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Notebooks Is this a dead laptop graphics card, and now what?

Discussion in 'Tech Support' started by anotherusername, 17 Jul 2011.

  1. anotherusername

    anotherusername What's a Dremel?

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    My 3 year old laptop died today. Here's what happened:

    1. Due to a dodgy power lead connection, it switched to battery power (without me noticing, I was playing an old dos-box game at the time), which drained to 0% without warning (again probably because I was playing a game, so didn't see any notifications in windows) resulting in the whole thing loosing power suddently.
    2. I know this because on switching on again laptop seemed to be fine (after choosing 'start windows normally' on the improper shutdown screen), just with a 0% power indicator in windows. However, the screen soon first turned a rather sick green shade, then evertying froze in place - no response to anything except when I forced power off.
    3. Same thing on reboot.
    4. Booted into windows safe mode and updated graphics card driver in case that got corrupted or something in power off.
    5. Same thing on reboot.
    6. Left off for a while, to cool, see if that would help
    7. No such luck :waah: Instead on power-on nothing except a backlit blank black screen. No setup/bios/windows anything, but power is clearly on (fans on, screen is backlit - ie bit brighter than the black when it's switched off).

    So does this sound like the graphics card has failed? It's a laptop, but AFAIK it has a discrete laptop graphics card, not integrated. Can anything be done to bring this laptop back to life? (without spending a load of money - I didn't like it enough for that!) Or could it be something else?
     
  2. mrdanie

    mrdanie What's a Dremel?

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    Have you tried plugging in an external monitor? And did you say it works in Safe mode or it doesnt do anything at all?
     
  3. Blogins

    Blogins Panda have Guns

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    What's the make and model?

    Sounds like a video related problem however which can be a tricky fix!
     
  4. anotherusername

    anotherusername What's a Dremel?

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    Yes, I've tried with an external monitor - nothing coming up there.

    It did work in safe mode at first, but now doesn't show anything (above steps are in order, basically it rapidly got worse within a space of a few reboots).

    It's a Samsung Q70, I think it's got pretty similar spec to what's listed here: http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=3806
     
  5. mrdanie

    mrdanie What's a Dremel?

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    If something happened with the power and for some reason this damaged the card then like Blogins said it would be hard to repair, depending on the laptop. You said it wasn't integrated to the motherboard so it would be possible to replace if another one was available and you knew what you were doing. If an external monitor doesn't display anything on boot and you've toggled function keys etc id say it would need repairing..or get a new laptop, good excuse :)
     
  6. mrdanie

    mrdanie What's a Dremel?

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    Looking around the net it seems like there are a lot of problems with these 8 series mobile gpus, i found a post somewhere else with a very similar problem, no post or image with external monitor, but on occasion it works only for a minute or two, this seems to be a heating problem mainly. Seen some of the nVidia 8400M G 128mb on ebay, but they are going for £65+..
     
  7. Blogins

    Blogins Panda have Guns

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    Could have some options with the Samsung Q70. If it were me I'd disassemble the laptop and check that there's no obvious internal damage. If a clean and reapplication of TIM doesn't help (probably wouldn't!) then it's likely you have a fried 8400M G chip. As long as the circuitry is fine then the 8400M G chip itself can be replaced but that is a professional job!
     
  8. mrdanie

    mrdanie What's a Dremel?

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    Aye! Definately i'd only recommend trying to fix it if you REALLY know what your doing, laptops parts aren't as easy to replace a desktops, obviously :p. There are plenty of vids on youtube, but still be careful. Could be better to take it to a laptop repair centre, if you want to pay for it though, can't imagine it being cheap.
     
  9. stonedsurd

    stonedsurd Is a cackling Yuletide Belgian

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    G84 and G86 chips (including yours, I think) have issues where they randomly die or overheat. Call Samsung, mention that you know this is an issue with the particular chip you have and demand a replacement. If that doesn't work, you're a bit buggered.
     
  10. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    What your laptop, and what is your GPU? This is important for us to know, as there was a time where some faulty laptop Nvidia GPU was produced, and a recall and extended warranty was done by your manufacture.

    Lithium-ion batteries have a safety mechanism circuit on the battery that cuts the power when the battery is very low. This is done because if the battery is empty down to the last drop, you won't be able to recharge it anymore.

