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Video card maybe?


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4 replies to this topic

#1 Kryptonite

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 07:10 AM

HP Pavillion a1616n Windows XP media center edition 2005

Computer was off for a couple of weeks and worked great the last time it was on.

Turned it on, room temp was about 62 degrees. i mention this because the last time it was on the room was about 78. That's the only thing different since it was last turned on.

The HP screen pops up ( normal ) a black screen with "media center" highlighted, this too is normal, the windows screen is loading ( normal ) but suddenly goes back to a dos like screen informing me about a missing file and to reboot with the Windows CD. The computer was used and i was told that "recovery" had the OS on it and that is why it doesn't come with a CD.

i reboot hitting F8 thinking that if possible i will attempt to start in safe mode ( BTW, the screen with the message disappears ) ( in order to reboot i have to hold in the start button ) But i am not given a safe mode choice. Instead it boots into normal windows. There are lots of pop ups ( the normal ones from zone alarm, avira, and skype which i have to say yes or no to. i click no to all thinking that i will run scan disk and defrag. Suddenly the pointer freezes and the colors turn rainbowish like a printer that has alignment problems with the color cartridge. i try several more times to reboot each time needing to hold in the button.
Safe mode screen came up, i selected that and as the desktop was loading, it froze with the rainbow scenario again.

Clearly this is just a guess that the video card is acting up. One other clue that leads me to think video card is "the blink" ever since i purchased this computer at a garage sale, even after it was cleared back to recovery and all protections installed by me and seriously analyzed by one of the bleeping members who worked on it with me for days ( probably in the archive ) the screen blinks blank for a second or two shortly after it's first turned on. The video card is ATI Radeon Express 200. i thought about upgrading but the blink never bothered me and the computer is used mostly for skyping and some internet research. No gaming, no chatting, no emailing.
It's connected to a wireless router by a Netgear usb type device.

This computer does not mean much to me. If the fix is not cheap and easy i would like to pull the hard drive and peruse it for anything i might want to save then either formate it or destroy it.

If this doesn't sound like a video card what else might it be so i can post in the proper forum.

Thanks,

Kyrp

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#2 Platypus

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 05:08 AM

To me, your thinking seems sound. The Radeon Express 200 is onboard video, which could have a problem. I suggest the lowest cost way to find out would be to manage to borrow a video card, and temporarily fit it up in the system. There is a 16x PCIe slot, but also standard PCI slots. Someone might be able to lend you an old PCI card, all you need for a start is to see if the rainbow freezing stops. If it doesn't, its not the video.

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#3 Socratesx

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 12:18 PM

Well, If I understood well, you see graphic artifacts on the display until the computer freezes. 99% it is the video card. Buy a very cheap and compatible one e.g. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814500165 and check if you have a similar issue.
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#4 Kryptonite

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 08:18 AM

To me, your thinking seems sound. The Radeon Express 200 is onboard video, which could have a problem. I suggest the lowest cost way to find out would be to manage to borrow a video card, and temporarily fit it up in the system. There is a 16x PCIe slot, but also standard PCI slots. Someone might be able to lend you an old PCI card, all you need for a start is to see if the rainbow freezing stops. If it doesn't, its not the video.



I happened to pick up an HP tower at a garage sale a few weeks ago for $5.00 that I gave to a friend. He told me yesterday that I could have it back. It's a media center minus a hard drive so maybe....

Thanks for your reply!

#5 Kryptonite

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 08:19 AM

Well, If I understood well, you see graphic artifacts on the display until the computer freezes. 99% it is the video card. Buy a very cheap and compatible one e.g. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814500165 and check if you have a similar issue.



I'm going to try swapping out the card in the $5.00 computer and if it does work I'll consider the new egg option.

Thanks for your help.




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