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General discussion

Possible Graphics Card Problem?

by foreverembraced / November 15, 2006 10:13 PM PST

I've had my PC for about 4 months now with no problems...sorta.
I have a Nvidia Graphics card (I believe the 7200? one of the newest better models) as well as gforce motherboard. The monitor I use is an Apple 23" cinema display and 2gigs of Ram.

My Problem:
The only thing I basically use it for is playing World of Warcraft and it has run great with full settings, but I did notice about a month ago that sometimes during playing it would "lock up" for about 5 seconds then I would hear a "click" from in my PC then it would go back to normal play.
I also recently started getting small colored dots on my start-up screens, like around the windows logo and also rows of letters on the DOS screen are now pink. It seemed like this was getting worse as it went on (more dots would appear etc.)

Now the major problem:
I got home from work last night and went to wake up my PC and I couldn't open any programs, so I shut down and tried to restart but no matter what mode I tried starting in (safe etc.) it would auto-restart again at the windows loading screen. So I went ahead and re-installed windows, reinstalled my drivers, reinstalled WoW and now I'm able to load Windows fine but I am still getting the colored dots and letters upon start up. I also noticed these colored dots/patches now on my WoW loading screen and one time I even had a large bar of all sorts of colors (didn't look good) behind my character on my character select screen. I also can't stay logged into WoW for more than 10 seconds now as well, if that helps figure this out at all.

Is this a sign of a faulty graphics card? Is it just dusty and needs to be cleaned? My PC has a great cooling system, but maybe this is letting too much dust in from all the fans and vents? Please help this is very frustrating.

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Possible solution
by Ronio51 / November 15, 2006 11:17 PM PST

I would venture to say it's either the grapics card (as you suspect) or a virus. When you re-installed Windows did you format your hard drive and start anew or did you just erase Windows and re-installed it? Most of the time a format and re-install will get rid of a virus even when your anti-virus program can't. The fastest way to check out a video card is the switch it with another if you have one available. If not, you might pull out the card and take it to your local computer repair shop, or maybe the Geek Squad at BestBuy will check it for you.

However, it would be more efficient to check by switching with another card in your computer in case there's is something else in your system causing the problem and not the video card.

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by foreverembraced / November 15, 2006 11:36 PM PST
In reply to: Possible solution

I believe I re-formatted it, I used the XP system disk and just re-installed over what was already on there to start fresh.

I will try running an anti-virus on the disk, I just didn't think this would be the problem considering it started doing this right at the start of the boot up of the new install, and I kept the modem unplugged throughout the entire process. You may be right though.

Thanks for the reply Happy

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by Atvrunnerboats / November 18, 2006 2:04 AM PST
In reply to: perhaps

Even if you re-install your windows with the recovery cd, it doesn't mean you reformatted your system, in order to reformat, you have to click on the letter F when it ask you to reformat, that way it will remove everything off your PC, and re-install your windows like the first day you got it.
Hope this helps:

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Hardware problems
by Hagrun / November 16, 2006 12:44 AM PST

These problems suck.

From what you described:
The clicking noise (possibly your hard drive), the discolored dots (video card), and the auto restarting it almost sounds like your power supply isn't supplying the right voltage.

When power supplies don't provide clean power nothing will work correctly. If you have a volt meter (or check in your BIOS as they often come with built in power meters) make sure you are getting steady 5V and 12V being delivered to the right places. If not then I suggest you replace that ASAP as it can cause several other more severe problems.

Good luck!


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System Specs
by foreverembraced / November 16, 2006 1:35 AM PST
In reply to: Hardware problems

Thanks for the replies guys. Here are the exact hardware specs of my PC.

OEM ATHLON 64 4000+ 939 PIN
2x 1 GB ( 1X 1024)DDR 3200

I payed a little extra for the 500W. power supply so I'd hope that this isn't the problem, but I'll look into it. How exactly do I get into BIOS to check the voltage reading?

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BIOS power meter
by Hagrun / November 16, 2006 3:00 AM PST
In reply to: System Specs

With today's motherboard you have to be quick to get into the BIOS.
When the computer starts and you see the POST you will need to hit a certain keyboard button. Usually the magic button is the "Delete" key. However sometimes it is a random F key.

