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Sanity Check: BSOD - Think my card is dead - What do you think?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 25, 2008 6:54:57 PM

Hey Folks -

I'm running an old-ish (1.5 - 2 years since installation?) nVidia 7300 GS in one of my machines - I have Vista x64 on it, and it has been quite a happy little machine. Well, a couple of days ago I started seeing consistent "Display driver nvlddmkm stopped responding and has successfully recovered." messages in my system tray bubbles.

Yesterday, they started occuring more frequently (3-4 in a row, 3-4 minutes of peace, 3-4 more in a row, etc.) and I also started getting hit with blue screens.

Since the current drivers have worked for me since December, and since I haven't updated anything else on this box in the near term, I'm thinking hardware.

- I opened my box, "dusted" the inside of the case where necessary, removed & reseated the card itself. No change.

- If I run the machine with the VGA driver, I don't have problems.

- Haven't experimented with hardware acceleration yet (turning it off)

- After cold booting the machine, it seems like I get a 40-ish minute runway before the problems start happening again.

- Checked cooling systems on the box & on the GPU, they are all still operational.

- Have not checked to see if the power supply is still putting out enough power

- I noticed that after a BSOD, when the machine POSTs again, the BIOS & other startup info (which used to be all white text) is now randomly multi-colored! Every 20-th character or so is purple...

- When the initial Vista splash screen comes up (while the OS is still loading) I see random purple dots on the monitor (they look similar to dead pixels on a laptop screen).

Especially because of the last two observations, I'm guessing my graphics card (or maybe the motherboard) has just about hit the "mean" in mean time before failure.

What do you all think? Time to break out the credit cards?

I don't have any other cards I can plug in to see if the MB itself is bad. I'm in the process of uninstalling / reinstalling drivers, but I don't think it's going to make a difference based on the weird colorized text I'm seeing during POST before the driver is even loaded....
a b U Graphics card
April 25, 2008 7:07:47 PM

First off, check your gpu temps, always on occasion. Yea, it doesnt sound good. Fried memory most likely. Does your card support temps reads? If so, let us know what they are, but it sure sounds like its had its better days
April 25, 2008 8:35:40 PM

The dots could mean that the card is artifacting, however what I would suggest that you do is to make a clean installation of windows and install the latest drivers to see if it changes anything, if it doesn't then I wouldn't put much effort into that card.
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April 25, 2008 9:44:36 PM

Vista x64 + Nvidia= Multitudes of headaches and BSODs.
April 25, 2008 10:46:09 PM

That’s it, get a Dell! j/k

Kinda sounds like a driver issue to me… Ive seen dead GPU’s before but have never seen a Driver error when they die. Generally when they die you get artifacts, then more artifacts then eventually it just dies.
I cant recall ever in my life seeing a driver error during those final moments.

I would uninstall all drivers and get the latest greatest… also as emp said even try a fresh XP install before moving towards hardware failure.
April 25, 2008 10:47:48 PM

BSOD from video card??? whats the error on the BSOD's?
a b U Graphics card
April 25, 2008 11:24:39 PM

@OP: Please list full specs including if it's OCed, PSU (very important) and other information.

It could be a PSU issue. PSU issues all kinds or random problems.
April 25, 2008 11:45:04 PM

I agree with grieve about trying the driver cleanse. As for BSOD with video drivers, I went through this a few months back with an 8800gtx. One of the beta drivers seemed to be the problem. I reinstalled the same one a couple times and still had the problem. Installed a different one, and no more problems. Power supply is probably the second thing I would think about if the driver thing doesn't work.
Good luck
!