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Weird Lines on the Screen


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#1 Sharpshooter96

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 09:07 AM

Hi,

 

I need some help on troubleshooting a computer.  It is an old Dell Optiplex GX280 running Windows XP Pro SP3 and has on board video.  Here is what the screen looks like.

IMG_20130821_161621_256_zps24c6e44b.jpg

 

This is everything I have checked so far.  It is not the monitor I have swapped with a known good monitor and it does the same thing.  This happens in the BIOS setup screen, safe mode, and safe mode with networking.  I have reset the BIOS settings back to default.  It happens at random times sometimes as early as when you first boot up and sometimes you can get booted into windows before it happens.  It also is gradual starting out as a few stray lines here and there and progressively getting to the point of the picture above.  The computer will also BSOD on you if you leave it running once the lines start to appear.  The BSOD error messages are different everytime and don't seem to point to a specific problem.  No changes to the drivers have been made prior to this happening, it just started doing it on its own.  This computer is in a hot environment.  I have also opened up the tower and cleaned it out with a can of air.

 

I have read in a few forums it could be a bulged/blown capacitor on the motherboard.  I will have to open it back up to check that but I haven't done that just yet.  Could this be a corrupted video driver? Windows OS issue (however it happens outside of windows)?  BIOS,CMOS,Chipset issue? Motherboard issue?

 

Also once when it rebooted it started up in a 4bit 640x480 graphics mode and windows looked like it was in a cartoon looking mode and the lines would not appear.  Once  I changed the graphic properties back to 32bit and changed the resolution it went back to having the lines pop up and eventually blue screening again.  

 

Any help, information on what direction I should take on troublshooting this would be appreciated.

 

 

 



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#2 TGIMike

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 11:34 PM

This could be a problem in screen tearing but that looks a bit TOO extreme just for screen tearing. I do not have a valid answer yet but if i find one i will be sure to let you know. Good Luck! -Mike



#3 TGIMike

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 11:41 PM

If you have speakers built into your monitor please tell me this.  Does it make like a "whining" noise at all? Because I do believe it could be your monitor.



#4 Sharpshooter96

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 02:42 PM

No the monitor hooked to it doesn't have built in speakers.  I will try another monitor though to verify it for sure.



#5 Sharpshooter96

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 12:45 PM

Sorry I took so long to get back to you.  I tried a 3rd (known good) monitor and it does the same thing so it has to be a problem in the tower.  I also opened it back up and checked the capacitors for one bulging or busted open.  They all appear in good condition.  I booted it up and went to device manager and uninstalled everything under the display devices section.  Restarted the PC and it found the hardware and reinstalled it.  STILL have the same problem.  Any other suggestions or ideas?



#6 TGIMike

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 06:52 PM

It could be your graphics card. If you have multiple graphics (video) cards try and put them in your computer and see what happens. Also try running in safe mode just to see if that changes anything.



#7 Sharpshooter96

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 10:21 AM

I believe I have solved the problem!  Just thru checking anything I could think of I thought I would see if the RAM was bad.  I first tried re-seating it (no luck), then I tried swapping out RAM sticks to see if one or the other was faulty which then led me to the solution.  There are 4 banks for the RAM sticks and I found that when I put the RAM in either the 3rd or 4th bank that the video would mess up like the above picture but you could put RAM into either of the 1st two banks and the problem would go away!!!  It has been running for about 15 hours now with no problems.  So apparently the 3rd and 4th banks for the RAM on the motherboard are bad.  I guess as long as they don't want to upgrade their RAM they should be fine now.  Hopefully the problem doesn't work its way over to the first 2 banks otherwise I would say the motherboard is shot and for the cost it would be better to just get a new PC.



#8 TGIMike

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 08:36 PM

I believe I have solved the problem!  Just thru checking anything I could think of I thought I would see if the RAM was bad.  I first tried re-seating it (no luck), then I tried swapping out RAM sticks to see if one or the other was faulty which then led me to the solution.  There are 4 banks for the RAM sticks and I found that when I put the RAM in either the 3rd or 4th bank that the video would mess up like the above picture but you could put RAM into either of the 1st two banks and the problem would go away!!!  It has been running for about 15 hours now with no problems.  So apparently the 3rd and 4th banks for the RAM on the motherboard are bad.  I guess as long as they don't want to upgrade their RAM they should be fine now.  Hopefully the problem doesn't work its way over to the first 2 banks otherwise I would say the motherboard is shot and for the cost it would be better to just get a new PC.

Very glad to see the problem has been fixed ,Sharpshooter96! Also sorry to hear that it is going to be a costly fix for your motherboard. Have a good one!






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