
 

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Simply put; laptops are NOT gaming machines. You can cram them with insane hardware but that insane hardware puts out insane heat which is the enemy of computing hardware. It's possible that the heat may have done something. Turn the laptop off completely and let it rest for a few hours. Power it up and check for oddities.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It isn't an issue with overheating. Everest is always on and monitoring all hardware, and the laptop is on a 17 inch cooling pad with fans. The laptop has been off for a few days and still no difference. And wouldn't a sophisticated machine like that shutdown if the GPU happened to overheat?
That ain't the problem, the laptop crashed after I launched Gears of War, it couldn't of overheated and crash at the same time. I didn't even see a video or anything play.
It's either the GPU is damaged (which i seriously doubt, cause launching Gears of War can't do that, right?) or I strongly think the video card drivers built in the motherboard, or the motherboard drivers are corrupted somehow.

-Des
 

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Immediately as I booted, I saw some green vertical lines on the screen, but in the section where I can select Safe Mode and so on, didn't have the vertical lines, but some of the letters had a flashing white box around them.
I'm not a laptop guy (never owned one... gasp!) but you are having display problems when no drivers are loaded. That can't be a driver problem. There are no Windows drivers loaded until after the screen where you can select safe mode. The only video software involved before Windows loads the display driver is the video BIOS. I've never seen a video BIOS die in my experience so I'm afraid you have some kind of hardware problem. About the only thing you could do is try to flash your video BIOS but I'm not sure how you do that on a laptop (some googling should help there) and it's unlikely to help. More likely something overheated while gameplaying and damaged the hardware. There is some (extremely) slim possibility that main RAM is causing the problem rather than your video RAM so I'd run MemTest86 to exclude the possibility of bad motherboard RAM.

VGAsave shows up whenever Windows is running a generic display driver rather than one specific to your video card. You'll see that in safe mode and whenever Windows doesn't have a driver specific to your video hardware (which includes when the video hardware is damaged and isn't fully recognized).

Vertical lines and flashing text characters tend to be a problem with video RAM. Your video RAM (I assume) is a separate 256MB rather than being borrowed from motherboard RAM. I don't know laptops but that 256MB is probably soldered to the motherboard rather than being socketed which makes it very tough to fix. If the video RAM isn't socketed (pretty likely) then I'm afraid you'll have to send it to the manufacturer to get it fixed.

Before sending it to get fixed, you might want to get a second opinion. I have no laptop experience so I'm assuming that the boot sequence is the same as a desktop. On a desktop (and I'd assume on a laptop) this is definitely not a driver problem. It looks like hardware. Sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks UncleMacro for the in dept reply.
I'll try the MemTest suggestion.
I was looking to flash the GPU's BIOS, but it seems complex, because some of the BIOS info. for the GPU is in the main BIOS and almost impossible to extract.

But remember, I DID NOT play Gears of War, I just clicked the exe, so it's not like a level loaded and stressed the GPU. Also, I could start windows normally and it still said VGASave was running, and I could play videos, no video lag such as lagging while dragging folders was present, and I could still go to 1920 x 1200 resolution, so it can't be VGASave doing all that. That's why I say it might be some driver in the motherboard or something. Or maybe even the motherboard drivers need updating.

I just don't wanna carry it to a technician or say the GPU is physically damaged until I did all I can.


