Help!.....Lots of blue/turquoise lines

  ginlynne 10:04 22 Feb 2009

A couple of days ago, some blue/turquoise lines started apprearing on the screen, by yesterday, if you have a white background they are all over it, making a very pretty chequered pattern.
My son thinks that it could be a problem with the graphics/video card, because my daughter plays a lot of the Sims on it.
It's a Dell Dimension 5150, which is three years old, and sod's law, a month out of warranty!
The video card is a Radeon X600 256mb hypermemory.

Any help or advice would be appreciated, but please be gentle, as I am not the least bit technically minded.

  Marko797 10:11 22 Feb 2009

the grafs card might be on its way out. If u have a spare monitor, or access to a spare, u could try plugging that in as one test. Another thing might be to check the card hasn't become unseated in the base unit, but if u've never had the cover off, or dropped the machine, this is unlikely. One other thing might be to check that the lead connection is good, and not come loose. Failing any of these checks, it's looking like a new grafs card might be needed.

  Marko797 10:12 22 Feb 2009

the lead I referred to is the one from the PC (base unit) to the monitor.

  ginlynne 10:17 22 Feb 2009

Thanks Marko797, I checked the leads yesterday, and all were o.k., and the base unit hasn't been moved etc, so that's not the problem.
I'm going to try your suggestion, and connect another monitor next.
If I need to replace the graphics card, where on earth do I start, and can I do it myself, or does it have to be done by a pro?

  Marko797 10:22 22 Feb 2009

replacing the grafs card is a simple task of switching off the PC completely and unplugging, then dropping the side cover, removing the old one, and slotting in the new one. First things first, do the monitor test, and then if it's still the same, then u'll need to go down the new grafs card route.

  Marko797 10:33 22 Feb 2009

another thought - it might be worth getting the latest set of drivers before embarking on a new card, just to see if that has any effect. It may/may not help (doubt it), but worth trying. Assuming ur on XP, it seems some new drivers came out in Feb 09. click here and click the relevant bits, i.e. OS (Vista or XP), Radeon, x600. Download then click Run and it should self install. U might need to re-start the machine after installation.

  ginlynne 12:15 22 Feb 2009

Tried the monitor switch over, this has not solved the problem. Also, did the drivers yesterday.

Here's a screenshot of the problem:
click here

  Marko797 12:18 22 Feb 2009

OK, so that's the monitor eliminated and the drivers.

Looks reasonably conclusive - new card needed.

Not sure of the specs of ur machine, but it might be an opportunity to get a decent grafs card if u intend keeping the old Dell? Failing that, try and replace like with like, and fit the new card as per the points above.

  Marko797 12:28 22 Feb 2009

as a final test, and given that it's likely that u will need to go into the base unit anyhow (if this doesn't work) - try this.

Power off the PC, then unplug from wall skt. Tap the chassis of the base unit with the back of ur hand, to discharge any potential static.
Open up the base unit, and identify the grafs card.
Carefully remove card, ensure pins are clean, and that the slot isn't surrounded with fluff.
Once ur happy it's clean, then refit the card (it should only fit in 1 way, ensuring it's properly seated.
Then switch back on at the skt, and power up the PC.
If it's still the same, then get a new card.
Hope this helps.

  ginlynne 12:32 22 Feb 2009

Thank you so much for all your help, I'm going to try this before I look at a new card.
But, how do I know what one to buy?
I have a Dell Dimension 5150
using Microsoft windows xp media center edition with service pack 3
Intel pentium 4 cpu 3.00ghz 2.99ghz 1.00gb ram

  Marko797 12:37 22 Feb 2009

No problem.
Try the above before thinking of new card. If it doesn't work, then maybe we can discuss cards.

Have u any idea what size the PSU is? That might help grafs card selection, and maybe consider how much u want to spend.
I think ur on PCI-e as opposed to AGP. Is this the case?

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