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Screen fragmenting and freezing

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 18, 2014 11:55:36 AM

Recently my computer started freezing up whenever I would play Starcraft 2 or League of Legends. The screen would fragment and go split screen at first, then it started freezing up and going completely blue or orange with lines running vertically. I've been digging through forums and running diagnostic tests to try to figure out what the problem is. From what I've read so far I feel like the problem is either my graphics card or my power supply. Currently I can't even log into my computer in standard mode, because the computer goes to the blue screen with vertical lines as soon as I type in my password and hit enter.

However, I'm still able to boot the computer in safe mode. When I could still boot into standard mode I used all the OCCT tests, but my computer would lock up on the GPU:3D test as well as the PSU test. Anyone have any advice or wisdom to share? Particularly if all these systoms are the cause of a specific type of hardware failure? I've already tried uninstalling and reinstalling the Catalyst software for my graphics card and I've even tried moving the card to a separate PSI slot.

I've cleaned/dusted the entire inside of the case, including the fans on the PSU, GPU, CPU, and the two other fans I have to move air through the whole case. None of the fans sound like they are bogged down and the it didn't seem like the temperature was exceeding the limits of the OCCT test. This mahcine is about 3 years old now and this is the first time I have had any issues with it.

Specs:
Windows 7
Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-2120 CPU @ 3.30GHz 3.29 GHz, processor
Radeon HD6870, Graphics card
Cooler Master GX 650 Watt, PSU
Kingston SSD Now, 128 GB, Hard Drive
2 x Corsair Vengeance 8GB, 1600 MHz, RAM
MSI Military Class II, Motherboard
a b à CPUs
March 18, 2014 12:05:09 PM

try taking the 6870 out and booting into windows with integrated graphics and see if you get a blue screen then
if you dont try your gpu in another pcie slot and try booting into windows
post results
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March 18, 2014 12:23:34 PM

The only display option I seem to have is through the card. I've already tried moving the GPU to a different PCI slot and it didn't help anything.
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March 18, 2014 12:31:47 PM

The specific motherboard I'm using is the MSI P67A-G45
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a b à CPUs
March 18, 2014 1:02:31 PM

you can either try a different gpu in your system or try a different psu in your system or try your card in a different system this will decide if it is gpu or psu. you are right your mobo doesnt support integrated graphics... is there any way you can try one of these methods to trouble shoot? you can also try discoonnecting your non boot drive and try to go into windows to see if it clears the issue. i have seen this be the cause a few times for artifacting gpus
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March 18, 2014 1:47:44 PM

I only have one hard drive currently. I'm working on a way to swap out hardware to see if I can isolate the problem that way. Unfortunately this isn't going to be easy for me to do or I would have already tried it.
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a b à CPUs
March 18, 2014 1:53:21 PM

well in the mean time you can try resetting your bios to default settings, and switching memory slots, have you also tried a clean install of windows?
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March 18, 2014 10:12:21 PM

I appreciate all the help man. I actually have already tried resetting the bios and switching RAM memory slots (if that's what you mean). Unfortunately I don't have the capability of doing a clean install. I've been trying to fish around for a Windows 7 OS from people I know. Today I managed to boot into standard mode by uninstalling my video drivers. However, once I re-install the drivers and reboot the computer and type in my password it changes to a lined blue screen and freezes (which is precisely where it was freezing up before). Then I am, once again, forced to boot into safe mode. Tomorrow I think I'm going to go pick up a video card from the store and swap out and see if it fixes the issue. If it doesn't work I can always return it. I'm definitely not a hardware expert, but my gut tells me it's the video card. If the driver software was the problem, I feel like a complete uninstall/re-install would remedy that. However, like I said, I'm definitely not an expert.
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a b à CPUs
March 18, 2014 10:20:59 PM

well if you can i would try to do a clean install if you can find a disk or have a friend burn an bootable copy to a usb if you somebody tht can do it. could very well be the gpu or drivers. i think drivers are the culprit though because you can boot into windows safe mode without error this means it is most likely a driver issue...is this a factory pc? if it is i may know a trick. when you boot spam f8 key it should put you to where you can do a factory reset if not give me the make/model of pc (if factory) and i can see if there is a way to get into recoery partition
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March 18, 2014 10:52:58 PM

