Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Dell Dimension 4600 Video Problems


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 happilymambo

happilymambo

  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:12 PM

Posted 22 June 2010 - 05:36 PM

On startup, the first screen displayed with the Windows XP flag logo has a matrix of blue squares (about 1/8" across) spaced about every half inch and superimposed over the entire screen. When the desktop is displayed, some of the program shortcut icons (including those in the system tray) have their icons partially blotted out. The mouse pointer also has a row of vertical hash marks (about 1/16" tall and 3/8" wide) above and below the pointer, that follow the pointer everywhere it is moved. Once I start a program, various graphics will have horizontal lines of various colors running through them.

These problems first appeared several days ago, when I started my computer and heard a sort of muffled rubbing sound, rather than the usual clean whirring sound on startup. I found that shutting off the computer and waiting about 30 seconds before starting it again made it start normally again, without the rubbing sound. Then this morning, I was plagued with the video problems described above, and they don't seem to go away, no matter what I do.

My PC is a Dell Dimension 4600 running Windows XP Home Edition with a 128MB DDR ATI Radeon 9800 Graphics Card. Does anyone have any diagnosis/advice for avoiding the total disaster situation I'm dreading: when I start up the computer and lose all video? Thanx.

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 Baltboy

Baltboy

    Bleepin' Flame Head


  • Members
  • 1,432 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pennsylvania
  • Local time:11:12 PM

Posted 22 June 2010 - 05:43 PM

I would verify the fan on the video card is spinning sounds like you are overheating because the fan died.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
Mark Twain

#3 happilymambo

happilymambo
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:12 PM

Posted 23 June 2010 - 04:48 PM

I verified that the fan on the video card is working. Also checked the fan on the back of the housing - it's working fine too. I've been told elsewhere that I should go into the BIOS to insure that Video Memory Shadowing is disabled as a solution to this problem. The only time I've ever even seen the BIOS using XP has been when something catastrophic occurs - a power outage, etc. But now that I finally actually have a need to access the BIOS, I find that the geniuses that designed this system made it impossible to do so. Does anyone know the sacred words from computerdom's high priests that need to be mumbled over my computer to give me access to the BIOS? I've tried pressing delete as soon as the startup screen appears, but no cigar ... OK, so now I've discovered the super-secret sacred word that needs to be mumbled: "F2". But now, of course, there's absolutely NO MENTION of Video Memory Shadowing anywhere in the BIOS. So now the question becomes: Does anyone know how to disable Video Memory Shadowing on a Dell Dimension 4600 running Windows XP Home edition? Is there some secret Captain Video decoder-ring setting that has to be set in a super-secret position while mumbling the sacred words over my computer before the stone-age BIOS system will reveal its national security secrets?

Edited by happilymambo, 24 June 2010 - 10:44 AM.


#4 Baltboy

Baltboy

    Bleepin' Flame Head


  • Members
  • 1,432 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pennsylvania
  • Local time:11:12 PM

Posted 25 June 2010 - 10:26 PM

I am doubtful that this is a BIOS problem because it only started a few days ago. If it was a BIOS issue it would have been a problem all along. The most telling thing is the muffled rubbing sound which is usually an indication of a fan which is failing and isn't spinning properly. Double triple check all of the fans in the entire system, video, CPU, power supply. ect. The worst thing you can do is spend a little time which is better than a dead system from your cooling failing. One other suspect here would be the video driver and related software. download the lastest driver package rom ATI. Unistall your old driver and the CCC as well if it is installed then use the new package to reinstall.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
Mark Twain

#5 MrBruce1959

MrBruce1959

    My cat Oreo


  • BC Advisor
  • 6,377 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Norwich, Connecticut. in the USA
  • Local time:11:12 PM

Posted 25 June 2010 - 11:10 PM

If what Baltboy suggested does not work out to clear up the video problem, you should try removing the video card from its slot and re-seating it, make sure it is fully seated and locked into place.

Try restarting the computer and observe your video screen, hopefully your screen has cleared up, if this is the case, your video card was not making contact with one or more of its connections do to corrosion or being loose.

This link I am providing here might help you diagnos your video problems as well. http://www.playtool.com/pages/troubleshooting/intro.html

Good luck. :thumbsup:

Edited by MrBruce1959, 25 June 2010 - 11:11 PM.

Welcome to Bleeping Computer! :welcome:
New Members: Please click here for the Bleeping Computer Forum Board Rules
 
My Career Involves 37 Years as an Electronics Repair Technician, to Which I am Currently Retired From.

I Am Currently Using Windows 10 Home Edition.

As a Volunteer Staff Member of Bleeping Computer, the Help That I Proudly Provide Here To Our BC Forum Board Membership is Free of Charge. :wink:

#6 happilymambo

happilymambo
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:12 PM

Posted 30 June 2010 - 12:49 PM

OK, now I've double- and triple-checked all fans - they are all spinning. So I spent 5 hours yesterday downloading ATI's Catalyst software, only to discover that when I try to install it, I get a VERY serious warning: "The software you are installing for this hardware: RADEON 9800 PRO has not passed Windows Logo testing to verify its compatibility with Windows XP. Continuing your installation of this software may impair or destabilize the correct operation of your system ... Microsoft strongly recommends that you stop this installation now ... " So I made sure to click on the "STOP Installation" button rather than the "Continue Anyway" button.

