lost 1600x1200 resolution

Hi,
My PC's lost its ability to display 1600x1200.
1-2 weeks ago, happily working fine, then a BSOD and the max monitor resolution dropped.
I've had this PC with nvidia 8600GT and Viewsonic VP2030 for 2.5 years, first in Vistax32 and for last 6 weeks on Winx64. Always worked with monitor running at iots native 1600x1200.
Can't work out what has failed or got corrupt:  Win7, 8600GT, its drivers, or Viewsonic.
I've kept the o/s up to data, I've run a Win7 Repair, I've deleted all traces of Nvidia drivers (used guru3D DriverSweeper to eradicate) and re-installed latest Nvidia Win7x64 bit drivers from them, and I've got support from Viewsonic who sent me their newest Win7x64 driver package and installed it.  But still max Control Panel will offer is 1280x720.  When installing the Viewsonic driver all ok except it ends saying "Your monitor has not been recognised".  Control Panel conitned to show only a Generic Non-PNP Monitor installed.  BTW the cable is standard DVI-D cable always used.  The Nvidia installation runs fine ... but does not give the result required thoufgh Control Panel reports proper Win7x64 drivers are installed.
Any ideas?
Has the monitor failed? (At system startup it still shows the onScreen prompt "Resolution 1600x1200 would be best but is not set")
Has the 8600GT failed?
Has my Win7 install got corrupted?  (I notice that at same time this loss of resolution and sincer the original BSOD, when Win7 gets to "Starting Windows" I no longer get the Win7 animation of colured dots flying to me nor the formation of the coloured and pulsating flower. I just get the old Win98/Vista-style Progress Bar as windows starts, until the Login schemes appears correctly in true Win7 format. )
Should I try a clean Win7 install (hate the thought as I'll lose all my applics)?
I have paid-for insure/replace cover on the hardware - should I just give up and get the grapphics card and/or monitor replaced with new?
Help - please.  
Thank you, desperately.
Nigel
NigelRiAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
nordtorpCommented:
You might run a repair of Windows 7 if you haven't tried it yet.

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/681-startup-repair.html

or follow some steps given in this thread:
http://forums.techarena.in/operating-systems/1141542.htm
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arixsinCommented:
And run the System File Checker (SFC) tool.

Start | Programs | Accessories | right click on Command Prompt, choose "Run as Administrator" | type "SFC /SCANNOW" and press enter.
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NigelRiAuthor Commented:
Thanks to nordtorp and arixsin for their thoughts.  I will try some them, though as I wrote at one point in my initial question I think I have already done a Win7 Repair (that found nothing).

Q. From both your teplies, should I assume that you both think the problem is most lilely/only
    due to a fault in my Win7 installation?
Q. Does anyone else have any thougth that this might be due to my graphics card (Nvidia 8600GT)
    or to the moniotor itself?
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NigelRiAuthor Commented:
Hi arixsin.  I've run SFC;  did found not problem at all.
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nordtorpCommented:
Just for another hint. Do you have any Intel chipset?

Try to remove it and install it again.
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arixsinCommented:
Any idea what error you got when the system BSOD'd?
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NigelRiAuthor Commented:
Hi both:  I've now also just run again a Win7 Start Repair using my Win7 HP pukka Installation DVD from the retail box;  agan, it found nothing at all.  (Is it usual for the Sartup Repiar to run very quickly - just a few seconds, if that?  Mine ran very quickly, then said Found Nothing Wrong.)

nordtorp:
Yes, the motherboard is Intel chipset.  It's a DFI LanParty DK P45-T2RS Plus board.
I don't want to mess around taking out the chips.

arixsin: I've no idea what error codfe at that BSOD - it was a long time ago!
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arixsinCommented:
He didn't mean taking out the chips, he meant removing the software and reinstalling the chipset drivers. Get them from Intel.com
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NigelRiAuthor Commented:
All:  Does anyone have a convincing way to show it's a problem with my Win7? ....
       as I just have the feeling it's not the problem.
Please would someone try to give me help to show it my graphices card is working OK and/or my monitor is working.  If I could be more sure it was the card or the monitor at fault I would have it replaced.
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NigelRiAuthor Commented:
arixsin/nordtorp:   re. the chipset drivere software.
Actually, I know that is not a problem and that they are OK.
2 days after this 1600x1200 problem appeared (and while it was still present), I had a totally new motherboard fitted FOR A QUITE DIFFERENT REASON. I watched the engineer fitting the new (current DFI) board ... so I saw him downloading and installing the very latest 64bit chipset drivers from Intel.  
So I think we can disregard that avenue.  ta.
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arixsinCommented:
Honestly, only other thing you could do would be to test your vid card and monitor on another computer. If it works, I would say it is a software issue.
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NigelRiAuthor Commented:
Testing my monitor:  can I simply VGA cable it to my laptop and test 1600x1200 that way?
How do I know that my laptop's graphics output can do 1600x1200?
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arixsinCommented:
Most fairly recent laptops should be able to handle that as an external resolution.  Yes, you can just hook it up like that.  I suggest connecting it with the laptop off, then power it up and configure it in windows.
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PCBONEZCommented:
nvidia 8600GT defines a video CHIP.
- Who made the video CARD?

