PC Hardware forum


Pixelated screen, bsod

by Mogmatt / December 31, 2012 6:39 AM PST


My computer decided to breakdown right before the new year, and I am desperately looking for help.

I have been using windows 7 without any problems until a couple of days ago. When I booted up the system i noticed my screen was scattered with pixels of different colors and arrangements. The pixelated screens are present throughout bios boot up screen/post test, windows startup.

After windows starts to load, the screen flickers 4-5 times in black with pixelated boxes scattered throughout and then I get the bsod error 116.

Things I have tried:
-formatting the hd and reinstalling different os including: windows xp, vista, 7 and 8
-only windows vista will boot up and get me to my desktop (with pixellated screens), but once I update my videocard driver to the latest, windows will not boot up
-other os will end up with bsod during windows loading
-reset CMOS
-antivirus scan (Microsoft security essentials and avg)
-removing the videocard to clean and reinstalling
-bios updated to latest
-chkdsk (zero bad sectors)
-windows memory diagnostic test

-asus p5k motherboard
-sapphire ati radeon 2900xt
-currently windows vista

Please let me know if you need additional info. Thanks for your help guys!

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All Answers

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I remember that card.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 31, 2012 7:11 AM PST
In reply to: Pixelated screen, bsod

Isn't it old enough to need some TLC? That is, get in there to clean all the dust out and replace the old heat sink compound?

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Videocard hardware is the crux of my issue?
by Mogmatt / December 31, 2012 10:43 AM PST
In reply to: I remember that card.

That was one thing I did. Took the videocard out and subjected it to a healthy dose of compressed air. Also cleaned the pc as well.

So by your recommendation, are you suggesting it is the videocard that is the problem. Hardware issue and not software?

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I can't tell from the clues so far.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 31, 2012 10:46 AM PST

You didn't write if there was a lot of dust or if you replaced the heat sink compound but the pixelated screen and crash is typical of a video card with heat issues. That heatsink compound does dry out and again, it's a dollar item so I always wipe the old off and apply fresh.

Age matters, and we always check for BAD CAPS on the boards. Google BAD CAPS for pictures.

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by Mogmatt / January 1, 2013 3:02 AM PST

I only dusted it out, and yes there was quite a lot of dust. I have not replaced the heatsink compound.
I have a feeling it is related to heat issues as well, now that you mention it.

Though, are my issues reversible? If I am cold booting up the computer and I already see pixelated screens, does that mean the videocard is already permanently, irreversibly damaged?

If there is still hope, then I will try your suggestion of replacing heatsink compound. I just need to google search how to dismount the enclosure to get at it. Not familiar with tuning videocards at all

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I can't tell you that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 1, 2013 3:07 AM PST
In reply to: Dusty

I know from experience to invest the DOLLAR of heat sink compound since replacing a card not only costs that much but then you have the "driver hell" issues to work. I don't consider drivers to be that bad but your average owner can't install drivers. And some of the new cards don't include the driver CD which is both good and bad.

Good because I get the latest driver. Bad for those that don't know how to find or use .zip or other files.

Again, it's about a dollar of compound. Always worth trying.

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Looking for resources
by Mogmatt / January 1, 2013 3:30 AM PST
In reply to: I can't tell you that.

My reservation isn't with purchasing the compound. I actually have some arctic silver lying around somewhere. I am concerned about my unfamiliarity with dismantling the videocard apart to reapply the paste. I am googling and you tubing as we speak.
I'm guessing it can't be too difficult? Just a couple of screws holding the red enclosure together?
Please let me know if you know any resources that I can read.

Thanks for your help this far bob

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I rarely find instructions on this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 1, 2013 3:35 AM PST
In reply to: Looking for resources

So I look at the card and see how they attached the heat sink or shroud. Off it comes and I understand that folk that don't do this would expect a manual or assembly diagram.

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Please advise
by Mogmatt / January 1, 2013 5:36 AM PST

So I managed to disassemble the videocard to dust out and reapply new thermal heatsink compound (arctic silver 5). Wasn't as complicated as I had imagined, never having done this before

Upon boot up, I still have pixelated boxes onscreen. I think the only thing left to do is try to replace the videocard with a new one.

Any other suggestions?

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 1, 2013 6:18 AM PST
In reply to: Please advise

If it go the heatsink work done and there are no bad caps, that's the sign the card is toast.

Good to read you got the work done. In the future I'd use the canned air on the next card every few months.

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by Mogmatt / January 1, 2013 8:11 AM PST
In reply to: Ouch.

Thanks again for your help bob.
Here's hoping that the videocard is the issue. Will find out tomorrow. Got my sights on a radeon 7770.

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