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Screen Goes Crazy On Vista 64 Nvidia Graphics Card


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#1 conticreative

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 02:54 PM

First, I apologize for posting about this topic again. The first post went astray (my mistake in posting two topics at once) and this issue is growing more time consuming by the day.

When I am running more than a few applications, and particolarly it seems to happen when I run Outlook, Dreamweaver and Firefox at once, the display will regularly start behaving very strangely.

Here are some of my computer specs.

Computer: Systemax Venture VX2
Processor: Intel® Core2 QUAD Q6600 @ 2.40GHz (2397 MHz)
Memory (RAM): OCZ Vista Upgrade Edition Dual Channel 4096MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz Memory (4 x 2048MB)
Motherboard: Intel DG965WH ATX Motherboard w/Gigabit LAN
Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista x64
DirectX version: 10.0
Video Card: Realtek Winfast PX8600 GT HDMI(NVIDIA)
GPU processor: GeForce 8600 GT
ForceWare version: 162.22
Total av. graphics mem.: 2014 MB
Dedicated video memory: 256 MB
System video memory: 0 MB
Shared system memory: 1758 MB
Video BIOS version: 60.84.58.00.18

This is what the computer does:

1) First symptom: The taskbar creates a copy of itself at the very top of the screen. This "Ghost" image does not work. Clicking on it does nothing. But when that happens I have to restart immediately as in a few seconds the entire screen goes absolutely crazy.

2) The second thing that happens, the display goes either black or white. Usually black if Dreamweaver is in focus and white if a folder window is.

3) Next, if I move the mouse cursor on the screen, clicking it or not, I can make GUI elements appear from the blackness or whiteness. I usually have to do this to be able to make some of the menus and other GUI elements visible so I can close and save what I am working on.

4) Finally, the entire display gets so messed up the only cure is to perform a Ctrl-alt-delete to get out and restart.

Here are some pictures of what is going on:

This is usually the first symptom. Noting seems out of place otherwise, but the taskbar "duplicates itself on the top of the display.
When this happens I have to hurry and restart the computer.
Posted Image

Here is a close-up of the taskbar at the top of the screen.
Posted Image

Here, you can see what happens when I open a folder. This folder is not maximized. It should take a corner of the screen but instead it takes up the entire display.

Posted Image

Here, you can see what happens if I try to interact with the open folder. In some cases it actually works, in others it just brings up these "Ghost" images from some other interface element.
Posted Image

Here it's another thing that happens. The screen wants to make the desktop black. This will happen frequently and often even if I am not trying to interact with the GUI.
Note the black corner on the screen where the desktop should be.
Posted Image

Here is where I passed the mouse over the left side of the screen. It does nothing but it shows the desktop and icons below the window. This shows that in reality the window is not taking the entire screen. It just looks like it.
Posted Image

This is another example of the mouse "drawing" the display under the white screen. Reminds me of an old program called "Kid Pix".
Where you see the desktop showing through is where I clicked and dragged with the mouse.
Note the lower taskbar icons. Those icons usually do not work any longer but passing the mouse over them makes them appear and disappear. The upper taskbar, when it shows, is instead completely inactive. It either appears or it's gone.
Posted Image

And finally, this is the black version of the same problem. As you can see, the white elements are trying to show up beneath the black.
What I can't show here is the rapid flashing between the black and white screen and any open folder and program windows on the desktop. In this process, the taskbar will appear and disappear as well and the lower taskbar's icons will show up but others leave holes in the graphic.
Posted Image

I am truly hoping that this is something I can get some help with, or my only alternative is to do a clean reinstall of Vista64. Something that takes me days because of the peculiar way I like to organize my programs and applications.

Does anyone know what could be going on here?

Thank you so much for any help you can provide.

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#2 Sneakycyber

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 04:49 PM

Thats called artifacting and its usually caused by overheating. How is the cooling in the case. how many fans do you have? How big is your power supply? Did you update to the latest drivers from Nvidia for Vista? :thumbsup:


Edit: Added smiley

Edited by Sneakycyber, 19 February 2008 - 04:50 PM.

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#3 conticreative

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 05:00 PM

Thank you for your replay. I was under the impression that "artifacting" was when the display showed non recognizable elements. In this case, these are the real GUI elements, just not how they should look. But I could be wrong.

To answer your questions: 2 fans, one on the CPU one on the case plus the power supply fan
Power supply: 500 W, came with the computer.
Nvidia Driver: I have the latest. I just downloaded the beta driver under advise from Systemax Support and I'll be installing it soon. This could very well be it.

It did not cross my mind that this could be an overheating issue, but it makes sense. Problem with that would be that a restart fixes it and often it does not reappear for a great deal of time. If it was overheating I would thing it would start again soon after restarting the computer. But it's a good possibility. My cooling is good. I had installed an extra cooling fan and generally the computer is well built.

