Desperately seeking help - display problems

  slightlymad 00:57 25 Jul 2006

I'm writing this on my laptop as my desktop is virtually unviewable...

During the POST there are white squares and broken text, and the desktop shows a series of - well, bar codes is the only way I can describe it - running vertically down the screen.

I've used System Restore and run a virus check using Nod32 (all clear), and tried changing monitors, but the problem persists.

I'm running Windows XP with an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro All-in-Wonder graphics card, and an AMD Athlon processor.

I'm really worried that I need a new graphics card, and I know nothing about these things. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  007al 01:05 25 Jul 2006

Try turning off the pc and giving the graphics card a wiggle and make sure its all the way in the slot.Also check the connections from card to monitor

  Belatucadrus 01:15 25 Jul 2006

It does sound like a graphics card problem, two things you can do before replacing, first try the latest drivers click here .
You could also look for hardware problems, ie make sure the card is properly seated and that the cable is screwed home, also check that the cooler fan is working

  DieSse 01:51 25 Jul 2006

I agree with Belatucadrus, except that it's very unlikely the driver would just "fail". It'll be heat (failed fan) or a faulty card probably.

  Belatucadrus 11:31 25 Jul 2006

I agree the driver update is a longshot, but I have seen corrupt drivers do weird things.

  slightlymad 16:53 25 Jul 2006

OK, I'm coming to terms with the fact that I need a new graphics card.

I tried wiggling the current one, which merely made the patterns change. And I air-sprayed the dust out of the fan, which made no difference. I downloaded the driver (thanks for the link, Belatucadrus) but the display is so bad now that I can't view the Device Manager dialogue box.

Touble is, the All-in-Wonder costs £180! But there seem to be some bargains on eBay...

Now, there does happen to be a spare computer lying around - is it worth my switching cards? (I'd have to find someone to do it for me, you see, as I'm nervous of wirey-stuff...)

Meanwhile, my problems are compounded by the fact that I have no Internet connection - the result of a unseamless transition to TalkTalk. So I'm writing this on my neighbour's PC, and will check back later for responses.

Thanks, everyone.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:19 25 Jul 2006

Switch off


remove graphics card completely

refit graphics card ensuring pressed well down into slot and gold connectors disappear from view.

plug in switch on and retry.

Video card install
click here

  leo49 19:56 25 Jul 2006

Marie, do as Fruit Bat /\0/\ says - you've fitted a HDD before now and this is even easier.
You can do it.

  slightlymad 09:24 26 Jul 2006

Two screws - three rather stubborn sets of wires - a clip-thingy, and out it came!

Got yet more gunk out of the fan, fitted card securely back in, but it made no difference.

I'm off to eBay...

Thanks, everyone, for all your help.

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