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Computer freezes, weird stuff on screen

by mugsy94 / November 19, 2012 2:43 AM PST

My computer was working fine today when all of a sudden the screen was covered by columns of horizontal lines, each about an eighth of an inch by two inches wide and the pattern was irregular. At that point, it froze up completely. I have restarted it several times and a minute or two after logging on it happens again. It does not happen when I start up in safe mode.

A few weeks ago I was having a similar problem in which the computer would freeze up, though nothing on the screen. The problem "fixed itself" somehow...I didn't do anything.

Any suggestions?

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Clarification Request
I see where you mention ...
by Edward ODaniel / November 19, 2012 10:59 AM PST
"It does not happen when I start up in safe mode. "

If the problem goes away in Safe Mode it is likely that it is software rather than hardware even though the symptoms you describe are more common to a failed graphics card.

Try rolling back your video drivers to the original version that you had before encountering the problem.

It is also possible that if you have a system restore point shortly before the problem came up that a simple system restore to that point will take care of things.

All Answers

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Where are the details?
by Willy / November 19, 2012 2:53 AM PST

If this is a desktop PC, typically your display suggest "bad ram" or an overheated or stressed ram. It will fail or is in the failing mode as you view it. The video card or video port is going through a rough patch and may outright fail all together. The point being if heat related it may settle down once better cooling in introduced or cleaning of the PC. the other half of this its already starting to falter and you need to replace video card or install video card if video port is source of video. Again, cooling maybe part of the problem if the video card own fan is kaput. Though there maybe other causes, video just likely the reason. Of course, if this is a laptop, then you have a video problem on a mtrbd., which needs replacing, a much harder fix.

tada ----Willy Happy

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Where are the details?
by mugsy94 / November 19, 2012 7:55 AM PST
In reply to: Where are the details?

This is a desktop. I have never seen a message like "bad ram." But somehting that has just only occurred to me is that our cable modem has recently been replaced. The problem did get better after that, but now it is worse. Could that have something to do with it?

Your heating question makes me wonder if there is something I could do to make that better. It is a desktop, as I said, and there is nothing around the fans, etc. How would I know that the video card or port are going through a bad patch? Can you give any advice on replacing them?

Many thanks,

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The details I'd add are
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 19, 2012 8:00 AM PST
In reply to: Where are the details?

Make, model, age, if you use canned air, and why you suspect a bad patch.

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Gateway, two years old.
by mugsy94 / November 19, 2012 10:06 AM PST

I don't use canned air and the only reason I suspect a bad patch ( I don't know what that means, actually) is because somebody else suggested it.

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At 2 years, it's time.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 19, 2012 10:59 AM PST
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PS. Another reason SAFE MODE works.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 19, 2012 11:36 AM PST
In reply to: At 2 years, it's time.

Safe mode doesn't push the hardware as hard. You can find folk reloading the OS when a simple cleaning is all that was needed.

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by Willy / November 19, 2012 12:38 PM PST
In reply to: Where are the details?

I should have mentioned "video ram" already present on a video card. However, system ram can also be used even if a video card is present. Either video card or on-board video(port) uses system ram for hi-resolution video especially with LCD monitors. If driven too far or used "heat stressed" environment it starts to give-up the ghost.

Bad patch, may refer to a bad driver update or similar. It didn't take or was improper in some way or outright glitchly itself, it happens. Those would be areas I look at before elsewhere.

If you haven't yet, then do a good cleaning as a 2yr. old PC may have dust bunnies or a non-working fan so watch operation of all fans. gateway provides tips on this task, so check their support website and also look over their FAQ of basic problem for users. Place household fan and blow into an open case to see if that helps.

tada -----Willy Happy

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