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Computer Display showing Snow

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 16, 2009 2:02:09 AM

Hey All,

I have an issue that originally seemed like a general freezing thermal issue, and now I am completely unsure what to think.

First off, the system:
ASUS P5NE-SLI
Intel C2D 6600
XFX Nvidia 8600 GT
Samsung 300GB HD
Thermaltake 600W PSU
6 WD HDs, 5 250s, 1 400
1 Maxtor HD 250
Thermaltake Armor LCS case (water block on the CPU only)
1 Acer 19" monitor and 1 23" monitor both on DVI
Windows XP SP3

I have been using this rig for over 2 years with no issues. I have played Crysis, CoD 4 and 5, FEAR 1 & 2, BF 2142 and countless other "demanding" games. Today, I got home from work (my computer had been on since last thursday) and fired up World of Warcraft to play. Almost immediately after logging in, on my second monitor I noticed some "artifacts" around my ventrilo window. I didn't think much of it, I hadn't seen them before, but it wasn't a big deal.

I joined a party, queued for a battleground and started playing. I was guarding a point so I was watching at long range (my GFX settings are all turned to low except view range which is set to max). I noticed that textures at long range were malfunctioning (looking blue and red). I had some other issues (UI having texture problems) and reloaded the in game UI. This only made things worse, and not long after the computer appeared to freeze and shut down. I reset the computer, booted back up and logged back in. I barely made it back in game before I had issues again with the textures. I reset again, booted up and started to run some diagnostics on the computer.

I ran a checkdisk in read only to see what it found, and after about 4 minutes the picture started to get jittery (lateral ghosting almost). I set a checkdisk to run at next bootup and did a shutdown /r /f at a command prompt, but when the countdown was at 27 seconds the computer automatically restarted. The checkdisk started ok, but after approx 20 minutes of the checkdisk, the monitor started to blur badly (same horizontal ghosting). I shut it down and let it rest to cool down in case it was thermal. After an hour I booted up again, the POST picture was obliterated beyond recognition, significantly worse then before ( like colored snow).

I pulled open the case and popped the HS off the GFX card, saw no thermal dmg (biscoloration, odor etc), switched out the cooling paste for Arctic Silver and reassembled. Now it is just black and white snow at POST.

I am completely at my whits end as to why this happened and what to do. Any help would be awesome.

Thanks for reading and your thoughts!

~thunder
June 16, 2009 3:57:45 AM

I hade the same thing happen to me on my last PC. Cant say for sure tho but sounds like your GPU memory is bad, Try a new gpu card if you have one around or a friend does or maybe take it in and get it tested. Hope this helps GL m8

PS also make sure your GPU fan didnt take a poop, If it did it might be getting to hot
June 19, 2009 6:51:13 PM

Well, my graphics card seems to have officially died. I still am unsure of how or why, as the fan is functional, there was no severe dust/ dirt buildup and none of the thermal monitors were going off, but it is still dead.

However, with a new GTX 260 my rig is once again alive and well, with a significant graphics upgrade to boot. Maybe it was just my computer's way of saying it needed an upgrade. :ange: 

Thanks for the answer and advice.

~thunder
March 5, 2011 5:30:01 AM

I came to this thread because of snow showing suddenly on display. Reboot fixed it for a while but it came back.
My card: GeForce 8600 GTS.
I took the card out, looked at it and see there, 3 capacitors were popped open on top.
Replaced capacitors and things were fine again.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:GeForce_8600_GTS...

This card was giving trouble before - locking up the MB bus - computer would not boot.
The issue was identical - capacitors failing (top popped open).
Apparently, capacitors have temperature ratings and I chose replacements with adequate specs.
!