I took the liberty off looking through your motherboard's manual. When you start the computer, after you hear the beep, hit the "Delete" key a few times.

Here is a link to your motherboard's manual in case you don't have it.

Somewhere in your BIOS you will find a power monitor. The power monitor gives you real-time updates as to how the power is being received by your motherboard. The power monitor is probably under advanced features. If you haven't navigated a BIOS before you can usually find navigation controls at the bottom of the BIOS screen (I think).

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You also need to pop the case
by Design4Detest / November 17, 2006 8:25 AM PST
In reply to: System Specs

You need to pop the case and look at the 12 volt rails and make sure they support the amps that your video card needs. The label on the side of the P/S will tell you what the 12v rails are rated for. I could find NO specs on your P/S, just rumors that they were rebadged OCZ P/S's. In any case, the final wattage (500) on your P/S doesn't really mean anything. It's the individual rails that count.

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Similiar issue
by Rick Hoffman / November 17, 2006 8:46 AM PST
In reply to: System Specs

I had the same problem with a NVidia 7800. It turned out to be a bad memory chip causing the artifacts and general pc problems. I ran a utility that checks video memory (I think it is a utility that comes with Gateway PC's) and the memory checked bad. I replaced the card with an ATI Radeo 9800 Pro and the problem was solved.

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by edgaruy1980 / November 17, 2006 8:19 AM PST

Sadly if you got "artifacts" on the startup is not your driver or software related, it's hardware related, check your video card temperatures and if the fan is working, but it's just a question of time when it won't turn on again.
You can download ATITOOL, which the latest support Nvidia cards, and there is a feature to check for artifacts, this artifacts appears when the memory or core (GPU) is faulty due to voltage or overclocking.
Also be sure it connected properly, if has an external power connection and if the fan works.
You can try with the latest driver, but if you have in the start up is not really software issue.
You can call the video card manufacturer, which could offer lifetime warranty, like EVGA or Gainward, so you will pay only the shipping and they can send a new one.

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Im getting the simmilar issues as main thread guy
by Mathyous / September 19, 2009 2:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Sadly

So my computer has been getting these artifacts and no games getting different colored letters in my BIOS start up (like the K's are pink and stuff) and if I move my windows around they get all these wierd colors on them. I'm fairly sure that this is a graphics card issue. Also, i downloaded that ATITOOL that you mentioned and uh...its not good. It cant find any errors in the 3d menu..but its clearly visable that there are some serious problems...the cube is spazzing and turning yellow and flashing really fast and its just painful to look at...but besides that the pc has been able to handle itself pretty long as i dont play games...but it does freeze up from time to time and beep randomly on occasion and then lock me out and I have to if you think that it is my graphics card that is dead as I also suspect just say so...

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My specs
by Mathyous / September 19, 2009 8:44 AM PDT

Also my graphics card is: NVIDIE GeForce 7900 GS
Chip name: G71GS
Host interface is: PCI-E
Memory Size: 256 MB
Memory Type GDDR3
Memory Bus Width 256 Bit
Active Pixel Pipelines 16
Active Vertex Pipelines 6

hope this helps at all

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maybe the power supply
by markske100 / November 17, 2006 4:20 PM PST

maybe your power supply is faulty ?

the click you heard could be your harddisk head going into "park" status. the disk should only do that when you order it to do so or when you turn off your computer.

It is known that hard drives which do not get a good voltage on the 12-volt line (too low) do this, it's not a good thing for your hard drive and neither is is for your graphics card or other hardware.
It would explain why your system is so unstable.

I personally think thar your power supply is "dying" a slow and painful death, but it would be great if you gave us your full specs and the brand and rating of your power supply. Unlike with most other hardware the brand of a power supply is very important. it is known that 400-watt power supplies could in fact only handle about 250watt continous and that the 400 watt rating is for a small peak.

here's a list with the good and the bad power supplies:

the good :
antec, zalman, enermax, ocz, superflower, delta, fortron (source),thermaltake,....
the bad ...:
sweex, q-tec,viking, .... mostly all the cheap brands

to know if your power supply is failing it would be advised that you take a multimeter and measure the voltage between the yellow and black wire on a molex. if the value is below 11.6 volts you have foun the source of your instability.

