At the start of the week I had an ATI radeon hd3870 in my PC which was Vista 32-bit. While running ATI catalyst auto-tune feature for overclocking my computer froze. I turned off power and had graphical corruption in the screen of my mobo (gigabyte EP45-DS3L) as well as the bios. While safe mode booted fine when I booted normally as soon as i tried to launch any program(including chrome) I'd have flickering incorrect colors, and strange sprites appearing all over the place. Afterward I'd get a blue screen, or a message about the display driver stopped responding and has recovered followed by a freeze. After testing the card in a different computer with completely different hardware I found the same corruption in the bios so I assumed the card is dead.
Luckily I had an nVidia GeForce 8300 gs lying around so I ran driver sweeper and plugged that in. Unfortunately as soon as drivers were installed the computer had the same issues. However if I booted up normally without drivers installed the computer was functional, though I obviously couldn't do anything graphical. At that point I tested the 8300 GS in a different computer, and found it to work normally. I tried using only 1 ram stick instead of two and switched which one I tried using but the problems didn't change. I know there is no problem with my hard drive from diagnostic software I had run earlier. At this point I assumed I was having a software issue somewhere and decided to format my drive and upgrade to windows 7.
Even after formatting and upgrading to windows 7, with the 8300gs instead of my original hd3870 I immediately had flickering issues and crashing/freezing. At this point I ran driver sweeper again, then flashed my bios. My computer began functioning normally, however after leaving it on overnight when I attempted to shutdown the computer had the message that the driver and stopped responding and recovered. Upon trying to boot the machine the same old problems had returned. I once again ran driver sweeper in safe mode and flashed the bios, but the display remained corrupted. I decided to reseat the card, and for now I have normal function of my PC. However after running the computer for multiple hours the problem returned. I cleared the CMOS by removing the battery from the mobo, but that didn't solve anything.
So far it seems that wiping drivers and reseating the card is the only thing that helps and that is only temporary. Can anyone figure out what is wrong or think of a permanent fix?
I haven't tried replacing the ram yet, but I should be getting 2x1gb sticks soon to try it out. Its possible both ram sticks have failed at same time, but i doubt it and I have tried running with only one stick. The psu is a 500w OCZ and is definitely capable of supplying enough power, and if the psu did fail wouldn't the computer randomly shutdown instead of crash. I think it might be the mobo, but since the computer runs fine in safe mode I don't understand whats wrong with it. I think that maybe the PCI-e slot is faulty, or for some reason is making bad contact but I have no idea how to check that.
I don't know if this will be helpful or not but its some info from dxdiag. Also windows memory diagnostic has found no issues, I'll run the extended test overnight.
Time of this report: 1/31/2010, 02:25:44
Machine name: BOOM-PC
Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (6.1, Build 7600) (7600.win7_rtm.090713-1255)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
System Model: EP45-DS3L
BIOS: Award Modular BIOS v6.00PG
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E8400 @ 3.00GHz (2 CPUs), ~2.7GHz
Memory: 2048MB RAM
Available OS Memory: 2046MB RAM
Page File: 894MB used, 3198MB available
Windows Dir: C:\Windows
DirectX Version: DirectX 11
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
User DPI Setting: Using System DPI
System DPI Setting: 96 DPI (100 percent)
DWM DPI Scaling: Disabled
DxDiag Version: 6.01.7600.16385 32bit Unicode
Display Tab 1: No problems found.
Sound Tab 1: No problems found.
Sound Tab 2: No problems found.
Input Tab: No problems found.