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XPS 720 H2C - blue screen error 0x000000EA

My XPS 720 H2C (dual 768Mb 8800GT running XP at 2560x1600 SLi) is getting blue screen error 0x000000EA within a few minutes of logging in. The fault occurs in nv4_disp.dll.

Before the blue screen, I often get severe graphic issues such as random green & pink horizontal lines, evenly spaced green dots over the whole screen, mouse cursor becomes a block etc. If I have an application running the whole app stutters really badly (including sound) - it freezes for 5 or more seconds at a time.

I had relatively recent nVidia drives (v174 I think), but the issue persists after installing the current version from nVidia.com. My chipset drivers & BIOS are up to date.

The error also occurred after 30-40 mins running in XP safe boot mode (800x600), so I'm thinking it's not likely to be a driver issue anyway. The fact that it takes longer to crash when running at low res makes me think it's a over-heating issue, but when I had the nVidia monitor running it was showing the GPU temps at 60C and 63C just before a crash.

When I look in the EventVWR, I can see the error occurring once or twice per day for the last month - it appears as SAVE DUMP at the times I nomally turn the PC on. Funny thing is I've never noticed the error happening before yesterday... perhaps it was occurring at shutdown?

My research so far indicates a hardware fault, so tonight I will open her up to reseat the video cards, SIMMs etc. and air-blast the dust out. If that doesn't help I'll try the video cards one at a time.

Is there anything else I can try?

One last (possibly irrelevant) thing - the last few days I've noticed my PSU crackle seems louder than it has been for a while. Here is a post about the crackle... http://en.community.dell.com/forums/p/18613514/19386081.aspx

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