Computer will no longer boot without restarting

By sour27
Jul 27, 2005
  1. Hello, everyone. My problem all started when I was playing a game called World of Warcraft. My computer would get these thin, vertical, blue/aqua colored streaks (made up of dots) going down my monitor while I was playing, causing my computer to crash. The next day my computer would start freezing when I barely loaded the game to the login screen, but this time it was different. I'd get a bunch of flashing colors over my monitor from the game. I basically ignored it and hoped it would just go away. Now my computer will boot up and then it will have the streaks pop up and it'll freeze, then restart itself. Before it started restarting my computer when I wasn't playing the game, I was told that my graphics card could be overheating so I ordered one online. I installed it today but it doesn't make a difference at all (and I'm not surprised since I don't think that my graphics card has enough time to heat up when it first boots). I've cleaned some dust out of my computer (there wasn't much except for on the outside of the case) and updated my video drivers. Thank you, guys.

    XP Home SP2
    GeForce FX 5200
    1gig of ram
    P4 2.8ghz
    Only 2 years old.
  2. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Screen artifacts can also be caused by RAM. Go to and download the program. Make a boot CD or a floppy and boot the computer to that. It will test all your RAM. Let it test 2 passes at least. For 1gb of RAM that could be a couple hours.

    Next suspect CPU. It can be overheating, regardless of cleaning the rest of the case. Make sure the heatsink is still seated tight (you might take off and put fresh therm on it) and make sure the fan spins good. A CPU can heat up and burn within a few seconds if heat isn't being transfered good. Not likely though if only 2 years old.
    You could leave the side off and blow a desk fan in it.

    Next we'll want to test the CPU. Try
    This runs in Windows though. We may have to find something else.

  3. sour27

    sour27 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, I ran the CPU Test one and it came up with 0 errors. Right now I'm running in safe mode and it works perfectly. I haven't been able to try out memtest yet but I'll try and get it working tomorrow after school. I need to install Alcohol 120 so I can burn it onto a CD (I don't have any floppy disks). I was thinking though, since my computer runs fine in safe mode, shouldn't it be the graphics card that's wrong?
  4. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    In Safe Mode Windows uses a generic VGA driver. Not your primary driver. If it works fine in Safe Mode, it's because Windows is NOT using most of your system drivers. Are you SURE you installed the new video card properly? Could it be other drivers? Try downloading new motherboard/chipset drivers. Try unplugging any other cards like modem, sound card etc...

    You don't need Alcohol to burn that ISO, Alcohol is a for-pay program anyway. Unless you have a license or it lets you burn with the trial. Try this program instead:
    It's a completely free and useful burner. And can burn that ISO. I've used it a lot.

  5. sour27

    sour27 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Okay, I removed all the devices but my video card and it still didn't work. I'm running my computer opened case and if I feel the back of my video card on a certain little chip, and it is VERY hot, so I'm thinking that it must be from overheating. There aren't really any other places where the chip is too hot to touch.

    BTW, you mentioned something asking if I installed the new card properly, well it isn't a new card. I've had it since the entire 2 years. I don't know if my card has always been this hot or if for some reason it barely started overheating now.

    So, is it probably because that little chip is burning up that I'm getting those "artifacts" or whatever they're called and how can I fix this little chip from heating up so much?
  6. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Does, or DID, that video card ever have a fan? Does the video card have any fan? Is the hot chip the "main" chip, like the biggest one? Or is it the RAM chip?

    Look around the edges of the card and see if it has a 4-pin molex plug on it. Same power plug that your hard drive and CD-ROMs use. A lot of AGP cards have this auxilary power plug. If yours isn't plugged in then it could be the issue.

    Then if you don't have anything there, you may have to buy a chipset cooler. That is, find a miniheatsink, with or without a fan, that you can attach to that little chip. Should be able to find them online fairly easy and cheap. It could be overheating because the card is just plain going bad. Whether you can cool it or not it may be a matter of time before it fails. IF that is the issue.

    Assuming it is not the overheat issue, because it still works in Safe Mode? It still may be driver. And test your RAM still just to be sure.

  7. sour27

    sour27 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks a bunch for your help but I just gave up and bought a new card. And my old card didn't have a fan on it.
  8. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    lol well we can all use a new video card. Just make sure to remove ALL the old driver and software IN SAFE MODE first. Then turn it off to pull the old card out and install the new. Get the latest drivers off the manufacturers web site.

    Hope the new one does the trick!
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