Need help determining cause of problem


Thanks in advance for your assistance. Playing Call Of Duty this morning, and game locked up my system (Dell XPS 600, GeForce 7800 GTX). Upon reboot, can't get the screen to come up. Boot in safe mode gets me to the desktop where I can disable the graphics card, and can get to the desktop but there's still blue patterning on it, a la:

So, my questions are:

1) Is the graphics card toast?
2) Does booting into safe mode automatically disable the graphics card?
3) Does the presence of the blue patterning indicate that the problem goes beyond the graphics card (to the mobo itself, for example)?
4) Can you recommend a replacement card that won't be bottlenecked by the Pentium D3.20 processor? And, would going to a two-Graphics Card setup sidestep any cpu bottleneck issues?

My Dell Service Tag is HPP 6961 if you're interested in the specs via Tried a different comp. on the monitor to rule that out, re-inserted the graphics card into the mobo slot, and checked all connections.

Thanks a ton for the help. I'm fairly competent at swapping out components, but I'm at the limits of my technical understanding. I would love to get advice before I drop cash on a new graphics card that I only guess will resolve the issue. You da best.
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  1. 1) Maybe
    2) As far as I know it disables the video card's drivers
    3) I think it's probably just the graphics card. (Probably)
    4) Stick with a single card in that setup. I don't know what sort of power supplies are in dell GX280s, but they must be pretty weak. You are going to be pretty limited in your choices for a new card I think.
  2. Going a bit further, according to your Service tag the 7800 is not your original video card? If you have the old video card, put it back in. Does it solve the "blue patterning" (that I can't see because your link is broken) in Safe Mode?

    You have already eliminated monitor problems (which were unlikely). The "lockup" tends to point to more to video card as well (though not conclusively - eg, drivers). Could also be other things, but most likely is vid card.

    Swapping in a working one would be a good next step.
  3. Yeah the link was pretty tricky, here's how it should've been:
  4. Cute kid, looks just like his dad! Well, at least *his* psu looks OK :)

    Anyhow, looks like a graphics card issue. I'll stick with my original post.
  5. Guys, thanks a bunch for the help. Looks like I'm off to Fry's to buy a new card. I'll check the forums to see what might be a good upgrade based on my specs and system. At least the wife knows that *something* has to be replaced - she just won't know that it's an upgrade as well!

    Muchos Gracias.
  6. Haha since you are upgrading any not spend a little more and grab a better processor. They are indeed cheap right now, will be cheaper in a few days.
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