Posted 05 April 2008 - 12:43 AM
I have an nVidia GeForce 5700LE which I purchased about three years ago for my son's games, the latest being World of Warcraft.
About a week ago, he began to reporting problems with the graphics in World of Warcraft. After discussing the problems he was having with some of his fellow gamers, they suggested that the graphics card could be over-heating. Within a few days, the screen went "haywire", displaying a basic green desktop with dashed lines randomly displayed across the screen. The mouse pointer was completely erratic, disappearing and appearing at random. The icons were illegible. Any attempt to actually use the computer, even a simple attempt to shut down, was not possible. The only way to shut down was to power the system off.
After numerous unsuccessful attempts to boot up in safe mode or in regular mode, I was finally able to access the BOIS settings and switch back to the onboard graphics. Thankfully, the computer seems to work fine with the onboard graphics. Of course, gaming is out until I either get a new graphics card or repair this one.
When I visually inspected the nVidia card, I noticed I could lift the spring-loaded fan enough to see between it and the chip mounted under it. Under the fan, it appeared that there was some type of glue which had lost its seal. After reading through several threads here and on other sites, it seems I can replace the ďheat sinkĒ (Iím not quite sure what that is?) and the fan, although the fan was still working while the card was installed.
The question is, how do I know the card is still good prior to attempting the repair? Iím reasonably comfortable with this type of repair with some good instructions. I hate to waste the money and time, just to find out the excessive heat has permanently damaged the card.
Money is currently a major issue. Otherwise I would simply buy a new graphics card or, better yet, upgrade to a new computer. Here are the specs on our currrent computer:
HP Pavillion a620n
AMD Athlon XP 3200+ 2.20 GHz
1 GB DDR RAM (2 x 512 MB)
3 PCI slots available (Though for what, I don't know)
1 AGP slot available (No PCIe slots)
250 watt power supply
Windows XP Home with SP2
Obviously, most of the newer, more powerful cards will not even fit this system No PCIe slots, power supply too small, etc). So, if "replace" is the answer, I'll be starting a new post to get advice on what to buy.
Just Remember "To Err Is Human" (To REALLY Foul Things Up Requires A Computer!)