I actually built this computer myself, with the help of a good friend of mine, so unfortunately it doesn't have a hidden partition on it. I'll continue trying to find someone who can help me get the OS. I've taken this thing apart about a million times and I did try to use recovery mode to go back to a different point in time, but it hasn't seemed to help. Another thing I should add is that the login screen is sometimes crisp and clear, but occasionally has black lines running in random spots horizontally when I'm booting in regular mode. Regardless of the lines, the screen still goes all blue or completely black when I try to log on.

NOTE: I've found that I'm able to boot into normal mode if I go into the device manager, click on "display adapters" and disable "AMD Radeon HD 6800 Series" (Which of course is the grahpics card.)

Is it still possible that this is a software issue?
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a b à CPUs
March 19, 2014 12:59:26 PM

if this also happens when you try to boot into windows safe mode then it is likely a sign the gpu is dying
if it doesnt happen when booting into windows safe mode it is likely a driver confliction and a clean install of windows is what i recommend.
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March 19, 2014 5:07:30 PM

Well today I formatted my hard drive and I reinstalled Windows. Everything seemed to be going smooth until after I finished with windows update and restarted. I could tell at that point that it had detected my card, because it changed my screen resolution. I saw a few of the horizontal lines at the login, which gave me a bad feeling. However, it wasn't done installing the updates and it rebooted one more time. After this reboot the login screen looked clean with no lines. I was even able to log in. However, as soon as I opened the web browser the screen went black and the computer locked up again.

I've never had a software issue I couldn't resolve with a fresh install. Any other ideas?
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a b à CPUs
March 19, 2014 5:13:52 PM

did you update the drivers from nvidias site after the clean install?
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March 19, 2014 5:30:24 PM

I hadn't installed the card specific drivers at that point. I'm actually in the process of doing that now. However, I should note again that this problem got incrementally worse over time. Originally my computer would only freeze up when I tried to play Starcraft2 or League of Legends. Then using the CAAP diagnostic tool caused my computer to freeze up on both the GPU:3d and PSU tests, which both use a Direct X rendering to test. Then I hit a point where my computer wouldn't even let me log into windows because it would freeze up after typing in my password and enter. The only way for me to get in after that was to disable the device or log into safe mode, both of which use a different screen resolution. I'm about to restart and see if the Catalyst drivers do anything, but I'm not very optimistic at this point.
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March 19, 2014 5:35:22 PM

I finished the catalyst driver install, rebooted, and this time when I tried to login not only did it freeze up, but I hard a soft buzzing sound coming from the speakers. Is this indicative of hardware failure and if so, do you think it is the GPU or the PSU?
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a b à CPUs
March 19, 2014 5:35:47 PM

if it didnt fix it it is most likely either the gpu or psu, the only real way to test these is to either try a new psu in your system or your gpu in another system. you could get a good 550w psu at best buy and try it and if it doesnt work you could return it.
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a b à CPUs
March 19, 2014 5:36:27 PM

i would try a new psu first and return it if the problem persists
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March 23, 2014 4:38:09 PM

So I finally was able to get in touch with one of my friends who let me try my graphics card in his computer. The same problem happened in his machine that happened in mine. I just bought a new card and I will be installing it later today.
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a b à CPUs
March 23, 2014 5:38:57 PM

ok if you tried it in another computer then it was def the card, sorry about your luck
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March 24, 2014 12:01:00 AM

Yeah it sucks, since the card is only like 3 years old and it was pretty expensive. Oh well.. I guess that's just life. Thanks for the help!
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a b à CPUs
March 24, 2014 12:09:34 AM

no problem
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!