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Windows 7: Spontaneous shutdown; now only works in Safe Mode

28 Jun 2012   #11
Typical Nerd

Windows 7 Professional 64Bit

Well... I thought I'd solved it. I did everything (how I thought was) sensibly; I first of all went into device management and downloaded and installed drivers for all of the unknown devices. I then started Windows Update running. I logged in and relplied to this thread and sat around for the updates to complete. I restarted the computer for the updates to take effect, and I got another black screen. I restarted, noticed I wasn't even allowed in safe mode anymore and chose startup repair. It failed, so I rebooted, went back into start up repair and had to add the drivers for the HDD again. Startup repair worked and I'm now on again (not safe mode) but I've no idea how long I've got until it breaks again. I guess I'll go as long as I can without turning it off so it doesn't break. While I was on the first time I saved an image of the computer on my D:\ drive, but that was also inaccessible. I'm going to take another image and put it on a USB stick for swift recovery.

Also, my computer is default to minimum resolution. I can change it but is it normal to default to minimum resolution? It doesn't seem right.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2012   #12
Microsoft MVP


The default (Microsoft) drivers don't allow much except the ability to get into the OS and to update the video drivers with those that support other resolutions.

First step is to get the latest versions of all the drivers on your system. The latest versions are most often available at the device manufacturer's website - not at the PC manufacturer's website, nor at Windows Update.
Don't use the update drivers function in Device Manager either - as it checks Windows Update.

You can find most drivers at my DRT (Driver Reference Table) located here: Driver Reference Table (DRT)
I developed this to help people locate drivers. It has links to the download locations for most common drivers.

To find the dates on the drivers either:
- run the jcgriff2 app that's a sticky at these forums - there's several driver listings in it (with dates)
- run the jcgriff2 app and look at the Software Environment...System Drivers to get the dates
- look at C:\Windows\System32\drivers - and sort all the .sys files (drivers) by date

Update the oldest one's first - some may not need to be updated - but let us know of any you find that are dated 2009 and earlier.

Post back about any drivers that you can't locate and we'll see what we can find.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2012   #13
Typical Nerd

Windows 7 Professional 64Bit

I haven't started with updating the drivers manually yet as I'm about to go to bed - I'll start that tomorrow. Just a quick update that after restarting to configure Windows Updates I'm now getting a BSOD loop with error code 0x0000116. Something related to video?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Jun 2012   #14
Microsoft MVP


Yep it's video. Here's a link to a troubleshooting topic for this error: STOP 0x116: VIDEO_TDR_ERROR troubleshooting
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jul 2012   #15
Typical Nerd

Windows 7 Professional 64Bit

Sorry about my delayed response, I had to sort some things out over the past few days. I just went directly to the nVidia website and downloaded the driver for my EXACT card model (nVidia GeForce 8600M GS) for the EXACT OS (Windows 7 Professional: 32 bit). I downloaded the installer and before it ran, it requested a reboot. I authorised the reboot and it booted perfectly into normal mode (as in NOT in safe mode). 'Hooray', I thought to myself. Anyway, it finished the install and requested a reboot. I happily obliged, thinking it'd work again as I hadn't changed anything else, and I got black screen with little clouds of white moving around the screen - not good. I manually rebooted it and got the 'Launch Startup Repair' screen. I launched the startup repair, pathed to the drivers for my HDD and it suggested I restore a previous version, so I accepted. This didn't work; I just ended up back to the launch startup repair screen. No more BSODs, though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jul 2012   #16
Microsoft MVP


Well, there's 2 ways to handle this (IME).
- continue to try and figure out what's causing the black screen (I've gone as long as 2 weeks without finding a cause - and gave up at that point).
- backup your data, wipe the hard drive clean, and then install Windows "clean"

Interestingly I just read an article by Mark Russinovich (the author of the Sysinternals programs) about a black screen problem he had recently. His would take 6 minutes to get to the Desktop - and it was caused by the system trying to reconnect to network drives that weren't there anymore (because he was traveling). Here's the complete story: The Case of the Veeerrry Slow Logons - Mark's Blog - Site Home - TechNet Blogs
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jul 2012   #17
Typical Nerd

Windows 7 Professional 64Bit

I've been trying for around three weeks - so frustrating. I've given up, too, though, at least to the point I've left my laptop with my Uncle to see if he can do anything with it.

