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Thread: PC Help... graphics card fault?

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  1. #1

    Default PC Help... graphics card fault?

    On Tuesday night I was streaming Top Gear off iPlayer on full screen when my PC crashed, distorting the image and the audio sounding like a scratched CD where it jumps and repeats itself.

    I couldn't do anything like open Task Manager or anything so I resetted the computer by holding down the power button then left it for a minute but when I switched it back on, it booted up to the log in screen, loaded half the page and froze again.

    I unplugged the power cable, left it a few minutes then retried but this time nothing happened. The power light came on, the wireless key (plugged into a USB port) lit up but nothing. No fan noise, beeps or any of the normal sounds you hear when your computer boots up. Just the lights. So again, unplugged it and left it until the next morning and still nothing.

    So now I call upon the people of Rohan... erm, I mean Cagewarriors... does this sound like a graphics card fault? My PC is 2 years old from brand new and I know of PCs where if there are hardware faults, the PC stops running altogether to avoid any further faults.

    If it was the hard drive, it would still boot up right? Then tell me that there is a hard drive error? There is power going through the motherboard and lighting up the power button and wireless key so it cant be that.

    Specs *copied and pasted*:
    Packard Bell iXtreme X8530 Q6600
    Intel Core 2 Quad 2.40GHz
    3GB RAM, 720GB
    HDD 7200 SATA
    15 in 1 Card Reader
    Dual Layer DVD+-RW
    NVIDIA® GeForce® 8600GS 512MB
    LAN 10/100
    Vista Home Premium
    Last edited by Xanthic; 02-09-2010 at 02:36 PM.
    Coffee drinker, prefer Pepsi and I'm kind of a big deal.

  2. #2

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    Hold F12 (or F9 - cant remember which)down on boot up and run in safe mode. This should bypass your graphics card for one that might be present on yourmother board. If this does not work (AndI doubt it will) It sounds like quite a severe problem.

    Try to isolate the problem. Is it the graphics card? Is it the hard drive with the boot partition? Is it the mother board or CPU or other such shit?

    If you are not getting into boot its not the graphics card is the some other shit option and you should probably go Moat.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaolinSubz02 View Post
    Hold F12 (or F9 - cant remember which)down on boot up and run in safe mode. This should bypass your graphics card for one that might be present on yourmother board. If this does not work (AndI doubt it will) It sounds like quite a severe problem.

    Try to isolate the problem. Is it the graphics card? Is it the hard drive with the boot partition? Is it the mother board or CPU or other such shit?

    If you are not getting into boot its not the graphics card is the some other shit option and you should probably go Moat.
    If the machine isn't beeping at the start and getting to the BIOS screen then safe mode won't be accessible - it sounds like either a hardware fault that is getting detected before boot or the BIOS is messed up and needs reset.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaolinSubz02 View Post
    Hold F12 (or F9 - cant remember which)down on boot up and run in safe mode. This should bypass your graphics card for one that might be present on yourmother board. If this does not work (AndI doubt it will) It sounds like quite a severe problem.
    It wont boot at all... that's the problem. When you press the power button the turn the PC on, it doesnt ACTUALLY come on. The lights come on but the machine doesnt boot at all - no fan, no nothing. Just lights.
    Coffee drinker, prefer Pepsi and I'm kind of a big deal.

  5. #5

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    Take the graphics card out and try booting the PC - if the PC gives a beep then it is sensing that there isn't a graphics card connected at it is possible that is your fault lies with the graphics card. If you get no beep then it could be something else - try disconnecting memory sticks to see if it will boot.. Look at your manual (or on the internet) to find the beep codes for specific faults.

    If the Hard disk if fried then you should still be able to boot - it just wouldn't let you load windows - the first screen (the BIOS screen) is governed by the board itself and doesn't need a Hard Disk.

    The other thing to try is clearing the CMOS - basically clearing the BIOS memory - it is unlikely to be the BIOS unless you have played around with the BIOS settings in the past. Still worth trying though.

    Try also disconnecting any usb stuff that isn't essential to make sure that you are not drawing too much power at boot - a flaky power supply has caused the issues you describe for me in the past.

    Try the above and post back if it doesn't work and we can see from there.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fangface View Post
    Take the graphics card out and try booting the PC - if the PC gives a beep then it is sensing that there isn't a graphics card connected at it is possible that is your fault lies with the graphics card. If you get no beep then it could be something else - try disconnecting memory sticks to see if it will boot.. Look at your manual (or on the internet) to find the beep codes for specific faults.

    Try the above and post back if it doesn't work and we can see from there.
    OK so I removed the graphics card and you're right, it beeps and tries to boot. The only problem being is I can't find my user manual and cant find one online. There isn't one on their website either. But at least I've kind of isolated the problem. I dont have an onboard graphics card so cant check to see if there are any other problems.

    PS... I have a small cooling fan attached to my graphics card and the amount of CRAP stuck to it was horrible. I had to (gently) scrape it all off. I usually go through the computer with an air duster once a month but somehow overlooked the graphics card...
    Coffee drinker, prefer Pepsi and I'm kind of a big deal.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xanthic View Post
    OK so I removed the graphics card and you're right, it beeps and tries to boot. The only problem being is I can't find my user manual and cant find one online. There isn't one on their website either. But at least I've kind of isolated the problem. I dont have an onboard graphics card so cant check to see if there are any other problems.

