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Video display garbled

I have a video problem that shows up from the second the display is active prior to booting all the way through to the OS boot-up.
It is a screen that is almost unreadable due to lines, pixels, and random garbage. This started after sitting overnight. It ran fine prior to this happening. No software or hardware changes have been made anytime recently. The computer has performed well for two years. It is my sixth self-built system and two years ago was a semi-high perfomance computer.
As I said, the display problems are evident from the minute the computer screen is visible. It does not change after boot-up. I would assume this is a hardware problem with the display or the video card but the problem usually will not let me boot into Windows. I can usually boot into safe mode. In safe mode I have removed the display adapter and rebooted with no change. In safe mode the screen is barely legible. Out of twenty or so re-boots, it maybe loaded regular Windows twice after waiting a long time. In this mode. the screen is unreadable.
I'm curious if a bad monitor would prevent the OS from booting properly. I'm thinking no. Is my next step the video card?
AMD 64 processor. 2 Gig ram. MSI K9N4 MOBO, Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT graphics. Windows XP.
6 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about video display garbled
  1. I'm guessing that yes, the video card is going bad.
  2. drat, another buying decision to make. Any way to insure that it is the video card?
  3. Best answer
    Try it in another computer, or add in a different video card, PCI-e preferably, but a PCI card will work (IN A PCI SLOT) just to see if the computer itself is acting funny. If the PCI card is fine, then that means it's either the graphics card (likely) or the PCIe slot (not unheard of, but unlikely). If you use a different PCIe card and it works fine, then it is the graphics card.
  4. Best answer selected by marticm.
  5. Did you switch the monitors to see if it's the monitor or a specific graphics port? That will narrow it down. If it still messes up on the same monitor then it probably has a short in the cord. I've had that on several monitors.
  6. I have the same issue... some intermittent garbling of text and images regardless of monitor or laptop display used. I suspect it could be the driver for the card (ATI Radeon HD 3650) so I will try to reinstall the driver.

    Is this a classic symptom of a video card that is burning out? Its about 4 years old in a laptop. I always thought it was less subtle than this... maybe some twisted and contorted display with rainbow coloring or something like that.
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