Ok, so the other day, I was playing a game and the computer spontaneously crashed on me. In particular, the screen suddenly became overcome with red and orange pixels. That's the best I can describe here. Otherwise, I'd be looking up an image on Google to show you.
In any event, the pixellation never subsided. Instead, I had to flip the switch on my power supply and boot the system back up.
Except it never came back on. I had spinning fans and internal lights coming on, but no images appeared on-screen.
Now, I've had that problem before, and I know that it's one of the most general symptoms out there. When that happens, nearly anything could be the problem.
Well, I have a motherboard speakers that issues beeping error codes. I don't get any beeps when I try to boot the machine for real. However, when I take my memory out, I get repeated beeps. About 3-4 beeps per second.
This suggests to me that the memory is faulty.
However, I'm also worried that my graphics card might have crapped the bed. For starters, my mouse and keyboard are clearly coming on during the boot, suggesting to me that the machine is indeed booting, but without a feed to the monitor.
Second, I have experienced this pixellation before, but in smaller doses. The pixellation would usually subside. When it did, I got a message in the bottom-right corner of the screen saying that my "kernel mode drivers" had failed. That is unequivocally my graphics card, right?
Third, I had two (2) ram sticks in the system before it crashed. Removing BOTH of them causes the aformentioned beep code. However, inserting just one back into the system - it doesn't matter which one - causes the system to give no beep codes and simply not boot. Bear in mind that my system worked just fine one minute, and then crashed without warning. I find it rather unlikely that both ram sticks would crap the bed at the same time.
Fourth, remember that this crash happened during the middle of a game. While the screen was pixelated, I could still hear the game's music playing. Nothing I did with the keyboard seemed to create any sound effects, though. This suggests to me that the game was at least partially functioning in the background. This would suggest that the RAM was at least partially functional, since shouldn't have been working at all if the RAM completely died. Then again, that doesn't necessarily mean the RAM can fully post; maybe the only parts of the RAM that were functional were those the computer only uses after a successful post.
But if the graphics card is faulty, that would not explain why removing the ram sticks actually caused a noticeable difference in my posting; namely, that I actually get a beep code by removing the ram and only the ram.
My motherboard doesn't have its own separate VGA port, so I have no means of testing my computer without the graphics card.
Is there any way, short of paying through the nose for a professional diagnosis, for me to tell for certain if the card is faulty?