    PS... I have a small cooling fan attached to my graphics card and the amount of CRAP stuck to it was horrible. I had to (gently) scrape it all off. I usually go through the computer with an air duster once a month but somehow overlooked the graphics card...
    If you have a kind hearted mate then borrow their graphics card and try it. The drivers may well be wrong but the PC will at least boot into windows. If the fan has got clogged it may be that it has overheated to critical point and died - if it was just a heat issue then trying to start from cold after an hour shutdown would at least get a post. It *might* be that the fan has died and the card has shutdown as it senses no fan operation - unfortunately its more likely the card has dies.

    If the card is dead and a mates one works then get a new one - leave PC World the f**k alone - overpriced to the extreme. Have a look on eBuyer, Aria or Overclockers UK. Aria in particular have a "superspecials" page where you can get good stuff at a knock down price.

    However, if you are not knowledgeable on PC drivers buy from the same range - hopefully its either an ATI or Nvidia card at present - if you get a different manufacturer you need to delete the old drivers before loading the new ones on after a reboot. Its not rocket science but not exactly a piece of piss if you are not used to it.

    Hope this helps.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fangface View Post
    If you have a kind hearted mate then borrow their graphics card and try it. The drivers may well be wrong but the PC will at least boot into windows. If the fan has got clogged it may be that it has overheated to critical point and died - if it was just a heat issue then trying to start from cold after an hour shutdown would at least get a post. It *might* be that the fan has died and the card has shutdown as it senses no fan operation - unfortunately its more likely the card has dies.

    If the card is dead and a mates one works then get a new one - leave PC World the f**k alone - overpriced to the extreme. Have a look on eBuyer, Aria or Overclockers UK. Aria in particular have a "superspecials" page where you can get good stuff at a knock down price.

    However, if you are not knowledgeable on PC drivers buy from the same range - hopefully its either an ATI or Nvidia card at present - if you get a different manufacturer you need to delete the old drivers before loading the new ones on after a reboot. Its not rocket science but not exactly a piece of piss if you are not used to it.

    Hope this helps.
    It's an NVidia graphics card. I know to buy off eBuyer, Overclockers and (my personal preference) Micro Direct.. I phoned PC World, where I bought it from, and they quoted me £230 for a replacement

    I've looked around for the graphics card and it looks like it's an OEM card which means I cant buy it standalone so I'll be looking for a replacement card compatible with my PC.

    Cheers for this guys... lots of help!

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaolinSubz02 View Post
    Again listen to FangFace, but, you clearly smoke too much weed whilst watching porn andplaying video games
    If it wasnt for the fact that you said "playing video games", you'd pretty much have me there. I think I have a porn/weed addiction. Cannaporn addict. Cannapornadict?

    I didnt buy the PC to game even though it's a gaming PC (I tried CoD but got slaughtered online by 12 year old American kids so gave up), I wanted a PC that didnt break and since I've never owned a brand new PC before and I had the money - I treated myself. I didnt want the hassle of buying separate components and building my own - I just wanted to go into a shop, buy it and leave hence why I went to RipOff World.
    Coffee drinker, prefer Pepsi and I'm kind of a big deal.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xanthic View Post
    It's an NVidia graphics card. I know to buy off eBuyer, Overclockers and (my personal preference) Micro Direct.. I phoned PC World, where I bought it from, and they quoted me £230 for a replacement

    I've looked around for the graphics card and it looks like it's an OEM card which means I cant buy it standalone so I'll be looking for a replacement card compatible with my PC.

    Cheers for this guys... lots of help!
    £230!!!! It doesn't surprise me especially since they will have likely added £50 for their expert installation service

    The easiest approach will be to get another Nvidia card - you may not even have to muck about with the drivers. Nvidia uses a unified set of drivers for all their cards so the drivers at present on the PC will be able to run the new card in all likelyhood. It wouldn't do any harm to update the drivers once you get a new card as you can sometimes get more stability / performance from newer drivers.

    If you are not that fussed at gaming then just get something like a Nvidia GT220 which should only set you back about £60 delivered but have enough power to show films etc and let you game a bit if you want to in the future.

    The other option is to do a search on ebay for the model of card you have - quite often people strip down "broken" PC's and flog the parts on ebay after convicing the poor mug that they need a totally new machine just because the dvd drive has packed in. What is the info you have on the existing card? Let me know and I will try and have a look for you when I get a chance.
    Last edited by Fangface; 03-09-2010 at 02:53 PM.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xanthic View Post
    OK so I removed the graphics card and you're right, it beeps and tries to boot. The only problem being is I can't find my user manual and cant find one online. There isn't one on their website either. But at least I've kind of isolated the problem. I dont have an onboard graphics card so cant check to see if there are any other problems.

    PS... I have a small cooling fan attached to my graphics card and the amount of CRAP stuck to it was horrible. I had to (gently) scrape it all off. I usually go through the computer with an air duster once a month but somehow overlooked the graphics card...
    Again listen to FangFace, but, you clearly smoke too much weed whilst watching porn andplaying video games

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