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Chronic problem with laptop, seems to be no fix. Please help

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Joined: 28 Nov 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:01 pm    Post subject: Chronic problem with laptop, seems to be no fix. Please help Reply with quote

When plugged into the mains, my laptop freezes whilst in games. This doesn't happen when it's running off the battery, oddly enough. When it is plugged in though, the screen freezes with no movement, sound turns from in-game sounds (such as music) to a constant buzzing sound which changes pitch. I cannot get out of this any other way than manually restarting the computer. I've sent it off to Dell numerous times to no avail (see below).

Here is a video, if it helps any: Dell XPS 15 issue - YouTube

Dell XPS 15 (L502x)
2.00 Ghz Intel Core i7-2630QM
Nvidia 540M graphics card
750GB (7200RPM)
Windows 7 64bit


  • Re-installed windows.
  • Re-installed games.
  • Re-installed all drivers, etc.
  • Got an entire new laptop motherboard from Dell.
  • Cooled down the PC with a new fan and heat sink from Dell, purchased a separate fan that goes under the laptop to keep the temperatures as low as possible.
  • Got a new hard drive from Dell.
  • Purchased new RAM.
  • Given a new battery pack (also tried different plug sockets, etc).
  • Dell employee fiddled with my power settings as well as my Nvidia settings.

A while back Dell fixed a broken connection in the laptop screen. He said that if they've not fixed it properly, there could be a component error which causes the screen to "send weird messages to the processor, causing it to freak out and stop working". Not sure if this has any merit whatsoever, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Any help at this point is appreciated, I've done everything I can think of, thanks in advance!
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Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 813
Location: Morecambe

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nVidia graphics on a laptop. I think thats your problem

Symptoms suggest a faulty or overheating graphics chip - is it onboard or on a separate card?
As a rule nVidia chips in laptops still seem to be a reliability issue. Not as bad as they were, but there still seems to be problems with the low-temperature solder they use, cracking.
Make sure the thermal pads and heat pipe are properly attached to the chip, and that the fan works, it may just be overheating
However I think you need a new graphics chip - which means either a new card or new motherboard depending on how the machine is built
Computer Support for home and small business in North Lancashire, South Lakeland and the Dales
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