Warcraft freezes/Blue screen

Dell / XPS M140
February 2, 2009 at 17:37:56
Specs: Windows XP Media Center Edition SP3, 1.73 Ghz, 504 mb RAM

It may only be because my laptop wasn't built for gaming, but often when I play World of Warcraft, my system will freeze, particularly when I'm trying to access my backpack or loot a body, anything that requires an inset menu screen. Sometimes I get a driver display error, (the code to which I should have written down, but didn't) which prompts me to restart. I always end up holding down the power button, as Ctrl+Alt+Del doesn't respond.

Alternatively, I get a blue screen that prompts me to check for BIOS updates. According to Dell's website, I have the most current BIOS version already installed.

Also, the computer occasionally overheats and shuts itself down, so I've taken to sitting by a fan pointed at the "exhaust" vents when I play.

I would like to upgrade my graphics settings and/or hardware, but I'm not sure if this is the problem. I know I'm also pretty short on RAM, and could try upgrading that.

My video settings in the game are as low as they can go, and I play in fullscreen mode, not "windowed." Any ideas on how I can make the most out of my system and play Warcraft without interruption?

Thanks in advance for your help.

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February 3, 2009 at 11:22:22
laptop hardware upgrades, other than RAM, are pretty much out of the question. that's just how they're designed. I would try and get up to the max. RAM your board will support. If it will take 2GB try for that, but it might only recognize 1GB.

you're having a combination of overheating and graphics drivers issues. i'm no artist, but here's my picture of what you said: "a fan pointed at the 'exhaust' vents"

--> <--

you mean like, the laptop tries to blow hot air out and you pointed a fan at the back to blow the hot air back in?

Use a can of compressed air to blow as much dust out of the inside of your laptop as possible. Just keep the can upright and blast in short bursts. This should help a bit with the cooling.

Does the laptop have integrated/on-board graphics or a physical card? Find out, and make sure you have the latest drivers (from DELL for integrated, or from nVIDIA or ATI for an add-in card).

In the BIOS there may be a place to increase the memory used for Graphics. Once you've got more than 512MB of system RAM, you may be able to allocate some more of that for Video memory if you're using onboard graphics.

Also, if you play windowed on the lowest resolution available, the game will look smaller but probably run at slightly better framerates.

other than that, make sure you don't have a ton of malware junk running on startup. After that your only other option is a new computer.

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