Possible graphics card problem?

Hello all and thanks in advance for your help!

I have an oldish Pentium 4 box here with Asus p5p800 SE motherboard and ATI Radeon 9200 graphics card. Yesterday morning when I turned the computer on it didn't work anymore. Nothing strange there yet but what's puzzling to me is some of the things that happens when I try to boot it. First of all it usually freezes before I can do anything, but the ctrl-alt-del reset method still always works even if the computer has frozen. Then sometimes when I'm in bios I get scrambled letters on the screen, like after 5 minutes the bios freezes and the letters start to go in strange places and get scrambled. Pretty weird, huh :) Couple of times I could boot the computer in to ms-dos mode from a boot cd-rom but that freezes too after the while and the cursor starts go into strange places too... It's really weird. Anyway, this morning when the computer had been off for the night I could get further, it almost got into booting windows (I saw the Windows XP booting screen) but then froze again. I have checked the temperatures from bios and it's not overheating. I tried running the Windows XP installation too but it usually stops at the same place and gives error code 7 ... And some filename. Sometimes it freezes before that.

So what would you think is the problem? I thought about the graphics card because of the scrambled text but I'm not sure. Motherboard could be other culprit ... But would be easier to buy just a new gfx card. But don't want to waste money if it's that :) I know it's an old computer but I use it for net surfing etc so wouldn't want to throw it away just yet. Thanks for all your help!
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  1. frezzing in BIOS, could be the mobo, that is the last place you would expect that :P

    I had a mobo that did that, that was a MSI it crashed in BIOS, crashed in game, it was fine for everything else through. till it crashed.

    I could say flash the BIOS but if it fails than dead mobo
  2. Thanks for your quick reply! Yeah, I suspected also that MOBO could indeed be the cause ... Still it baffles me that before this incident happened I sometimes had blank screen (black) for a few seconds while working on this computer. It happened occasionally .. That made me suspect of the dying gfx card but dunno.
  3. It sounds like it very well could be you video card overheating. See if you can borrow one from somewhere just to test the theory out.
  4. yeah trouble shot time....try your GPU with another computer if *it* don't do it, try a different card in your system, with this it proves that A. its not your card. B its something else in your system like the mobo have fun :P
  5. Thanks for your help guys, I will try with new graphics card first and will report back here :)
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