It is also possible that your graphics card is simply running too hot due to a faulty cooler (bad contact between cooler and gaphics card)

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maybe the power supply!!!!!!!!!
by renegade_mrc / November 18, 2006 3:06 AM PST
In reply to: maybe the power supply

I`ve recently had the same problem - same components (almost)
it went like this - 1.Memory stick was faulty - replaced
went great for a week or so.
2.The graphics card - had a little black burn
out spot on the board - replaced.
3.Problem occured again - switched to on
on board graphics - lasted for 6 mnths

the technician found it was all due to the motherboard in the first place.So for the first time in a while - I listened to him & have had no problems since.

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probably the power supply
by Flirkann / November 19, 2006 1:45 PM PST
In reply to: maybe the power supply

I'm running a R9700 Pro that used to do that annoying artifact/checkerboard thing from time to time on boot - turns out if I left a cd in the drive at shutdown, the drive would spin up at boot, sucking the juice the video card needed. I've upgraded the PSU since (400W to 550W) and it boots fine, even if I accidentally leave a cd in the drive.

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by foureyesslim / November 18, 2006 4:57 AM PST

A broken motherboard. Had same problem with mine not too long ago.
Sorry to hear that. Good luck

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Your problem is due to the Power Supply
by vincentson1 / November 20, 2006 10:50 AM PST

If you are planning to use any kind of medium-end to high-end graphics card with games like WOW, you really need to be willing to spend the money to get a 700-watt power supply. This may seem like a lot, but it will insure that there is power to feed everything in your system. Some of the highest ended ATI and nVidia cards will not function properly with anything less. If you are a gamer, although you are building your own system, take to the time to look at Apple's MacPro tower, Dell's Dimension XPS 700, and the most recent Alienware tower systems. While you may not buy these systems, take the time to "checklist" the types of equipment, ie videocard, processor, RAM type and amount, hard drive type and size, DVD drive and type, and power suppy type and power rating. This will give you a good idea of what a graphics workstation/gaming rig system should have to acheive really good results. Another thing to make sure about is the UPS (un-interruptible power supply) box, ie APC and TrippLite. If your system has a 700-watt power supply, make sure the UPS also handles 700-watts.
As for the lines you are seeing on your boot-up screen, the video card is definitely toast. I would look at this point changing the power-supply to a 700-watt unit and a new video card.

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Ive got the same problem :(
by prophet87 / November 21, 2006 4:55 AM PST

I get the dots at the bios opening screen, with loads of wierd characters. Aswell as that, if i install a nvidia driver for my graphics card the screen turns off and when i boot back into windows the monitor turns off again. I have to boot into safe mode, and uninstall my driver before i can use windows again.
This all happened after one day i came back and it wouldnt go into windows, it just kept restarting, the same as yours. so i reinstalled windows (full format) and this happened. I dont know if its a motherboard of a graphics card problem, but ill let u know when i find out.
IT IS NOT a power supply problem, ive had my pc for 2 years now and its been fine, its just recently. Just think my graphics cards shagged Sad

ive got

An8-sli deluxe
1gb corsair ram (with the lil lights Happy )
6800 extreme edition gfx card
audigy 2 zs
antec neo power 550w

Any info would be much appreciated.

cheers all

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avg software
by eagleputt / December 12, 2006 11:06 AM PST

I was having similar problems with my computer. I run AVG antivirus software with automatic updates. when I upgraded to the new version of the software the problem stopped. one of the upgrades in the older version caused the problem. I know this is true because when I put the older version on my laptop the same problem started. Upgraded that computer to the new version and problem solved

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Help please!
by coreboy91 / October 25, 2011 8:35 AM PDT
In reply to: avg software

Hy, i have a problem: my PC recognises my video card, but i cannot set the displays maximum resolution through Windows(since 2007 I've never had such an issue)
I use nvidia control panel to set the LCDs maximum resolution(1680x1050) now and it works...

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Hello foreverembraced
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 25, 2011 10:55 AM PDT
In reply to: Help please!
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