Then this morning when I turned the computer on, everything was suddenly being displayed in HUGE format, in spite of the fact that I stopped the installation of the Catalyst software. At first, I thought my problems were over because my artifacts problem was cured - all I had to do was find a way to get everything resized back down to normal. After several hours of trying to do that, I was about to give up on it, when it suddenly happened all by itself - it went back to normal size! But then, false alarm - five minutes later, it just as suddenly switched back to HUGE format, again, all by itself. So now I need to get rid of the VGASave setting and get the correct driver for my Radeon 9800 back. XP's Help Center tells me to go to the Advanced tab under Display Properties, Settings and choose the Monitor tab, then Monitor Type, and then click on the "Properties" button. BUT THIS BUTTON IS DEACTIVATED! - It's grayed-out! What a bleep'in NIGHTMARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#7 happilymambo

happilymambo
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:12 PM

Posted 30 June 2010 - 06:00 PM

Here's where things stand presently:
Start
....Control Panel
........Display
............Settings
................Display: (Default Monitor) on
................Screen Resolution 640x480 pixels (I change this to 1024x768, but it changes back)
................Advanced
....................Monitor
........................Monitor Type: Default Monitor
........................Properties Button (This button is greyed-out and disabled)
....................Adapter
........................Adapter Type
............................Properties
................................VGASave Properties
....................................General
........................................VGASave
........................................Status: Working Properly
....................................Driver
........................................VGASave
........................................Service Name: VGASave
........................................Display Name: VGA Display Controller
........................................Status: Started
........................................Startup Type: System
....................................Resources
........................................I/O Range: 03B0-03BB
........................................I/O Range: 03C0-03DF
........................................Memory Range: A0000-BFFFF

(I hope all this mumbo-jumbo means something to someone out there - especially if they can tell me how to get my settings back to a Dell Dimension E772, 17 inch monitor, and a 128 MB DDR ATI Radeon 9800 Graphics Card with TV-Out and DVI for Dimension Systems)

Edited by happilymambo, 01 July 2010 - 11:32 AM.


#8 happilymambo

happilymambo
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:12 PM

Posted 01 July 2010 - 08:16 AM

Started this morning with a Windows bubble message popping up from my system tray, telling me that my screen resolution and number of colors was inadequate, and would I like Windows to re-configure them for me? So I'm desperate at this point to get rid of HUGE format (windows that used to be 2 or 3 inches on a side, now occupy the whole screen - if the window has no resizing capability built into it, I simply cannot see the bottom half of it), so I clicked the button allowing Windows to re-configure. Windows gave me back my normal-sized system for all of 20 seconds. Then everything went right back to HUGE format. So I'll probably be suicidal by the end of the day!

Edited by happilymambo, 01 July 2010 - 11:37 AM.


#9 Baltboy

Baltboy

    Bleepin' Flame Head


  • Members
  • 1,432 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pennsylvania
  • Local time:11:12 PM

Posted 08 July 2010 - 02:36 PM

As long as the driver you used was from ATI and was for your card it is okay to install. all the "ominous" warning is saying is that ATI did not have the driver verified through microsoft. Complete the installation and report back please.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
Mark Twain

#10 happilymambo

happilymambo
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:12 PM

Posted 09 July 2010 - 05:11 PM

I installed the Catalyst software and then couldn't run it until I downloaded .Net Framework 2.0. Since they had several versions available on the Microsoft site, I chose the latest one, 4.0. Three hours later, I had it downloaded, only to discover that 4.0 won't work - you have to have 2.0! So, after another hour or two of downloading, I got 2.0. Miracle of miracles, it actually allowed me to run the Catalyst software, and I got my video adapter's driver installed. That got rid of 800x640 which was causing everything to appear several times larger than it should, and also replaced VGASave with my ATI Radeon 9800 driver. This is the first time something has actually worked, and I haven't got myself in even deeper doodoo by trying to fix things.

Now my original problem (the artifacts) seems to be much better, but not entirely cured. The mouse pointer still has a small row of what looks like 5 pairs of quotation marks above the pointer that follows the pointer around and appears on some screens, but not on others, and the initial Windows XP startup screen still has a checkerboard of small blue rectangles superimposed on it in various stages of disintegration. But if it doesn't get any worse than this, I can at least live with it as long as it doesn't start switching back to 800x640 mode again - that makes it almost impossible to get anything done.

Thanks for letting me know that I could ignore the Windows Logo Testing warning. I know if I had just assumed it could be ignored, it would have turned out to be a fatal mistake, and I would have ended up with deep-fried computer.

