Solved: Fuzzy snowy dots and lines on screen

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paulb100

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Mar 17, 2005
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Iam looking at a PC for a friend and it has a symptom ive never come across before, I recently installed an extra stick of 512Mb into the old XP PC so it now has 1Gb, it worked fine while I had it but a few days after he got it back it started to have the following problems after 15 minutes of use.. snowy scrolling dots appearing on the screen, akin to interference... the computer would also reboot in a loop... so I asked him to bring it back.. when he got it here it worked fine for 90 minutes and I used Memtest+86 to scan the RAM which came back as Zero errors..it was when I reboot the PC after running Memtest+86 with the reset button that it all started..

it seems to be some interference of some sort, possibly? - maybe it needs to 'warm up' before it happens? I dunno, I can only speculate.

if anyone has any ideas what this may be I would appreciate it..

EDIT: I should say that I used my own monitor so its not that.

photos:



 

dai

Joined
Mar 6, 2003
Messages
11,198
what are you running
video card brand and model
cpu
m/board
ram
power supply
brand
model
wattage

check the listings in the bios for 12v line voltages and temperatures and post them

reinstall the video drivers

maybe failing video card or chip or power supply
 

Tanis

Shane
Joined
May 29, 2006
Messages
4,098
Agree with dai, a likely cause based on the pictures and your description would be a failing GPU or possibly the PSU. The fact you are showing pictures of the problem in the BIOS scneens and other area before Windows has started is a good indication of a hardware problem not a software one as no drivers etc have loaded at that stage.
 

paulb100

Thread Starter
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Messages
1,894
its an ancient PC, I replaced the MOBO in it 7 years ago and it was old then lol...

Intel Celeron 2.6Ghz
1Gb DDR1 RAM 400Mhz (2 x 512Mb)
unsure of mobo brand, PSU brand
GPU is SiS built in.

do the voltage levels look ok..?

11.95
5v
3.25v

this only seem start after inserting the 2nd stick of 512Mb RAM (but it tested ok) , It seems to happen after the computer is on for a bit and then when you reboot afterwards it starts....

I have tried the original 512Mb stick in both ports... the problem does not arise, I have tried the new stick in the 1st port on its own and problem doesnt happen, Ive yet to test it in the other port - if all ok I will insert them both in together again and retry...

I didnt think it would be possible for RAM to cause those symptoms...is it?- its defo a hardware issue that much is for sure..


thanks
 

dai

Joined
Mar 6, 2003
Messages
11,198
take the side off the case and look at the psu label for the details

the 11.95 is down but i would not think it was low enough to cause the problem unless the 12v line amps output was low to start with

see if you can borrow a older video card with low power demand to try in it
 

managed

Allan
Moderator
Joined
May 24, 2003
Messages
15,067
Looks like Ram to me, especially as it's using on-board Graphics which will use some of the Ram.

Try running Memtest86+ for several passes with all possible combinations of ram sticks and sockets.
 

paulb100

Thread Starter
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Messages
1,894
ppffft! talking work for days on end too do that lol!! - wouldnt be so bad if it wasnt a bloody hair dryer that makes an immense racket because the CPU/Mobo doesnt have variable speed fan so its at 3500rpm and the PSU fan is even worse.. the 12v was 12v dead on last night.

I put the sticks back in and had it running scans and stuff for hours and it never happened once - it has not happened since removing and re-seating memory - heres the thing though, if its a bad seated memory...how would it cause static type interference on the screen? I can understand the crash/loops but not the static snow drivelling down the screen... it seemed like electrical interference, it wasnt fixed location dots like, I know the RAM is used to store GPU data but could the data corrupt in such a manner that it has snowy dots rain across and down the screen?

anyway - fingers crossed it sorted, I have a spare PCI-E GPU with passive cooling, old thing.. if it happens again I will try that,

I also removed the floppy drive and an inactive DVD-Rom (leaving a CDRW in) so less power is drawn from the PSU

thanks again :)
 

managed

Allan
Moderator
Joined
May 24, 2003
Messages
15,067
Yes a ram problem could cause that sort of thing. When it's read to put the data on the screen any errors could show up as dots/pixels of the wrong colour. Looks like re-seating it fixed it though. :)
 
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