I had an interesting problem on the spare laptop the other day.
There were two symptoms – the screen would go blank and the laptop would lock up, or else the Windows bar would develop streaks, as if it had been wiped with steel wool.
My first reaction was that the video drivers had become corrupted, so I replaced them. No luck. It was during that process (when I had to reboot a couple of times) that I noticed that the problem extended beyond Windows. On boot up, the laptops loading screen was badly streaked with horizontal thin red lines. As Windows hadn’t even started loading at this stage, it had to be something more radical. Either the screen was on the way out, or the BIOS had developed a fault.
I wouldn’t have minded the screen failing too much, as it would have been a fine excuse to buy an upgraded laptop, but I decided to tackle the BIOS first.
I don’t like updating the BIOS for the simple reason that it is the core of the machine. Screw that up, and the whole machine is screwed. Also there is no rolling back. However, I took the plunge, and found an updated BIOS file.
In fact, the whole process was quite uneventful. The new BIOS loaded, and since then the laptop has been running smoothly. No more lock-ups. No more streaks.
It just goes to show – weird problems can easily be fixed with a bit of courage.
Now I have to think up a new excuse to upgrade my laptop!