Have an circa 2005 Dell D610. When Win 7 was released, I installed a fresh copy of Win 7 Ultimate for testing and learning. (yes Win 7 ran OK on this older PC). After about 7 or 8 months of use, the PC started crashing. Static or scratching would come from the speakers , the display would go dark, and the PC seemed dead\stuck. After rebooting, sometimes it would come right back and be fine, and sometimes it would boot me past the log in screen and then give the static\scratchy sounds and die. If I let it set for a few weeks or a month...sometimes it would come back and be fine, but eventually the issue would return. All of my hardware testing and SMART info indicated no problems.
I threw a brand new drive in it and loaded XPP 32bit. Same thing...it would work for awhile...then scratchy sounds...and die. Seemd to do better in safe mode, but eventually the symptoms would return and it would crash. Tried booting to a Knoppix Live CD, and it would not load. A UBCD4Win CD would load but the task bar displayed funny. If I boot to the BIOS it will stay up all day.
Obviously this is a hardware issue...possibly bad mobo or RAM. The UBCD4Win and preboot diagnostics seem to clear it being a RAM issue, but I still need to find some spares stick to see if changing the RAM fixes issue. Again, I'm thinking it must be the mobo or the integrated graphics chip. Given the static symptoms, I suppose it could be the on board sound card. The laptop is not a critical PC to me and I'm just geeking out here trying to learn from the issue. The laptop can't be worth more that $ 75 - $ 100 assuming it works, so I'd hate to put a lot of $$$ into it buying a used mobo only to find out that the issue still exists.
Any thoughts? THANKS in advance!!