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Dots, Are They Dead Pixels?


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#1 megalo

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 12:40 PM

very recently i noticed some odd dots appearing while watching videos in Windows media player. Most of the dots are red but some are green and blue, they also very in size and shape. When i try to move the application window, the dots would stay on the application.

Now they are appearing all over the desktop.

But they don't appear when im on the internet, playing a game or writing in wordpad

What is wrong?

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#2 stevealmighty

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 12:49 PM

It could be your monitor, or more likely your graphics card (or the original movie etc.). I'd lean more towards your graphics card. Try replacing your card with another and see if the problem persists. If not, then you know that it's your graphics card. I've had the same thing happen on my computer at work (dots appearing all over the place), and replacing the graphics card fixed it. It's called "Artifacting" (I believe) and is caused by the graphics card basically failing to place pixels correctly.

You can also try running your machine in safe mode, and see if the dots goes away. Running it in safe mode will not load the drivers for the graphics card (or even onboard/shared/integrated graphics), but instead uses standard VGA drivers for display. If the dots dissapear, then I'd venture a safe guess that it's the card.

Hope this helps! :thumbsup:
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#3 megalo

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 12:03 AM

Wow. Its getting worse.

Its getting worse even after I added a fan to the case to help try and cool it down some more, it now has 3 fans.

When I booted in safe mode I actually saw the dots appear on the black desktop. It was somewhat amazing yet very disappointing.

I guess the last thing for me to try is another video card, but that will probably reveal the worst, that my 7900 gt that I got in late April this year is already malfunctioning. Though that still means that I can RMA it even though it is quite a hassle.

Oh well, I'll get back to everyone soon. And thanks for the help

Oh and I almost forgot, I updated the drivers to the most recent ones on Nvidia's website, they are Forceware version 93.17. Which didn't help.

Edited by megalo, 16 November 2006 - 12:07 AM.


#4 Walkman

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 12:23 AM

Also, make sure your refresh rate is set to the correct Hertz.

#5 stevealmighty

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 07:22 AM

Also, make sure your refresh rate is set to the correct Hertz.


Agreed. I usually set mine to 85 Hz, this gets it far enough away from the standard light that the screen won't flicker or "flucuate". Of course, any setting will do, this is just my personal preference.

Let's try to take the graphics card out of the loop. Can you replace it with another one? If not, does your motherboard have onboard video, so you can plug your monitor directly into your motherboard? Try that, this way, if you still get the artifacting, you know it's your monitor and not your gfx card. Although, I believe in safe mode, it doesn't load the drivers for the graphics card, so that should be ok....but you never know if just running through the card is enough to screw it up :thumbsup:

Have you tried using a different monitor on your computer? Have you tried putting your gfx card in another computer to see if it duplicates the problem?

You can also try taking out 2 of your case fans, and leaving just one fan. Only run the machine for a few minutes this way (don't want it to overheat, but that would take more than a few minutes). See if the artifacting goes away. If it does, you might want to consider replacing your power supply with something of a higher wattage and a higher amperage on the +12v line.

Also, (and this goes for all the time, not just this instance), ensure that your psu (power supply unit) is getting a clean feed, meaning that the line that goes from the psu to the gfx card does not have anything else on it. I've had this happen to me before, I got a new gfx card and had issues, and come to find out it was the psu that was the cause...it wasn't "big enough" to run it along with my 3 case fans, 2 of wich were LED including a 120mm LED :flowers:

Hope this helps! Let us know!
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#6 Serious Dave

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 05:34 PM

are you using a LCD screen?

if so you need a program called UDPixel
http://udpix.free.fr/

if not you might need a new screen
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#7 stevealmighty

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 07:15 PM

are you using a LCD screen?

if so you need a program called UDPixel
http://udpix.free.fr/

if not you might need a new screen



This may or may not work. If it's a "stuck" pixel(s), then it might work. If it's a dead pixel(s), then it won't work (assuming that it's the monitor that's bad, and it's a LCD monitor). Making rapid changes in brightness, contrast and colors etc. will "revitalize" a stuck pixel(s). If it's dead pixels, then you're just changing settings really fast. Rumor has it that you can genltly press on a stuck pixel on an LCD monitor while changing it's settings quickly and get better (or at least the same results). I reccomend against it due to the fact that pressing on a LCD monitor can make things even worse (ruin the spot that you're touching completely).

Seeing how you have multiple dead pixels, I'd venture a guess that they're all not "stuck pixels".

However, you can try this program that Serious Dave reccomended, I don't see where it will damage anything.
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#8 megalo

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 10:13 PM

Well, I just used the moniter with another pc and everything worked perfectly. There were no colored pixels.

This leads me to believe that the video card is faulty, the 7900 gt.

Get back to everyone soon.

#9 boopme

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 11:08 PM

Try cleaning the card 's fans if applicable and the contacts with denatured alcohol. Isopropyl will work but denatured is better.
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#10 Walkman

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 01:45 AM

Actually, the best thing to clean any copper contacts on electronics is a pencil eraser, or simply a pink eraser. It will clean it down to the bare surface, and not allowing any chance of filming on the contacts. Try comparing an eraser against alcohol on copper and you'll see that an eraser will clean it without any residue, or on a single dark area.

Alcohol has water in it, and you must make the hardware throughly dry before using, you don't have to worry about that with an eraser. I use it for anything I have to put in a slot on my computers. Even the R.A.M.. Stay away from alcohol when cleaning copper contacts that connect to electronics.

Added: Easy Test Take a piece of copper pipe, and rub the eraser against it for a few rubs, and watch how it'll turn back to the copper's original color/surface. Then try a different part with alcohol. You'll see. An ink pen eraser may work, but I'd stay away from them, because they're too abrasive, and they may wear down the copper.

Edited by Walkman, 19 November 2006 - 01:49 AM.


#11 usasma

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 08:25 AM

Be careful that the flakes from the eraser don't fall inside the computer - they'll wreak havoc with your connections!
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