I just registered here to ask you all for ideas/workarounds/help for a crashing GMA 3600. I have a Gateway LT4004u netbook (Intel Atom N2600), Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3600, driver 188.8.131.525, Windows 7 Starter 32-bit. I have only very basic needs for this computer-- I don't play any games on it (other than Solitaire) and use it primarily just for normal web surfing-- but the crashes are getting very annoying.
Here's what typically happens: the screen goes black, then comes back on with a notice that Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3600 Series has crashed but recovered. After that, if I can manage to quit the web browser and (navigating through the graphical glitches that make the Start menu almost impossible to use) shut down or restart the computer fast enough, everything is fine again after the restart. If I'm too slow or try to do anything else, I get the BSOD. My web browser is Firefox 24, though I remember this happening in previous versions of Firefox too. I've noticed that the NoScript add-on for Firefox seems to increase the frequency of the crashes, but even with it disabled, GMA 3600 still crashes more than I would like. It was already crashing before I ever installed NoScript, too.
During the most recent crash, I had one application open (Firefox), and had one window open in it with two tabs. As I said, very basic stuff, nothing crazy.
I download the latest driver from the Intel site (the file I got is called Win7_1089.exe), but when I try to install it, it gives me an error and says the driver is "not validated for this computer". I then tried the "have disk" method, but that didn't work either (though I might be doing it incorrectly).
Here are my ideas, then. I'm not an advanced user and am more used to Mac than Windows, so forgive me if these are stupid questions:
- Is there anywhere else (safe) to download a driver that might help my situation?
- Is there anything besides the driver that I should try updating?
- Are there any settings I could adjust to make crashes less likely? Would it help to decrease screen resolution or anything like that?
- Is it possible to use a different adapter? I've heard of something called a Microsoft Basic Display Adapter-- is it possible to install this onto my computer (or is it there somewhere already) and just skip the GMA 3600 entirely?
- Failing that, is it possible/financially worthwile to replace the whole Atom N2600/GMA 3600 chipset?
- I've heard there is an Ubuntu distro that's compatible with the GMA 3600. Would this have different drivers that don't crash, or the same buggy ones all over again? I'm open to trying Linux if that might solve the problem.
Any suggestions are very welcome-- other than the GMA 3600 issue, I really like this little netbook and would rather not give up on it just yet. I don't need state-of-the-art graphics and I don't care if there's a minor graphical glitch now and then, I just want something that won't crash. Thanks in advance.