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Nvidia 8800 GT Crash After Startup (Works Fine in Safe Mode)

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 14, 2011 3:56:33 PM

Hi All,

I have a very bizarre problem where my computer crashes a few mins after entering Windows. I don't get an error/blue screen but instead I get what can only be described as a scrambled version of whatever is on screen at the time it crashes.

It is definitely the graphics card causing the problem because I have tried an alternative one (which works fine).

What baffles me though is that my 8800 works fine in safe mode. Why is this? This leads me to believe it is a driver issue. However, it cant be a driver issue because I have even gone as far as to reformat my computer and reinstall Windows (it has worked fine for at least 2 years with the standard Windows 7 drivers). I have also tried updating to the latest drivers which make no effect.

If it is a physical problem with the card.... why does it work in safe mode? Or am I missing something obvious here?

Thanks in advance for your help
Nick
a b U Graphics card
July 14, 2011 4:02:21 PM

Safe mode runs at a low resolution and 8 bit color so it doesn't stress the card very much.

The card could be failing, overheating, or not getting enough power. Make sure it's not crammed full of dust and then use msi afterburner or something to monitor your temps when you start up windows. If it's not getting hot and still fails I would try and get ahold of another PSU to test it out or test the card in someone elses machine. If it's still doing it it's probably time to replace the card.
a c 167 U Graphics card
July 14, 2011 7:27:57 PM

Do a search here for posts about 8800 cards, they die all the time. You have a dead card.
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July 15, 2011 8:45:47 AM

Thanks for the quick responses guys.

Since posting on here I have read a lot about 'baking' the 8800 in an over for 10 mins to smooth over any cracks in the soldering that have formed.... do you know about this?

It seems that one of the symptoms you should have before trying this fix is purple lines during startup (which I don't have)... but I just wonder if it would still be worth trying.....
a b U Graphics card
July 15, 2011 1:26:48 PM

If you've already determined the card is bad then you might as well try it.
July 17, 2011 5:52:13 PM

*touch wood*.... a possible success!

I did the classic 'oven bake' trick and it appears to have fixed it. I also (obviously) had to reapply thermal paste to the main chip and heatsink - so perhaps this may have been the actual fix... don't know? But anyway, so far so good.

I'm monitoring the temp of the card and it is idling at around 73 degrees. I think this is perhaps a little too high right? It isn't my 'bodged' attempt at applying the thermal paste either because I remember it idling at around the temperature before it broke.

Should I be happy with the card idling at this temperature or should I be taking steps to lower it? I'm thinking that if the card is currently a little vulnerable I need to start looking after it!
July 17, 2011 6:07:52 PM

Nick,

Different cards idle at different temperatures. It does seem that 73 degrees is high for a graphics card, but it's definitely not unheard of. What are you doing with your computer when you check the temperature? Is it like that after an hour long gaming session or is it like that right when windows starts?

Do a quick google search to find the average idle temperature of your card.

No matter what you find, cooler is better, so if you can do something to lower the temperature you should definitely do it.
!