Screen freeze & blurred/distorted graphics

  vernacott 11:28 15 Sep 2009


Whilst playing a game yesterday my screen froze, the graphics blurred/distorted and the only thing I could do was to hit the restart button.

After rebooting I browsed the internet with no problems and then tried to open the same game again. I got into the game but after a few minutes the same thing happened (screen freeze/image distorted).

Again, I had to hit the restart button but this time I could not get into the game at all as the screen freeze would happen on the login screen. I then tried another game and the same thing happened.

This only occured when opening games except one time when it happened on the windows loading screen following a reboot.

After an hour or two of my computer being switched off I decided to try and update my graphics card drivers. I installed them and tried to load the game. It played absolutely fine from around 6pm to 11pm and the PC remained on until around 1am with no problems.

Today, I switched the PC on and it was all fine until I logged into the game. The same freeze/distort happened after 10 minutes or so of playing. I restarted the machine and it happened whilst browsing the internet which had not happened before.

I opened in safe-mode and system restored to a few days ago. Whilst doing this the screen did the distorted graphics but not the freeze. Following a non-forced restart I am yet to have any problems.

Any suggestions what could be causing this or is there anything I can do to help troublehsoot some more?

Thanks for your time.

  sonyboy 11:58 15 Sep 2009

If you tell us more about your system ...someone may be able to offer some help.Your Graphics card type..Operating system..and basic details of your setup can help determine if this is a known issue with a particular card type etc; Just "off the top".... your symptoms could be due to overheating when the card is stressed.. Graphics card cooling issues ...any number of things...More info on your hardware etc; will help a lot as it could be a known issue that someone has experienced with a similar card .

  vernacott 12:07 15 Sep 2009

Hi, thanks for your reply.

A little info on my system:

Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 8800GT OC2
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500
RAM: 2x 2GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2
OS: Windows Vista Home Premium

  sonyboy 14:51 15 Sep 2009

From what you say in your first posting..Your problem seems to occur under different circumstances and behaves differently on these occasions.An intermittent fault like this can sometimes be hard to pin down .My usual way of approaching intermittent faults is to to try and identify the simplest possible cause ..Sometimes overheating siuation causes your symptoms.. Your card has the excellent "ZEROtherm" cooling system..and usually handles any heat build up pretty well ....but I 've seen 8800GT's with an unhealthy "cloak of dust clogging the cooling areas and this has hobbled them to the point of showing similar effects as you are having.
If your card is close to another populated slot and the air circulation is interfered could be getting an intermittent "overheat" situation.
Check out the area around the card and see if its free of dust etc; I know it sounds simple..but a removal of built up dust can help a great deal.The other alternative is to try another card in the slot if you have one... and see if the "freezing and distortion" disappears..If it more than likely have a faulty card issue.Try the simple checks first though..check on the seating of the card and make sure its' sat in its' slot correctly..Check your power connector to the card ..and check that its not troubled by an unhealthy build up of dust as a first step.

  vernacott 10:59 16 Sep 2009

Hi sonyboy,

I checked the card and surrounding area for dust but it all seemed quite clean, I did clear what I could see.

I used a programme called Everest Ultimate to test the temperatures of the GPU and I was told they are fine.

The problem got much worse yesterday and now I can't switch on the PC without the screen distorting and sometimes freezing on every attempt.

Someone suggested that I try to remove my graphics card and run the PC with the on-board graphics to see if the problem occured again. I am currently doing this now with no problems as of yet.

Does this mean that the graphics card is the problem? If so, does anyone have any experience with Nvidia and their warranty? I bought the card just under a year ago.

Thanks for your time.

  sonyboy 12:02 16 Sep 2009

If the onboard graphics are doing the business..It sadly looks as if you have a"duff" card.If you are still in warranty..I suggest that you contact the place where you bought the card..I know when we pay good money..we expect to get a product that will give good sevice...but things like this do happen.
A reputable company will honour the contract of sale providing that you have not caused damage yourself by a faulty "overclock" for example! If you contact Nvidia ....they should also offer sound advice.The golden rule polite and courteous ..and explain the fault clearly.
I have had to obtain quite a few "Return Athorities" for various components that have failed...and have not had a "horror story " scenario to date.Your first port of call is the supplier of your card..Let us know how you get on!

  vernacott 15:00 16 Sep 2009

Well I contacted BFG Tech via their email support and explained the problem. I got a reply within a couple of hours which I was very pleased with.

The reply said "It sounds like the video RAM on the graphics card has gone bad and will require an

I've sent them all the details they requested and I'm now waiting for the next step.

I'd just like to say thanks very much sonyboy, it really is a great help and support when something like this happens and you can come here for some friendly advice!

I'll keep this thread updated until the problem is resolved as maybe it can help someone else in the future.

  sonyboy 15:46 16 Sep 2009

Glad you got a good response from BFG Tech..and thanks for your polite are more than welcome.Hope the RMA goes smoothly..Good luck!

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