Hiya. So I'm looking for some help in diagnosing my system. This is a fun little story:
Lets start with my build
Gigabit Mobo (not sure of the model any more, it's been a while)
e6600 Core 2 Duo (stock speeds and fan)
2 gigs Patriot pc8500
eVGA GeForce 8800GT
750w Thermaltake PSU
So yesterday I go to play a game on my PC (WoW) and at the login screen it freezes up, so I close it and retry. This time the whole PC freezes forcing me to reboot. After the reboot I try again and it freezes again so I close it and try once more. THIS time it freezes complete again and the pc beeps angrily at me (dooooooooo do-do-do-do, Like that ) and resets itself. So I give up for a while and just browse the web.. while im browsing explorer all of the sudden breaks out in graphical glitches. So at this point I'm like "Okay, graphics card is fried or I've got a virus." So I back some stuff up, and format then install a fresh copy of XP. After I get all my drivers back up, the computer seems stable, so I decide to try another game (Second Life). It works for a couple seconds then explodes into graphical glitches randomizing about the screen and freezes...
This is where all hell breaks loose...
I restart the PC. During boot up I'm noticing graphical glitches scattered about. Once it gets into windows, the background is flickering and the computer is having a hard time responding. I try running a dxdiag and it works for a second then locks up. I click around a bit and it beeps at me. I restart AGAIN and now it wont even get into windows before the screen is completely covered in ridiculous artifacts and it freezes.
So now I'm thinking its the processor... I didn't think that originally because the fan had almost no dust on it, but when I got into the BIOS it was idle at about 60ºC which seemed unusually high. I take the fan and heatsink out and clean it head to toe and put new thermal grease on it. Start it up again and its now idling at about 50ºC instead of 60. This makes me really think it was the processor.
Now I try again and once again graphical glitches during and after boot up, and once it gets to windows it barely operates... So I'm really thinking the processor is fried. I go into the bios again and check the temps again, still at 50. I walk away from the PC leaving it in the BIOS. I come back about an hour later and exit the bios and let it boot up again.
Now here's the weird part...
The graphical glitches in boot up are now constant... as in, they aren't randomized... its the same glitches in the same spot every time I restart.
It boots into windows and is STABLE for the most part. In fact, I'm writing this from the trouble PC right now... I run a dxdiag to find out the the video card is not showing up there.. Weird... I uninstall the drivers and reinstall them. Video card still not showing up, but the drivers are showing as being installed in the Add/Remove programs list. Also when browsing the web, when I scroll up or down it does that weird laggy thing where it takes a second for the page to reposition when you scroll.. (like when you have no drivers installed.)
That is where I stand now, and at this point... I have NO IDEA what to think. I can't afford to start just throwing new parts into this computer until it works, so I'm hoping you all might have an opinion on where I should start, or can figure out a way to diagnose exactly what's going on.
Sorry about the long winded story, but I figure it's best so you all know exactly how I got where I am.
Problem solved. Swapped out friends GPU for mine, no more graphical glitches. Games running fine.
Very strange, I never though a graphics card could cause so much havoc on a system. Last time I had a graphics card go.. the screen would freak out, but the PC would still operate just fine. Thanks for the help all!