Video causes my HP dv6000 (dv6810us) to restart after watching fro 30-45 minutes, motherboard or video card dying?
December 29, 2008 11:26 PM   Subscribe

HP laptop video card issues filter: Video problem with my HP dv6000 (dv6810us) - artifacts appear then increase while watching Hulu, after 30-45 minutes the computer freezes then restarts. Pausing the video then letting the computer sleep for a couple minutes resolves the issue for another 20 minutes of video watching, then it repeats ... bad integrated video? Bad VRAM? Evil monkey?

I got my HP dv6810us on ebay about 5 weeks ago, no problems, in great condition ... until yesterday. While watching a video on Hulu (using Firefox with IE tab extension, but same problem with using Internet explorer independently) the video slowly beings to show artifacts, eventually becoming fuzzy and with bizarre patterns on the screen. If I keep the video playing the computer freezes then restarts and reports a hardware error in the error log.

I have tried using k-lite mega codec, Vista Codec Package.

I have tried using IE rather than Firefox with the IE Tab extension.

I have tried replacing the video drivers with old HP versions, generic nvidia 7150 drivers, the drivers (current), and rolling back to those originally installed.

I have tried watching while observing the GPU temperature ... it gets quite hot (55 degrees C).

Is it possible to expose the thermal compound / gell / grease /paste to replace it with a more efficient type/brand (i.e., Artic Silver, etc)?

If so, would I need a grease/compound or paste?

Any other suggestions beyond "replace the motherboard because the integrated video card is dying"?

Finally, any ideas on where to call or look on-line to determine if my computer is still covered by the warranty? (~5 months old, I have the original receipt though I'm not the original purchaser)

Laptop running Windows Vista with all updates, 3gb ram, not overclocked. Google desktop running in background, AVG anti-virus (cleansed of Norton), essentially all OEM specs and parts.

Thanks again mefites!
posted by unclezeb to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
To me, your symptoms screams "thermal problem", even though the 55 degrees C reading is nowhere near critical. Is your CPU temperatur nominal as well? Is video the only thing that triggers the crashes while other long-running CPU intensive tasks work?

No idea about DIY-messing with laptop cooling systems, though.
posted by themel at 11:48 PM on December 29, 2008

What happens if you watch Hulu through Firefox without using the IE tab, just in a regular Firefox tab? I was having the same freezing issues with my HP dv6000 and it turned out to be battery issues, is your battery working fine?
posted by lilkeith07 at 12:20 AM on December 30, 2008

Best answer: Flash video absolutely thrashes your CPU, while your GPU's only part in the process is to raster. While we normally have all sorts of tricks to offload work from the CPU to the GPU, or at the very least have fast native implementations for decoding, Flash does its whole thing on the CPU in a fairly unoptimized manner (until the most recent version of Flash, there were no optimizations for video). And, of course, the specific site you go to will have a different player from other sites--meaning that one site might be well-written and efficient, while another is shitty and slow.

So, I'm with themel. It's thermal. Your CPU is overheating. I promise. Increase airflow. Perhaps put the laptop up on something so that there's airflow underneath? Or one of those sit-under laptop cooling doohickeys--I have no idea if those work.

Alternatively, try streaming the video from one of the Asian sites (tudou or sina, perhaps; indexed from Surf the Channel). Perhaps their players won't croak your system... although, admittedly, the quality is lower (which is going to help with less CPU draw as well).
posted by Netzapper at 12:22 AM on December 30, 2008

Yeah, sounds like a classic heat problem. See if you can find a way to increase the airflow through the thing and whether that makes the problem go away or take longer to appear.

I'm under the impression that there's nothing special about Arctic Silver other than its marketing, FWIW.
posted by hattifattener at 1:04 AM on December 30, 2008

Wait IE Tab?

Good lord... there's part of your problem. Try without that. The fewer hacks between you and the video, the less likely your CPU will melt.
posted by Netzapper at 1:05 AM on December 30, 2008

Best answer: HA! Do you have the Geforce Go 7150m? I had the exact same problem on my 6910us.
Flash video and DVDs (interestingly enough, only full-screen) would get weird horizontal artifacts, and after a while it would turn strange colors and freeze- even if I quit the video the artifacts would carry over to the 3d-accelerated DWM.
It didn't happen in Linux, so I guessed it was a driver issue- and they didn't release a driver update FOR EVER.
Until like... three days ago, over Windows Update. Ever since, I haven't had any issues-- and before, it would happen all the time.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:21 AM on December 30, 2008

Response by poster: Themel re: thermal, netzapper, hattifattener: that sounds like a consensus that heat is the problem, though it may be more CPU focused than GPU. However, my CPU temps are not breaking 50 C which seems well within a normal range (though I'm not expert in that area).

As for airflow, the notebook is sitting on a coffee table with nothing under it obstructing air flow - all the rubber "legs" that keep it a few mm off the table/surface are still attached and none of the fans seem to be "struggling" to get air in/out. But I'll give one of those air circulating widgets a shot to see it that helps.

As for IE Tab - I understand what you're suggesting Netzapper, it was my initial suspicion, but the same problem comes up when I view in IE directly without any variation in time or CPU/GPU temps.

Any other thoughts on using a different thermal compound/paste? (and how to do so with this laptop?) I agree that none of them are anything special, but I think the mass application of grease by manufacturers can be flawed sometimes so doing it myself and being sure that there's an even and complete application of grease seems like a potential fix.
posted by unclezeb at 6:26 AM on December 30, 2008

Response by poster: dunkadunc - you're right! I see "1 optional update" and it's "nVidia - Display - NVIDIA gforce 7150m / nforce 630m" published on 12/21/08.

I'll give that a shot!

Wow, I just had a mefi moment =) Thanks!
posted by unclezeb at 6:29 AM on December 30, 2008

Best answer: Really- I had the same problem on almost exactly the same computer, and your symptoms exactly match what I was seeing- putting the computer to sleep and then waking it up might buy more time, but it would eventually fill up with artifacts and freeze.
The driver update fixed everything- my theory is that there was a bug that was causing the GPU to overheat.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:31 AM on December 30, 2008

Best answer: Awesome! Good to know it wasn't just my computer.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:00 AM on December 30, 2008

Best answer: Nthing dunkadunc- I have a dv60xx and was having the same problem. If I put it in hibernate and then woke it up again, I could at least bring it back up and restart it properly. My laptop dual boots Ubuntu and I've never had this happen under Linux, which told me that it was probably a Vista/driver problem.

I recently applied that same driver update and have not had the same problems so far. Hopefully that fixes it for good, but just wanted to throw another "it was the driver" story on to the pile.
posted by howrobotsaremade at 7:31 AM on December 30, 2008

Under Flash 9 or 10 player properties (right click on the Hulu video), under the first screen there is an option to enable hardware acceleration. You might try turning it off if the driver update doesn't help.
posted by robofunk at 8:27 AM on December 30, 2008

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