System: VIA Technologies Inc KT400-8235
Motherboard: Biostar M7VIT Pro
Processor: AMD Athlon XP 2500+ 1.8 Ghz
RAM: 2GB DDR-SDRAM PC2700
OS: Windows XP Home SP3
My ATI All In Wonder 9800 Pro video card which has been running flawlessly for over three years could now be failing. The following symptoms made a sudden appearance at boot up:
white dashes along the text area in the POST screen, small blue squares scattered across the Windows logo screen and a desktop with some incompletely formed icons which have little black lines around them as does the mouse pointer.
Web pages seemed to display normally as did saved images from my digital camera but in the image viewer (Irfan) the toolbar icons were just shadowy lines, although they still worked. Movie files will play but have a grid pattern of red and blue dots.
I pulled out the video card and blew the dust away from the top side as well as cleaning away a small amount of dust buildup around the fan and heatsink ( vacuumed out the cpu fan and heatsink while I was at it). On replacing the card the symptoms remained but I noticed over a few days the situation seemed to improve at each boot up, particularly in the desktop, with clean, sharp icons and pointer and the toolbars returned in Irfan viewer. Movie files still displayed poorly and DVDs even worse.
The drivers for the card are long out of date but I have been very reluctant to update them because of the many problems I had installing the card in the first place ........
The card may well be 'spent' but I thought I would try updating the drivers as a last attempt at fixing it, in the event that it was just a driver problem. I downloaded the latest package of drivers from the ATI site (now AMD) and followed their instructions for installation. At the first step, uninstalling all old drivers with the ATI Software Removal Utility in 'Add/Remove', it stalled after an error but did enough damage that I had to use System Restore to return to the old drivers and a screen viewable in anything other than 640x480.
I'm no longer 'All In Wonder' - what are my options here?