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Weird Boot Problems / Display Issues

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Unread 16-07-2013, 06:44 AM   #1
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Weird Boot Problems / Display Issues

Hello all,

I had a problem come up this morning and I'm out of ideas. Maybe someone else will be able to shine some light on my problem.

The problem: I was working in Firefox this morning and all of a sudden the computer froze. The chassis emitted a beep (like a POST beep) and the display became two solid color fields. Now, when I boot up, the start up screen is marked with red streaks and the Windows boot screen is marked with green streaks. If I try to boot normally into Windows, it does not continue, simply flickering or reaching a screen with two solid color fields.

Strangely, I can boot in "safe mode with networking" and run a fairly workable system. I cannot use audio or video applications beyond simple GUI for Windows. For example, I wouldn't be able to play any games that don't display in a Windows screen. Since I listen to a lot of music, this is somewhat unacceptable.

I've updated the driver for my video card (listed below) and reinstalled the motherboard drivers. Since it works in Safe Mode but goes SPLAT in a normal boot, I'm convinced it's a driver issue. My last resort would be a reformat of the HDD and reinstalling Windows. I don't want to do that if there is a simpler fix. Another thing I tried was taking apart the chassis and video card and removing several squirrels worth of dust.

Here are my computer specs...I built it in 2008 and it has lasted this long.

Motherboard: DFI Blood Iron P35-T2RL
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.53 GHz
Memory: 3.25 GB
Display Adapter: NVidia GeForce 8800 GT
Other Hardware: Soundblaster Sound Card, Wireless network adapter, 1 TB Hard Drive, Windows XP SP3

I can provide other information if it helps find a solution. Again, I can use Safe Mode to get the essentials done but it's not booting up in normal mode. I don't want to have to wipe the HDD but I can if that's the only way. SM will allow me to get my necessary data off onto a backup drive so I can wipe the computer clean.

Ed

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Unread 16-07-2013, 10:11 AM   #2
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Re: Weird Boot Problems / Display Issues

To me, this sounds much like a broken graphics card issue, we have seen many problems like this before.

Could you please boot it into safe mode with networking, and download speccy. Speccy will analyse your computers parts and return temperatures of different components. Please get the temperature of your GPU after the computer being in use for a few minutes.
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Unread 16-07-2013, 12:29 PM   #3
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Re: Weird Boot Problems / Display Issues

So, I did as you asked. Strangely, the computer booted up normally this morning and has been running for about 15 mins.

After installing Speccy the computer had already been running for about 10 mins. It reported the CPU at 40 C, Motherboard at 26 C, HDD at 31 C and the graphics card at 64 C. Clearly it is warmer than the surrounding electronics. I did clean out a lot of dust from the heat sink assembly last night.

I'll let it run to see how hot it gets but it already seems it runs hotter than everything else, even if I remove the side panel of the computer. How should I proceed?

Ed
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Unread 16-07-2013, 12:38 PM   #4
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Re: Weird Boot Problems / Display Issues

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Originally Posted by BowtoEd View Post
So, I did as you asked. Strangely, the computer booted up normally this morning and has been running for about 15 mins.

After installing Speccy the computer had already been running for about 10 mins. It reported the CPU at 40 C, Motherboard at 26 C, HDD at 31 C and the graphics card at 64 C. Clearly it is warmer than the surrounding electronics. I did clean out a lot of dust from the heat sink assembly last night.

I'll let it run to see how hot it gets but it already seems it runs hotter than everything else, even if I remove the side panel of the computer. How should I proceed?

Ed
64C as an idle temperature is unusual. Start doing some graphically demanding and monitor the temperature until it goes funny again.
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Unread 16-07-2013, 01:04 PM   #5
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Re: Weird Boot Problems / Display Issues

OK,

I ran Oblivion for about 10 minutes before having to leave for work...the temperature when I closed the program was 68 C. I do have the side panel off the computer to allow the temperature within the case to remain at a sane level.

Maybe I should not do this because it doesn't test the setup as I normally have it. When I get back today, I may be able to run it again to try it with the cover on. The computer hasn't crashed today like it did yesterday.

Ed
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Unread 16-07-2013, 01:07 PM   #6
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Re: Weird Boot Problems / Display Issues

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Originally Posted by BowtoEd View Post
OK,

I ran Oblivion for about 10 minutes before having to leave for work...the temperature when I closed the program was 68 C. I do have the side panel off the computer to allow the temperature within the case to remain at a sane level.

Maybe I should not do this because it doesn't test the setup as I normally have it. When I get back today, I may be able to run it again to try it with the cover on. The computer hasn't crashed today like it did yesterday.

Ed
Hmm, So it only rose by 4C. Weird. I'll have a think about this one.
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Unread 16-07-2013, 06:55 PM   #7
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Re: Weird Boot Problems / Display Issues

Chances are it was just overheating, and you fixed that by cleaning out the dust. Safe Mode runs at a much lower resolution with any graphics enhancements disabled, which would explain why it worked OK then.

Run some stress tests to ensure that everything is stable (especially the graphics card); I would recommend Aquamark and/or FurMark for your GPU, and you can use HWMonitor to keep an eye on temps as you go. If you haven't done this before, you can have a look at this article for a bit more detailed info.
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Unread 17-07-2013, 02:11 AM   #8
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Re: Weird Boot Problems / Display Issues

So I opened up the chassis and sprayed out more dust. I sprayed a little lubricant into the fans in hopes that they would run more efficiently and produce less heat. Still, the video card seems to crash after a few months in normal mode. I may have to end up buying a new video card. I don't know if I'm going to buy one as extravagant as the one I have. I'm not a heavy gamer and I don't know if I care to spend more than $20 on a replacement.

That may be the best way to end this. The video card is clearly what's overheating. It got up to 70 C today but I wasn't measuring it when it crashed.

Ed
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Unread 17-07-2013, 09:31 AM   #9
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Re: Weird Boot Problems / Display Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by BowtoEd View Post
So I opened up the chassis and sprayed out more dust. I sprayed a little lubricant into the fans in hopes that they would run more efficiently and produce less heat. Still, the video card seems to crash after a few months in normal mode. I may have to end up buying a new video card. I don't know if I'm going to buy one as extravagant as the one I have. I'm not a heavy gamer and I don't know if I care to spend more than $20 on a replacement.

That may be the best way to end this. The video card is clearly what's overheating. It got up to 70 C today but I wasn't measuring it when it crashed.

Ed
Yes I think it is overheating. We just wanted to make sure.

You won't get anything decent for under $20.
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Unread 17-07-2013, 01:03 PM   #10
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Re: Weird Boot Problems / Display Issues

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I think, if I tested all the voltage regulation ICs on the board, I'd find a faulty one. If the voltage going to the main GPU is more than it should, that would make it dissipate more heat and therefore cause these problems.

Although what I have is a better quality gaming card, I mainly use my computer for YouTube, homework, and electronics design. I don't feel the need to get a new top-of-the-line graphics adapter. What price range would you recommend? I don't want to sink much money into it.

Also, I've considered getting a laptop and selling parts of this computer. Do you think it would be more cost-effective to do that instead? I built the computer in 2008 and have had minimal problems since.

Ed

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