Does the video card have any capacitors with the letters "FZ" somewhere in the writing?

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senadCommented:
Few steps :
1.) Uninstall NVidia software in Add/remove programs (do not reboot)
2.) remove the device (graphic card) in device manager
3.) reboot
4.) let W7 try install the drivers first (if no, point them to your graphic drivers CD).
Tell me how it goes....
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NigelRiAuthor Commented:
Hi All - back home now, so done a bit of work and can answer a few of your questions: ...

1. XFX is maker of my 860GT card: "XFX 256Mb 8600GT Fatality 6" said my invoice 2.5 years ago.

2. my monitor (VP2030b) is FINE, I now know; plugged it into my laptop via VGA cable
and it went straight up to its native 1600x1200. phew .. no need for a new monitor.

So that leaves the graphics card h/w, or graphics drivers, or Win7.

senad: Should I really let, in step (4) of yr suggetsion, MS/W7 load drivers?
I ask as the PC build company (Scan Computers - normally excellent advisers) are very sceptical about ANY Microsoft drivers and strongly advise using latest direct from Nvidia homepage.

All:  Does anyone have any 3rd-party tool tools that will let me see more and gain info or confience that the garphics card is working fine or not and really does/is trying to do 1600x1200, or not?

I need a way to know for sure WHETHER the problem is in
EITHER the graphics card/drivers
OR the Win7 o/s.

regards, Nigel

regards, Nigel
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PCBONEZCommented:
I found some photos of that card and indeed at least some came with Sacon FZ series capacitors.
Those capacitors have nearly 100% failure rate in the first 2 years.
- Not every cap on that card, a few here are there.
Except for the markings and a faint shape of a K stamped into the top they look just like the good Chemicon polymers they are mixed in with on the board. [The FZ look like polymer but they aren't. Polymers don't have vents which is what the K stamp is.]
-
Sacon used to be GSC. They have also gone by the name Evercon.
They are among the most notorious manufacturers of bad capacitors there ever was.

According to Dell, HP, Apple [MAC], and a few others at least some of the nVidia 8600GT [and others based on the same GPU] have defective GPU chips.
Lawsuits are pending over the matter.

Either a bad GPU or bad caps could easily cause your cards capabilities to diminish proir to a complete failure.
I think maybe that's the point you are at.
.
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senadCommented:
microsoft sceptics or no ....let windows install their drivers.
what I want is to check if M$ drivers work OK or is there some
inconsistency in the original drivers.
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PCBONEZCommented:
First pic shows locations of Sacon FZ on a XFX 8600GT Fatal1ty card.

Second pic shows blown Sacon FZ on an eVGA 7300GT card. - All the caps shown there are Sacon FZ.
Note different marking patterns used. - They also use Black markings instead of Blue.
The numbers after the "FZ" are a date or batch code. [Not part of the Product ID.]

Sacon FZ often blow 'hard enough' to eject some internal contents of the cap through the vent as depicted in the photo.
People have reported hearing them blow loud enough to startle them even with a closed case.

eVGA, Biostar, and Jetway are known to have used Sacon FZ on motherboards.

MANY companies have used them on Video cards.
.
XFX-8600GT-Fatal1ty-Sacon-FZ-.jpg
FZ-EVGA-7300GT-01.jpg
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NigelRiAuthor Commented:
Hi All
So I now have answers to some of your questions/actions.  I've decided it is the graphics card.

I have eliminated Win7 from being the cause, as I have used a spare hard disk, installed full clean Win7x64 on it and booted from it.  This also loaded MS drivers for the XFX card.  
Result: still no 1600x1200.
Then I loaded Nvidia latest 64bit drivers into same WIn7 sys.
Result: still no 1600x1200.

So I'm just about to call in hartdward replacement for the graphics card.
Given photos above (!!!) I think I should stop using this card for another reason!

Thanks for your help.
Nigel

P.S. I will close this problem when a new graphics card is in and working.
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PCBONEZCommented:
If you know someone that solders you can replace those caps for very little.
Panasonic FM from digikey are great replacements for those.
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NigelRiAuthor Commented:
Actually, in the end, by process of elimination, two componets have been confirmed as faulty:
1. the graphics card - replaced with new 9600
2. the monitor's DVI port - awaiting new replacement monitor.

The caps on the graphics card looked fine.  But Having replaced the graphics card, I could indeed sometimes get 1600x1200 but NEVER at start up ... and the system would NEVER retain the 1600x1200 setting over a restart. Using the VGA port of the monitor ALWAYS went straight to native 1600x1200 onhe monitor.  Hit the idea that the DVI port has failed in the monitor (eliminated the DVI cable too).  Found much comment on internet thatg Viewsonic and other monitors of 2-3 years ago too often have DVI ports that switch off or fail.  SO, SOLUTION IS:  Failed DVI Port on Montior: replace Monitor.
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