Graphics card problem? Or something else?

  fourjays 18:50 11 Jan 2006

Ever since I have had this computer (read bottom of post for specs), it has gone through times when the same problem occurs. In a 3D game (or any other 3D program, for that matter), the screen will lock into a screen of mixed colours and patterns and the sound will lock solid on whatever note it was playing (occasionally it will keep going, and will continue to play sounds as if nothing is wrong). This problem has never happened in Windows itself, apart from when I'm running dxdiag (on which it sometimes does the same). Although when it does it in dxdiag, it only ever seems to do it on the full screen tests. The usual key commands do nothing (Ctrl+Alt+Del, etc), and the only way to get the computer back to a useable state, is to turn the power off! If hit the restart button, it reboots, but instead of showing BIOS information, shows various patterns on the screen, before going completely blank. *Sometimes* when it gets back to the desktop, it will display a message, saying something along the lines of "Power not connected to the card" (This is nVidia Sentinel telling me this). However, I have made sure the power lead is in, and the fan *is* spinning. If I reboot the computer again, this message won't show again, until the card next has a hiccup.

Now I said this has happened a few times before, and each time I have unplugged the card, and put it back in. Taken the power out, and put it back in. Cleaned all the card. Everytime I have done this before, it has started working again afterwards (and would work fine for a number of weeks or months, before doing it again).

Now it hasn't actually done this in a long time (probably 4-6months), and it has started doing it again today. I have unplugged the card, cleaned it, checked the power - even upgraded my video drivers to the latest nVidia Forceware. Still does it.

Has anyone got any ideas on what is causing this problem, and how to fix it... permanently!


Pentium 4 2.8Ghz
MSI 848P Neo
2 Sticks of 512Mb DDR RAM
Leadtek Winfast A350 Ultra TDH (FX5900 XT) 128Mb
Windows XP SP2, fully updated.
Sound Blaster 24-bit Sound Card

NOTE: As I was checking my motherboard make, the Sentinel power thing came up again (first time ever it has done that). Screenshot can be found here, for your viewing pleasure: click here

  Totally-braindead 18:59 11 Jan 2006

Go to start run and type DXDIAG and see if it finds any problem. It could also be a power issue so if you could check the rating of the power supply that may help or it could be the card is faulty. Bad connection also comes to mind as a possible fault in that you got it to run for nearly 6 months without crashing, perhaps try connecting the graphics card, presumming it has its own power connector which I think it does, to another connector and see what happens.

  fourjays 19:10 11 Jan 2006

I have run dxdiag everytime it has had this problem, and everytime it reports no problems. Before upgrading the graphics drivers, it said that the drivers weren't WHQL approved, but the newest drivers are.

I don't remember what my power supply rating is (I think it is a 300W, but Im not sure). I have already thought of this before, but it feels too random for that. Either way, how can I check my power rating, and how do I know if I am going over?

I am going to try a different power connector after I've made this post. Will let you know the results. :P

  citadel 19:14 11 Jan 2006

I had a similar problem and it was the psu. My screen would freeze in a multi-colour patchwork, there would be no error messages.

  woodchip 19:17 11 Jan 2006

You need to try reducing Graphics acceleration in Display setting Troubleshooting, drop the slide button try it

  Lettervanman 19:19 11 Jan 2006

click here

This sounds a bit like your problem,turned out to be the Graphics Card.

  fourjays 23:11 11 Jan 2006

It seems to be ok now. I switched the power cable with another one, and all seemed good. However after doing so, I had a few other problems - all caused by various power cables that came unplugged when fiddling around trying to find a spare one. I also got a blue screen once, so I made sure the RAM was pushed in properly (the CPU fan had come unplugged, so I think I knocked the RAm when plugging it back in). I'm going to wait a day or two, before marking this resolved, but at the moment it looks like a possibly faulty power connector.

  PC Bilbo 23:50 11 Jan 2006


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