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Thread: Strange Persistant Visual Screw-Up

  1. #1
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    Strange Persistant Visual Screw-Up

    Hi
    I'm writing here because I have a very strange error on my computer, which two high street computer shops have failed to fix. What happens is, I get these strange lines, and colours representing a portion of what was on-screen at that time. I also lose sound, and total control over the computer, and so all I can do is restart it at the base unit

    These problems usually occur about 10 minutes or so after initial start-up, however after restarting, it takes longer to happen a second time, and longer still a third time. The two high street shops I mentioned had a look, and the first said that I should try and de-clutter my hard drive. I removed some un-needed programs, and my start up registry was reduced, and the problem still occurred. The second shop had a look, took the PC apart and rebuilt it. They also said that they improved the ventilation so that it shouldn't overheat anymore. Unfortunately, even though the computer is now cooler overall, with the maximum temperature averaging around 60C, the PC still insists on crashing like this

    The computer usually takes less time to do this the more power-demanding tasks it is asked to do. For example, playing on a resource-hungry game tends to make this crash happen faster, and leaving the computer idle will make it take longer to happen. Regardless, it still happens eventually

    The following link will give you an idea of what kind of visual effect I am experiencing...

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...1/error113.jpg

    What has happened to cause this problem, and how can it be stopped?

    My system specs are as follows...

    AMD Athlon 2600+ 1.91ghz
    1gb RAM
    GeForce 6800 Ultra
    (Please ask for anything else if needed)
    PSU - I'm completely in the blank I'm afraid. It says 230V in many locations, but I've been unable to determine the amount of W's. Its more than 2 years old now, so I'm guessing its pretty low. I dunno though

    Any help would be greatly appreciated

    Thanks
    Simon

  2. #2
    Hardware guy Super Moderator FastGame's Avatar
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    WoW I've never seen a screen like that

    with the maximum temperature averaging around 60C, the PC still insists on crashing like this
    What temp is this ? CPU, case or GFX card ?

    I'm going to go out on a limb (short limb) and say its a heat, power supply or failing GXF card issue.

    The 6800 Ultra gets hot (I have one), the heat really pours off the back side of the GPU die. Depending on the mother board layout, that heat goes directly up to the CPU HSF.

    The 6800 Ultra is also power hungry.

    You need to look at your power supply and post more data on the brand/wattage.

    Do you have another video card you can try ?

    I have a very strange error on my computer, which two high street computer shops have failed to fix.
    Thats sad, usually I don't comment on work PC shops do, its hard when you don't have the PC in front of you to see whats actually going on. That being said.....your problem should have been fixed by either shop.......

  3. #3
    Friendly Neighborhood Super Moderator phishhead's Avatar
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    I have to agree with fastgame seems to be a heat issue and you should get atleast a 400w. powersupply for that GPU. and I would say get a good one also. I would rather see you with a quality 350w PSU vs a generic 500w PSU.



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    Quote Originally Posted by FastGame
    What temp is this ? CPU, case or GFX card ?
    I'm not sure to be honest. I ran a program called SpeedFan, and that just gave me a load of temperatures (about 8 in total) and the highest was averaging around 60-65 ish. Obviously, since I have no indication of when the computer will crash, I can't really monitor the temp as it does so

    You need to look at your power supply and post more data on the brand/wattage
    Is this what I'm looking for...(on the sticker on the PSU)?
    Max Output : 250W + 3.3V = 180W (max)

    Thats really the only helpful info I could find about the Wattage. I'm not very good with electronics, so that doesnt mean much to me unfortunately

    Do you have another video card you can try ?
    Yeah, I could give that a try I guess. Cant beleive i didnt sooner tbh

    Thats sad, usually I don't comment on work PC shops do, its hard when you don't have the PC in front of you to see whats actually going on. That being said.....your problem should have been fixed by either shop.......
    True. I'm gonna take it back to either one of them if what you suggested doesnt work. I thought I'd just ask around on the internet, to see if I could get any quick answers. Thanks for the help If anybody else has any info, I'd greatly appreciate it

  5. #5
    Friendly Neighborhood Super Moderator phishhead's Avatar
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    well your PSU is definately not helping matters. I would upgrade that soon and try a different GPU and see if it works ok. could be that your PSU just doesnt have enough juice to handle it. you can also purchase a exhaust fan that fits in a pci slot below your GPU to help keep it cool. I use one and it does help to blow all that hot air out of your box.



  6. #6
    Hardware guy Super Moderator FastGame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dauntless
    True. I'm gonna take it back to either one of them if what you suggested doesnt work. I thought I'd just ask around on the internet, to see if I could get any quick answers. Thanks for the help If anybody else has any info, I'd greatly appreciate it
    Well I wouldn't take it back.....your power supply is way too small for your setup, if they didn't know that, and they didn't see a reason to make a power supply sale, I doubt they can see

    You're on the "internet" now, our part of the net why don't you fix the PC yourself with our help ?

    You can start by trying your other video card

  7. #7
    Friendly Neighborhood Super Moderator phishhead's Avatar
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    and best of all its free support here.



