Help! M90 video issues

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Help! M90 video issues

  • I have a Dell M90 notebook computer.
     
    Recently I've noticed the computer would pause for a second or two, then go right back to working. I didn't immediately pursue the cause.
     
    Now it's getting to where the computer not only pauses, but when it does the screen goes black (like it has no power) for about 40 seconds. Although it looks like it has paused and the screen is black, the hard drive light continues to blink and show activity. Then it comes back on and quickly catches up to any keystrokes/mouse clicks I may have done through frustration while the screen was off.
     
    This morning I woke up and moved my mouse to turn it on (I turn on the '1min monitor turn off' at night) but it didn't turn on. I turned it off and back on, and noticed during the Dell boot splash screen there were rows of dots all over the place. The dots were also over the Windows logo. It wouldn't boot normally, so I booted into safe mode. I went to Bitdefender and Panda Software and got two online scans. Both found viruses (Bitdefender finding the offending file) and cleaned it all up.  I was then able to reboot normally and work most of the day, but I just had another pause where the screen went dark/off.
     
    Is there anything else I can do to diagnose what is causing this? It seems to be random, although it didn't happen while I was in safe mode.
     
    -Matthew


  • 3DPiper wrote:
    I have a Dell M90 notebook computer.
    Recently I've noticed the computer would pause for a second or two, then go right back to working. I didn't immediately pursue the cause.
    Now it's getting to where the computer not only pauses, but when it does the screen goes black (like it has no power) for about 40 seconds. Although it looks like it has paused and the screen is black, the hard drive light continues to blink and show activity. Then it comes back on and quickly catches up to any keystrokes/mouse clicks I may have done through frustration while the screen was off.
    This morning I woke up and moved my mouse to turn it on (I turn on the '1min monitor turn off' at night) but it didn't turn on. I turned it off and back on, and noticed during the Dell boot splash screen there were rows of dots all over the place. The dots were also over the Windows logo. It wouldn't boot normally, so I booted into safe mode. I went to Bitdefender and Panda Software and got two online scans. Both found viruses (Bitdefender finding the offending file) and cleaned it all up. I was then able to reboot normally and work most of the day, but I just had another pause where the screen went dark/off.
    Is there anything else I can do to diagnose what is causing this? It seems to be random, although it didn't happen while I was in safe mode.
    -Matthew





    You're lucky that you have an M90. An M90 comes stock with a 3 Year Warranty. It sounds like you should contact Warranty Services and do the walk through with Tech Support so that they can officially assess your M90's problem and determine whether what needs to be replaced.
  • Well, I don't feel lucky. I'm right in the middle of a project and can't afford any downtime. I do all my work on this computer.
     
    Now the problem has progressed to a blue screen of death on normal boot. After a Dell splash screen with green dots and the Windows logo with green dots, it BSOD's on me with his error:
     
    PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA
    (etc)
    (etc)
    *** STOP: 0X00000050 (0XBBB0B64C, 0X00000000, 0X8052AC8C, 0X00000002)
    (etc)
     
    I can still boot safe mode (but can't get any work done). Memory? Video card?
     
    EDIT: I pulled out each of my 2G memory sticks one at a time. It still booted with green dots, then errored out saying the memory had been changed. I assume it isn't the system memory (although it was hot).
     
    -Matthew


    Message Edited by 3DPiper on 07-31-2007 11:05 PM
  • If you Google "PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA", you'll find some Microsoft articles of what could be faulty, ranging from your RAM, CPU L2 cache, your hard drive, video memory, or other stuff.

    You should really get on the horn with Warranty services to have them walk you through all the Dell Diagnostics (that you've probably already done on your own), so that they can begin the warranty repair or replacement process.

    If (for whatever reason) you're not covered under warranty, the best thing you can do right now is concentrate on recovering the data on your hard drive. If you have a corrupt NTFS volume, or a defective hard drive, getting that information backed up is critical. You might want to explore getting a hard drive enclosure for your 2.5" SATA laptop hard drive, and then transferring the data off to another computer.

    Once you get your information backed up, then you can start figuring out how to get your M90 back up working. It sounds like you already tried isolating your RAM. Have you run the Dell Diagnostic tools during bootup? (i.e. pressing F12 during boot-up?)
  • I called the Gold tech support number.
     
    This computer has no warranty, because it never made it to it's original destination. And here I thought I was buying a new computer with warranty!
     
    So, I can't get a warranty. I have to figure this out myself.
     
    I'm thinking it's the video card. Does the Dell M90's video card share the system memory? If not, then a new video card may be all I need.
     
    Here is what I see when I boot up:
     
     
     
     
     
    Edit: ran the Dell Diagnostic tools, and in fact it DOES fail on the video memory test. I assume you can't just buy video memory, but have to buy a whole new video card, right?
     
     
     
    -Matthew


    Message Edited by 3DPiper on 08-02-2007 11:38 AM

    Message Edited by 3DPiper on 08-02-2007 11:50 AM
  • Yes. You'll have to order a new video card.

