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Telltale signs of a failing video card.

dankh asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-08

   I would like the experts input on the telltale signs of a failing video card.  Please don't submit an answer, i will select from the best comment and reward it an A+.  Thank you.
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In my experience video cards either work or they don't the usual first symptoms being trouble booting or restarting.  The expception to this however is damage to memory on the card which can lead to little 1 pixel spots slowly accumulating on the screen.

Signs of a bad video card:

1:  Turn on you computer and get 8 beeps
2:  Get lines (horzantal or vertical) of seemenly random colors.
3:  Same as (2) except the lines move with the mouse cursor
4:  When in text mode, the charcters do not appear correctly
5:  The montor is tinted (Purple, Cyan, and Yello are most commen here).
6:  The 'shape' of things is right but the colors seem semi-random in a 256 or less color mode

  All of those except 1 can be casued by a bug in the video driver or other software problem, make sure you have the latest video driver and firmware for your video card.
  (5) is usually caused by a problem with the cable going from you video card to the monitor, but can also (in rare case) can be caused by the card itself
  It is normal for the condidtion described in (6) to exist for a few seconds when switching between programs in windows.

2 other possibles.

1 there is a intemitant propblem with your ram. ie a loose slot or a bad memory address.

2. Your mother board is intmitantly shorting out on the computer case. If you have upgraded the motherboard especialy if it was a branded computer and you have fitted a third party motherboard. You might have a spare screw terminal touching the motherboard. Remember what happens to metal when it heats up.



  I read some interesting comments here, please read my " mp3/computer from hell" post for more in deepth information about my system.



  Please expand on your #2 comment--the spare screw and short circuit thing.  I built my comp from scratch.
If some things on the screen seem garbled (icons, menus, etc) the video ram could be bad.  That happened to us once, in Windows 3.1, the icons were all garbled but everything else was fine.  The problem was eventually tracked down to faulty video ram.

I have come across intermittent video failure when fitting motherboards into branded computer cases such has Gateway. The screw terminals I refer to are fixed to the case and are what you use to fix the motherboard to the case and they don't always line up with a third party motherboard, there is usually one or more left unused. If the motherboard circuitry makes contact with the terminal it will short out and you loose the video signal? A motherboard heats up when in use and therefor expands.



   I purchased a case and mobo separately.  I used metal spacers to fit the motherboard to the case.  I will double check to see if any spacers are in contact with the mobos' circuitry.

> I will select from the best comment ...
> [what are] the telltale signs of a failing video card

1. Smoke coming out of your computer.

2. a "bookmark" file which takes your browser ten minutes to load.

3. a faded, yellowed piece of paper, which your spouse evidently
tacked to the refrigerator door, a few months ago,
which reads "I'm leaving you, since you spend way too much time
in front of that (bleeping) computer, and no time with me".

Use plastic standoffs.

If you are using a brand-new motherboard with AGP support and exactly this kind of card, try checking the _correct_ fit of it. AGP cards don't even work if they supposed to be _correctly_ locked. In my case I had to treat the slotmetal for correct fit.....



   Ok, my problem was solved by replacing the CPU.  I asked for telltale signs of a failing video card and ML posted the best comment.  Please post it as an answer and i will reward you the points, Malai.

Thanks everyone.
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