View Full Version : Help: My screen is looking horrible

10 October 2004, 10:00 PM
Hi all,

About a month ago I had to reformat my Dell Dimension 8300 and I updated all drivers I could think of, including my 128MB ATI Radeon 9800 Pro. Two weeks ago my screen started going into Power Save Mode even though that feature was disabled in the Contol Panel - the screen went black after anything between 5 and 45 minutes of use, and the only way to get it back to life was to force a reboot. I finally tracked it down to the latest drivers from ATI so I unistalled those and reinstalled the drivers that shipped with my Dell. Everything went fine until tonight when I started noticing some OpenGL issues (flickering dots) while working in C4D and all of a sudden my whole computer just froze. I forced a reboot and 10 minutes later the same thing happened again, and when I booted my screen looked like this:

I figured it must be the graphics drivers once again so I uninstalled them but no difference, the screen still has purple, flickering lines and dots all over it.

Any ideas?


10 October 2004, 10:36 PM
Hi Cartesius

Samething hapened to me after i update my ati radeon drivers. don't know what causes it, but i know that if my computer starts making a lot of noise, like the hardrive and fans suddently start working, it's gonna hapen again. usually my computer makes little noise. Think it happens because the video card gets hot or something. Just thought this might help.

10 October 2004, 10:55 PM
Either your monitor or your video card is toast!

Seriously, are you overclocking your video card?

10 October 2004, 11:32 PM
can't be the monitor, otherwise it wouldn't be visible on the screenshot eh?

actually i'm amazed that this stuff is visible on a screenshot at all, even if it's the cards fault.

10 October 2004, 11:35 PM
Looks like a classic case of fried memory. Is the gfx card fan running? is the heat sink fitted? Did you overclock it?

10 October 2004, 10:44 AM
Thanks for the replies, guys!

I have a nagging feeling it's the card. I have never touched it and it's not overclocked. I only have access to one monitor for the time being so I cannot check, but I don't think the monitor is causing all of this. Last night I unplugged the monitor from the computer and got that "The monitor is working" sign floating across the screen and that one looked allright.

The problems got worse last night and the screenshot below is how it looked while I was still able to recognize icons and objects. Now it's a complete mess and I can't see a thing.

Today I will remove the graphics card from my computer here at work (a 32MB ATI Radeon 7000 Series) and replace my old card with that. If the screen looks fine I know what the problem is, if it doesn't I will have to start over. If it is the gfx card that's behind this I will check to see if the fan is broken or the heat sink isn't fitted properly, but I'm not a tech guy so I might miss something very obvious.

Thanks again, I will keep you posted!


10 October 2004, 04:30 PM
Well, no more guessing needed - I cracked open the case, removed the card and the fan literally fell off. I've called Dell tech support and they will deliver a new card on Wednesday.

Thanks for your help!


10 October 2004, 02:13 AM
Dell's great hardware replacement policy is the thing I love the most about Dell. It's the same thing with Mushkin and RAM.

10 October 2004, 07:21 AM
Ouch, that picture makes me cringe. A few tips for you in the future: try and clean your case out a bit more. Not saying that the dust was the cause of this, but the picture that you gave indicates that the card had a bit of dust in it. Also, if you ever have a similar problem, the monitor is an easy thing to rule out. Simply plug it into another computer and see if the same problem occurs. Glad to see that you're going to get a new card out of it, and don't have to shell out the big bucks for another one.

10 October 2004, 08:42 AM
Yeah, it feels pretty good that they will replace the card for me, otherwise I would have had to save up for a new one and that would probably have taken me some time.

Lesson learned! I did clean it about a month before this happened but apparently not good enough and in the future I will make sure to pay special attention to the gfx card and its fan.


10 October 2004, 09:14 AM
If you live in a particularly dusty enviroment (i.e. maybe a dorm with air that is circulated throughout the building, or in a desert), you should clean your case fairly often. You were probably right on track with cleaning it once a month, but if you are running on a full load 24/7, you're probably going to suck in a bit more dust/junk than on normal day's work.

10 October 2004, 09:25 AM
I think the main culprit is that I have the case pretty close to the floor so it's probably a haven for all those dustballs floating around just about any home. It's an awkward placement because it takes 10 minutes for me to get down on the floor, crawl around to the back of it and unhook all the cables whenever I'm going to clean it. Right now I'm thinking of placing it on the desk instead but I need to figure out how to re-route the cables.


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