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Help! Major Problem With Computer!

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August 29, 2006 8:21:11 AM

Hello THG forum bums, to cut it short; I have a major problem with my computer that is bugging the hell out of me. The problem primarily is that I’m midway through the university semester and do not have time to carefully diagnose this problem. So, I am just wondering if anyone out there could immediately see what the problem is with my computer by taking a look at some of the photos I have taken of the monitor.

The problem is this: During normal computer use such as browsing the net or word processing; the screen just suddenly screws up horribly and artefacts (see below - You may need to enlarge photos by clicking on them seperately)



or sometimes it looks like this:



After another several seconds the monitor goes black and the LED flashes to indicate that there is no signal. However, the sound is undisturbed. ie. Music will continue playing normally during all this. Also sometimes after the screen is black it restarts the computer automatically.
Furthermore, I have noticed that once the screen corrupts, if the computer is restarted, then the following screens will all be corrupted as well (see below):



and once windows loads up, everything is all corrupted (see below):



But, if instead I turn the computer off (by holding down the power button for several seconds) after the screen corrupts, and they wait about 5-10 seconds, and turn the computer on, then it will usually restart normally.
I realise that I have said a lot of things, which are probably very hard to follow and make sense of, but if anyone out there has seen a problem similar to mine, I would really appreciate any feedback.

These are my computer specs:

- Pentium 4 540 @ 3.2GHz 800MHz FSB, 1 MB cache
- 2*512MB Corsair Value Select DDR400 @ 2.5-3-3-8
- Asus P5P800 mobo, 865PE chipset with PAT enabled
- Asus V9999 TV Geforce 6800 (vanilla) unlocked with 16 pipes and 6 vertex shaders
- Seagate 160GB SATA HDD with 8MB cache
- Zalman ZM400B 400W power supply ATX ver 1.3

More about : major problem computer

August 29, 2006 8:58:50 AM

Quote:
- Asus V9999 TV Geforce 6800 (vanilla) unlocked with 16 pipes and 6 vertex shaders

Sounds like the video card is overheating to me. Have you tried going back to stock settings?
August 29, 2006 9:12:49 AM

your video card fan may have died.
Related resources
August 29, 2006 9:25:58 AM

Quote:
- Asus V9999 TV Geforce 6800 (vanilla) unlocked with 16 pipes and 6 vertex shaders

Sounds like the video card is overheating to me. Have you tried going back to stock settings?


...or the unlocked pl really got prob, but hav not surfaced until now....IMO
August 29, 2006 10:18:37 AM

Well, your video card may be hosed, or it may not be. If it has ever happened when you just turned on your computer, then it probably wouldn't be overheating. Also, since you're just doing web browsing and stuff which doesn't tax the video card, it is also a strike against over heating. I must ask if it does it a lot while playing any video games or anything video heavy. If when you play any games, it starts screwing up quite quickly, and it happens every time, then it's probably overheating. If it doesn't, then we can almost definetally take out over heating.

Now if it's not overheating, or even if it is, it could be that the pipes that were previously locked, were an artifacting accident waiting to happen, and for that you may be screwed, unless there's a way to lock those pipes back up again. If it's not overheating, then try to lock the pipes again, and hopefully it'll still work.

If all else fails, you may have to spend what teensy little budget you have left that's normally used for more beer and such, on getting a new agp graphics card.
August 29, 2006 10:40:26 AM

go to your control DISPLAY panel and check out the video cards temperature BEfore the artifacts and during the artifacts.

Is the PSU giving it enought juice?
Its possible the PSU is crapping out.
August 29, 2006 11:57:02 AM

Quote:
- Asus V9999 TV Geforce 6800 (vanilla) unlocked with 16 pipes and 6 vertex shaders

Go back to 12 and 5 and see if you can replicate the scrambling. If the problem persists, then your card has some graphics card framebuffer sector screwed or as others have pointed out it may be overheating. If the scrambling disappears then you can say the extra units on your gpu are really broken.
August 29, 2006 1:05:31 PM

One word : Chocolate. surely the problem is an excess buildup of chocolate on the heatsink. Happened to me the other week. Buildup of chocolate fried me new Nvidia board. Listen to me fella, get a big brush - a toothbrush would do, and get rid of that chocolate! Scrub it and scrub it till its clean as a whistle.
However, be careful not to destroy any key components while you're scrubbing. Good luck!
August 29, 2006 1:48:56 PM

