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Graphics Card Problem

Spoom182Spoom182 Registered User regular
A couple weeks ago, my graphics card was overheating quickly. You guys on PA correctly diagnosed it, and after dusting out the innards it worked really well. Until about 4 days ago, when my computer would start to freeze and shut off when playing Warcraft III, not a very tough game for my computer. The graphics card is a Geforce 8800GTX, and the problem is that blue lines start forming in patterns across my screen, looking a lot like
|||| |||| ||||
and so on, covering the whole screen. I was able to tell that programs were running, but the mouse wouldn't really move around on the screen, and if it did, it would take a while for it to respond, and when I clicked a program, it either wouldn't show up on the screen, or it would take far too long. Before I open up my computer and start messing around, I'd like to know if this is a common problem, and what I can do to fix it. This is especially puzzling because I built this computer as a replacement for my old one, which fell victim to the exact same problem. That one was a Dell, so I had nothing to do with putting any of the components in there. I had to end up getting a new card to fix that one. Hopefully with some advice I wont have to do that again.

Spoom182 on

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    CronusCronus Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    The symptoms make it sound like the video card is overheating again. It could be that your computer is collecting a lot of dust and other junk. Or the computer could just be positioned poorly. Is it poorly ventilated? It could also be the fan/heatsink. I've had a card where the fan was spinning very slowly and causing the card to overheat. In that case you can replace the fan/heatsink. Though that can be a pain as you often need proprietary heatsinks.

    Cronus on
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    Spoom182Spoom182 Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I would be really surprised if it was overheating again, since I just dusted it like 2 weeks ago and it overheats on Warcraft. In fact, right when it turns on it screws up, and I don't think it could overheat in literally 30 seconds of being on. Unfortunately I can't really test it, since the damned thing won't even work long enough for me to open a program.
    By the way, my computer boots by default to the BIOS, and it looks like I can leave it on there as long as I like without the image becoming messed up, but the second I start up Windows, it goes to shit.

    Spoom182 on
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    exoplasmexoplasm Gainfully Employed Near Blizzard HQRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    It could be full of dust again. The fan could be failing to cool properly. The thermal compound between the chip and the heatsink could be failing.

    It could even be succumbing to the recently announced known failure of the 8 series GPUs.

    Try checking it for dust again...

    Edit: And yes it can overheat in 30 seconds. If it's getting used it heats up, period. If you're using Vista with Aero it's using the GPU (although should be very light use), for example.

    exoplasm on
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    CronusCronus Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    exoplasm wrote: »
    It could be full of dust again. The fan could be failing to cool properly. The thermal compound between the chip and the heatsink could be failing.

    It could even be succumbing to the recently announced known failure of the 8 series GPUs.

    Try checking it for dust again...

    Edit: And yes it can overheat in 30 seconds. If it's getting used it heats up, period. If you're using Vista with Aero it's using the GPU (although should be very light use), for example.

    The 30 seconds makes it sound more like it's overheating. It could be anything in exo's or my post. If your card is still under warranty you can just send it back. Otherwise a computer store with the right heatsink could replace it for you.

    Cronus on
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    Spoom182Spoom182 Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Alright I'll check those out. Thanks.

    Spoom182 on
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    Spoom182Spoom182 Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Alright, I just dusted it out and it worked better, but is still unusable. At least I got to the desktop this time. Is it possible for me to do anything about it before I take it in to a store?

    I'd really like to get it working on my own, mainly so I don't have to deal with not having my computer working for however long it takes for them to fix it.

    Spoom182 on
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    CronusCronus Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Spoom182 wrote: »
    Alright, I just dusted it out and it worked better, but is still unusable. At least I got to the desktop this time. Is it possible for me to do anything about it before I take it in to a store?

    I'd really like to get it working on my own, mainly so I don't have to deal with not having my computer working for however long it takes for them to fix it.

    You could try taking off the fan and heatsink, these should be screwed together. Cleaning the GPU off and then applying some fresh thermal paste. After that put the heatsink/fan back on, making sure that the heatsink is in contact is the chip.

    That will fix it if the heatsink has simply moved away from the chip. Even a thin layer of air between the two can drastically kill the heat transfer from the GPU to the heatsink. It's annoying, but sometimes they just aren't attached tightly enough and the computer gets jostled around an it comes loose. CPU heatsinks tend to have strong clips that ensure that doesn't happen.

    Cronus on
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    FaceballMcDougalFaceballMcDougal Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Damage could be done though already. I purchased a card from the store and due to some tight spaces the fan wasnt working for its first 10 minutes of life which is all it needed to brick itself.

    FaceballMcDougal on
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    tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Yeah your GPU is most likely permanently fucked. It probably got damaged the first time it overheated.

    Is the environment you keep your computer in extra hot/enclosed or is there not enough airflow in your case? If this keeps happening to your computers it may be the environment they are in.

    tsmvengy on
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    Spoom182Spoom182 Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I keep my computer under a table, probably between 6-8 inches away from the wall. I don't think it is permanently fucked, because after I cleaned it out, it worked perfectly fine for maybe 15 seconds at the desktop, so I guess that means it's just heating up too fast. I'll try to reinstall the heatsink sometime soon. Thanks for the help.

    Spoom182 on
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    Dark ShroudDark Shroud Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Redo the Thermal paste, use Quick Silver. Just make sure you don't void your warranty. There is a very good chance your card is permanently damaged though. I know people who did this with CPUs.

    You should also consider adding more cooling to your system.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817122110

    Dark Shroud on
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    DaemasDaemas Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Card is definitely fried. It's most likely your VRAM that's toast. When I was overclocking my HD2900XTs (through ATi's own program no less). I BSODed with a memory error and whenever I would boot up with that card in the system, it would either BSOD, freeze up, and artifact all over the place. Sucks.

    Daemas on
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    elliotw2elliotw2 Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I had a 8500GT that had a fan die and it quickly overheated and died after boot up. Most card makers should still have your card under RMA period, if you registered after you bought it.

    elliotw2 on
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    MagicPrimeMagicPrime FiresideWizard Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Does your case have adequate space for everything in there?

    A case full of bundled wires and cards can cause massive problems with ventilation and cause a heat build up which can start to fuck with your entire system in the long run.

    If the heat from the processor/HDDs/etc. is just getting put into the air inside the case and stirred about, its actually making things worse. A GPU fan pulling in hot air is no good at all.

    My current case is great for ventilation.
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    SatsumomoSatsumomo Rated PG! Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    There's the Coolermaster 690 which retails around $65-$75 and it's the one I have.

    Only flaw I see is that it's so open, that if someone spills a drink on it, it goes right through the mesh into all of your components.

    DSC00054.jpg

    Satsumomo on
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    RydiakRydiak Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Satsumomo wrote: »
    There's the Coolermaster 690 which retails around $65-$75 and it's the one I have.

    Only flaw I see is that it's so open, that if someone spills a drink on it, it goes right through the mesh into all of your components.

    Why would ANYONE ever have liquids on top of a computer case? Condensation can form and fry out everything it touches.

    Rydiak on
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