#11 Baltboy

Baltboy

    Bleepin' Flame Head


  • Members
  • 1,432 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pennsylvania
  • Local time:11:12 PM

Posted 10 July 2010 - 01:00 PM

Yeah!!!! At least we are making some progress. I believe your issue is directly related to the video card. I have to keep going back the rubbing sound you heard before. While everything maybe working good now it is possible for some reason that the fan was not working correctly then be it from dust or what ever. Running the computer during that time could have damaged the video card if the fan was not working correctly. Best thing to do is replace the card with a known working card. Hopefully you have one or can borrow one from someone you know. If upon replacing the video card everything returns to normal then the card is toast.

Please keep in mind that if you do take this course of action you will need to uninstall CCC, drivers, and other associated software that goes with your current video card so other issues don't occur leading us astray.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
Mark Twain

#12 MrBruce1959

MrBruce1959

    My cat Oreo


  • BC Advisor
  • 6,377 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Norwich, Connecticut. in the USA
  • Local time:11:12 PM

Posted 10 July 2010 - 07:53 PM

I just want to chime in here and say that your problem might be related to your monitor also.

Some older monitors will show multiple images at high screen resolutions not recommended for the monitor.

Sure the monitor will work, and the image will improve if you go to 1024x768, but going to 1600x1200 on some older monitors cause some distortion of the images.

Basically how old is the monitor and is it a CRT type?
Welcome to Bleeping Computer! :welcome:
New Members: Please click here for the Bleeping Computer Forum Board Rules
 
My Career Involves 37 Years as an Electronics Repair Technician, to Which I am Currently Retired From.

I Am Currently Using Windows 10 Home Edition.

As a Volunteer Staff Member of Bleeping Computer, the Help That I Proudly Provide Here To Our BC Forum Board Membership is Free of Charge. :wink:

#13 happilymambo

happilymambo
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:12 PM

Posted 11 July 2010 - 12:40 PM

I don't have access to another video card (I'm retired, and live by myself). I think I'll just learn to live with the minor annoyance of a small row of artifacts above the mouse pointer and a garbled-up Windows XP startup screen. At least the program icons on the desktop now look fine now and are no longer garbled-up. As long as things don't get worse, I'll be happy.

Right now, I've got bigger worries - just yesterday, I received an e-mail from eBay, saying someone in New York had charged about $265.00 to my PayPal account for an X-Box system that I never ordered. So I think someone's trying to steal my identity, because I also received two almost identical e-mails from what appears to be PayPal saying that my account would be temporarily closed until security issues were dealt with. So now, when I log in to PayPal, the first screen I see is one asking for my credit card number and my bank account number before I can proceed. Since I don't believe this is a legitimate PayPal screen, I'm not about to provide that information, so I logged off and sent all three e-mails and another e-mail of my own to spoof@paypal.com. We'll see if they respond by snail-mail as I told them to.

My monitor is the E772, 17 inch CRT-type monitor that came with my Dell Dimension 4600 when I bought it seven years ago.

#14 MrBruce1959

MrBruce1959

    My cat Oreo


  • BC Advisor
  • 6,377 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Norwich, Connecticut. in the USA
  • Local time:11:12 PM

Posted 11 July 2010 - 01:29 PM

Sorry to hear about your PayPal issue.

Please be cautious with this issue, because if you received those warnings via email with an email address claiming to be from Paypal, there are ways thieves can spoof an email address.
The difference is the link or email address the email will direct you to will be that of the thieves who will expect you to provide personal information to verify it's you. That same information is enough information for the thief to gain access to your account and wipe it out.
Do not be fooled, make sure you contact the legit PayPal web site by other means than responding to that email.

As for your video issue, if you can live with the artifacts in your video, I can accept that, but you should try another monitor to see if you still experience the same results.

I can truly understand financial issues, you can eventually upgrade when you can afford it.

Bruce.
Welcome to Bleeping Computer! :welcome:
New Members: Please click here for the Bleeping Computer Forum Board Rules
 
My Career Involves 37 Years as an Electronics Repair Technician, to Which I am Currently Retired From.

I Am Currently Using Windows 10 Home Edition.

As a Volunteer Staff Member of Bleeping Computer, the Help That I Proudly Provide Here To Our BC Forum Board Membership is Free of Charge. :wink:

#15 dlmck

dlmck

  • Members
  • 2 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:08:12 PM

Posted 20 September 2010 - 12:40 PM

I am having the same problem. However, I discovered that if I interrupt the bootup with a restart, the problem goes away.

In other words:

1) Power on
2) push button on computer to start the bootup
2a) initial screen is okay, but when the actual bootup starts, get dots, etc, including vertical lines when the bootup is underway
3) when the Start shows up in the lower left corner of the screen, click on it
3a) as soon as the "restart" button appears, click on that and initiate a restart
3b) system will show a bunch of little windows saying that it can't load stuff because it is shutting down
3c) some of the windows might ask you to click something or other to let it die
3d) system will shut down for the restart and then the restart begins
3e) after the restart begins, at least my system comes up clean.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users