    Windows 7 and Vista feature a secondary system, called "Reserved power" in the power options, which is adjustable (default 7%). This option allows you to (at your choice): Sleep, hibernate (default), or execute a normal shut-down.

    So it only happens in Windows? If you stay in the BIOS screen, does it happen the same thing? If not, then it looks to me a driver issue. The problem is why does it happen in Safe Mode? Are you SURE you are NOT going in Safe Mode + VGA?

    You said that your battery was at 0% when you went back in Windows.. that should not happen. I think your whole laptop was faulty since day 1.

    If the GPU is fried, or the motherboard itself... it's in any case, a new laptop. GPU's are soldered on the motherboard except for select large and think gaming laptop, and select workstation laptops. A new board could easily cost 400-600$+ Because it has everything + the manufacture part tax to make a lot of money on you.

    How old is your laptop?
    I recommend people to always get a 3 year warranty with the laptop. BUT ONLY, directly with the manufacture. If it's from a retailer... might as well be nothing.
     
  11. mrdanie

    mrdanie What's a Dremel?

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    As he said before it is a discrete graphics card, not integrated therefore not soldered to the motherboard, googling the motherboard, laptop model and mgpu model you can see this. So if he was confident and could be bothered and willing to spend the time to get hold of and take the motherboard apart, it could probably be fixed. But its most likely an easier and more reliable option to just buy another laptop :lol:

    Also he said there is now no post screen, nothing, even on external, so it sounds like its a dead gpu :sigh:
     
  12. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    Laptop GPU's are soldered on, else it needs a separate heat-sink, and more thickness for the port. Also costs a lot more, because the motherboard needs to be even smaller to fit the card.

    Integrated means that it's part of the CPU or motherboard chipset... like Intel graphic solution
     
  13. Blogins

    Blogins Panda have Guns

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    Had a look at some blurry pictures and it does look like the GPU is directly attached to the motherboard!

    However I did find this...

    http://www.nvidiadefect.com/

    Not read much but it looks like a really good resource to try and get some compensation since this is a known defect that was never really put right. Surely worth sending a letter to the retailer or Samung to see what kind of response you get.
     
  14. mrbungle

    mrbungle Undercooked chicken giver

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    Not looked into that specific model but some nvidia cards are mounted on risers of sorts, all tend to be fairly unique to the models they fit however.

    Its pretty common for nvidia cards on lappys to go pop.

    If the chip is built in id flog it for what new ones cost.
     
  15. mrdanie

    mrdanie What's a Dremel?

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    Yeah but if he really wants it can be fixed. Ive fixed laptops, soldering isnt hard, but the gpu is as about as far as id go, if its descreet not an onboard chip. if its a card like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndfJde9Cqa0 it can be replaced, ive had quite a few laptops with those cards, even cheap laptops, its quite common. If it is actually a chip on the board thats a different story. Anyway most people will just want a new laptop rather than the hassle.
     
  16. Blogins

    Blogins Panda have Guns

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    These laptops we're beyond the thermal specification for their day to be honest. Just no way a CPU and GPU combination could be adequately cooled given the heat the older models pump out unless you live in a fridge! GPU failure is the main reason why older laptops with discrete graphics are best avoided on ebay. Although with discrete GPU laptops getting cooler it's just about time they could work properly from a thermal perspective! :thumb:
     
  17. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    Agreed.
    I also think, that this is why business class laptops, even the high end ones, don't come with an as powerful GPU as the gaming Home laptop, because these system needs to last minimum 3-4 years, and of course, be cool and quiet.
     
  18. mrdanie

    mrdanie What's a Dremel?

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    Personally if you want to game, get a desktop :p Laptops are for work or casual use :)
     
  19. anotherusername

    anotherusername What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks for all the suggestions and pointers.

    When I get the chance I'll open it up and see if there are any more clues, but I won't have my hopes up.

    I agree that laptops are not the best for gaming - though to be fair when I bought this one I was living on a ship sharing a small cabin, so didn't exactly have much choice.

    I'm tempted to build a new desktop pc and then get a tablet for when on the move...
     
  20. Blogins

    Blogins Panda have Guns

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    I don't understand why they were designed so poorly. Surely it wouldn't be that expensive to shut down the discrete graphics in the event of failure but still use the circuitry of video out relying on the CPU alone!
     

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