Video dead on Dell Inspiron 9400

This is kind of a weird one. I woke up this morning to find a blue screen coming from my laptop. I was currently booted into Windows XP (I dual boot with both Vista and XP) so I figured it was some dumb XP issue. When I tried rebooting though it just crashed and rebooted again. I tried Vista with the same issue and then I started getting some broken blue lines on my LCD. I use an external 22″ LG L226WT-BFQ LCD which I absolutely love. I turned on the internal LCD and tried booting with that, same issue. So I booted into safe mode successfully in XP and removed the video driver. XP booted fine after that.

It was pretty obvious at that point something was really wrong with the video card in my laptop. Everything else worked fine. I tried reinstalling the normal Dell driver to no avail, it would simply blue screen on that too. So I got into Dell chat and actually got a great agent. It took a while to get everything done, but a tech should be coming with replacement parts on Monday.

The cause? I leave my laptop on 24×7. I use a cooler at work and at home, but I’m sure no one designs a laptop to remain on that long. Literally, it doesn’t go to sleep or hibernate. But honestly, I did do some overclocking a while ago to the video card. Maybe it just takes a while for the damage to set in and finally catch up, I don’t know. But I haven’t overclocked the video in over 6 months. And even when I did it was only overclocked for a few minutes. But that’s probably all it takes.

So now I have to drive into work on Monday so I can bring a PC and the dead laptop. I need the PC to work on while I’m there seeing as we have another big server migration that morning. We’ve been moving accounts off old crappy servers to nice new servers. It creates a lot of problems for customers though so I have to be able to answer questions, etc. I’ll also have to get in early to make sure everything is setup on the PC.

Thank goodness for Dell warranty. I’d be paying a hefty amount of money to replace this thing if it wasn’t for that.

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