-Des
 

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Given that you've got screen corruption before any Windows drivers are loaded, I wouldn't spend time worrying about how it happened. Hardware has to die sometime and it doesn't always happen at points of maximum stress (although that's a lot more common). The only software which could cause your screen corruption would have to be burned into flash somewhere in the machine and that doesn't (at least in a desktop) involve any Windows drivers. I don't have any laptop experience but everything I've read regarding laptop BIOSs and drivers make them look the same as desktops (which makes sense). Screwing with Windows drivers isn't going to get rid of the corruption. I suppose it's possible that some BIOS code could have been hosed but I've only heard of that happening when people were in the process of flashing a BIOS. Flash chips are pretty well protected against accidental flashing. Other than some BIOS code I don't see anything which would cause your kind of screen corruption other than hardware. In googling around, I've seen people using the same old utilities to flash laptop video BIOSes that are used for desktops so it looks more or less the same. All you can really do is try to flash the motherboard and VGA BIOS but that looks like the only software which could affect your corruption. Toshiba has motherboard BIOSs for your machine. You'll have to ask some laptop experts if that also includes the VGA BIOS. I'd assume they're stored in the same flash chip. There's no reason to have one flash chip for the video card and another for the motherboard. Toshiba might be able to tell you if their motherboard BIOS includes the VGA BIOS. Laptops video systems are supposed to be customizable by the laptop maker (although they rarely do) so their motherboard BIOS might include the VGA BIOS along with it.

Regarding VGASave, it's not limited to 640x480 and 4 bits/pixel. My ancient Radeon 9700 Pro comes up in safe mode at 1024x768 and 32 bits/pixel. With a fast CPU it can do perfectly serviceable video decoding and run things just fine until you try to kick into 3D mode. I don't see that it's important in your situation but a fast CPU and a dumb high-bandwidth frame buffer (VGA mode) can actually run all of Windows just fine except for 3D stuff. And VGASave shows up whenever it can't recognize the video hardware which can happen with damaged GPUs.

I'd just concentrate on the least complicated problem: the corruption, because it happens before Windows loads and starts making things complicated. Nothing you do to Windows is going to affect corruption which appears in the powerup screens. If you can't fix it by reflashing the BIOSs (and that probably won't make any difference) then I'd think it has to be hardware.
 

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It's nothing to do with Gears of War. It's the graphics chip. Have a look at this: http://www.pcworld.com/product/userreviews/id,28965/toshiba_qosmio_g35av650.html

I only found this, because I have an identical problem to yours. The prognosis is not good, I'm afraid. The chip is soldered onto the motherboard and is prone to overheating and frying, in some cases even frying the motherboard along with it.

I have completely uninstalled the Nvidia display adapter drivers and let Windows go into the default 800 x 600 VGA mode. (This avoids having to F8 and choose the worse 480 x 640 VGA mode. But you can only do this by uninstalling the Nvidia drivers.)

However, when I boot up, I need to immediately press Function F5 a number of times to get the screen to come on at all. This tells me straight away that it is a hardware problem. Not to mention the vertical blue lines on the Windows logo page... *sigh!*

I will be seeking compensation from Toshiba... I'm probably wasting my time, but I'm really p*ssed!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Well I had BIOS Version 3.3 installed on the laptop, then I tried installing Version 1.4, but after a few minutes I got an error saying the BIOS Downgrade failed. I clicked okay, then in less than a minute, all the lines just vanished. I then installed the video drivers and it all worked perfectly.
I restarted it and there were no graphical problems. But after about an hour, the lines began flickering, and now they are back again, and they seem to be permanent. It could very well be a partially fried GPU, or maybe it still is software based. This really is frustrating.

Here are two more pics:




-Des
 

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I've had the computer checked professionally now. It's definitely the graphics chip (BGA - Ball Grid Array). They told me to start looking for a second-hand motherboard... yeah, sure!

Anyway, in the meantime, I came across this company who say they can replace the BGA (even though it's soldered to the motherboard) for between $250 and $325. Their website is: http://www.laptoprescuer.com.

I've asked them a few more questions via email, though, before proceeding and I'm awaiting their answers.

Martin
 

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Oh, and by the way, my problem was also intermittent. One day it's screwed, the next day it worked fine, reinstalled the drivers, no problem, but then after a time, it went stupid again. I suspect a "dry joint," i.e. one of the soldered pins of the chip is faulty OR the video RAM is faulty. Either way, it appears that the chip needs replacing.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hey man, what ever happened to your laptop?
I brought mine to a Toshiba certified service center. They said the GPU is dead and i need a new motherboard for 700 dollars because the GPU itself cannot be fixed!
 
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