I've already tried wiping the hard drive and reinstalling Windows. It worked, and logged me on with no problems, but then I ran Windows Update and restarted to configure the updates. It then black-screened again.

My black screen is different to the one he experienced; I don't even see my cursor. :/
Also, surely the 'clouds' moving around the black screen indicate a graphics issue, but surely it can't be a hardware issue if it works perfectly in safe mode? I've tried multiple times installing the latest drivers, and they work and log me on, but again request a reboot which puts it back to square one.

Also, I don't have any mapped network drives on my laptop, it doesn't even get that far in the boot process - just past the loading screen then nothing.

Thanks again for your consistent help, if I could +Rep you twice, I would.

I guess it's time to reluctantly give up and pay to get it repaired. If not, then it's time to announce its death. You've served me well, Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo XI, may you rest in peace.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jul 2012   #18
Microsoft MVP


Did you try the new video drivers immediately after wiping the system and reinstalling Windows?
If not, that could possibly work (before the Windows Updates are done).

It can be a hardware problem (and, IMO, it is a hardware problem with your video card). The Windows drivers don't use all the features on the card, so the part with the problem may not be being used in Safe Mode.

The video cards appear to be replaceable ( Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Xi Video Card ATi X1800 Mobility ) but are $110 (US) - and I can't guarantee that this will fix the problem (and this is an ATI card, not the nVidia card in your system).

Besides, if you start throwing money at this system - how much will it cost before you decide to get a newer/faster/less expensive system?

If you do take it into a shop for repairs, be sure that there's a warranty on the work - as it may work for you for a while and then revert to having issues again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2012   #19
Typical Nerd

Windows 7 Professional 64Bit

No, I booted up in safe mode and downloaded the driver from there. It restarted my system in normal mode, though, before it installed. I'm concerned about personally replacing the card as I opened it up sometime last week and the graphics card seemed to be pinned under a bracket which was stuck down. I removed all of the screws but it didn't want to come off unless I forced it, which I didn't want to do.

I was actually looking to replace my system before it broke, but to get the standard of computer I'm looking at I'll have to save up for several months (I'm at the age the vast majority of money I earn I spend on alcohol). If I were to replace the system, I'd get a desktop as my laptop has very rarely left the, uh, desk. Problem is, I'm 18 years old and I'm on apprenticeship wage (2.60 [$4.07 approx.] / hour).

Specs I'd be looking at:
Motherboard: Decent clock cycle, supports at least 8GB RAM and x64 architecture
CPU: At least Intel i3
Graphics Card: at least 1GB on-board memory, preferably nVidia
Hard drives: Primary low storage (approx. 60GB) SSD SATA for OS and background applications, secondary approx. 500GB HDD SATA
OS: x64 Windows 7 Professional (I can get this for free as I was trained in a Microsoft Academy)

I don't know a lot about hardware, but the more I learn, the more I want to put my money into computers and stay up-to-date. :P

I'll try reinstalling the OS then immediately install the new driver when I get home. My Uncle is passing the laptop to his friend to have a look at soon, but if he can't do anything about it I guess I'll strip it for parts and get rid of it. I'll just have to return to being a console gamer for the foreseeable future.

Thanks once again for your help, I would've rage-quit a long time ago and thrown it away if it weren't for you. At least I can still stalk Facebook in safe mode with networking until it's replaced if it still doesn't work. All is well.

Also, as I didn't know before, I Googled the model, checked out the specs, and discovered the exact model number of my system is the Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Xi 2528.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2012   #20
Microsoft MVP


Replacing parts in a laptop is a real PITA. Good luck with that!

If you've gotta save up, then I'd suggest getting started now. Each drink that you buy will take you that much further away from your new system - so it's simply a matter of what you choose. More booze = longer without a computer.

Keep an eye out for sales, the prices of systems are getting cheaper every day!
Be careful about the SSD drive - we've seen some issues recently. Maybe start with a platter based hard drive and upgrade to an SSD later on?

Good luck!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Spontaneous shutdown; now only works in Safe Mode

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