I've been using it for a few weeks and have had no problems. I didn't put an optical drive in when I built it but then I changed my mine and ordered one. It arrived today, I installed it, machine booted fine, loaded windows, and then the problem started. Little red distortions all over the desktop, followed by red and blue squares, freezing, then blue screen of death.
I tried using a different cable to power the optical drive. then i removed the optical drive. i checked all of the cables and connections. I reseated the gpu and the ram. I cleared the cmos and set it back to default. So far the only thing that works is booting into safe mode. Everything works fine that way. Booting normally causes the graphical problem every time. Sometimes I get the "driver has crashed but recovered" message but then it will immediately crash again.
I have no idea what to do. Should I RMA the graphics card? Please help.
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Update: I removed the graphics card and I'm using the onboard graphics for now and everything seems to be just fine. I'll also add that I was getting loud fan sounds from the gpu while it was having issues but it didn't seem that hot to the touch. I'm thinking that I might have damaged it with static electricity while plugging in the sata cables to the optical drive... if nobody has any feedback I'm just going to rma the graphics card. I got it from amazon so it will be quick and easy.
If anyone has any other ideas at all I'd love to hear them.
Received the new gpu today. Installed it, same issue. I decided to try reinstalling the drivers so while running with no gpu I uninstalled everything ATI/AMD. I then shut down, put the gpu in and booted it with the vga plugged into the motherboard and got no signal to my monitor and two short beeps on boot. Two short beeps is supposed to indicate "CMOS setting error" so I used the CMOS jumper and after the same thing happened I removed the battery for a bit. Now it will boot normally with one short beep and I get a display but only with no gpu installed. Before the machine would boot fine with the gpu installed and the vga plugged into the mobo but if I tried to plug the hdmi into the gpu I'd immediately get distortions and blue screen.
So whatever I did, I can now get a display only with no gpu in a pci-e slot. I tried with both gpus in both pci-e slots.
I tried reinstalling catalyst but since I could only do that with no gpu in the machine I'm sure it's not configured correctly. With a gpu in the pci-e slot the machine seems to boot normally, one beep, etc., just no display.
I guess I'll try replacing the psu. This is incredibly frustrating and depressing.
Okay. I just replaced the psu. That doesn't seem to have changed anything. I realized that I can get a signal with the gpu installed if I boot the machine with only the hdmi plugged in. I did this and it booted into windows and everything was working fine but at lower resolution. I installed the radeon drivers, rebooted, same problem came back. I'm sitting here looking at the login screen for windows which displays perfectly with no problems. As sooIn as I log in I'll get the same problems as before. the driver keeps crashing over and over until it blue screens.
I really don't know what to do at this point other than replace the motherboard.
Here's an interesting twist. I booted with the hdmi cable plugged in, pressed f8 during boot and selected "enable low resolution video". Windows started up in 640x480 and everything was fine. I went into catalyst, set the gpu to 600mhz (the lowest) and then changed the display resolution back to 1080. And it works. I'm using the 6850, I just opened up brink and it's running smoothly. I haven't tried restarting yet because I'm afraid it'll break again. This is so strange. Oh yeah and I just set the gpu back to 775mhz, which is where it was at, and it's still doing fine.
I really wish I knew what was going on but I'm glad that it's at least working. I'll continue to update this in case it might end up helping someone else.
well i never did figure out what was causing my problem. i did end up replacing the memory. didn't run memtest86 but i had suspected it before when i was having some hard crashes. thought that was fixed by a windows update but after all this i decided to just replace it.
everything is working fine now, optical drive is installed. only issue is that whenever my monitor goes to sleep now it switches to analog mode, despite the fact that there is no vga cable plugged into it. so when i wake my computer up now i have to push the input switch button on the monitor. a very minor inconvenience so i'm not trying to fix it right now.
the only thing i can think of that might have been causing an issue is that i removed the faceplate from my case when installing the optical drive. that was the first time i removed it and i left it off the whole time i was trying to fix the problem. i have no idea why that might have caused the gpu to malfunction but if it did then that would make a little bit of sense, because when i finally gave up and put the case back together, the next thing i tried worked.
oh yeah and some games start at the lowest resolution by default now. i can change them in the settings just fine but the first time i run them they'll be at 640x480.
i did replace the psu with a corsair gs600. the antec said it had like 38A on the 12V but this new one has 48A. i have no idea whether that would matter and i thought my setup should have been just fine with what i had.
well, i think that's all the pertinent information i have. thanks pjmelect for your suggestions.