Laptop screen display

Hi

I am having a problem with a Dell D630 laptop.  It works fine until after about 1 1/2 hours when the screen goes all patchy - can see some parts but not all.  I can't get windows to display properly or any other programs.  Whenever this happens there is a message that appears but I can't read it - I click the ok button (can just about see this) and the message goes and then comes back,

I then have to reboot the laptop and it works fine again for an hour or 2.  At first I thought it must be a hardware fault occurring once the laptop had heated up but not sure now as works ok after a reboot.  Now I'm thinking it must be the OS instead but don't want to reinstall without being sure.

Anyone got any suggestions with this and the best way to go about troubleshooting.  Would it be worth me speaking to Dell first?

Thanks for any help.
blackadder999Asked:
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mycarefreepcConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Good idea.  Lucky to have another model laying around!  Let us know any updated results.  If it doesn't happen in the new laptop, it's hardware (obviously) and your only option at that point is to try to update the drivers and hope that works, otherwise I have a few contacts that will perform a hardware diagnostic and replace any failing resistors or capacitors, pretty inexpensive compared to a new laptop.
I would also strongly advise against trying to replace the thermal paste on the laptop CPU unless you are very comfortable working with laptop processors and removing things. Generally, most of the laptop needs to be dissassembled for you to do that.
 
Best regards,
Brian
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mycarefreepcCommented:
It does sound very hardware related as in your video memory is becoming corrupted.  Is it pretty consistent after an hour and half each time or does it vary?  Are you doing anything consistent when that happens (surfing internet, video, music?).
My first thought would be to go to http://support.dell.com and go to the Download Drivers section.  Enter your service tag, scroll down to the video/graphics section and download the correct drivers for your video card (if you're not sure, you will have to check your card in the display properties, let me know if you need me to tell you how to do that).
Install the new drivers, reboot, and give it a go.  
 
Best regards,
Brian
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nobusCommented:
i would open the laptop, and do a good cleaning ; probably dust and paper particles are blocking fans and vents.
you can also try to repalce the cpu heat paste, if the cpu temp runs too high.
if you want to monitor the temps, use speedfan :  http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php      

you can also check where the problem lies with an external monitor
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greg_vanderCommented:
Hi

if it's not a graphical problem I would check if there's no virus.
best thing to test a lot of thinks in one shot : launch the laptop with a live cd like knoppix.
just let us know.
brgds
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blackadder999Author Commented:
Thanks everyone, will try all of these options.  At the moment I have have swapped the HDD to an identical model and have both laptops being used so I can determine if it is hardware or software.
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blackadder999Author Commented:
Well the swap over helped find the problem.  The replacement laptop with the original HDD encountered the screen problem still so it must be software related.  We use a standard image on these machines so I backed up all data and re-imaged it.

Just have to wait and see now if the problem returns now but i doubt that it will.  Thanks a lot for all your suggestions and advise.  Much appreciated.
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mycarefreepcCommented:
Sounds like you're probably in the clear now.  Really odd problem to be software related... Good luck!
 
Best regards,
Brian
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