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    Quote Originally Posted by FastGame
    Well I wouldn't take it back.....your power supply is way too small for your setup, if they didn't know that, and they didn't see a reason to make a power supply sale, I doubt they can see
    Haha, true

    I'll find my other GPU when I can, and I'll post back here when I've done a bit of a stress test on Rome Total War (the nemesis of my computer atm)

    Thanks!

    And thanks @ Phishhead too

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    Update -

    I did what you suggested, and switched the graphics cards around. I ran both computers, to see which one crashed first

    Well, ok. I TRIED to run both PC's

    My brother's ran perfectly fine with my GeForce 6800 in...until it did exactly the same thing it did to me. So, we've found the problem. However, beleive it or not, theres another problem. I tried running my PC using my brother's ATI Radeon 9250. I turned the power on, computer kicks to life, and I wait. And Wait. And wait a bit more. I realised that nothing was going to happen when I noticed that the light on the monitor had been flashing for a good 3-4 minutes. No Amber "busy" light ever appeared on my computer. It was like it was there in suspended animation. I tried it with my really old integrated graphics card. Same result

    I brought my GeForce 6800 card back in. Same result!!!

    I then put my brothers Radeon back into his computer, and i almost had a heart attack when i saw the "No signal or cable disconnected" error on screen. I'm now using his integrated one...the only one in the house out of 4 that works!
    I honestly cant see whats going on, I did carefully remove both cards from their AGP Slots, damaging nothing. All I can really come to is that my brother's ATI has seen the destruction caused by my GeForce, and is now in a coma or something. But that still doesnt explain why on earth my GeForce has suddenly decided to die completely, as if it wasnt as good as dead before hand

    So, I know now that the original problem lies in my GeForce 6800. Unfortunately, now, I've either damaged both cards, or their AGP slots...but I honestly cant see how

    I dont suppose anybody has any advice? I could use all i can get at the moment. All electronics in this house are up a certain creek, the name of which rhymes with pit

    Thanks

    PS. Sorry for the long message

  10. #10
    Head Honcho Administrator Reverend's Avatar
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    Have you checked to see if the cooler fan on the 6800 is spinning?

    Also you mentioned you "tried it with my really old integrated graphics card" and that you are now using his integrated one. Integrated video is built into the actual motherboard via a chip its not a card.

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend
    Have you checked to see if the cooler fan on the 6800 is spinning?
    I've just checked it, and I can confirm that the fan is indeed spinning

    Also you mentioned you "tried it with my really old integrated graphics card" and that you are now using his integrated one. Integrated video is built into the actual motherboard via a chip its not a card.
    My bad lol

    EDIT

    I'm fed up, and its half past midnight, so I'm going to bed. I'll hopefully get this sorted tomorrow...I hope
    Last edited by Dauntless; March 10th, 2006 at 00:29 AM.

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    Sorry for the double post, but I thought I should also mention, my brother's computer has a 300W power supply, as opposed to my anonymous one. I dont suppose theres the smallest possibility that its just the GFX card which is demanding too much juice that either of them can handle?
    Could the GeForce also have screwed my AGP slots up in any way, or is it just me trying to avoid the fact that I might have done something wrong?

    Also, I've been looking at PSU's on my usual website. Does this one look any good?

    http://www.microdirect.co.uk/Product...roductID=11879

    Thanks

  13. #13
    Hardware guy Super Moderator FastGame's Avatar
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    Hmmm maybe your PS is so bad that its trashing v-cards ?? do you make sure that static electricity isn't a problem when touching things inside your PC, ground yourself ? or the 6800 could be trashing PS ?

    I wouldn't put any more cards in your PC until things get squared, to bad that PC shop didn't take care of this

    Get the 6800 replaced on warranty

    That PS in your link is real good, since you're in the UK maybe Reverend could find a good deal on PS....

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    Ok, something strange beyond my understanding is happening now

    Before I read your post, I decided to screw around with the Computer's inside. I first opened up my brother's and removed the card, and re-inserted it, after giving it a brief check for dust, etc.
    Turned the computer on, and...it works!

    I then went back to my own PC. I didnt take out the GeForce, but instead, I switched around some 4-pin connectors. Put it back together, and now it works too. Ok, so I've wrestled with the wiring and connections, and now they work, thats not so strange
    But, the strange part lies in the fact that my PC has been running for about 2 hours now, and I havent encountered the wierd visual effect once, when it never normally lasts more than 30 mins, certainly no more than an hour. Electronics are indeed a strange world

    Regardless, I'm gonna take your advice, and get my PSU sorted out. If there are any more strange twists to the tail, then I'll let you guys know

    Thanks!

    Glad I didnt take it to the shop now, I probably wouldnt get it back until next tuesday, only to find that nothing has been done

    EDIT

    D'oh, I knew it wouldnt last. The usual error happened again. I'll phone em up for the warranty tomorrow, and order a new PSU

    Thanks for the help everyone
    Last edited by Dauntless; March 10th, 2006 at 18:14 PM.

  15. #15
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    Having read all of the post, there is still something that I would want to try. Take the sides off the computer and point a fan into the case. This could still be a cooling issue.
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