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Main Forum => General Computer Support => Topic started by: Washbush on April 01, 2014, 11:08:17 AM

Title: A white screen of death?
Post by: Washbush on April 01, 2014, 11:08:17 AM
Hi gang ...

I have been bragging up the great help I have had here at Tweaking.Com and so I have become a computer expert. 

An email from a friend last night ... the question:  My computer just stops in the middle of whatever I am doing.  Nothing moves except sometimes the mouse pointer will move a little but it is very jerky.  Usually the top line says " - or whatever I am doing - not responding" or something like that.  If I click the mouse a couple times, or tap enter a couple times, the entire screen goes to an opaque white and now everything is stuck.  When I get tired of waiting, I shutdown and then restart.  It does not want to respond to "reboot" in that situation either.  I know I have been having trouble with my ATT U-verse (internet only) connection, and I have always felt that it was very slow.  But, they say it is OK.  Could it be my ATT service is slowing or stopping, or could it be the computer itself?" 

I told her I would post a message and then tonight I will go over and help her get Simple and Big installed and run.  Any hints from anyone?

Thanks for everything ...


Title: Re: A white screen of death?
Post by: Shane on April 01, 2014, 11:15:32 AM
The internet has nothing to do with that, so count that off the list :-)

From the information in the post it sounds like it is a video card problem. But it may be something as simple as needing a proper hardware reset.

Have your friend do this,

1. Shutdown the computer all the way.
2. Pull the power cord out of the back of the computer, if it is a laptop unplug the power cord and remove the battery.
3. While unplugged or no battery in, hit the power button a few times like you are trying to turn it on. When you do this the system will try to turn it self on and instantly drain all the electricity out of the system.
4. Plug everything back in a turn on the computer and see how it goes.

Lets see if that helps before we start digging in all over the place. Sometimes just a proper power reset is all that is needed :-D

Title: Re: A white screen of death?
Post by: Washbush on April 01, 2014, 08:41:33 PM
I just got home from inspecting Sherry's computer and I can report that the patient is no better after fiddling with it for a couple hours.  It seems like it is always waiting for something, no matter what I tried to do.  Both sizes of green round circles pop up all the time.  They just come and go and nothing happens.  I can shake the computer "loose" with a quick Con-Alt-Del but all that does is present the same problem over again.  I ran all of your stuff.  I ran System Mechanic.  I ran her Dell Discovery stuff and some fix-it stuff from Dell.Nothing changes.  Lots of "...not responding," "... not connecting," and "can't find the server for ...".  It looks really funny to see that it can't find the server for "".  I ran your Mr. Big and it took over an hour to complete.  At the 15.01 minute mark, I went to change from "repair info" to "the log" and ... BANG ... it froze up, gave me the White Screen of Death and the bigger green circle and then just sat there.  Con-Alt-Del made it get up and go, it finished fine.  And, as I said, nothing yet has turned up any kind of a problem.  All the hardware has been DELL checked twice. 

So, there you have it.  I sent myself copies of all of the printable results and, when I got home, I started to go through them all.  I did find something that made me smile.  Her computer has only 750MB of Memory.  There are four docks, and she has two 125s and two 250s.  So, I am going to nose around eBay tonight and see what I can find.  I very quickly found a pair of 500s for $45 and I would have bought them if they were anywhere else in the world other than Hong Kong or China.  I have already contributed enough to the Chinese economy and so I think I will just not do that anymore.  I will take a good long look in a few minutes. 

That's it from southern Indiana, the Duck Dynasty capital of the world.  That junkyard, by the way, is literally a 15 or 20 minute drive from my front door.  I have to admit that those guys are about as real as they can be ... and, there are lots and lots more of them in case you want to come and visit.  I went out "to the forest" for a 4th of July picnic two years ago.  There was a huge cast iron pot hanging over a wood fire and I still don't know for sure exactly what went in it, but it sure was good.  Home made biscuits, a scoop of stuff from that pot and some homemade "lemonaid"... all of it as good as you might have heard it is.  I was told later, but third hand, that it probably was rabbit, squirrel, possum and deer, half a dozen different kinds of veggies. two bottles of homemade "wine" and two more of homemade beer, a half dozen lemons, some mystery spices (sure) and a bar of dark chocolate. After we all had enough to eat, we watched our host show off his new pistol by shooting the lights out in his pole barn.  Eight shots, eight light bulbs and 8 holes in the roof.  But, easy to fix, I heard. 

How did I get off on that? Maybe I need more sleep.


Title: Re: A white screen of death?
Post by: Shane on April 02, 2014, 11:35:09 AM
There is one way to find out if it is a hardware problem or Windows, download and burn Ubuntu

Then you can boot off that dvd and run Ubunut right off the disk. If it also has problem like Windows is then you can count that it is a hardware problem :wink:

Title: Re: A white screen of death?
Post by: Washbush on April 04, 2014, 06:47:09 AM
A quick question re: Ubuntu ...

I am totally in the dark re: Ubuntu.  Once it is running, will any of the Windows applications run in it?  Or, is there a basic set of applications for Ubuntu such as browser, etc. 

Your suggestion is a good one for two reasons ... it will give an irrefutable picture of the situation, and, it gives me a nice little push to look into Ubuntu for the first time.  So, thanks for that. 

Anything else I need to know before I jump in with both feet?

Title: Re: A white screen of death?
Post by: Shane on April 04, 2014, 09:54:33 AM
Ubuntu is a flavor of Linux. And you wont be installing it but instead just running it off of the cd or usb. Windows programs wont work in it, but it does have firefox and libreoffice stuff. So basically its perfect for a internet only user or the power geek.

In this case we are taking Windows out of the equation and seeing if it is hardware or not. By doing this the common factor between ubuntu and Windows will be the hardware. So if it has trouble as well then we know it is the hardware :-)