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Dead graphics card?

xioouaxiooua Registered User regular
Hey, long time reader, first time poster. My friend directed me here to see if I could find a solution for this issue.

Basically, my NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT driver is not working. Or that's what my computer is telling me anyway. I'm running a Dell desktop (about a year and half old) with Windows Vista 64-bit home addition. On Thursday I purchased a Microsoft Lifecam VX-5000, installed and used it with no issue. I put the computer to sleep, went to bed, and awoke the next morning to find my desktop complety pixelated on start up. Looked a bit like a Picasso painting. Obviously this is bad.

My desktop will often lock up or freeze, or pixelate. Sometimes the screen will flash or go black, and that won't go away until I re-start.. I have reinstalled the latest driver for Windows Vista Home Premium 64 without success, I also uninstalled the device software from the computer and allowed windows to auto reinstall upon restart. This has not fixed the issue. I often get this error message: "Windows has stopped this device because it has reported problems. (Code 43) Click 'Check for solutions' to send data about this device to Microsoft and to see if there is a solution available." I'll also usually get this when I'm just surfing the web: "nvlddmkm stopped responding and has recovered" this pops up after the screen flashes and pixelates, then goes back to normal.

I assume the card is dead. I've noticed when starting a game the fan will not start, which then crashes the game and pixelates my display. Is this a hardware issue or a driver issue? Obviously the fan not starting is a hardware issue, but is the fan failing because of the driver? I had no problems before I installed the Lifecam VX-5000, and I'm convinced this is what caused the issue. I've un-installed all traces of the Lifecam and returned it, but yet my problem persists. This graphics card is only a little over a year old.

I'm hoping it's a software issue and not a hardware issue, but I'm not holding my breath. If a replacement is needed, what's a comparable card I can purchase? I've got a few games that are pretty intense graphics wise, so I need a card that can still play them.

xiooua on

Posts

  • vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Have you tried reinstalling the drivers? Uninstall the card in Device Manager, run something like Driver Cleaner in safe mode to make sure all vestiges are gone, and reboot. When you get back into Windows, it'll ask you for a driver, just click Cancel, or pick a generic VGA driver temporarily. Then reinstall the latest Nvidia drivers from their website.

    I gotta say though, I think your is most likely dead. I had the same thing happen to a 7900GT a while back. Crazy pixelation from time to time, then eventually Windows crashes. Popped in a 6600GT from a different machine and everything was fine, i.e. it was definitely the card. But try the drivers before you break down and buy a new card.

    vonPoonBurGer on
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  • xioouaxiooua Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately my problem persists, so I'm convinced the card is dead. I'll go buy an ATI equivalent to the one I have now, maybe that one will last more than a year.

    xiooua on
  • seabassseabass Doctor MassachusettsRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I've had a very similar problem lately, and found that reseating the card helps, at least temporarily. You might try that.

    seabass on
    Run you pigeons, it's Robert Frost!
  • xioouaxiooua Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Yeah I tried reseating it. I think the fan is dead, so it's pretty much an expensive paper weight at this point. I noticed a few weeks ago that the fan was pretty much running on full blast (this particular card is very loud) the entire time a game was running (Mass Effect 2 mostly, which would give any card a bit of a work out I suppose). When the card was new, the fan wouldn't run like that all the time, only intermittently. So I think the stupid thing just burned itself out.

    I was hoping it was just a driver issue, but I'm 100% sure the card is dead. Sucks, but what can ya do. But I know the 9800GT runs hot and doesn't have the longest lifespan (still expected it to last longer than a year and half though). I should have just bought the computer with an ATI to begin with. I have a Radeon 5550 on the way, which should actually run a bit faster than this one. Here's to hoping it doesn't crap out on me the second the warranty goes.

    xiooua on
  • vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    You should consider getting a card from a company that offers a lifetime warranty. XFX comes to mind. That way if it happens again, you can just get it replaced under warranty.

    vonPoonBurGer on
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  • grouch993grouch993 Both a man and a numberRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Read somewhere that one (or more) of the Nvidia drivers were causing fan problems and killing cards.

    betanews article on it

    Suspect it killed my 8800gts, it had problems very similar to what you described before finally stopping.

    grouch993 on
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  • xioouaxiooua Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    You should consider getting a card from a company that offers a lifetime warranty. XFX comes to mind. That way if it happens again, you can just get it replaced under warranty.

    Actually, the card I ordered is from XFX, so that won't be an issue.
    grouch993 wrote: »
    Read somewhere that one (or more) of the Nvidia drivers were causing fan problems and killing cards.

    betanews article on it

    Suspect it killed my 8800gts, it had problems very similar to what you described before finally stopping.

    I heard about that too, but I don't think it was an issue for the 9800GT. I could be wrong though. Either way, the driver mentioned in that article isn't the one I'm using, I have their latest driver that was released in July. So unfortunately I can't go yell at Nvidia about this one.

    New card is a few towns away, so I should have it tomorrow.

    xiooua on
  • darkgruedarkgrue Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I've had a number of friends have NVIDIA cards die this year, including myself. Symptoms were common: blue screen (or equivalent Win7 response). No obvious thermal issues. Reseating, thorough cleaning (including heatsink dissassembly), driver replacement/restoration, all negative. We also didn't use the Driver of Death.

    Replacing the card made the problems go away. Since one of said friends also had a laptop die (because of the more-well-known laptop chipset ticking timebomb of death problem), pretty much discouraged us from buying NVIDIA again. Especially since all the card failures came at a time we a) didn't want to buy new video cards and b) video card prices were artifically inflated due to demand.

    darkgrue on
  • xioouaxiooua Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    So, latest development. My fan DOES work. I installed EVGA precision today (admittedly something I should have had from the start) and fiddled with the fan control. It's defaulted at 30%, but when I set it higher, the fan worked.

    Here's the thing, my fan is stuck at 30%, and that must be what the problem is. It won't increase speed on it's own, only when I manually do it. The second odd thing I'm noticing is that as I type this, my gpu temp is slowly creeping up, even as I'm just surfing the web. Once it hits 72 is when my deskstop starts flaking out on me. But my fan never kicks in above 30%.

    So what could be causing this? Is the card even the problem, or is it something worse? And is it normal for the temp to keep increasing if I'm only surfing the web?

    xiooua on
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