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*URGENT* Graphics card, or PSU? Any help appreciated


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#1 NightBlade

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 02:21 AM

Earlier today, whilst messing around on youtube, something odd happened. I loaded up a "maxed out left 4 dead" video when suddenly red lines appeared all over my screen. My computer slowed to snails pace and then froze outright. I restarted, and found that my bios screen was similarly distorted. (Blue distortion instead of red lines). Even the BIOS font had a few distortions in it. At the windows loading screen: same thing. Windows loads up, a blue screen with some computer jargon appears, and my computer restarts itself.

At this point, I take out my gfx card, spray out a meager amount of dust, and try again (in the second monitor port thing) same thing. I then dug out my old ATI X800 GFX card to see if I can just get the thing running until tommorow, but that didnt seem to work; as nothing appeared on my screen at ALL. (It's very old, its possible it could be just broken...) Scared, (having had dealt with this crap less than a year ago on my old mobo) I put my newer card in, (The 8800GT) and got a display again. Only this time an odd message appeared "Overclock settings FAILED, RETURNING TO DEFAULT SETTINGS (PRESS 9 TO DO SO) I press 9, supposedly return to default bios settings; computer restarts (distorted again) and thats that. I try booting into safe mode, it works, and I rolled back my computer to sunday. Distortions persist, and here I am asking... No: begging for help.

Here's my question.

Is this a graphics card issue, or a PSU issue? Is the 9600 a good replacement for an 8800GT? I cant get anything much bigger than my old 8800 because of my case's size.

Im heading out to get a replacement tomorrow, so if I can get some second opinions on this before then; I would be very very grateful.

Edit: Distortion also appears when I boot into safe mode.


#2 `~congresman Ron paul~~

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 03:22 AM

It's could be a defective motherboard. You've tried booting without a GPU in, right?
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#3 NightBlade

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 03:55 AM

It's could be a defective motherboard. You've tried booting without a GPU in, right?


The motherboard is less than a year old, but no I havent tried that. I didnt even know it was possible.

So what, do I just remove the graphics card and try to boot? What then?

#4 NightBlade

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 04:36 AM

Double POST

Well I tried uninstalling the drivers to see if that would do anything, no dice. Well; Ive been reading forum posts for the last three hours and all signs point to a faulty video card. Im going to get up early tomorrow before work and get a new card because I'm insane when it comes to this sort of thing.

#5 ATARI

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 05:11 AM

The motherboard is less than a year old, but no I havent tried that. I didnt even know it was possible.

So what, do I just remove the graphics card and try to boot? What then?


Your motherboard most likely has an integrated graphics chipset in it (most desktop motherboards do).  If you take out the dedicated video card it should recognize the chipset that is integrated in the motherboard.   If you're suspecting that its the video card now, have you done this yet to confirm that it doesn't happen without the dedicated card?

#6 Frisky SKeleton

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 05:55 AM

since you're getting distortion from start up it's not a driver issue, and if you're getting distortion on two cards it's not a GPU issue. you can check if it's a psu issue in the bios, you can monitor the voltage along all the rails, but yeah it's most likely something weird with your motherboard (it doesn't matter than it's only a year old, hear of SIDS?).

just for good measure though, try turning your computer on before your monitor.

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#7 NightBlade

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 07:19 AM

sorry i should have been more clear. im typing on a wii now btw.

pc does not post at all w/ old gpu: but posts w/ newer one but distorted.


old card is ati x800

there is no port for monitor.,,
so i have no idea how to boot w/o gpu.


#8 Rowain

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 11:06 AM

I've had a similar experience. Last Saturday, I was playing Lord of the Rings Online or something and I got a NVVLDKM DRIVER FAILED or some such error, my screen goes black. This has happened before, LOTRO seems to bug out certain nVidia cards so I wasn't worried. This time however, the card didn't recover and my screen stayed black. Then I got a BSOD, which is a new problem.

At my BIOS and post screens, there's a ton of artifacting and colour distortions. My PC boots, but at 640x480 resolution and with a ton of distortion. I shut it off, blow the case with compressed air, wait a bit, and restart.

Remarkably, it boots fine this time, colours and resolution and everything are OK. Get to desktop, all seems to be good. Try watching a video.

Display driver fails, screen goes dark. Try restarting.

Bios/post screens are a mess again.

At this point, I hop on my laptop and do a little research. Seems to be a symptom of my 8800 GTX in its death throes. I found several other posts all with VERY similar problems.

I've RMA'd my card back to eVGA. I also ordered a cheap 9600 GSO off newegg so I'll have a test/backup card for the future. I'm sort of wishing I did more research though. I just assumed since my computer was basically just having display problems that this was a GPU issue, I didn't even consider the problem may be with the mobo. I sure hope it isn't, though I'd love an excuse to dump this piece of shit ASUS P5N-E. Never buy ASUS if you can help it!

Sorry I can't help more than saying I'm in the same boat as you. Misery loves company?????
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#9 goat

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 06:08 PM

It does sound like a faulty video card, but a 9600 is a poor replacement as it would be noticably slower. I suggest you find out what your options are as far as returning/replacing the card

#10 NightBlade

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 11:00 PM

Thanks Goat, you're right. I did some reading before I went ahead and replaced the card. I went ahead and got myself a EVGA 9800 GT (the 1g variety). I got home, carefully unwrapped it and put it into my system (as well as adding a guard over an open port I've left open for far too long) I stared at my monitor when a miracle happened. It posted, without distortion. Yes for once a computer problem I've had to deal with has been resolved in a timely manner. But maybe it's too early to celebrate...

I just installed the new drivers and Im going to give left 4 dead a go. Hopefully, nothing else goes wrong. Thanks for all of the help.

As far as replacing the 8800GT, I'm going to do that now and sell the refurbished (?) or new one they send on ebay. If anyone wants a good deal on an 8800GT (Or if they ship me the 9800 GT) 515 mb, let me know.

#11 Carrion Crow

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 02:27 AM

It's an expensive business this considering if you want a system that matches up to next gen consoles you normally end up paying twice the price, without taking into account the potential for fuck-ups.

I have an 8800 that cost me £200 when they came out and I really really really hope this does not happen.

#12 wickedtruth

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#13 wickedtruth

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