Here at my job, some consider me the computer geek of the floor. Even though we have an IT Dept full of real computer geeks (real because they have degrees, diplomas and actually get paid to do fix computers), it's easier to ask me since I'm on the same floor and I am not as busy working on computers.
But leave it to me to be the one to instill fear of Window 7 on my co-workers as I bragged about install Windows 7 on my laptop only to have it blow up on me (not literally) 2 weeks afterward? Was it Windows 7 fault? You tell me.
Ok, so here are the specs for my laptop which I purchased around March or April of 2008:
HP Pavillion dv9740us
- Processor Type Intel Core 2 Duo T5450 1.67GHz
- Memory Size DDR2 SDRAM 3 GB
- Screen Size 17.0 in
- Video Chipset NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GS
- Storage Toshiba 2-160 GB HDD
- Optical Drive DVDÂ±RW DL Blue-ray
- Operating System Windows Vista Home Premium
I bought this PC for it's portability, the power to play Call Of Duty 4 Modern Warfare and watch movies. The PC worked fine for a year but recently started getting slow and bogged down. I would reinstall Windows Vista from the restore drive but in a short amount of time the laptop could simply go back to being slow. I have to wonder if it had anything to do with the fact that I started playing Call Of Duty World At War on it as well but I think the bogging down started before I bought the game. Of course according to Can I run it? my laptop was not good enough, for starters, to even play Call Of Duty 4 Modern Warfare let alone World At War but Modern Warfare played just fine. World At War? It was always slow but I learned to live with it.
Well, a few weeks before Windows 7 most anticipated launch, I was able to get a copy of Windows 7 Pro. I did a clean install and incredibly I did not have to search for any of the drivers. Sad to say I did not have such luck when I tried doing a dual book with Vista and XP a few months before. Most of the laptops cool features were out of my reach on XP. After the install I went and did my usual updates of the OS then did my software installations such as my games (Call Of Duty 2, 4 and World At War, The Sims 3, Star Trek Armada II and Star Trek Bridge Command) and programs (Firefox and all my add-ons, Vuze, VLC, Impulse, Object Desktop).
All was fine and dandy, Internet worked fine, games play OK and even the computer showed some improvement. I didn't even have to create a game account as I did with Vista and shut down unnecessary services and programs to free up memory and play my games. Even with Windowblinds installed and running my games ran as normal. One thing I noticed before I installed Windows 7 was when Windows Vista and my games got bogged down the top left corner of the laptop would get hotter than normal. This is where the videocard was on the motherboard and also where the CPU fan was. I borrowed my wifes laptop cooling pad and I did notice a bit of an improvement on the computers response time. So when ever I played I used the cooling pad. But all of a sudden, about 2 weeks after I installed Windows 7, as I was playing World At War the computer froze on me, made a weird noise and I was forced to shut it down the hard way. I restarted the computer and tried to get back to my gaming only to have it freeze again within a few moments of playing and that's when it happened. At that point I could not even watch a video without the computer crashing.
The only way to keep the computer on was to uninstall the nVidia drivers and use generic default drivers. Any attempt to restart the computer with the nVidia drivers would result in a black screen with color lines on it right after the boot screen and after about 30 seconds it reboot and the process repeats. Now I have blue dots all over the screen and sometimes lines. They come and go. For now the laptop is only used for Internet and I had to change the resolution to something much lower just so the screen would move without so much pausing. The videocard is basically shot and it can get pretty hot at this point. Without the cooling pad it can be almost unbearable to hold the laptop in your lap.
So what do you think? Do you think the videocard was already on it's way out before Windows 7 was installed and it was just a coincidence that Windows 7 was installed when it gave out? Do you think Windows 7 messed up my videocard maybe due to driver issues or incompatibility with the hardware? Or do you think Windows 7 simply added to the videocard already dying?
I would like to be able to tell those who ask me about it that Windows did not break my laptop. I don't know much about software but I'm having a hard time believing it screwed up my videocrad single-handedly.
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