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Computer slows down then loses video

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 7, 2012 11:57:38 PM

I really hope someone helps me with this, I'm at my wits end.

Over the last month, my computer has been basically unusable. When it boots windows 7, it is SLOW. The computer sits there for minutes to load the start menu, and is now incapable of keeping visuals long enough for me to check device manager.

It seems like the more graphically intense my activities get, the sooner the display goes out. Every time I turn it on, it's just a matter of time until video goes. I know it's not the monitor, as I am using the exact same monitor and hd cable on my mac mini.

A couple weeks ago I could keep visuals long enough to load google chrome for a good 20 seconds before it losing the video and me being forced to reboot.

With the only way for me to get visuals being to force reboot, I feel as if I'm breaking the software as much as I am trying to fix it.

Is there anyone else with this problem? I thought it was because of the driver for my graphics card (an ATI radeon HD 5770), but I'm not sure entirely.

I reseated the ram on a friends advice, but that wasn't the problem, if that helps narrow things down.

I managed to get it to boot before using this really old standard vga videocard, and it was very slow, BUT it never lost video for the good 90 minutes it was on then. I do not know if the sluggishness was because of the card or because of my current issues with the computer.

As a mild amateur in the tech world, I'd appreciate ay advice I can get.
July 8, 2012 12:16:08 AM

your problem could be 1 of 3 issues. PSU, overheating, or software based.

i would start by checking the fan on the cpu and gpu and make sure both are spinning you can go into the bios to keep the system going while you check.

if both are going. then i would try loading into safe mode with networking (press f8 repeatedly while/after posting but before windows begins to load). this will load your basic VGA driver instead of the 5770 driver.

if it works fine with the 5770 in safe mode then it is software/driver related and i would download the latest drivers as well as run an Antivirus/antimalware scans.

if it does not work in safe mode i would reinstall the old video card and download HWmonitor so something similar and check my voltages and temps. (all temps except VRM should be less than 50C, and voltages should be withing 0.5 volts of what the rail calls for)

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July 8, 2012 12:36:06 AM

Well, booting into safe mode w/networking kept it working a little longer, but I still lost video.

Would it be possible that its still software based though? the fans work just fine, and I've literally tested every cable of my power supply with a multimeter. the electrical flow measures exactly exactly to what it should.

Just trying to theorize. I am plugging in the vga card now, will update in a few minutes
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July 8, 2012 12:39:15 AM

if the voltages are right then it would have to either be a failing card or a software. issue.
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July 8, 2012 12:41:50 AM

i would still run HW monitor and check temps.
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July 10, 2012 8:56:10 PM

late update here, sorry. I downloaded hw monitor onto my flashdrive (which worked, surprisingly. didn't expect it to.). There was no rise in temps anywhere using the old graphics card. the voltages were slightly off from what I measured with the multimeter, but not enough to make me worry.

To be honest I am still completely stumped, but my worries are leaning more toward the card being permanently crippled/fried than it being any form of software corruption or incompatibilities with drivers. I have another AMD graphics card on loan from a friend. Albeit not the same model as mine in any way, do you think it would help to confirm if it was a driver issue?
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July 11, 2012 8:57:39 PM

have you tested the voltages and temps with the 5770in there? it still could be a driver or firmware issue.

i would check to make sure you have the latest drivers. if you do then check to make sure you have the latest firmware.

installing a different model card running different drivers would not prove or disprove anything in regards to the card being bad or good. but could be usefull in seeing if there is an issue with the system as if it is a decent card the computer should be decently faster then with the old VGA.
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