serious graphix prob (stripey screen)-help please!

  wilbar 23:47 05 Jun 2006

I had my graphics card replaced with an ATI Radeon 9800 under warranty for my Dell 4550. All went well for a while when apparently out of nowhere the screen is now covered with 5 thick distorted coloured stripes, making it impossible to see text, graphics, anything properly. I've tried system restore and new/old drivers to death and it either does nothing or makes it worse. Sometimes they don't appear until 5 minutes after it is booted up or the scroll button is pressed.

Tech support has resorted to suggesting formatting the hard drive to source the problem. But I'd prefer to try other solutions first if anyone has any please? Could it be a hardware problem (faulty connection/static etc?)? Is there a name for the problem so I can search tech forums easier?



  RobCharles1981 23:57 05 Jun 2006

I had a similer problem in the past going back a few years now but it wouldnt boot up properly when the Windows XP Loading screen would finishing loading it would show those lines and the monitor would just shut off it would of tooken me about 6 times for it properly boot into windows

I'm thinking for you wilbar it might be dodgy motherboard i'm not certain thou what do other members think that the problem might be ?

  gudgulf 00:03 06 Jun 2006

First thing is to check that that the graphics card fan is running by removing the pcs case side.

If so the then you could try removing/reinserting the card and reinstalling the graphics drivers.Reinstall/update the motherboard chipset drivers too.If the fan is not working then you should inform Dell of this.

If reinserting/installling is unsuccessful then you are really looking at a duff graphics card.

Formatting the hard drive a resetting to factory original specs may well remove any doubt sbout it being a software problem.....but it will lose all your data/settings etc.

Is it possible you could get your hands on a borrowed alternative graphics card?.If so and it works ok it identifies the problem beyond doubt.I keep a cheap,known working card, for just such occasions!

  DieSse 00:33 06 Jun 2006

It's hardly likely to be a software/driver problem if it works OK for severeal minutes.

I agree with gudgulf - first check the fan

Then try another graphics card.

And if it's a TFT monitor, try another monitor.

Forget the software until you've checked out the hardware - it smacks of a heat problem more than anything.

  wilbar 03:25 06 Jun 2006

why didn't I think of that...actually, laziness put me off for a good while :)

gentlemen, we have a duff graphics card! the fan worked fine, but makes an unusual loud buzzing noise occasionally. I thought the card could have been overheating because its right beside the soundcard. the problem remained after changing all that and using a different monitor. So with a lot of power-cable fiddling I stuck in a 6 y/o nvidia card from my good old Gateway and its crystal! now, is it possible to get Dell to replace the card about 6 months outside of the warranty even though they sent me a 'not fit for it's purpose' one? Or would it be less bother to just buy a new one?

3D cards confuse even me as an advanced user, is this a good replacement for multimedia/gaming?

click here

I think ATIs have given me enough grief...

Thanks all for the quick help!

  keef66 13:10 06 Jun 2006

I'd try Dell first; the replacement card should've had some kind of warranty. You say all was well for a while, but how long was it?

The 6600 card you link to is more up to date then a 9800 (shader 3.0 support) but probably not quite as powerful.
I just bought a Gainward 6600 from Ebuyer for £60 and think it's great for my casual gaming needs.

  surfmonkey #:@}© 16:05 06 Jun 2006

reading through your post have you checked your card my have change the settings for your monitor and become out of range/resolution for it you could try booting in safe mode normaly f8 on boot let pc do its thing on option start in safe mode every thing will look bigger go to your gcard settings under advance on desktop see if rscreen res has changed if its say above 1152x864 pixels lower it and apply then reboot to normal

  researcher 23:05 06 Jun 2006

It is probably the card. I had a similar problem with a 3 year old nvidea card (Ti4600) a few months ago. I had thought it was a virus, but after help from this forum narrowed it down to the card - see "probable virus stopped both PCs".

Bought a new one (6600) from Novatech and all is well.

  wilbar 01:00 12 Jun 2006

scanning through the 'probable virus stopped both PCs' post the problem seems similar. changing resolutions & frame rates even in safe mode doesn't work (why should i when it worked fine before?)

i was thinking of airspraying it, but i'm afraid if that caused the problem in the first place. sometimes the can spits out what looks like water -is that normal?

i've tried asking dell for a replacement but haven't had a reply, although last correspondance was months ago. i'm thinking it would be less bother to buy a new one than persuading someone who barely speaks english and sending several confirmation emails of my address again etc etc. is the nvidia 6xxx series what i should be looking at for 256mb/£100 mark? am i right that brands like asus/geforce are better than pny/no names?

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