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Everything has gone very wrong very quickly

Last response: in Systems
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March 21, 2010 12:11:44 PM

OK, so I have a 3-year old build that I did extensive upgrades on back in December/January. Here are the current specs on it:

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P Motherboard
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz Processor
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 1066 SDRAM
EVGA nVidia GeForce 8800 GTX
Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Gaming sound card
Rosewill 550W PSU

It has been running TOTALLY fine the last 2 months with zero issues.

Yesterday my wife was playing Everquest 2 on it when it suddenly decided to go crazy. She said that the screen blanked out then BSODed.

Now every time it boots the POST screens have lines through them and display a lot of random characters (the IRQ list displays as a bunch of pound signs).

The computer does somehow manage to clear POST though and continues on to the OS, still with lines through the screen.

I'm really not sure what to make of this one. Is the graphics card kicking the bucket or is this a motherboard issue? The board is one of those with a Dual BIOS but I haven't figured out if there's a way to force it over to the backup.

Would a reflash or CMOS reset be the next step or is that a waste of time at this point?

More about : wrong quickly

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a b B Homebuilt system
March 21, 2010 12:40:01 PM

That definitely looks like a video card issue. Don't flash the BIOS instead of fixing the hardware issue. Install another video card and you should be fine.

Edit: Remove and reinstall the video card just in case there's a bad contact. Also check the voltage on your PSU.
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March 21, 2010 6:44:27 PM

I'll try what you suggested as far as remove/reinstalling and voltage check.

Just to provide more info, here's what I'm looking at when I switch it on (sorry for the poor picture quality):





Edit: OK, tried removing and reinstalling the graphics card. No effect. As far as I can tell the voltage settings are correct.

Personally I'm leaning towards the graphics card being at fault as well, but the POST screen displaying all the pound signs is giving me cause for concern. Why would the GPU be making the BIOS display junk data?

On the other hand though, it seems implausible to me that the motherboard would clear POST if there was an issue on its end.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 21, 2010 7:12:49 PM

I had this same problem on a old GT 6800, anyways in my case it was the GPU. its a memory problem could be system or GPU memory.

Try to leave the GPU in and remove drivers reboot and see if the lines dots go away, if so replace the GPU, could also try removing system memory 1 stick at a time.


If your on a 1920x1080 i would go for a HD 5850 or 5870 if less rez HD 5770 and change out that PSU say a corsair 550W or if you like to xfire down the road a 750W
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 21, 2010 7:15:34 PM

BTW when my GPU went-out it did that same thing when booting up, anyways when i removed the drives it went away, So when the driver are in its forcing the GPU and making it work so you see the problem.
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March 21, 2010 7:21:07 PM

OK, tried removing the driver, no effect. Windows 7 actually had disabled the driver itself before I got to it.

I don't think the problem is with the RAM.. I had a RAM issue previously with this board and it struggled to clear POST. Aside from the graphic issues the system appears stable right now. I ran a memory diagnostic just to be sure and it seems to be operable.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 21, 2010 7:22:46 PM

Niklas_13 said:
I had this same problem on a old GT 6800, anyways in my case it was the GPU. its a memory problem could be system or GPU memory.

Try to leave the GPU in and remove drivers reboot and see if the lines dots go away, if so replace the GPU, could also try removing system memory 1 stick at a time.


If your on a 1920x1080 i would go for a HD 5850 or 5870 if less rez HD 5770 and change out that PSU say a corsair 550W or if you like to xfire down the road a 750W

The OP has the problem way before drivers are loaded. The issue occurs at POST and it definitely looks like the GPU failed.
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March 22, 2010 2:36:40 AM

You may try a different graphics card before purchasing a new one - I had the same kind of symptoms show up on my system as you are seeing on yours, but it ended up being the primary PCI-Express card slot had gone bad, and not the graphics card. After RMA-ing the mobo, the problem disappeared.

Most likely, it is the graphics card, but like I said, it could also be the mobo.
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March 22, 2010 1:20:41 PM

benlawry said:
You may try a different graphics card before purchasing a new one - I had the same kind of symptoms show up on my system as you are seeing on yours, but it ended up being the primary PCI-Express card slot had gone bad, and not the graphics card. After RMA-ing the mobo, the problem disappeared.

Most likely, it is the graphics card, but like I said, it could also be the mobo.


Unfortunately the only other desktop card I have access to is a GeForce 6600 AGP card that won't work with my motherboard.

So is the general consensus that its likely the GPU and not the mobo? I'm likely to be spending $250 - $350 on a new card so I'd like to be relatively certain that's going to fix the problem before unloading that amount of cash on it..
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 22, 2010 7:58:34 PM

The problem is that we can't tell for sure if it's the PCI slot or the GPU, but chances are that the GPU is defective. Can't you have it tested?
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March 22, 2010 10:48:01 PM

Before making any purchase, I'd do what I could to confirm whether or not the video card is the problem by either installing it in a friend's system, or borrowing their video card and installing it in yours. All signs point in that direction.

I had an eVGA 8800GT die a little over a year ago, and my POST screen looked very much like your own. I confirmed mine was dead by borrowing a friend's card. Since my card was under warranty, lifetime in fact, I RMA'd it and eVGA replaced it. You may also want to look into whether or not your card is still covered under warranty.
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a c 122 B Homebuilt system
March 23, 2010 12:11:00 AM

The reason you have a good POST is because the POST only checks the video interface. The POST has no way of checking the GPU itself. That is done by the Mark I Eyeball.
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March 26, 2010 12:06:30 AM

Best answer selected by macnbc.
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March 26, 2010 12:16:20 AM

Yep, new video card fixed it. Thanks for the help!

Although my new card has its own set of issues, but that's a topic for another thread..
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