Snowy display prior to graphics drivers loading

I have a strange problem that I am unable to resolve.

My system:
Windows XP Home SP3 with all updates
AMD Athlon 2100+
ATI All in Wonder 8500 graphics

Prior to the ATI graphics drivers being loaded, my display looks "snowy". i.e. similar to an old analog TV broadcast from a weak distant station. I can still read the display but it is "snowy".

I see this:
- during POST
- on the preliminary Windows splash screen (prior to the ATI drivers being loaded)
- all the time when I boot into safe mode.
- When re-installing Windows, I saw it all the time until the ATI drivers were installed and loaded.

Once the ATI graphics drivers are loaded, the display is perfect.

This has been the case for about a year but I didn't do anything to fix it because everything seemed to work after the drivers were loaded.

For another reason, I just formatted the HD and did a clean install of Windows XP. I had hoped that this would fix the issue but it didn't.

Since the problem persists after a clean Win install, I'm assuming that I have a hardware issue. However, I have no idea what drives the display prior to the ATI drivers being loaded.

Can anyone provide a hint as to where I might start looking?
3 answers Last reply
More about snowy display prior graphics drivers loading
  1. how old is the pc, I think it time to get a new one.
  2. rgd1101 said:
    how old is the pc, I think it time to get a new one.


    Yeah. You're right and I'm doing just that. However, other than the "snowy" issue, it's still a pretty good computer and I plan to give it away. I don't really want to saddle anyone with this system if this issue will become a bigger problem. Therefore, I'd like to solve it before I donate it.
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