My Dell Inspiron has recently started shutting down when playing games. It does this with most games, even ones I initially had no problem with. At first I thought this may have been an overheating problem, as I had an electric heater on and noticed my room was quite hot the first time it happened. I have recently checked the support on this website and have updated the BIOS and checked the air vents, neither of which seem to be the problem. I also use a stand that raises the laptop off my desk, allowing ventilation of the bottom.
If I start up again straight away I get a blue screen fatal error (C0000219) and an immediate crash dump. After a few minutes I can start up again properly (another reason I believe it may be a heat problem). Finally, my laptop also feels abnormally warm. The strange thing is, it has managed these games for a long time, and even without the stand, and only now am I having this problem. Any help or comments would be much appreciated as I am unsure where to go from here.
There may be a couple issues here, the crash while playing games, and Windows corruption possibly due to the crash causing the C0000219 errors.
First I suggest running diagnostics and see if they can come up with anything. For more on running diagnostics give the following document a look over, it goes over the different options and tests that you do have to diagnose the notebook.
Please be sure to run the PSA diagnostics (outside the operating system) tests. Since PSA tests
run outside of Windows they can't be interfered by Windows issues. Just start the system tapping F12 and choose diagnostics. Please reply with the results.
If the diagnostics doesn't come up with any errors you may simply have a software issue with the notebook. Since this is something that has started fairly recently it may be because of a software update, a new driver, or a new program may be interfering with running games. If you have installed anything recently you may wish to try system restore to return the computer back before any of these updates may have been installed. The following link has instructions for system restore.
If system restore isn't an option and diagnostics failed to find a problem you may wish to consider reimaging the notebook. Especially with the C000219 errors, PC restore or Dell Datasafe Local Back up is by far the easiest and quickest method.
I hope that this helps.
Specialize in Laptops, Mobile Devices
Thank you for the reply. I have run the diagnostics you have suggested and everything was passed. The only issue I had was with the PSA further memory tests it asks about, my computer had the same problem as detailed here when that part started.
I have noticed one thing that I would appreciate your opinion on. When the problem became most apparent, I had been away for a few weeks. When I ran the Dell diagnostics, I noticed on the animated graphical test, GPU temperature was 91-92 degrees. I did not have time to run the full diagnostic at that time. Now I have returned (to where I only very rarely had this issue) and have run the complete diagnostic and seen that here the GPU temperature is about 86-89 (and that was with the heating on). Is it possible that the difference of a few degrees could be causing this problem and that I simply need better ventilation?
It is possible, if you have turbo boost turned on though the system can spike up to that type of heat. I am not suggesting disabling turbo boost, it is a good feature for programs that aren’t designed to use more than one core. The fact that it takes a little while after shutting the system down that you are able to reboot can be a symptom of overheating. If you haven't already tried, get a can of compressed air and really clean out the cooling vents, it make a difference.
Please let me know if the problem continues, especially if reimaging the drive doesn't help. If you wish just shoot me a private message with your name and service tag, and I will look into setting up a service.
Specialize in Laptops, Mobile Devices
Thank you. I will get some compressed air when I have a chance and trying giving the vents a good clean. I would really like to avoid restoring to factory settings as I don't have the time right now to arrange back up, and I'm not sure if I have enough external storage anyway.
I have cleaned out the vents with air and tested my computer with games, and was able to play for a lot longer than I have been since having this problem. I just ran the video card diagnostics again and the GPU temperature never exceeded 70 degrees, so it is much cooler than before. Also the fan seems to be blowing out air more strongly and the air seems cooler than it has done recently, so I think the problem is fixed.
I presume I should be clearing the vents periodically, approximately how often should I be doing this?
Thank you for your help