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i have been using the windows 7 rtm for 2-3 weeks now without any problem. i was browsing the web today and suddenly the screen freezed and it looked like the color went to 8/16 bit.

i hard rebooted but it did the same thing after getting to the login screen. i have been able to restart a login quickly but a few seconds after logging in the screen freezes again.

if i leave the computer on after it freezes the colors are restored to normal after a minute or two.

so this sounds like a video driver issue to me. any other ideas?

this is a dell m1330 xps laptop

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migrated from serverfault.com Oct 16 '09 at 11:48

This question came from our site for professional system and network administrators.

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"Windows 7 freezes" -- news at 11! ;-) –  Wallace Oct 16 '09 at 11:38

3 Answers 3

Not only look at updating the graphics driver, but check if a recent update HAS updated it. A couple of years ago the Nvidia driver on my PC kept freezing Vista. Reverting to an earlier version took care of the problem - somehow the newer versions were misbehaving on my system. I finally gave a newer update a try a few months ago and it hasn't been an issue since. I remember reading that Nvidia drivers accounted for 30% of Vista crashes early on, so I wasn't the only one with weird issues.

So... If your driver has been updated by Windows Update recently, you might want to try reverting to the previous version to see if that goes away. Otherwise, as MarkM said, check for a newer version.

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I second the NVIDIA issue. EVERY time I accidentally install the NVIDIA drivers that Windows Update tries to force at me, things go horribly wrong. I always grab the latest versions from the NVIDIA website instead. –  Cory Larson Oct 16 '09 at 12:50

Does that M1330 have an Nvidia graphics card or just the regular built-in Intel graphics? The XPS M1330 and several other models have a notorious problem with failing Nvidia graphics chips... and this sounds like a hardware problem if it "suddenly happened while browsing" and included graphical defects.

A failing driver would more likely turn the screen black or revert it to some low-res version without any artifacts.

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Barring a faulty driver "update", It might also be a hardware problem. Maybe the video card overheated and crashed, in which case the onboard motherboard chip kicks in- which might only support the 8/16bit color mode..

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