Flashing Screen On Bootup

Discussion in 'Alienware' started by NickKmet, Jan 25, 2010.

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  1. NickKmet

    NickKmet Notebook Consultant

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    ok guys, so I have an interesting problem for you. I have a feeling this should be in the GPU sub-forum, but since my laptop is an Alienware, I thought I'd just ask here first.

    System Specs:

    M17x Alienware laptop
    CPU: Intel Core2 Duo CPU P8600 @ 2.40GHz
    GPU: nVidia GTX260M (stealth mode 9400M)
    RAM: 4GB DDR3 (in 2 modules)
    BIOS: A03

    This issue occurs in two instances: 1) when i boot my computer up after leaving it off for several hours, and 2) when i wake it up from sleep after leaving it in sleep for an extended period of time.


    Essentially, when I boot it up, everything loads up fine up until Windows 7 asks me to log into my profile. The BIOS screen goes by, and the Windows loading screen loads up. As soon as windows loads, the screen will flash the login page for a split second, go to black, and then begin flashing a series of colors. The entire screen will flash Red, then Blue, then Green, then White, and then Black and then continue to cycle through indefinitely. The same thing happens when I wake my laptop up from sleep, though it just goes to the flashing colors immediately.

    Now, I can get past this issue if I just do a cold boot of my computer (it usually goes away after 1-2 boots). I've seen elsewhere on the web that this means my GPU is fried - but I've never seen anyone else being able to get past this issue.

    So essentially I just need some advice. I do plan to call Dell (and they'll probably have me call Alienware) in a few days when I'm on a short break from college and am at home, but I figured asking here first couldn't hurt.

    Does anyone have any ideas what this problem could be? I've tried re-installing my graphics drivers, etc. to no avail. On a side note, this issue does not show up if I'm defaulted to the 9400 M instead of the GTX260M.

    I do know about the current issues that Alienware users seem to be having with nVidia cards, and I am getting 66k latency spikes every 15 seconds or so. I doubt my issue is related, but you never know.

    Thanks,

    Nick.
     
  2. Wattos

    Wattos Notebook Deity

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    Well, it does sound like something is wrong with your gfx card. Did you already try reinstalling the OS. Thats what Dell will probably tell you to do in the first place. If you did, then its most likely something wrong with your gfx card.

    Just call dell.
     
  3. NickKmet

    NickKmet Notebook Consultant

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    Well, I haven't tried re-installing Windows 7 yet, but I'll have to give that a go. I'm currently creating a full backup of my computer so that I won't lose everything if I go that route.
     
  4. BatBoy

    BatBoy NBR Community Moderator

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    As Wattos suggested, call Dell - this sounds like a definite hardware issue. You have the warranty coverage, let them deal with it.
     
  5. Migglypuff

    Migglypuff Notebook Enthusiast

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    do you still have your resource disk? If so go to the BIOS, change the boot menu to boot from disk and run some diagnostic tests with it. The resource disk contains some diagnostic tests that can help you troubleshoot your hardware. This could probably save you time, since it will give you an idea if anything is wrong with the hardware. The BIOS has a hardware diagnostic tool as well but it's not as in-depth as the one included in the resource disk. I would suggest trying this first before reinstalling the OS since that's a pain.
     
  6. meeowth

    meeowth Notebook Geek

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    Giving an error code from the 32 bit diagnostics is the magic bullet to getting the rep on the phone to send you a replacement part, no fuss or troubleshooting involved. Just say "my service tag is this and the error code from 32 bit diagnostics is this".
     
  7. NickKmet

    NickKmet Notebook Consultant

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    Huh. I'll have to try the disc diagnostics. I didn't realize those were there. I did the on board BIOS diagnostics, and nothing came up. I'll let you guys know.
     
  8. NickKmet

    NickKmet Notebook Consultant

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    Okay, so I ran into a problem while trying to run the diagnostics utility from the boot disk. It appears to be hanging on "Loading DRMK version 8.00." Anyone have any idea on how exactly to fix this?

    As I understand it, this is supposed to be a hidden partition on my HD, so perhaps mine is missing?
     
  9. Jakkarus

    Jakkarus Notebook Consultant

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    Are you trying to boot from the Resource DVD? If so you don't need the backup partition. I had wiped the HDD on my bad 2 M17x's and the diags always booted up just fine. Have you tried booting it on the 9400M yet? The diag program does use graphics so try the 9400M and see if it works and if it does call Dell and tell them what's happened.
     
  10. NickKmet

    NickKmet Notebook Consultant

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    I was doing it from the Resource DVD, which is why I'm confused that this issue could be happening. I'll try switching to the lower graphics and see if that changes anything.
     

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