Thanks for all your comments guys I really appreciate it.
Initially I though it was the graphics card as well, but I used RivaTuner to reset the card to its original settings (ie. Disabled masked hardware) but the problem still persisted. In termps of overheating; I don’t think it is. I use Speedfan to monitor the temps and it always idles at around 50 degrees Celsius (GPU) and 44 degrees (RAM) which seem to be pretty low for this card from what I have read (I guess that’s partly thanks to the AS5 on the GPU and the good airflow within my case). Aside from the SmartDoctor glitch, this card hasn’t given to too many problems for the time which I’v had it (nearly two years).
Also, I forgot to mention one thing; at the time when this corruption started happening the only two recent changes I had made to my computer were installing NX (CAD software) and downloading windows updates, which now keeps telling me to ‘get genuine.’ Could it be that Microsoft are stuffing around with peoples computers that aren’t installed with ‘genuine’ Windows XP? :p 
I suppose that the cause of the problem still could be the graphics card; just not the unlocked part. Is there any way to determine this? Anyone else have any ideas?
August 29, 2006 1:51:37 PM

Does this happen in Safemode ?
August 29, 2006 2:32:28 PM

Quote:
Hello THG forum bums, to cut it short; I have a major problem with my computer that is bugging the hell out of me. The problem primarily is that I’m midway through the university semester and do not have time to carefully diagnose this problem. So, I am just wondering if anyone out there could immediately see what the problem is with my computer by taking a look at some of the photos I have taken of the monitor.

The problem is this: During normal computer use such as browsing the net or word processing; the screen just suddenly screws up horribly and artefacts (see below - You may need to enlarge photos by clicking on them seperately)



or sometimes it looks like this:



After another several seconds the monitor goes black and the LED flashes to indicate that there is no signal. However, the sound is undisturbed. ie. Music will continue playing normally during all this. Also sometimes after the screen is black it restarts the computer automatically.
Furthermore, I have noticed that once the screen corrupts, if the computer is restarted, then the following screens will all be corrupted as well (see below):



and once windows loads up, everything is all corrupted (see below):



But, if instead I turn the computer off (by holding down the power button for several seconds) after the screen corrupts, and they wait about 5-10 seconds, and turn the computer on, then it will usually restart normally.
I realise that I have said a lot of things, which are probably very hard to follow and make sense of, but if anyone out there has seen a problem similar to mine, I would really appreciate any feedback.

These are my computer specs:

- Pentium 4 540 @ 3.2GHz 800MHz FSB, 1 MB cache
- 2*512MB Corsair Value Select DDR400 @ 2.5-3-3-8
- Asus P5P800 mobo, 865PE chipset with PAT enabled
- Asus V9999 TV Geforce 6800 (vanilla) unlocked with 16 pipes and 6 vertex shaders
- Seagate 160GB SATA HDD with 8MB cache
- Zalman ZM400B 400W power supply ATX ver 1.3


Looks like a VERY common problem. It affects about 50% of the enthusiast community and persists even after countless driver updates. It has more recently resurfaced with a vengeance after increased sales.

It's called the "nVIDIA" syndrom.. but do not worry.. there is a cure.

What you must do is:
1. Remove your nVIDIA drivers.
2. Turn off the PC and open the side panel.
3. Remove the nVIDIA 6800.
4. Toss it in the garbage.
5. Go to your local PC shop and buy an ATi video card.
6. Install the card into your PC.
7. Install the latest ATi Catalyst 6.8 drivers.

Voila.. problem solved...:) 

PS.. I'm a disgruntled 3 time owner of an nVIDIA 7900GTX (XFX XXX) so I truly do understand your pain. I took the above steps and haven't had a single problem since. It truly did solve my problem.

:p 

Ok Jokes over... It's your video card. If it's been under 3 years then you should think about RMA'ing it to Asus.. they offer a 3YR warranty. ;)  See it could also be your system memory as the issues you're seeing normally have to do with bad video memory. Your system memory can be the culprit if it occurs during times of heavy usage (you know when your texture buffer is too small and you start using system memory.. AGP Aperture Size). But in your case it's occuring on the desktop. Screen tearing is GPU related... what you're seeing is Video Memory related. RMA..;)
August 29, 2006 3:36:55 PM

Aye...video card troubles. Luckily, after 3 or 4 NVidia cards I've never had an issue...Except once I had excessive BSOD's...somehow a disk-defrag cured the problem. But anyway, graphics cards are damn cheap these days...just get something under $100 and it'll probably be better than what you have.
One day though, maybe I'll try an ATI, just to see if there's any kind of difference made.
August 29, 2006 4:27:19 PM

Quote:
Looks like the video card is giving out on you. Unlocking the exstra pipes and shaders has over stressed the GPU and now it is failing. Time for a new card. Be it nVidia or ATI.


Where exactly are you getting that information? It certainly looks like the video card, but unlocking the card didn't do it. Explain to me how unlocking caused stress.

