Computer newbies forum: Boot Glitches and Misspellings

by: Kenemon March 24, 2013 5:35 AM PDT

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Boot Glitches and Misspellings

by Kenemon - 3/24/13 5:35 AM

Dell Latitude
Using Windows XP
Have a dual boot with Ubuntu, but that isn't the problem

Okay, this problem has baffled other computer "experts" I try to talk to, so I'm using up my last resources. I hope you guys are as smart as you seem.

This problem has occurred to me twice. Both times, my laptop would freeze and flash a black screen for about five seconds, and then return to normal for about ten. This pattern continues until action is taken.
The first time, yellow lines appeared near my cursor, and they would move around with it. I closed the laptop, and when I opened it back up after around ten seconds (it hadn't entered standby) the screen was white with some dark lines over it. I shut it down by holding down the power button. Upon reboot, the "DELL" screen had blue lines running down it. Start-up also took a bit longer than usual. The dual boot screen looked fine, and later when I booted Ubuntu, it started normally as well. However, upon booting Windows, the nightmares began.

The Windows boot screen appeared, with some lines running down it. Then, it showed an unusual screen. Exclamation points in groups of two ran down the screen. The "Safe Mode Select" screen came up, exclamation points still running down it. The points ran over the text. The text itself was horribly misspelled- all t's had turned to u's and vice versa, and all p's had turned to q's and vice versa (these weren't the only misspellings, however.) This, along with the points, made the text horribly difficult to read- although some letters remained unchanged, making reading it possible. Upon selecting any option on the "Safe Mode" screen, the screen goes black, then come up with something like (but not exactly!) the blue screen of death, and then the computer reboots itself. The only way to get it out of this cycle was to hold down the power and shut it off.
Upon doing a memory test, it was revealed all of my files had remained intact. Unable to solve the problem and rushed to go on vacation with my family, I shut the laptop down and left it.

The second time it happened was today, a week after the first incident. Upon returning from my vacation, I decided to boot up my laptop just to humor myself. To my shock, it booted fine! Amazed, I started Windows and immediately began where I left off. Upon boot, yellow lines appeared near my cursor, but this was solved by toning down the hardware acceleration by a notch. In the middle of my browsing, again the screen would freeze and turn black. This time, I booted the Task Manager, and noted that whenever the computer froze, explorer.exe's CPU usage would spike. Ending explorer.exe did not solve the problem, and instead, nothing spiked. Rebooting explorer.exe, I shut my laptop. This time, when I opened it, the screen had turned pitch black instead of glitchy white. I shut down my laptop, and upon reboot, the same "nightmare" described above ensued- again.

Dear gods! I was just getting used to my laptop again. Can anyone figure out what is going on, and how (if) I can solve it?

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