Resolved Question

Horizontal lines and BSODs when display adapter installed


A few days ago, I fell asleep with my computer on, and it was making a lot of fan noise throughout the night. When I got up and turned it off and on, it started having this problem, with multi-colored horizontal lines across the screen (pictured). After it logs on, it also has had various BSOD's within 10 secs to a minute including "page fault in nonpaged area," "bad pool caller," or "memory management." After one of the BSOD's the computer wouldn't boot anymore, so I had to reinstall Windows (all my stuff is backed up). When I boot into safe mode everything is fine. And if I uninstall or disable the display adapter, everything is fine (despite not being able to use the video card).

I tried several things: Installing new display drivers, dusting out the machine and video card, buying and trying out a new video card, reinstalling the chipset drivers. Nothing has worked so far- it still has the same problem.

This leads me to suspect that it might be a motherboard problem, but I really don't know.

Here are my specs:
Windows 7, 64bit
Processor: AMD Phenom II x6 1090T Processor (6 CPUs), ~3.2GHz
Motherboard: ASUS M5A97
Video Card: I was using GeForce GTX 560Ti, and I just installed a GeForce GT 740 FTW that I'll probably return since it didn't fix the issue.

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Best Answer

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I replaced the motherboard and that fixed the problem.

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(NT) The noise. Could it be fans? Failing PSU?
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Yes, no

Yes the noise was the fans. It was making the loud fan noise the computer makes when it's turning off or on. The power supply seems to be fine, since everything works OK unless the display driver is installed. But on the other hand maybe not? Is there a way to test the power supply?

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Not resolved

If a moderator could mark this as not a "resolved question" that would be great.

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Due to forum oddities.

Mods can't do that. Since we will have new forums soon, there is no plan to fix that. Ignore it as everyone else does.

As to testing power supplies I swap in another.

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a blast from the past

Errant electrical noise across the motherboard, comes either from bad caps, or a failing PSU.

For same symptoms, google "bad caps" for images and also for stories on it.

Still, try another monitor first to confirm it's not contributing to problem.

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The noise I heard was the fans going on full blast. I don't think it was "errant electrical noise across the motherboard." Occasionally when restarting after being on for a while, my computer wont boot up- it doesn't get to the "beep". That's happened since I've had the computer, for about 4 years. So my guess is that it got a blue screen and got stuck trying to restart. So I don't know if the problem was created from being stuck like that for so long or if the problem caused the blue screen/restart.

I looked at the caps, and I didn't see any obvious problems. I'll try to look more thoroughly soon. And I'll try a different monitor.

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None of the above

I see no signs of bad caps anywhere. I tested with a new power supply, and a different monitor, and the problems remain.

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all that's left is

try that monitor on another computer and try a different video card on your computer.

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I did both those

I did both of those things already, and got the same results.

I also did a memory test (memtest86+) and it passed 100% with no errors.

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So the video card fails on the other computer?

That's bad. While it's rare to see both monitor and card to fail, at least you completed the test and found it's really a sad story. Looks like both card and monitor have failed. Rare but can happen in those lightning strikes.

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I don't know how you came to that conclusion. All of the monitors and the video cards I have and tried work perfectly fine.

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Because you wrote that.

"try that monitor on another computer and try a different video card on your computer." -JD

In Reply to: all that's left is by James Denison

"I did both of those things already, and got the same results."

Since you didn't write it worked I had no reason to write otherwise.
At this point there's something wrong with the failing PC. If the parts work in other PCs that points to a problem in the problem PC. OR and this can be hard on folk, it's some incompatibility with card and motherboard. Rare but happens.

Remember that we work with your clues as given. If you write "got the same results" and your post is about Horizontal lines and BSODs when display adapter installed then same results is it's failing.

I read up above and can't find the exact PSU. I wonder if it's a factor.

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How about this

From my OP: "And if I uninstall or disable the display adapter, everything is fine." In other words, my computer works normally when I have the video card driver disabled.

And if I tried a different video card and a different monitor (both of which are either new or I know they work) and got the same results, then obviously neither of those components are where the issue is.

And of course that's not where the issue was, it was with the motherboard.

I also already had tested with a brand new PSU, and the problems remained (i.e. the problem is with something else other than that component).

If you're going to be giving people advise, you should know how troubleshooting works. You test a component that you think might be the source of the problem by changing it out for equipment that you know works (I tested it with brand new hardware that I returned afterwards). Then if the problem remains the same you know that that component was not the issue, and you can move on to testing the next component. According to what you said, every component you test is also broken if the problem is still there --that makes no sense.

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If you are going to ask for help same advice.

I shared where you answered JD and more.

Now you're in some flogging mode. This is free advice and while I did own PC repair shops I don't mind sharing what I've learned over the years.

-> About the driver thing. That can still point us to some odd motherboard compat issue. I'm guessing you think it's proof these are OK.

1. Take folk's advice with thankfulness.
2. If you reply and need to update/correct or clarify, no big deal.

-> According to what I said... Yes, if you swap every part and the problem is still there then you haven't found the bad/incompatible parts. You know these work in another PC so why not get what's in the other PC and build on that?

I've seen folk lose months trying to fix a PC like above. Then it gets to our shop and we swap boards, etc. then the owner wants to re-install parts as a test of what we did. At 150 bucks a hour we do that too!

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(NT) Closing this thread as solved.

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