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Dead Video Card? (Or something else?)

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#1 282ZVL


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Posted 26 May 2010 - 05:40 AM

Hello folks,

I'm hoping for some advice on a video issue I've been having that I can't find any solution to. I do not know if the problem is software or hardware related, but please note that while I'm competent enough with most things software I am essentially ignorant about hardware technicalities.

The Problem:

Computer boots normally, monitor works normally up to the windows login screen.

I log into windows normally, but within 5-10 minutes (has been as soon as essentially instantly) the monitor starts snapping on and off into standby mode. It seems to happen in fits and starts, maybe 10-15 cycles of snapping on and off followed by random pause of 10+ seconds. Once it gets started doing this it will not stop until the computer is reset.

During pauses in the fits of on/off snapping what is displayed on the screen is all screwy - slowly/unevenly updated, ghosted windows, blank fields/windows etc.

I will reiterate that it shuts down to standby mode, not just "soft" flickering.

After determining with confidence that it was not a virus/malware (or at least not one within my competency to find and destroy) I pulled out my system recovery disc and reloaded the computer to factory settings. Once I did this I needed to reload the drivers for my aftermarket motherboard and my aftermarket video card manually. The mobo drivers went on smooth. BUT...

The instant I loaded up the driver for my video card the screen flicker issue reappeared. :flowers:

I immediately deleted the driver and the problem went away again.

This driver is off the original in-box disc, so I don't think it can be corrupt. Without the driver installed (video card sidelined) there is NO problem.

I have checked all physical cables/connections etc and these seem fine. Is the video card itself dead/damaged? Or could it be something more insidious (super virus/malware that somehow survived the system recovery nuke?) And what diagnostics (physical or software) do you suggest?

Many thanks in advance! :thumbsup:

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#2 MrBruce1959


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Posted 26 May 2010 - 06:38 AM

Hi and welcome to Bleepingcomputer. :thumbsup:

Is there another computer you could try both the monitor or video card on to see if the problem exists on a different machine?

I have seen failing video cards do some of what you have descried, however it is not common to see a window with only its contents missing, but the rest of the screen is present.

If either piece of hardware is defective, it should show the same results in another computer, if not and both the video card and monitor are returned back to the original machine and the problem persists, then the problem is with your motherboard.

As for the possibility a Trojan has taken control of your computer, I have to admit I have seen some strange things happen over the years, but it usually when someone has gained control of a computer like would be the case with Windows remote assistant you can tell very easily that is what is happening and is probably not the case here. Having a good firewall installed should help to block such an intrusion, if one exists.

I would try testing both pieces of hardware separately on another computer as I suggested above, then report back to us the out-come.
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