Failing Video Card?

Hi! Over the past few days I have been experiencing display problems on my desktop computer which runs a dual-monitor setup with a Zotac 8800GTS 512MB video card. While using my computer, strange things occur on my display such as squiggly lines spanning across the display (see photo below), strange colored outlines, or complete freezing of my screen. Eventually, after this occurs, my display freezes, then my monitors turn black and eventually reset with the proper image. I receive the message,

Display driver stopped responding and has recovered
Display driver NVIDIA Windows Kernel Mode Driver, Version 280.26 stopped responding and has successfully recovered.

Occasionally, these episodes will result in a blue screen of death (see photo below) and my computer will reset.

I initially hoped this might be a problem with my video drivers. Unfortunately, I tried downloading and re-installing the latest drivers and it did not help. Now I'm thinking this may be a hardware problem. Could this be a video card or motherboard failure? Please help! My computer is completely unusable in its current state!

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  1. It's probably your graphics card failing.

    Depending on what you have access to you should do some of the following:

    1) Try that card in different computer
    2) Try a different card in your computer
    3) Install Ubuntu through WUBI, then reboot into Ubuntu to see if there are issues (if the same issues occur it's a hardware issue)
  2. That is 99% a video card issue.

    Couple of clues.
    1. it's an 8800. Which if you do a search on in this or any other tech forum, you will find it has a very high rate of issues. And is my favorite video card to bash.
    2. The screenshot is a classic video card failing image defect (along with the "colored blocks" thing).

    The steps photonboy listed is good trouble-shooting, and you may want to go though that to make the final burial of your 8800 card go easier. Really the only thing that would cause these issues aside from the video card would be the power supply, but that is way less likely and even more so when the card in question is an 8800.
  3. is the card clean ? remove the shroud and heatsink then clean it well
  4. Thanks for the pointers! I inspected the card and it appears clean. The fan is spinning.

    Unfortunately I do not have another card to try in this system nor do I have another desktop to try the card in.

    Strangely enough I have been on the computer for much of today and I have yet to experience any display glitches. I haven't put the side panel back on my case, so I'm not sure if that's affecting anything. Maybe it's just a coincidence.

    In the meantime, I guess I'll start looking for a replacement for my 8800 GTS. Perhaps a Radeon 5770 would be a good replacement...
  5. The issue with 8800 seems to be that the cooling put on them is so-so, unfortunately, once the chips get hot, they can get damaged so any fix to the cooling after that does not fix the issue. If it runs OK with the case open, try to fit a case can blowing out over the card and out of the case, thay may keep the card running.

    A 5770 would be fine as a replacement, according to the PassMark charts, it's ranked 52, the 8800gts is 130ish.
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