Laptop Freezing on Startup

nikhilmitta

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Hello,

My laptop has suddenly started to hang / freeze.
It first occurred when I was watching a video on YouTube.
There are frequently junk $ characters appearing before Windows starts loading.
Now the system regularly hangs when Windows is loading and I was unable to load Windows completely yesterday. Very often the frame freezes, or the screen goes blank (off).
I tried resetting the OS but I wasn't successful.

I have been told about the possibility of the GC being damaged due to heat (it is summer here) and was recommended to see if the issue persists after underclocking the GC

Hope some hardware enthusiasts at Tom's can zero down on the problem.

The laptop is an MSI GT 660 with an nVidia GTX 285M as the GC on Win 10 Pro

This laptop was once sent to repair after it suffered some kind of a short circuit but worked fine with the exception of Bluetooth. I don't think this has anything to do with the current problem

 

nikhilmitta

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As the sink is bulky, I avoid dismantling it as that would require a lot more work and the precise tools, apart from the thermal grease required to fill in. I have done some cleaning without removing the heat sink.

Win 10 Pro gives the option to reset the OS if it doesn't boot up properly. There is a separate option for System Restore, so I think this is different. It probably is a setting to restore to the first installation point.

I will try to clean around the sink as much as possible and reinstall the OS tonight and post the result.

Any other suggestions are welcome in the meanwhile.
 

nikhilmitta

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I didn't get you.
I will have disconnected the power supply before cleaning. How would the fan spin in this case?
Unless you mean spinning the fan manually which should not be a problem when off.
 

nikhilmitta

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Alright, what you say makes sense.

But I am sure I have rotated fans countless times before and haven't seen anything bad happen.

Anyway, I will post back later with some findings
 

nikhilmitta

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Managed to get Win 7 installed.
Everything was fine in the beginning and I was beginning to think it was a software issue.
But as soon as I installed the video driver and restarted the laptop, the problem returned. The OS hangs upon loading.
There were 3 components in the driver package that I installed and the last one failed to install correctly. I believe it was merely some nVidia utility that one could do without.

However, I can boot into safe mode and post this update.

EDIT
I managed to uninstall the driver and boot into normal mode.
I tried to install an older version of the driver that worked but got the same error as earlier



EDIT 2

There are some vertical lines being displayed which cannot be seen easily

 

nikhilmitta

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It is definitely not a hard disk issue though the HDD has seen better days.
The latest findings I posted above should be convincing enough to rule out any problem with HDD
 

nikhilmitta

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Leave it and get a new device???
I don't accept defeat that easily!
The laptop is in a usable state. I am just stuck at 1024*768 instead of 1366*768. Youtube seems to run fine but playing videos seems a bit jerky to me. Obviously I can't play games but my machine isn't exactly the latest and greatest so I don't care.
I want to fix the resolution first and I have come up with some ideas:

1. I think the driver is causing the GC to raise its clock speed but the GC is unable to do so because of some damage.
Can you suggest a tool that will help me set some sort of a limit beyond which the GPU clock will not rise during boot up?
2. Can I try a legacy driver provided by Windows? That may be less taxing on the GC and help boot up.
3. What about using linux? that's my last resort but if that helps restore the resolution.

I hope someone can come up with some answers to these questions or make alternative suggestions
 

nikhilmitta

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This does not have an IGP, just the nVidia card.
I have already tried to install the driver from Windows using Device manager, but it looks like Windows installs the same driver used by nVidia.

I will try the MSI Afterburner you recommended. Any further advice regarding using this tool? Does it require the driver to be pre-installed? If that is required then this software or method itself is useless in this case...

I will also try to install some Linux / Android distro and see if I can get the card to behave.
 

nikhilmitta

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Update:

I tried using Remix OS but could barely exit the command line interface when the screen descended into black and white bands with multicoloured pixels all over the screen and froze.

Regarding the junk characters, it is impossible to read what is on the screen when it goes into command line prior to booting linux.
Ccould it be faulty RAM (Someone told me it was a RAM problem when I had a similar issue with a desktop)

EDIT
Link to the screenshot showing linux booting up with junk characters

https://spiky.io/912





 

nikhilmitta

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I will use memtest and get back.

I have installed the Afterburner tool and I don't see any readings at all. The graph shows the CPU reading but there is nothing much to see as the readings are all zero.

Even in the options, my GC is not detected by the software. It is "GPU1"instead of 'nVidia GTX 285M'

Any suggestions?



 
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