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Why does my screen go black on my Dellm6500 when playing movie trailers?
January 2, 2014 9:31 AM   Subscribe

thisyoutube trailer, along with a few other trailers i've found, cause my computer screen to go black (but the computer stays on). Today it happened for the first time while i wasn't viewing youtube videos, I was playing poker online, had chrome open in background, and was watching a movie on VLC (I had been watching the movie for more than an hour when the screen went black). Running windows 7 (maybe my graphics card is overheating)? If I restart, the boot sequence is visibile, and "windows is starting" is shown, but then it goes black. After about 3 or 4 tries though, it will boot up normal, with a working screen.
posted by crawltopslow to Technology (15 answers total)
Could be overheating as you say. Are the fans very loud and the laptop very hot when the screen goes black? Maybe it just needs some vacuuming to get the dust out.
posted by stacktracer at 10:40 AM on January 2

Only that specific youtube video does it, and 99% of youtube video's don't cause it to "go black".. and wouldn't overheat cause the whole computer to shut down? not just screen off?
posted by crawltopslow at 10:45 AM on January 2

The graphics card is likely overheating. However, it's also possible the issue is driver related, so update your graphics card driver and Adobe Flash, if you haven't already.

Blow some compressed air into the laptop vents. It's also possible you need to take the laptop apart/keyboard off to clean gunk out of the fan/heatsink. This is particularly a problem if you use the laptop somewhere where there are cats.
posted by cnc at 10:48 AM on January 2

On second thought I doubt the graphics card is overheating.. I'm watching VLC and playing poker and browsing Chrome now, and it didn't go up at all, the graphics card constantly at 50 degrees according to Speccy.
posted by crawltopslow at 10:57 AM on January 2

I agree it might be the driver. I would download and install the latest graphic driver to be safe.
The only thing we know for sure is it crashed when playing trailer (not only from from what I understand) Even when you uninstalled the YouTube option add-on.
So maybe the add-on did something to the browser, (i.e. added some code) which could not be removed by uninstalling the add on.
I wonder if you could install a different browser and try it out.
posted by lijiaxiaoniu at 11:01 AM on January 2

here is a screen capture of my temperature readings.
posted by crawltopslow at 11:02 AM on January 2

Here is what we tried to fix this issue:

The screen went black when we started to play a movie trailer on YouTube. The movie continued to play with black screen. We put the computer to sleep with Function+F2. And the computer went to sleep. We then pressed power button to put the computer back on. The computer was on but the screen remained black.

We held power button to turn the computer off.

We restarted the computer. It was starting normal till the "windows is starting..." screen then it went black. The computer was still on in the background.

This restart failure happened 2-3 times after that. And the computer finally started normally.

We tested with another trailer, the screen went black again.
posted by lijiaxiaoniu at 11:26 AM on January 2

New Information: I Wasn't doing any video just now, but was moving google chrome from one side of the screen to another, and my entire screen went black. It took 5 restarts to fix it. I tried the youtube video in internet explorer, and there was no black screen at all.. I immediately tried the same trialer in google chrome, and the screen immediately went black.

I'm pretty sure it has something to do with google chrome.
posted by crawltopslow at 12:05 PM on January 2

Update: I uninstalled chrome, and installed firefox.. later when I was closing a firefox tab, the screen went black again.. any ideas?
posted by crawltopslow at 1:02 PM on January 2

There are a bunch of other reports of the Dell M6500 overheating. Your failures on multiple boots are probably because a component is too hot to show the laptop's display. If you let it sit for a few minutes, you'd likely get a successful display on the first boot. (This is actually a good test for heat problems).

I'm going to guess overheating (Chrome can stress the graphics driver or CPU) and cleaning gunk out of the fan/heatsync/vents will likely fix it.
posted by cnc at 4:35 PM on January 2

I re-installed the video card driver, and haven't had a freeze since then (3 days).
posted by crawltopslow at 10:23 AM on January 5

Now another 3 days later, and it's going black at random times again. I re-installed windows, re-installed all drivers, and the same youtube video still makes the screen go black.
posted by crawltopslow at 1:43 PM on January 8

If I play the trailer in mozilla firefox, the video plays fine. In chrome the trailer causes the screen to go black every single time.
posted by crawltopslow at 2:12 PM on January 8

It still crashes at random times, even with internet browsers closed. I don't know what the problem is.
posted by crawltopslow at 7:11 AM on January 18

I took it in to a computer fixing store, they downgraded the software drivers, it didn't work, they put in a NEW motherboard it didn't work, then they realized that the problem can only be reproduced when the laptop is plugged into the wall using electricity. They found out when plugged in, it overclocks and causes errors. They edited some software called "power miser" and it fixed it right up.
posted by crawltopslow at 12:17 PM on March 26

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