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Something wrong with my video card

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by tworthington27, Dec 30, 2010.

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  1. tworthington27

    tworthington27 Thread Starter

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    Hello,
    I am not too good at computers and I have been getting this issue for about a month now, on and off. I posted a photo of my monitor below with the issue. Large grey lines, going vertically on my screen. Here is some background information about my computer:
    It is my son's old computer, it is a Dell XPS 400, with a NVIDIA 9800 GTX graphics card, 3 GB RAM, and a 160 GB harddrive. It originally had XP professional, but a friend of a friend of my co-worker gave her Windows 7 disks, so I put it in, and apparently, it was not real, because after a month it told me it was fake. After that happened I had numerous computer issues, such as these vertical lines.
    Anyway, so for Christmas, my son got me a Windows 7 Home Edition, and he helped me install that into my computer, and we got it installed and I kept all my data, so now I am on a full genuine windows (I ran the genuine check and he bought it straight from microsoft). However, after we did that, something happened where my computer turned off and the dell powerlight was orange. Luckily, my niece's husband is a computer expert of some kind, so he was able to get it fixed by disabling the front USB ports. Anyway, after he did that, it started working perfectly again for a few days, but then suddenly, my screen got very zoomed in it seemed and my son put me in the device manager and it told me the device is broken so windows stopped it (error 43). I tried to press the "uninstall driver" and I reinstalled it, I tried to uninstall it again, and manually install the NVIDIA driver, and none of that did anything. Finally, after a day or so, it just started working again without issue, which was good. Then suddenly I woke up last night and the vertical lines were back, and they are still there this morning. I really don't know what do at this point to fix my video card. And my niece's husband did check to ensure that the video card was properly "seated" in the computer when I had the other issue, so it can't be that it fell out. I would go to him to fix this but they have already returned home (they live in Virginia and were here for Christmas).

    Thank you so much for reading this and I hope someone can help me.


    Tricia

    Oh and the whole desktop is not upside down on my computer. The camera just did that for some reason. The only problem is those lines.
     

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  2. Cybershaman

    Cybershaman

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    Dec 14, 2009
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    Hello, there! I'm SO sorry you are having trouble! Let's see if we can fix it...

    Some quick ideas:

    1) try removing and re-seating the video card again. do it a couple of times to be sure. then look south while standing on one foot (whichever, it doesn't matter) and repeat out loud: "Cyber sometimes makes me do stupid things because while computer issues can be stressful, we should all remember to just laugh and decompress because we just might have forgotten something stupid while we were stressed out..." :)
    2) you might have a cooling issue! is your computer free of dust bunnies? are all of the fans spinning?

    From what you've said, it might be a cooling issue. But I have also seen weird lines like that with cards that haven't made the right connection when installed. However, if that were the case, a simple tap tap tap with your finger on the video card itself would cause the screen to flicker or clear up (a la "The Fonz" from "Happy Days"). If all else fails, try leaving the side off of the computer case and propping up a fan to blow on the guts. And, no, that won't be the permanent fix for this issue but if it works it will get us on the right track! ;)

    At any rate, this should bump this thread up in the list and peak the interest of several other more powerful computer guru dude(tte)s so don't give up hope yet.

    Oh, and you did pick a really good place to come post your question(s). Really, everyone here is super cool. I hope this helps! :)
     
  3. tworthington27

    tworthington27 Thread Starter

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    Hello and thank you for the fast response! I will have to ask my son to help me do that with the video card because I have no idea how, but my husband has an air compressor in the garage and I will use that today to blow the case out. I will let you know what happens!

    Thank you again and if anyone else has other solutions let me know I will try all!
     
  4. tworthington27

    tworthington27 Thread Starter

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    Hello again,

    He tried taking the video card out and back in, and I also blew all the dust out of the case with the air compressor. The issue still happens. I tried swapping out another monitor too and the issues still occur. Is it the card that's broken?
     
  5. TheShooter93

    TheShooter93 Malware Specialist

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    First Name:
    Cody
    You mentioned a bit about the drivers.

    Have you tried downloading and installing the latest off of NVIDIA's website?
     
  6. tworthington27

    tworthington27 Thread Starter

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    Yes I have done that numerous times. I tried downloading and installing, uninstalling, and using the windows driver update tool, and that didn't work either, so I eventually just gave up and reinstalled the one of their website, and that still didn't do anything. This was days ago though.
     
  7. Cybershaman

    Cybershaman

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    Here's a thought... Can you try the video card in another machine and see how it works? If you can't, that's all I've got for now since I'm tired... :(

    I've actually been keeping your problem in mind but have been a little overwhelmed due to the holidays. Don't give up hope! Somebody here is bound to be able to help you out! :)
     
  8. Cybershaman

    Cybershaman

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    109
    While I'm thinking about it, a word about compressed air... (I so want to say "brought to you by our sponsors but...heh...you know...)

    Rule 1: KNOW YOUR AIR! There are two major evils possibly lurking in a compressed airline. The first is water. Compressed air tanks also compress whatever water vapor there is in the air at the time. Unless there is special filter in place you might just be blasting good ol' H20 on your delicate microcircuits. Not good. Second is lubrication for air tools. While certain situations in life might welcome a good amount of lube, once again, those delicate pathways on your computer's circuitry won't appreciate it. Many lubricants will actually eat away at your machine.

    Rule 2: THOU SHALT NOT SPIN THINE FANS TO ELLEVENDYMILLION RPM! Yes, we've all done it. You give a good blast of air at one of those cheap little plastic thingies that keep your more expensive parts pleasantly cool and smile with glee as they make that "weeeeee!" sound. Not good. As much as your inner monkey wants to, just don't do it. 'Nuff said...

    That's it for now. I just thought that I should mention those things so that the good word could be spread around.

    Hang in there, sweetie (am I finally old enough to say that without sounding sexist?). Good or bad the people here will set you straight... Rock on... :)

    PS: Here's my made up sponsor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5O1tKumKlU
     
  9. ChildOfLore

    ChildOfLore

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    Messages:
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    I had something similar happen to me before, sounds like a case of broken video card. If you want to make sure, switch out the video card and use a different one/use the possibly broken one in another computer and see if the problem persists. If it is the card, you can't really fix it. They're pretty cheap to replace if you don't want to play 3D video games (if you do you'll need to get a more powerful one, otherwise the cheapest one at the store with a decent warranty should do).
     
  10. tworthington27

    tworthington27 Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    I tried all the compressed air tips to no avail. It looks like it is broken. Yes, I certainly don't play any video games, so I won't need some crazy card like the thing my son has in there now. Can any of you guys recommend a nice simple card that is cheap, but not terrible. I need decent video performance to watch videos and such on my computer but nothing for video games or anything.

    Also let me just say thank you for all of the help each of you has given me so far... I really don't know what I would do if it weren't for me finding experienced people!
     
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