Is this really bad?
Posted 11 April 2010 - 10:35 AM
Posted 11 April 2010 - 04:13 PM
It doesn't sound like something really bad to me. If you go into Control Panel there should be an icon called Scheduled Tasks. Look in there to see what things are scheduled. There shouldn't be loads of stuff but maybe updates or scans. It could be that one of these is having this effect.
Do you do maintenance such as deleting temp files and defragmenting? If you don't and/or don't know what this means I can explain if you would like me to.
Do you have a good antivirus programme? Avast and AVG Free are pretty good. Norton can cause problems in my experience. Make sure the scans are not scheduled for too often. My husband's games kept minimising because the antivirus was doing a scan! Very annoying.
Do you have Windows Update set to download & install updates automatically? They could cause your laptop to restart though I don't think this sounds like the problem. You could check you have up to date drivers for your laptop particularly the graphics card.
Is your laptop getting quite hot? I put mine on my kitchen step or on the table on a heatproof placemat.
I don't know if any of this will solve the problem, but they are some good simple-ish measures to start with.
Posted 11 April 2010 - 04:14 PM
basing that purely on the fact that it just flickers and comes straight back: as though you're losing the sync to the display rather than losing 'data'...
If you've installed anything new or changed your display settings/updated drivers you could try rolling backwards, but other than that I think you may have to get it to a repair shop at some point...
Posted 11 April 2010 - 06:10 PM
I do have a good virus scanner and the Windows updates set up automatically, but I do not do any maintenance (I just about know where the ON button is!)
It sits flat on my desk, I may try to find something to lift the back to get some air underneath, it would be more comfortable as well.
If that doesn't fix it then I do know a good computer repair shop, so if it's not too serious then hopefully it wouldn't be too expensive.
Posted 12 April 2010 - 07:02 AM
Before you spend money...
1) Go to your internet home page. Near the top of the screen there should be a heading Tools. Click on this, it should give a drop-down menu. Click on Internet Options. In the box that appears you should see a section called something like Browsing History. There may be 2 click boxes Delete and Settings. In Settings you can set how many days History it stores (that is history of websites you have visited), you probably don't need to many days history to be kept as you should be adding any favourites to your Favourites! In Delete you can select which items to be deleted. Definitely tick Temporary Internet Files, and you may have an option to Preserve files to do with your Favourite websites so tick that. Make sure only the boxes you want are ticked then clock Delete. When this is done you can close the box.
2) Click on the Start button at the bottom of your Desktop. Click on Computer. Right click on your main drive (C?). Click on Properties at the bottom of the list. This takes you to a bit that shows how much of your hard drive is used and free. There should be a click box Disk Cleanup. Click this and wait - if you've never done this it may take a while. This will bring up a box showing a list of file types and how much memory they are taking up. Make sure the Temporary Internet Files, Temporary Files and Recycle Bin are ticked. Click OK. When this is done you can close the box.
3) Click on the Start button at the bottom of your Desktop. Click on Computer. Right click on your main drive (C?). Click on Properties at the bottom of the list. This takes you to a bit that shows how much of your hard drive is used (blue) and free (pink). This is on the General tab at the top. Next to the General tab is the Tools tab. Click on that. On this tab you should see a clock box called Disk Defragmenter. Clock on this. This will either take you into a window where you can Analyse and/or Defragment the drive. Analyse will show you how defragmented your drive is. This is like in a filing cabinet - when it is defragmented some of the paperwork is in the 'wrong' place and not with the other connected paperwork. Defragmenting just organises the files in the most efficient way so that it is quicker for the computer to find them. Again if you have never done it Defragmenting can take a considerable time. If you don't get the Analyse/Defragment option you may get the option to Schedule the Defragmentation programme. Schedule this for once a week at whatever time you're likely to have your computer on (this option on Vista is brilliant as it does it without you being aware of it).
4) Click on the Start button at the bottom of your Desktop. Click on Control Panel. If you get the option to choose Classic View take it. There should either be an option of Device Manager, or System. Choose Device Manager if it is there, otherwise click on System then Hardway/Device Manager. This should bring you to a list of the hardware in your computer. If you click on the + sign next to a heading it will show you the hardware items in that section. Click on the + next to Display Adapter. This shows the graphics card if you have one. If you do you can right click and click on Update Driver. Choose to search on the internet and install automatically and it should do it all for you. It may say that your driver is the most up to date one, which is fine. Do the same for Monitor (the screen), and the Network Adapter (for your internet connection). Windows update should update your drivers but it doesn't always. (BEWARE: Windows update automatically installed a new driver for my graphics card (Nvidia Geforce GTX 275) and the updated driver did not install but it had uninstalled the existing driver - this caused major problems. ) Updating drivers can usually be undone if the new driver appears to cause problems by right clicking on the hardware item and choosing Roll Back Driver. You can also use System Restore which is in the Start Menu, probably under Accessories, under System Tools.
Updates can also be done by doing Windows Update and selecting from the Optional Updates - it will offer appropriate updates for your hardware and/or software. If you are not happy to go into the Device Manager yourself then this is another way although it doesn't always seem to pick up all the latest drivers.
ALWAYS BACK UP YOUR IMPORTANT FILES BEFORE DOING UPDATES!!
Lastly - USB add on devices can sometimes cause problems, so unplug anything (memory sticks etc) not essential and see how that goes.
You can of course ignore all of the above, but it might be nice to know you can keep your computer/laptop running efficiently yourself as far as possible. (It's a bit like calling out the washing machine man only to find out the filter is blocked.)
Posted 13 April 2010 - 02:54 PM
When you say the screen flickers, do you mean the screen goes off completely or the backlight flickers?
A laptop screen has a small ribbon cable that usually runs through one of the hinges. These ribbon cables occasionally get stressed or damaged if the screen has been opened too far or sometimes just because of everyday use. If you are comfortable opening up your laptop, you can check that this cable is attached to the main board properly.
If it is the cable, then the easiest fix is to replace the screen, which is a five minute job with a screwdriver. Although you will need to open the back of the original screen to out exactly which panel you need for that board, there is usually a lable on the back of the lcd panel with a serial number and manufacturer. Replacing the screen is a lot cheaper than replacing the laptop.
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