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Need 2nd and 3rd opinions on my computer problems

Last response: in Systems
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June 14, 2009 6:21:53 PM

my box running server 2003 has been giving me issues for months, random BSODs, reboots, and "hardware malfunction" errors. Everything pointed to the memory. I finally ran memtest86 a few days ago with no errors found.

Yesterday, my computer crapped out, picture went kind of distorted and now if I can get it to boot up i get a gray screen with lines. I'm thinking video card.

My only concern that makes me think its something bigger is that when my computer boots up, it usually makes that loud beep when it posts and now its not even doing that when I take the video card out. I've disconnected damn near everything and still nothing. Is my thinking wrong on this or is it possible that the MoBo died? I'm too broke to run out and start buying parts to swap out until i figure it out. Any ideas are welcome.
June 16, 2009 7:25:26 AM

The fact that everything apparently works and the beeping stops when you take out your video card indicates that your GPU is faulty. Nothing bad's really happened after you've taken out the video card?
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
June 16, 2009 5:30:11 PM

The single beep you normally hear during the boot sequence is just the signal that the POST was completed successfully and the machine is proceeding to load the OS from the hard drive. With the video card removed it will NOT complete the POST because it detects no way to output video to a monitor. So it does not beep.

I presume that, if you re-install the video card, you still get garbage gray screen with lines. But maybe not - sometimes the problem is as simple as bad connections where a card plugs in, and removing it and re-installing a couple times cleans the contacts. If you're really lucky, you might get video back when the video card is put back.

By the way, I'm assuming that the problem was the video card, and not the monitor. Did you ever try swapping the monitor to see if the display is OK that way? Just guessing here, but if your computer had BSOD's etc, that could not have been the monitor, so video card does seem the more likely trouble source.

However, on the more likely scenario that your problem still exists, now you have to find a new way to get video display out. If you have video built into your mobo, you could switch to that by changing BIOS settings. However, just to boot and see the BIOS screens you need a video output card, since that's how your machine is set. In that case you might borrow one from a friend temporarily just to be able to switch to on-board video.

On the other hand, with no on-board video, a borrowed card might at least let you verify that the machine works with a known-good video card replacing the faulty one. Then you could be confident that buying your own new card is worth it.
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