Computer Screen Blanking, each time with a solid color

Posted on 2009-02-23
Last Modified: 2013-11-22
I'll try to make this quick hopefully before my laptop blanks again.  I've got a Toshiba A200 laptop running Vista home premium, and tonight it just started to instantly freeze the screen in a solid color.  I haven't had a problem with my computer before, mainly because I've got a program called Deep Freeze running on it.  In short, I have two hardrives partitioned.  One that is "frozen" with my operating system and permanent program files on it.  The other one is "thawed" and where my files are located (mainly, the documents folder).  I don't have any anti virus software slowing down my computer because if I do pick up something, I simply restart my computer and it goes back to the latest frozen state that I've set.
However, I've noticed a slight change in my administrator user profile recently and if you read my other open question I've been trying to fix that.
Anyway, does anyone have any information on a potential virus that freezes the screen in a solid color that I might have on my thawed partition?
I'm in serious need of help, and appreciate all advice.
Question by:AlwaysInTrouble
    LVL 19

    Expert Comment

    by:Rob Hutchinson
    I'm guessing your problem is not with the hard drive software data since DeepFreeze prevents any changes made to the hard drive.

    Most likely you have either a hard drive problem, or another problem with your laptop hardware.

    Easy thing to try is to disable the DeepFreeze from freezing the computer for a few reboots and see if the problem still exists.

    I'd still load some trial AV/Spyware to scan it just to make sure too...

    If it's still doing the same thing unfrozen, and you can scan it clean...then it's likely you are experiencing some type of hardware failure of the video/systemboard on your laptop.

    LVL 19

    Expert Comment

    by:Rob Hutchinson
    or possible a hardware problem with the hard drive as well, run some diagnostics if you can.

    Author Comment

    As it seems that you know something about Deep Freeze, do you have any idea why my administrator user can change the date and time/ reinstall Skype when I'm in the thawed mode, YET, when I freeze it doesn't allow me to do these tasks and claims that I don't have administrator access.

    Meanwhile, I'm going to run some anti virus and malware to see what comes up.

    A google seach can up with this forum, with the same problem.

    Author Comment

    As well, I just went to check the temperature of my laptop.  The screen hasn't gone a solid color in a little while, since I've left it alone to run the malware scan.  As soon as picked up my laptop, didn't even touch the mouse, the screen blanked.

    Hope that helps.
    LVL 19

    Accepted Solution

    Regarding the first question:
    "do you have any idea why my administrator user can change the date and time/ reinstall Skype when I'm in the thawed mode, YET, when I freeze it doesn't allow me to do these tasks and claims that I don't have administrator access."

    The error may be Windows giving a general complaint about making it a change that it knows nothing about why it cannot perform the action. I'm guessing that you get the error on reboot?
    Just make sure that all changes are made in thawed mode, then freeze it after rebooting a couple of times. If you email Faronics about his, they may tell you that this is a known issue with Window's Vista...not sure though.

    Regarding the issue with your display blanking out:
    Can you attach an external LCD to the laptop and se if this blanks out as well?
    When this happens, it is likely one of three things:
    1) problems with the LCD
    2) problems with the laptop's onboard videocard
    3) problems with the systemboard itself.

    Just to double-check that this is a hardware type of problem, you can buy a cheap replacement 2.5" drive; swap laptop hard drive out with the replacment, then reinstall any OS back onto the replacment drive and watch it for a while seeing the blanking issue still occurs.

    As an alternative to trying to run your laptop from a replacment hard drive:
    1) try running the laptop in thawed mode for a while annd see if the issue still occurs.
    2) create a bootable thumb drive, and run your laptop from this for a while seeing if the display blanks out still.

    This should help you find out why the display is blanking out, but I'd guess( from seeing this happen before) that your problem is hardware not software.

    Author Comment

    Just an update, on the screen issue.  I let the malware and antivirus run during the night, and this moring the screen was still fine.  I'm not sure if this is a positive step, but we'll see later tonight if it continues to happen.

    If it does it again, I'll try to hook up a LCD monitor to the laptop and see if it does it again.  As well, as your other advice.

    Also, I've made the changes from administator->standard user -> administrator and made sure that I was thawed for a few reboots (similar to a windows update that requires a reboot).  However, it still continued.  Its as if it doesn't freeze it in.  Again, I'll take your advice and email Faronics about the issue as well.

    Author Comment

    I'm really not sure why, because nothing has changed, but I haven't had a problem with the screen since that day.  Thanks for the suggestions though.  I'll be back for more help if it arises again.

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