The Day My Laptop and Vista Stopped Working

First blog entry in a while! If you subscribed when I was still active in WoW, sorry but no WoW stuff :( Just random rambling story about my struggles with my 10 month old laptop and Windows Vista.

I started having problems with my Acer 7520g laptop with Windows Vista Home Premium a while ago, problems being computer/Vista crashing or freezing and not coming back up.

I had some crashes prior to this, but nothing too serious and everything seemed to work fine, so I shrugged it off as "normal windows" behaviour.

After 9 or so months, the system got frozen for the first time. Suddenly everything stopped, screen was frozen, the picture got bit "blurry" (looked like less colors with some purple pixels on screen) and I could only restart the computer with power switch.

After first such freeze everything worked fine, Vista restarted normally, so I once again thought "it was just one of those times". But at this time I took backups of my latest files, just in case.

Second time, computer froze exactly like the last time (couple of days later). This time, Vista started loading normally, but before the login screen should've been up, the computer stuck on black screen and nothing happened. I went to repair the windows (as system suggested when I forced boot with switch).

The Startup Repair did it's thing, but Vista still didn't start. So I went back to repair, and this time used System Restore, which worked ok, but after the restore Antivirus software started malfunctioning (Norton Internet Security). I uninstalled it, as at that point I suspected it was the source of the crashes, and installed new firewall (Comodo) and antivirus (Avira) and everything seems to be ok.

I also installed Speedfan to check if the laptop was overheating (which could've caused such freeze). Both HDDs were showing about 40-45 celcius, Core was at 60-65 and Temp1 (GPU?) at 60-65. So these seemed fine (bit high, but nothing too dangerous). So I figured everything was ok now as the computer started fine when I restarted it after all the installs and fixes. So I turned off the computer that day.

But the next day when I turned on the computer, it didn't boot. Startup repair didn't work. System restore didn't work (tried all the Restore Points I had). Vista did start in Safe Mode, so I managed to take last backups of my files. After trying everything, it seemed that restore to factory settings was the only way, so this is what I did.

I booted the computer, pressed Alt Gr + F10 to bring up the Acer eRecovery as instructed in the manual. I chose to reset to Factory settings (I don't have user defined recovery point, just the "day 1" settings. The factory recovery seemed to go ok. Recovery was finished, and system went to reboot and start Vista when I pressed OK. Vista started "the first time install" normally, "Please wait" and "loading mouse cursor" showed on screen, just like the first time I turned on the computer 9 months ago.

But suddenly screen went black, and all I could see was Black screen with white underscore flashing on top left corner. There was no response to key presses or anything. After letting the computer stay at this stage for a long time, I turned off the computer and back on after a while. When Vista started it showed error message, something like this: "Unexpected error has occurred and Windows install could not be finished. You can reboot and start Windows install again. Press OK to reboot". I let the Vista start once more, just in case, but I got the same error message. Safe mode didn't work (as Vista wasn't installed yet).

So I went to eRecovery again, and reseted to Factory settings again. The install went ok, just like last time, but when Vista was finalizing the install, it stopped like last time (Black screen, white underscore flashing in top left corner) and install could not finish.

So now there is no working OS in the computer and eRecovery to reset factory settings is not working.

After the initial crashes I ran hard drive check to see if it was ok, and got no errors (although saw lot of blue pixels on the screen when it ran, but didn't think it was too serious). I also ran the windows memory check, which didn't report any errors (didn't report "no errors" either, but I think that's normal).

I'm guessing there is something broken in the computer, either memory or hard drive, or the eRecovery partition is somehow corrupted.

I'll try to create bootable Vista DVD on another computer, and run some tests again, in case I Vista doesn't crash from DVD as well (which would indicate definate error with the memory).

After this, I'll be returning the laptop to Acer service, and hopefully get fully functional, error-free laptop back (whether it being repaired or a new one). Wish me luck!