IRT to topic, it still may be heat related....meaning, the chip can't handle what would otherwise be considered normal levels of heat. That doesn't do anything to help fix it, but you might be able to limp along if you take the side off the computer and point a house fan into the case. Or, look in dumpsters for old AGP cards, they should be fairly easy for find.
August 29, 2006 4:36:05 PM

While a problem with the video card memory first comes to mind I have to say I've experienced this identical problem which was NOT the video card, and it also started happening after installing new graphic software and the latest MS updates. After using for a while green artifacts would appear on the screen and objects "multiply." A quick restart of the system results in the screen still being corrupted once the 32-bit drivers are loaded but ok if one shuts down then turns back on. What was happening I think is a software glitch with a program overwriting part of the memory allocation to a hardware device. This caused an error in resource assignment which remains after a quick reboot, but is resolved if the bios has a chance to reconfigure devices after a longer boot. For me the solution was to remove the network and sound cards, swap slots, and fully reinstall them. The problem never happened again.. The system was a P3-1000 on an Asus board with Matrox 400, but it has also occurred briefly on a P4-530. :!:
August 29, 2006 4:41:53 PM

Quote:
While a problem with the video card memory first comes to mind I have to say I've experienced this identical problem which was NOT the video card, and it also started happening after installing new graphic software and the latest MS updates. After using for a while green artifacts would appear on the screen and objects "multiply." A quick restart of the system results in the screen still being corrupted once the 32-bit drivers are loaded but ok if one shuts down then turns back on. What was happening I think is a software glitch with a program overwriting part of the memory allocation to a hardware device. This caused an error in resource assignment which remains after a quick reboot, but is resolved if the bios has a chance to reconfigure devices after a longer boot. For me the solution was to remove the network and sound cards, swap slots, and fully reinstall them. The problem never happened again.. The system was a P3-1000 on an Asus board with Matrox 400, but it has also occurred briefly on a P4-530. :!:


While that does sound logical it does not explain his issues in the BIOS. His system still displays artifacts before any 32bit driver is loaded (hence the Asus AI splash screen artifacts).
August 29, 2006 5:02:06 PM

Quote:
Quote:

While that does sound logical it does not explain his issues in the BIOS. His system still displays artifacts before any 32bit driver is loaded (hence the Asus AI splash screen artifacts).


I said MY system didn't show it until the windows screen, if there's a conflict it could show in Bios boot also. In fact a conflict can frequently prevent the system from even booting, a common problem when installing an additional video card or professional sound card. The OP should try changing the video card anyway. Ironically if the system then works the problem could have been either a bad card or resource conflict.
August 29, 2006 5:39:55 PM

Morphine! You beat me to Hypno Toad! :evil: 

Gotta get my posts up so I can get my second choice in.
August 29, 2006 6:30:04 PM

To eliminate the possibility of it being something simple... like a snagged cord... do you have a friend with a working monitor\cord you could try using temporarily?
August 29, 2006 6:35:37 PM

If you're replying to the original poster, he said he put it back to stock with no change.
August 30, 2006 12:17:27 AM

Quote:
Does this happen in Safemode ?


I'm pretty sure I tried safe mode and the error still occured. Il try again tonight just to make sure
August 30, 2006 12:24:49 AM

What exactly does RMA mean? return manufacturer something..? Thing is though; how am I going to prove to Asus that my card is dodgy. Sometimes this problem only occurs after many hours of usage. So they're going to try it on theyr systems and think that it's fine and then probably charge me money for hassling them. I'l try safe mode, using a different monitor, and opening up the case (in case teh temp reading are wrong) tonight and get post up my results. Thanks for everyones input so far you've been really helpfull.
August 30, 2006 12:37:51 AM

I think I had that with my laptop which died the moment that happened. I was playing a game and things got distorted. Everything was fine till I rebooted. The Windows XP screen was multicolored instead of all white and there were distortions in the large writing. The the screen would go black yet my system was on. If I went to safe mode, everyhting was ok but I was getting lines going across the screen. It ended up to be my video card, it died.

My laptop was 2 years old----Alienware 51m 766 model

P4 2.8 GHZ
512MB Ram
40GB HD
Nvidia Geforce Fx Go5600
15" screen

It was disheartning to see this happened after the warranty expired.
August 31, 2006 2:09:24 AM

Quote:
What exactly does RMA mean? return manufacturer something..?


I believe that it's 'Return Material Authorization' and yes, it's time. Call tech support, explain to them you've done bios and driver updates, system's cool, you've swapped PCI cards around (try this yet?), they'll probably have you jump through a few hoops and have to take it in for evaluation. In the mean time, get a cheapo substitute so you can surf. It's not worth pulling your hair out just to avoid a shipping charge. Besides, sounds like you've pretty much covered the possibilities.

Edit: Oh yeah, put the card's bios back to stock!
!