Like lots of others, I have a problem with the Nvidia 6100/430 combination. Actually, two problems. My system simply died after coughing around for a year plus. The symptom was boot failure, at first intermittent, then permanent.
My wife has the same machine (Gateway GM5088). Both were purchased on Halloween, 2006. Bad time to buy hardware, I guess. Her machine intermittently lost the red signal, but it always came back after a while until this past week. Now her system locks up, randomly and frequently, displaying what I can only call a bad shirt pattern. Stripes, bands, dashed lines with squiggles, and random color overlays.
Letting the machine cool down seems to help, but only for a while. By pushing on the 6100's heatsink and playing with it, I can get the system to unfreeze and run until it fails once more.
I have taken my "fried" system apart, and if I remove and replace the motherboard, I can get it to start the boot sequence, but it never makes it through the entire cycle. Since I have pulled the hard drive from the system and use it as an external drive on another computer, my Gateway is only a test bed.
I purchased some thermal paste with the idea of fixing my system, but gave up and have a new HP running Windows 7. However, I would like to try to fix my wife's system even if we replace hers. From what I've read, there seems to be a problem with Nvidia chips related to their mounting, thermal matching and other like things.
Here's my question: Given the Nvidia history, is there any reason to try the thermal paste fix, considering that the problem may be due to the way the chips and not the heat sinks are mounted? I'll probably try it anyway because the only thing I'll lose is time if this second board is unfixable. I have read of the torch approach to resoldering the chips, but I'm not yet that crazy. On the other hand, you can't kill a dead mobo.
Any help greatly appreciated. Sorry for the length of this venting.
the thing is the units *WERE* working and *NOW* there not - no thermal paste will help, there simply FAULTY full stop.
Cut your losses and get your self some new rigs, and i would suggest avoid nvidia, and HP and especially both - i havnt trusted them since, not that i really did prior etc.
Thanks. I may just screw around with paste anyway, since I have it and have no other need for it, but I appreciate that it's very unlikely to work. If it does, it would be more because the added paste causes more pressure from the springs that forces better contact. That assumes many things, and "assume" is code for risky business.
I'm not sure why you are anti-HP regarding this situation, since I have two Gateways which have been trashed by the Nvidia chip or its mounting on the Mobo. HP seems to have addressed the problem, however weakly, which is more than Gateway has done. In the old days, computer manufacturers actually made some low and mid-level components. Now, they fill boxes. What differentiates them is service, price, and their suppliers.
One question, though. If I avoid Nvidia and buy a simple ATI board, is there any real chance that, maybe with a BIOS tweak or two, that the system will function? Or, is it much more likely that the Nvidia "experience" has made the Mobo nonfunctional? I know it's hard to tell from a message, but why not ask?