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  • Status: Solved
  • Priority: Medium
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Laptop crashes, machine slow, video driver crashes or goes black, normal.dot replaced

I have a sony VGN-S260P laptop running XP with all security patches. I am an IT professional however this one has got me and I have no idea what is going on. My laptop crashes several times a day at random times. It will just freeze or the vid driver makes my screen unreadable and jumbled or blacks out. Occasionally I will get a mesage that my Normal.dot has been changed and do I want to save it. I always say no. This to me has always been an indicator of a virus but I am running McAfee Virus Scan with updates, HijackThis, SpyBot and still can't find anything on my machine. I have switched out the vid driver to multiple versions with no luck but the Normal.dot replacement makes me think this is a virus,trojan, etc. I have also checked my Sys32 dir and everything seems fine. I am lost.....little help. Thanks -Chris
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1 Solution
Normal.dot is a part of Microsoft Word. Info here:


If it becomes corrupted, it can cause errors:


Sort out the Word issue before addressing anything else, as it may be the cause of your problem.

More info here:


Good luck!
Your video driver is not likely the cause of your video issues, it is most likely a hardware problem, a bad screen or motherboard.  I work in an IT service department for 2000 laptops and we see 1-3 laptops a day with critical hardware failure relating to the monitor or motherboard concerning video problems (the computers are between 0-4 years old).  It is likely your harddrive given the symptoms you describe.

You may also have a dying hard drive (causing the slowness), running a BIOS level hard drive scan is recommend to verify you don't have bad sectors, we see between 1-10 complaints a day for this kind of issue.  Your computer is about that age when things like this happen, if you still have a valid warrenty it would be best to send it in for service.  If you don't, verify if it is hardware, in someway, and figure out the precise cause.  If it's hardware, with the age of your computer it might be best to reinvest, or if you can't find any problems a format reinstall might solve your problems, (that's our one solution fixes all for software problems that can't be solved).  Hope this help.
Sorry to repost, first paragraph last sentence above

correction:  It is likely your motherboard given the symptoms you describe concerning video.

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