Bad news

On Wednesday night, I was happily pugging along with a big random group led by our beloved Almighty Cico and was having a blast. After a decent amount of pugstomps(both on the giving and receiving end) I decided it's time for bed. As soon as I quit the game, my laptop froze completely. Well, it does this silly stuff from time to time so I just shut it down with a long press to the power button. Afterwards, I left the computer running and went to bed.

When I woke up, I realized it locked up again during the night. My troubleshooting senses started tingling. I was using the same Windows 7 installation for over 8 months and the laptop was filled with junk during that time. Maybe a few drivers decided to conflict all of a sudden? I quickly backed my stuff up and prepared for a format, it was about time I formatted it too. So I grabbed my Windows 8 key from Dreamspark and started installing it. After the installation, it froze again at the login screen. Shit. I ignored it and kept installing drivers, but I had three more locks during the next hour. There was definitely something wrong.

Going into full troubleshooting mode, I decided to install Windows 7 with manufacturer drivers afterwards. This time it showed its nasty face again, especially when I tried to install graphics drivers, locking up a few times during that. Finally, when I managed to do it, it froze again when Windows was completing its graphics card performance check. There, I knew it was about the graphics card. My laptop uses something called Optimus by Nvidia, which allows it to switch between integrated low-power Intel graphics card(IGP) and dedicated Nvidia on the fly. Something was wrong with either of them.

Though, Nvidia drivers on Windows 7 gave me an additional energy plan, UMA only mode. This forces the computer to use the IGP and shuts down the Nvidia card. Wow, this is working! I could keep the computer open for hours with this mode, until it froze again but it was definitely an improvement. It also made it apparent that either the Nvidia card or the switching mechanism was somehow broken. Though, as soon as I enabled the Nvidia card the freezes continued. My warranty is already over since last year, so looks like I have to deal with it.

Sorry for the wall of text, but I had to vent a little after a day of trying but failing. This weird problem pretty much means I'm out of gaming until I magically solve this problem somehow(believe me I'm trying) or get a new computer. Hopefully it will not completely die on me until then. Meanwhile, I'm afraid there won't be many articles about new stuff from now on.  I hope you understand.
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About Rak

I'm an engineer who likes to write extremely long articles about games that border simulation and mainstream.
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