I'm running a Dell Dimension 8300 with a 128 DDR ATI Radeon 9800 Pro video card - Windows XP set to automatically install all the updates.
A few weeks ago I noticed that the Dell and Windows splash screens weren't displaying properly. The Dell splash screen has dots in a grid pattern all over it. Sometimes it's the entire screen,, today the grid pattern was at the top. the middle was fine and the bottom was flashing dots. The Windows splash screen had blocks of color throughout. The location also changes from day to day in that screen. This morning the black background was ok but the blocks were through anything on the screen that displayed color. I took a digital picture last week http://pic40.picturetrail.com/VOL368/73367...9/208884402.jpg
that shows what I'm talking about.
If I set the hardware acceleration to full in Windows (right click on desktop/settings/troubleshoot), my icons (systray and in outlook express) start getting parallel lines through them and sometimes disappear altogether. I also get flashy parallel lines in some programs. For instance the Corel Draw splash screen has them but most of the display in Draw is ok except the icons there are effected the same way as icons are elsewhere. I have to turn that down to disable DirectDraw and Direct 3D accelerations as well as all cursor and advanced drawing accelerations to get rid of that.
When I first noticed the problem I tried a system restore thinking maybe some update didn't sit well but that didn't do anything.
I contacted Dell tech support. They had me check to make sure the monitor was ok by unplugging and making sure the diagnostic screen displayed which it did. They had me install a new video driver which was actually older than the one I had on the computer. They gave me instructions to go into their diagnostic utility partition and run various diagnostics. I ran the general diagnostics and the only thing that showed up bad was a particular zip disk I just happened to have in the drive. Replaced it with a good one and everything camp up ok. Then I ran the video diagnostics. I got multiple error messages saying it detected a failure while writing and reading video memory and then listing various modes and addresses. I suspect that the modes listed are just modes not supposed to be supported by the system as nothing that I am using is on that list. I reported the results back to Dell and their advice was to reinstall Windows and start from scratch. I think you can guess what all that involves with a system that's been in use for three years. ARGH!!!! Days and days upon gray hairs to accomplish so I'm hoping there is some way to troubleshoot this problem.