Solved: [GRAPHICS CARD PROBLEM?] 9800GT not working...

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Titan.Net

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Joined
May 20, 2007
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Hello there, people of TechGuy forums!

Lately I've been having some problems with the graphics card on my computer (the nvidia GeForce 9800GT), that is, it's not working at all.

Here's a detailed summary of what's been going on so far:

PROBLEMS
- ORIGINALLY occurred during a video-rendering in Adobe After Effects CS4. The computer froze and green fractals and pixels (artifacts) covered the screen. There was no response
from the mouse or keyboard and the system needed a cold reboot.
- After leaving system powered down for a day, everything was working perfectly for about eight hours, after which the system-freeze happened again.
- Over the next few days, the system would work fine for at least and hour or so before a similar crash occurred, sometimes followed by a blue screen instead of a frozen desktop (with the green fractals and pixels). If I attempted to run any 3D-intensive program (such as a game or After Effects), it would happen even faster.
- After about three days, the problem ALWAYS showed up and did not allow me to run any 3D application and the following errors and problems have persisted since:

- During system start-up and POSTing, when leading into the BIOS using F10, there are red, wavy/vertical lines across the monitor.
- During the Windows Vista boot-screen, blue wavy/vertical lines can be seen.
- Within Windows, after it has loaded, the GeForce 9800GT does not work correctly despite the drivers having been installed (previously [before reformat], I also tried using the latest drivers [196.21 Vista x64] from NVIDIA's website and that didn't work either).
- Start>Settings>Control Panel>Device Manager>Display Adapters>NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT>Double-click reports error code 43 on the device.
- Uninstalling/installing the device through the device manager does nothing.
- Updating the drivers does nothing.
- When I previously (before reformat) updated Windows with all patches, it had no effect.
- Windows Aero does not work.

STEPS TAKEN SO FAR:
- HDD 0 [Disk 0] is 500GB/465.8GB > Primary.
- HDD 1 [Disk 1] is 500GB/465.8GB > Slave.
- BD-DRIVE [Disk 2] > Blue-ray/DVD/CD Drive.
- NVIDIA GeForce 9800GT is located at the PCI-E x16 slot.

- Took it to the BestBuy GeekSquad because the computer is still in warranty. They said that everything was fine and called back a week later to tell us (my dad and I) to pick it up. Needless to say, that was garbage as nothing was fixed and I actually showed them on the spot...
- Another two weeks later they call again to tell us to pick it up. When we get there, they say that the problems were software-related and were due to the fact that there were two operating systems installed (I was dual-booting from XP Home Pro x86 and Vista Home Premium x64.) They said that they had ordered a new 9800GT and tried it out and it showed the same problems so they put the old 9800GT back in. Still, I didn't believe that this could possibly be a software problem, and whenI took it home, I realized that although all the blue and red lines were gone at start-up, the 9800GT still refused to work and would not work regardless of updating drivers/reinstalling etc... so I did the following:

- All important data was backed up on a SeaGate Expansion 1TB.
- HDD 0 and 1 were both over-written using a single pass, zero over-write to wipe all residual data and start fresh (From Hiren's BootCD 10.1).
- HDD 0 was formatted when a clean version of Windows Vista x64 was installed using the OEM product key on the side of the PC case.
- HDD 1 remains as unformatted, unallocated disk space and will not show up at My Computer/Computer until it is stated as a volume. (Right-click Computer>Manage>Disk Management>Right-click Disk 1 Unallocated Space>New Simple Volume
- Realtek RTL8168C(P)/8111C(P) Family PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet NIC (NDIS 6.0) drivers were downloaded on another from the HP webpage for this computer model and installed through a USB to enable networking (internet) on this computer.
- The NVIDIA GeForce 9800GT drivers were downloaded from the HP webpage for this computer model and installed. Previously, the device manager would show the display adapter as being a Standard VGA Compatible card. After the driver installation it updated itself to show the NVIDIA GeForce 9800GT card.
- Windows Vista Service Packs 1 & 2 have been downloaded from Microsoft's website and are currently on the desktop. They have not yet been installed.
- AVG Free was downloaded from their website and installed/updated.
- UAC was disabled through Start>Run>MSConfig>Tools>Disable UAC.
- Windows Update service was shut down from MSConfig.
- Windows Defender Service was shut down from MSConfig.
- Screen resolution was increased from 800x600 (32 bit)(1Hz) to 1024x768 (32 bit)(1Hz).
- Taskbar shuffle was installed.
- Firefox was installed.
- The HP Deskjet D4260 printer drivers were installed from a CD.
- No other programs/drivers were installed, nor were any other changes made.


I've noticed that even after I wiped both hard drives, the
artifacts (the wavy lines) still showed up at the BIOS, regardless of the fact that there was no operating system, or any other sort of data on the HDDs. When booting into Mini Windows XP from Hiren's BootCD,
the blue wavy/vertical lines were still at the boot screen. There is no way that this
can be a software-related problem because no drivers were installed, nor was their
any data on the hard drives. And yes, the BIOS still showed the red wavy/vertical lines.
Same goes with Mini Windows XP which was booted from Hiren's BootCD, not the HDDs.

Computer Model: HP Pavilion Elite m9360f - Under a year and a half old
Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium x64
CPU: Core 2 Quad 9300
GPU: GeForce 9800 GT
RAM: 8GB DDR2
HDD: Samsung 500GBx2 + External SeaGate Expansion 1TB
It also has a Blue-ray player with DVD/CD playing/burning capabilities and LightScribe.