    You can call Dell Spare Parts to order one.
    In North America : 1-800-357-3355

    There are three cards available for the M90.
    Quadro FX 1500 256MB - equivalent to a GeForce 7900 GS 256MB
    Quadro FX 2500 512MB - equivalent to a GeForce 7900 GTX 512MB
    Quadro FX 3500 512MB - equivalent to a GeForce 7950 GTX 512MB

    You *could* buy and install the GeForce cards into your M90 if you wanted to, however if you're using your Precision Workstation for Open GL applications, you're better off getting the Quadros.
  • This is the identical problem I've had on my 2-1/2 year old M90. Dell has sent two replacement sets of motherboards and video cards (Quadro 2500), but after a few days the same problem happens again. Dell has sent me a whole new (refurbished?) M90. But has anyone figured out what causes this?
  • I hate to re-visit this thread (boy, do I ever), but my NVidia Quadro FX 2500M video card just went out AGAIN.. Same problem as before (video card memory error).. I blow the vents out and make sure all air flows are clean, is there something I'm not doing?
     
    I'm tempted to get another one because they are very good performance cards, but I see I also have the option of a Nvidia 7900GS.. It has half the memory (256M), but they claim it is a better performance card than the 2500.. Should I stick with the 2500, or get the faster 7900GS? Is the 7900GS in fact compatible with my M90?
     
    I can't believe I'm going through this again 6 months later.. :(
     
     
    EDIT: Wait, I went back and read the above posts.. Looks like its better to stay with the Quadro 2500..
     
    -Matthew
     
     


    Message Edited by 3DPiper on 01-25-2008 08:30 PM
  • Strange:
     
    while waiting for my new card to arrive, I rebooted my system out of safe mode (thinking it would stay in safe mode) but it rebooted normally.. Everything booted up fine into hi-res.. I rebooted again and went back into the dell system diagnostics to scan the video memory.. Now it says the video memory scans fine! What gives?
     
    -Matthew
  • Piper, I saw a Nvidia 2500 on ebay today. You might want to check it out. Maybe it is the engineer in me that needs to know the "why" of my old M90 failing three times in less than a month, but it has been on my mind near constantly since. This replacement M90 Dell sent has been working flawlessly, so no complaints there. And definitely no complaints in how Dell jumped immediately in trying to repair my old M90. They were great! But I can't help feeling that maybe it was something on my end that caused the problems... though I can't think of what it might have been. No virus's. No new software. No new hardware. No extra heat before they went out. The fans and heat exchanger were all clean. In fact this replacement runs slightly warmer than the old M90. Not hot, just a bit warmer. The computer swap was complete...entire old computer went back to Dell. I cloned my old harddrive in the new hardrive, so software should be identical as in the old M90. And it has been working beautifully for months now. Is there anything in the old hardware that could have kept destroying the videocards? Bad system memory? Bad anything? The computer was never dropped but was used daily several hours for Solidworks.
  • The only thing I can think is it may be heat related, although I keep the vents blown out from dust.
     
    Is there a laptop cooler that works well with the M90? With the memory in the middle and the vents on each corner, I would almost be better to make my own with the fans where I want them..
     
    -Matthew
  • Hi,

    A year ago , I had the exact same problem as you with my M90. A tech from DELL replaced the graphic card, motherboard, LCD screen. Nothing worked. At the beginning, it came with Win XP I upgraded it to Vista. A couple months after, the problems occurred. So I downgraded to XP and it worked for a week ! But after that, it never worked normaly; the screen did the same as your pics.

    They sent me a brand new M6300 instead (thanks to the warranty !).

    So, did you find the problem after one year ?

    Pascal

  • I've now got the same problem with my M90+Quadro FX 3500M, 2 months after the 3-year warranty ran out :-(  I'll try the diagnostics etc with my fingers crossed, then if needed try DELL support for more help. 

    Ian

  • In doing research on this problem on line for an hour or so, I have found HUNDREDS of people out there who are having this problem. And having it RECUR. Sometimes 5 minutes after the tech leaves, sometimes weeks later. Come on Dell, you are generating a lot of anti-Dell sentiment among a group of people who otherwise have been extremely loyal Dell customers. You need to get this figured out before your reputation is completely ruined. People are talking class-action lawsuits. Figure out a fix and take care of your customers like I know you can and normally do!

    A lot of us buy your products because they perform wonderfully, and your service is great. With this problem, however, it seems to be unfixable since it seems to recur so frequently, and renders useless the workstation that so many of us depend on for our living. Issue a recall. Service bulletin. Do SOMETHING to save your name in they eyes of all of your frustrated customers.

     

  • Hello all,

    I have a Dell M90, bought in 2007…and the warrenty ran out on 22nd May 2010…and hey presto, the computer has died on me last night – literally less than 2 weeks after the warrenty expired – thats a bit fishy isnt it? I have read similar posts on the net whereby peoples laptops are dying just after the warranty runs out!

    The laptop booted up fine yesterday, and when i went into photoshop to do some work, it blue screened on me, saying about memory issue. When i reboot, the windows loading screen has vertical dots in lines and in bands of 4 – a blue colour - like the matrix - i dont think i'm neo.

    Usage - 3d modelling/photoshop work - my laptop always gets really hot, so i use it with the back end elevated - using some blocks, which allows the hot air to escape a little.

    I will try running the diagnostics tonight, which seems the next thing to do - which i have learnt from the great people sharing on forums like this - so thanks in advance...

    I doubt Dell are going to want to help out now that the warrenty is gone…

    Any other advice would be great.

    Kind regards
    Jay