Learning While Aging

I fixed our laptop!!!

Our old laptop has been giving us problems for about two years. When I am surfing the Internet, the laptop will freeze up unexpectedly, especially if I scroll the page up and down frequently, then the laptop will freeze up.

I have tried several ways to fix the problem, but in vain. Here are the methods I have tried before:

  1. Reinstall Windows XP. Yeah, it is always our first choice when we deal with Windows problems, isn’t it?
  2. Update hardware drivers. Sometimes old hardware driver can cause computer to crash.
  3. Reduce the screen resolution and color depth. Since the laptop freezes up when I am surfing the Internet, so I thought maybe high resolution and color depth have created a heavy load on my video card, thus causes the computer to stop responding.
  4. Scan the laptop hard drive completely, including the surface scan. You know, damaged hard drive sectors will definitely cause unusual behaviors.

When all methods I tried have failed and the laptop still freezes up on me unexpectedly and frequently, I start to think maybe the laptop is too old and is giving up on me, so I just cross my fingers every time when I am browsing the Internet. Then, God shows His mercy to us –

I was kinda frustrated yesterday because the laptop froze up several times. So I said to myself that I am gonna try some other ways to reduce the frequency of the freeze-ups. I believe God gave me the right direction. I started off with my video card driver because I thought the old video card driver can’t handle the display or something. My video card is an old integrated ATI Rage Mobility with 8MB shared memory, and I couldn’t adjust the memory size. Very frustrating. I went to ATI’s website and downloaded a driver that I thought is the closest one for my card, then I began to change my display settings, and I came to this window:

Full hardware accelaration

I told myself, my computer does have problems, so maybe I shouldn’t use Full hardware acceleration. I, then, adjusted the bar until I came to None hardware acceleration as such:

No hardware acceleration

Yeah, my computer DOES stop responding frequently, so maybe this is the correct setting for my poor old laptop. I saved my changes, held my breath, and started surfing the Internet. I intentionally scrolled up and down a page many times, and the laptop didn’t freeze up on me! WOW! Maybe I DID fix the problem.

I have come to the above window for a million times, but I never thought about adjusting the level of the hardware acceleration. Thank you Lord for directing me to the right direction!

It has been two days that the laptop has not had any freeze-ups yet. Sometime, though, the screen will flicker a little bit when I switch to a different application, but hey, it is much better then freezing up! Besides, I may try to use a little hardware acceleration to see what is gonna happen.

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