This is getting extremely frustrating and I need my GPU in working order so I can finish up some important projects for school! I am a heavy user of media presentations and without 3D capabilities, I can't do a lot of what I would rather do.
Any help is greatly appreciated and I thank you all in advance. :)
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2005
Messages
11,670
Pull the side of the machine and post the specs from the power supply decal, i.e. make, model, amps on all rails. If you can see the power supply specification decal clearly a picture of the info on the decal would help greatly.
 

Titan.Net

Thread Starter
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
7
Thanks for the reply. Here's a picture of the sticker on the PSU in the case:



As I've stated, everything has been working fine up until about a month ago, when the problem started. The computer was fine for nearly a year and a half, and then all heck broke loose.

Beyond the information on the decal, I don't know anything more useful about the PSU.
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2005
Messages
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DELTA is going to call you +12v rails A, B and C. I will call them +12v1, +12v2 and +12v3.

Your +12V1 is 16 Amps, your +12v2 is 15 Amps and your +12v3 is 8 Amps which looks like it should total 39 Amps, but it really doesn't If you look at the decal closely you will see a notation that +12v1, +12v2 and +12v3 not exceed 385 watts.

385 watts ÷ 12v = 32.1 Amps.

32.1 Amps on the +12v rails is just not enough power for a Core 2 Quad 9300 with and 9800GT graphics card. It may have worked when new, however as power supply's age the output decreases. Also, in my opinion HP is notorious for poor thermal design. One of the characteristics of a power supply is as the temperature increases the power output decreases.

To test the power supply (unless you have a new, higher quality, higher output power supply
available) I would take the tower to a shop and have them "jump" a known good power supply with sufficient amperage to the machine and see if the problems disappear. If I built a machine with your configuration I would use a power supply with about 50 amps on the +12v rail such as this one.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...sair_power_supply_650w-_-17-139-005-_-Product

Running machine components on low voltage seriously degrades the components. You would need to pull the power supply and take measurements to make sure the factory installed power supply is a standard ATX size. I was unable to find any information at the HP site regarding the power supply specs.

In my opinion manufacturers only put power supply's that are barely sufficient and throw the machines out the door. Their only concern is that the components will last until the warranty expires.
 

Titan.Net

Thread Starter
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
7
That makes sense; I'll be taking the computer back to BestBuy's GeekSquad yet again with that added to my list of possible problems and see if they can replace the power supply with a newer or better one.

I'm also thinking that it may be a BIOS-related error of some sort. Well, I guess I'll be finding out within the next two weeks or so (that's about how long it takes for them per visit to figure out everything).

Thanks again for your suggestion and input, win2kpro. I greatly appreciate it.

If anyone else has any more suggestions, I'm totally open to them.
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2005
Messages
11,670
You're welcome.

I will give you one more suggestion. If you want it fixed right don't take it to the GeekSquad.
 

Titan.Net

Thread Starter
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
7
Yeah, I'm really getting fed up of their really off diagnostics. First time they told me everything was A-OK, and the next time they blamed me because I was dual-booting and that was the problem...

The only reason I keep going back to them is because my warranty is still in effect and everything they will do will be without extra charge. If it comes down to it, and I become really, REALLY desperate, I'll screw the warranty over and probably attempt all fixes myself and take the risk. It doesn't seem like they really know what they are doing anyways.

:)
 
Joined
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Messages
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Before I took the machine to the GeekSquad I would carefully examine the capacitors on the motherboard. Capacitors should be perfectly flat on top. If you have capacitors where the top is starting to get a "domed" appearance often described as "bulging" or "swelling" the capacitors are bad.

When you "stress" a power supply by drawing too much current the current starts to "ripple" (not be a smooth flow of current). "Rippling" (fluctuating) is known to damage capacitors. Ideally a power supply should not be "pushed" to exceed 80-85% of its maximum output. When you exceed 80-85% of a power supply's maximum output it decreases the life of the power supply substantially and does not provide a smooth voltage flow.

If you calculate all the current requirement in amps for a particular machine if you are going to need 40 amps maximum on the +12v rail choose a power supply that will put out 50 amps continuous. 50 amps x 80% = 40 amps.
In the power supply you now have since the max combined output on +12v1, +12v2 and +12v3 is 32.1 amps, you are in affect losing almost the complete output of +12v3 (8 amps) since it is stated the maximum combined output on +12v1, +12v2 and +12v3 is 385 watts or 32.1 Amps not the 39 Amps as shown on the decal

Also, I would almost bet the output of your present power supply was calculated at 25°C which is unrealistic. A power supply internal temperatures will normally be 40-50°C. If the output was calculated at 25°C then at a normal operating temperature of 40-50°C the output will be 10-20% less than advertised based on the quality of the components used in the manufacture of the unit. You want to choose a power supply where the output was calculated at 40-50°C rather than a power supply where the output was calculated at 25°C.
 

Titan.Net

Thread Starter
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
7
I'll do that now, I'm just about to leave now with the computer so I can do a quick inspection. Many thanks again for your help. Hopefully within two weeks if the GeekSquad ups their ante, I can come back here and will be able to mark this topic as solved.
 

Titan.Net

Thread Starter
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
7
I got my computer back today, and after the Geek Squad replaced the PSU with a new 550W, everything seems to be in working order! Thank you, win2kpro.

-SOLVED-
 
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