Help. Graphics card problem in Xperian computer

  nucom 22:42 08 Nov 2007

The screen on my 4 yr old Xperian has gone (only get lots of vertical coloured strips, which change from time to time, with various pale dots which appear to be behind the coloured strips). The manufacturer advised it probably needs a new graphics card - cost £111 as it was specially designed for the Xperian, and delivery 5 weeks to obtain from abroad.

A friend, thinks the diagnosis is correct, as the processor can be heard operating from time to time, and especially if a cd is installed into the drive, at which time the colours on the screen change rapidly. In addition, during the time it was being inspected, the screen momentarily changed to the screensaver screen (white stars seemingly travelling through black space) on a couple of occasions.

2/11 I ordered and paid for new graphics card and was advised delivery 2 weeks. 6/11 I received invoice for a TV tuner. On querying this I was advised wrong item had been sent and would be looked into. Subsequently was advised the graphics card is not available, for order or at all, and no alternative could be suggested, although they said they will make further enquiries and get back to me .

Has anyone had a similar problem with the Xperian? Does anyone know the reference number for the original graphics card or better still the number of a suitable alternative? Failing these, can anyone advise how I can transfer the information from the Xperian to another computer, or offer any other useful advice. I should add that I am far from being an expert regarding computers, so would be grateful for any help offered.

  MCE2K5 23:32 08 Nov 2007

What is the model number.

Found this on the internet,

"Good Points
The Xperian from Hi-Grade has no good points.

Bad Points
There are plenty.

General Comments
I have never had so many problems with a PC as I have with this. The Xperian has a known fault with the graphics card and in my experience will last no longer than 3-4 months. The internal fans are not man enough to cope with the heat that this PC produces which causes the graphics card to quit. Try and get something out of Hi-Grade to fix this problem and I hope you have better luck than I did. If the PC goes wrong and it's out of warranty (after you have spent £1400 on it) and it's a day over the 12 months then they want £75 and that's just to collect it.
Whatever you do, DO NOT BUY THIS PC, you will thank me in the long run."

  nucom 23:47 08 Nov 2007

Thanks MCE2K5. I think I saw this one, but have not been able to find anything more recent.

I've actually had the Xperian for over 4 years, and have been really pleased with it, so much so I was willing to pay the £111 requested for a replacement. The Graphics card failure is the first major problem I have had, but unfortunately it is quite a serious one, especially if I am unable to obtain a new or alternative graphics card, or transfer the information from it, hence my request for help.

  MCE2K5 00:55 09 Nov 2007

Is this it,

click here

If it is, It's onboard Graphics,like this,

click here

Two things to try.

1: Can you start it in Safe Mode.

2: Can a Monitor be attached to it.

  nucom 12:14 09 Nov 2007

Thanks again MCE2K5

Yes. Looks like that's the one, but mine supposedly has 120 GB hard drive.

Apologies for my naivety but is onboard Graphics the same as a graphics card? The users manual spec does not mention Radeon 9000, but then it doesn't mention a graphics card either. The only thing I can see that might relate to the screen is "Video Controller" which is listed under the heading Display" - "AGP 4X interface, MPEG-2 support, 8.5 MB/s capability".

Re. possibility of starting in safe mode. Unfortunately the messed up screen comes on straight away, but do you think it would help if I press say F11 as soon as it starts?

With regard to the possibility of an external monitor being attached, I do not know, but the last but one paragraph in the PC Pro reference you gave it mentions

"If you want to hook up more gadgets, you have plenty of options. There's FireWire, USB 2, and an optical S-P/DIF out for wiring up a fancy surround sound amplifier."

Do you think this would allow a monitor to be attached? Failing this I can phone the manufacturer to ask.

I was hoping to connect the Xperian to a wireless network but I‘m not sure how I could without a screen, but would this help my situation if I could?

Thanks for your input

  keef66 14:13 09 Nov 2007

The reference to AGP 4x initially made me think it has an AGP graphics card slot, but that review and others say it's notebook graphics, and looking at the picture I'm sure a normal graphics card wouldn't fit.

I know the Dell D600 laptop I'm typing this on has the same Mobility Radeon 9000 chip, and it isn't upgradeable / replaceable, so you may be out of luck.

I hope the manufacturer is able to repair it for you; there's nothing you can buy and fit yourself.

If the graphics chip is knackered there's no point in hooking it up to a monitor; you'd just see the same coloured lines on a different screen.

Because you can't see anything on the screen, in order to recover the stuff from the hard disk, you'll have to take the thing apart. Remove then hook the HDD up in another, working pc as a slave drive, and you can copy whatever you need to the pc's master HDD, to an external usb HDD or flash drive, or burn to CD / DVD.

  crosstrainer 14:19 09 Nov 2007

That is an onboard graphics chip....The reason they have said they can't replace it, is due to the fact that you would need a new mobo.

  nucom 22:38 09 Nov 2007

Thanks keef66. Its beginning to look a little grim, but at least there's some hope for recovering the content. Is it common knowledge that an onboard graphics chip non replaceable?

I am a little confused though, because it was the manufacturer who suggested the screen problem was probably due to the graphic card failure, and went on to say they already had a back order for graphic cards which they they were expecting in a couple of weeks - perhaps their right hand doesnt know what their left knows.

I actually bought the computer from a TV shopping channel and it came complete with a 3 year guarantee, which given what you say, it seems to have been a risky strategy on their part. I guess I need to take the matter up with the manufacturer to try to clarify the situation, and then with the shopping channel, who at the time of purchase indicated that even if technology moved on, the Xperian could be used for years and years as a TV.

Many thanks

  nucom 22:42 09 Nov 2007

Thanks crosstrainer. Could you please say what a mobo is, and are they expensive?

  Totally-braindead 23:10 09 Nov 2007

mobo = motherboard. Basically its the circuit board that everything plugs into.

  Totally-braindead 23:19 09 Nov 2007

I would contact the manufacturer again and ask them to clarify this. From the link provided above it is built in graphics IE the graphics is on a computer chip which is part of the motherboard but from what the company is saying there is a possability that it might have a seperate graphics card. Perhaps there were different models with different specifications? I would ask them to clarify this.
If it does have a graphics card then theres a possability it can be replaced, if not you've had it unless you can get a new motherboard.
I'm kind of hoping it has what they call a low profile graphics card (this is a graphics card that is much smaller than the standard one for fitting in small cases).
Email or phone them again and ask, "is it onboard graphics or is there a seperate graphics card, if its seperate what is its make and model number".

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