Incidentally, my case is open at the moment since I was trying out different memory configurations (and the issue surfaces with the case open or closed, by the way) and everything feels pretty cool. On the CPU I have a pretty big fan with a duct that goes straight out of the case, so I can't see how I could make that better without installing liquid cooling. I have another computer with a temperature and fan speed unit that I could move over to my Systemax and at least monitor the temperature.

This move to Vista 64 so far has been a semi-disaster and it's taking a lot of my time with very little, if any, boost in performance. The other way around if anything.

Thank you for your post. I will update the thread after I install the beta drivers.

#4 conticreative

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 06:31 PM

I have an update here: I changed the driver to a beta version and while it did not solve the issue, it made it very slightly better.
I also installed a Windows patch for the way Vista 64 addresses the video card. Is pretty obscure and vague, but I am testing right now and I'll post the results when I know more.

#5 conticreative

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 08:53 PM

Nope. It's still happening. It does seem a bit better. Before I would just get kicked out of the display while now I can actually work with it, in a psychedelic sort of way.
I have to have some imagination about exactly where the interface elements may be, but I can bring up interface windows and keep on working. Before it was impossible.

Still, it's very hard to work with this Damocles sword hanging over my head.

#6 Lucky23

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 10:50 PM

You should look into better cooling for the card. My cards fan was going out and my screen would sometimes flash red for some reason but i put a new zalman cooler on it and it hasn't happened since. If your card doesnt cool well then your going to have problems
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#7 conticreative

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 11:36 AM

You may be right. My card's fan seems to work well and when I touch it (after shutting off and grounding myself) it's cool to the touch, but the problem does appear during more memory intensivve applicatuions.

Yesterday I dialed down my interface to use Windows Classic. We'll see what happens today.

#8 conticreative

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 05:54 PM

Update on the "Crazy Screen" issue: Dialing down to Windows Classic did the trick.
I haven't had an issue with the screen going nuts on me since. It's not very responsive and I am sure there are some issues, but otherwise it seems to have solved that problem.
Now, of course I would like to have a more pleasant GUI than the Win 2000 vintage I got, but I'll take it as long as I can keep on working.

Thank you to all who have helped.

#9 sisto

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 11:58 PM

I have the same problem on my laptop and on my Desktop computer. My laptop is running a Turion 64 processor and the desktop has a Core 2 duo.
Both have plenty RAM (1GB on the lappie and 2GB on the desktop) and have Nvidia graphics (maybe it's a problem with Nvidia drivers).
It doesn't happen very often so I don't really have the need to disable the Vista theme. I just wanted to post this in case somebody ran into the problem and found another solution.

#10 Baric

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 01:19 AM

The nvidia drivers in Vista have been AWFUL. I've had nothing but trouble with my Vista 32-bit Ultimate system with dual GeForce 8800 GTX cards and all nvidia drivers up until I installed 169.25. Haven't had a problem since then. YMMV.

#11 sisto

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 02:38 AM

The nvidia drivers in Vista have been AWFUL. I've had nothing but trouble with my Vista 32-bit Ultimate system with dual GeForce 8800 GTX cards and all nvidia drivers up until I installed 169.25. Haven't had a problem since then. YMMV.

I am using the same drivers.
Had this problem twice today already.

#12 conticreative

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 02:53 PM

Thank you for posting. I have an update on my problem:

This became such a nuisance that at some point I reverted to "Windows Classic" to see what would happen. Well, the problem stopped and I kept using the computer for a week or so with "classic" on.

Finally, I was so happy that I didn't have to struggle with this that I decided to do the reverse: switch back to the Vista interface. Strangely enough, ever since I switched back I have had no problems. I find this really puzzling but all I care about is that it's not happening anymore and I am using the regular vista GUI (not full Aero though- I don't care about the cutsie effects).

Anyone with the same problem, try to go to windows classic for a bit and see what happens.

#13 sisto

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 03:26 PM

Ok I'll leave the classic theme for a while and then switch back to the Vista theme.
I think Aero takes a hit on my system's performance. That's why I also disabled it.
Maybe the problem involves using the Vista theme without Aero.

#14 sisto

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 11:52 AM

Had the same problem today using the ugly "Windows Classic" theme.
Took screenshots. Will post them later.

#15 sisto

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 01:02 PM

Here are the screenshots.

I'm going to try these drivers now:

Unofficial ptimized 169.25 driver (http://ngohq.com/):
http://www.ngohq.com/home.php?page=Files&a...p;dwn_cat_id=10

Official beta 169.44:
http://www.nvidia.com/object/winvista_x86_169.44.html

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