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What's up with this video card?!

Posted on 2002-04-30
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Last Modified: 2013-11-08
Hello,

I have a VIRGE/GX S3 8MB Video Card in my Windows 98 machine.  It's the primary card in a dual monitor setup.  Out of the blue, one day, the card started working a little funny.  That is to say, it suddenly just cuts out.  POOF, off goes the screen.  I quickly realized I can get it to come back by wiggling it, so I've been sitting with the side of the computer open and nudging it with my foot, which is obviously no solution.  After the 3rd or 4th time the OS has just about enough of the video cutting in and out, and Windows crashes.

It's not the monitor or the cable, as the monitor works plugged into  the other card.  It's not the slot, as the video card fails in multiple slots.  There doesn't APPEAR to be anything wrong with the card...

I've never heard of anyone else with a problem like this.  Can anyone think of what I can do to avoid having to spend more $$$ on another card?  I was pretty happy with this one...

Thanks,

Raydot.
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Question by:Raydot
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12 Comments
 
LVL 3

Author Comment

by:Raydot
ID: 6982401
Oh, and yes, I've pulled it out and reseated it, and I've tightened the screw until I was afraid I'd crack the case.
0
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:jlauster
ID: 6982406
Try taking the card out of the slot and then reseating it. Also check that the main chip on the card is pressed fully onto the card. They sometimes become loose with time and the effects of heating and cooling.
0
 
LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:tmj883
ID: 6982628
Try polishing the eletrical contacts with an eraser, wipe clean with isopropyl alcohol, reseat and test again. T
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:CrazyOne
ID: 6982630
Dust may have worked its way into the slot causing an intermittent connection. Get a can of compressed air pull the card and spray the slot and the contact points on the card with the compressed air. I am not familiar with this card but if it is a PCI card and cleaning the slot out doesn't work try seating it in a different slot. Other then that there may be a problem with the slot itself or the card. One way to test this is to put another card in the machine for testing and see what happens.


The Crazy One
0
 
LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:jhance
ID: 6983016
I've seen some cards that have a misaligned bracket.  So when the top of the bracket hits the top of the case the card is NOT fully seated in its slot.  This is especially bad for video cards because you have the big/heavy video cable applying pressure to the card and pulling it back out of the slot.

I've had to "rebend" the top tab of the bracket to permit the card to fully seat down into the card slot.

Just a thought.  I've had this more than once and so it might be an issue with your card.
0
 
LVL 3

Author Comment

by:Raydot
ID: 6983294
Ok, again, I've pulled the card out and reseated it, and tried it in a different slot, so it's not those problems.  The electrical contacts don't look so bad, but I'll try all of that stuff.  The man chip did give a bit of a "creak" when I pushed it, so maybe it was a little loose.

Let me go out and get some compressed air and a pencil (what's a pencil?) and get back to you guys...

Raydot.
0
 
LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:RoadWarrior
ID: 6983419
Yeah loose video BIOS chips can cause wierd errors, now you've scrunched that one back in it may make a difference.
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LVL 7

Accepted Solution

by:
WiZaRd earned 400 total points
ID: 6983611
What value do you place on your time? If you haven't fixed the problem fairly quickly you should consider replacing the card. 8mb graphics cards are pretty cheap these days so I don't think it's worth a lot of time and effort. If the above suggestions don't work just bite the bullet and get another one.
0
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:WiZaRd
ID: 6983635
Feel obliged to point out that suspending the video card on your big toe (whilst it is a radical approach to computing) may lead to bigger problems with other hardware or at the very least a foot fetish.
The fact that nudging it fixes it would suggest you have a contact problem. You could try laying the computer on it's side to avoid creeping or tilting of the card but this could be inconvenient for other devices like the CDrom drive for instance.
0
 
LVL 3

Author Comment

by:Raydot
ID: 6984179
Yeah, I just priced a 16mb card at $90.

I cleaned the contacts, even cleaned the board, bent and rebent the bracket, still nada.  It seems like the very card is warped slightly, as it want to be nudged from the middle and not the end.

WiZaRd is right, I've spent more time on this than my time is worth, but DAMN I hate to lose hardware (you don't know the half of it).

Thanks guys, it's odd advice, but the points are WiZaRds...

Raydot.
0
 
LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:RoadWarrior
ID: 6985851
Well if you haven't spent your $90 yet, take a look here . . .
http://www.compgeeks.com/products.asp?cat=VCD

You can either get yourself a basic card for $20, a dual head Radeon for $50 or $70, so there's no more messing with 2 cards. Or bring the system right up to date with a Radeon 7500 for that $90 ( That one is dual capable too, but I think you'll need to purchase an extra DVI to SVGA adapter, doesn't have the 2 vga sockets on)  . ATi's drivers are meant to be much improved these days.

Couldn't just let you spring $90 on some ordinary old 16 Mb one. Lots of other choices there, avoid the savage 2000 based cards though.

regards,

Road Warrior
0
 
LVL 3

Author Comment

by:Raydot
ID: 6986332
I actually just bought that dual head card for just under $60.  Thanks for the tip, brother.

Raydot.
0

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