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Monitor light keeps blinking before log-in screen, very strange pixels

By steveurkel
Oct 22, 2007
  1. Hey all, really hoping somebody out there can help me out. I am having one hell of an issue.

    First, my computer specs:

    Processor: Intel Pentium D Processor 950 w/ Dual Core Technology 3.4GHz 800MHz FSB
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition with Service Pack 2
    Power Supply: Alienware 650 Watt ATX 2.0 Power Supply with Active PFC
    Motherboard: Alienware NVidia nForce4 SLI X16 Motherboard
    Graphics Processor: 256MB PCI-Express x16 NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT
    Memory: 2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz - 2 x 1024MB
    System Drive: High Performance - 160GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s 7,200 RPM w/ NCQ & 8MB Cache
    Storage Drive: High Performance - 160GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s 7,200 RPM w/ NCQ & 8MB Cache
    Primary Display: Samsung SyncMaster 1100DF 21" CRT Display - Black

    I built this computer as a gaming computer about a year ago and I have never had any issues. I have had maybe a total of 5 total lock-ups in Windows until recently.

    Last night I went to play Rainbow Six: Vegas and after about 30 seconds my computer just Locked Up - no control whatsoever. I rebooted and here is where things started to get weird.

    At the Windows XP logo there is some vertical blue bars that are about 2-3 inches long and about half a cm space in between each. There is roughly 10 of these bars that go across my whole screen. They look kind of like static, or what you would expect something "bad" that you would see upon booting a PC.

    I tried the game again thinking oh its just some weird crash with the game. Once again, comp locked up and I rebooted. I decided to try another game. It locked up and I rebooted. Still getting the bars I booted into safe mode and uninstalled my drivers and went to reboot. Reinstalled my drivers in Windows and figured I'd play an older game. I booted up Doom and it took up about 1/10th of my screen and had 4 colors.

    I exited Doom and could not increase my resolution of 4 bit color. I finally fixed that but now whenever I boot up ...

    I get those blue bars, and when I get to the login screen (1 out of 5 boot attempts, roughly I get this far) there is some colored rectangular boxes and when I click to login my screen goes black.

    The other 4 out of 5 times after the Windows XP logo and blue bars of death my monitor flashes for half a second, then the light just blinks on and off. Now nearly everytime I boot I can't even get to my login screen. The monitor light just blinks at me like there is no input.

    It sounds to me like my video card is dead but I would like to verify this is the problem and not something else. I don't have financial means or friends or hardware available to try any other hardware. I have tomorrow off and will go buy a new video card if this is my problem but I would like to confirm.

    Anyone else seen this happen and can verify if the monitor light blinking on and off after these blue bars is just the video card death?

    Thank you for reading
     
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    May be an overheating issue. Are your internal fans clean and free of dust. Are they working properly?
     
  3. steveurkel

    steveurkel TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you for the reply.

    I do not believe it is an overheating issue. A few months ago I was having severe issues and ended up applying some thermal paste (Old temperatures were exceeding 103 CELSIUS, now it is down to 13-30'ish) my GPU temp in Everest is listed as 50-70 which it has always been. When I was having the overheating issues it was well over the 90+ category.

    I really can't even check my temperatures right now because I can't boot up in anything but safe mode, and half the time I can't even reliably boot into safe mode before my monitor starts blinking on and off.

    It does not seem like it is anything but the video card since the computer is still powered on, I am just not getting any graphical input or some very strange video artifacting.

    I will open it up tomorrow before I go to the store and look into any seating/heating issues and clean it out but something tells me my video card has met its maker.

    I don't see how this is though it has been super reliable and I used to play games 10-15 hours with no issues but recently Portal & Tabula Rasa have been causing my computer to lock up.

    I just bought a new car so I really can not afford to get my computer fixed and a new video card is not a bad investment, it is just a huge shame since the 9000 line is coming out soon and if I get anything right now it will be priced very poorly. Also I don't really know any good stores around Salt Lake City to find a large selection of cheap video cards. I will probably have to drop $300+ at Best Buy for a card that I could get for much cheaper from newegg.

    Also I have tried roughly 10 different ForceWare drivers so I know it is not the drivers that is causing this problem.

    Thanks again, hopefully it is something I can fix without buying anything though.
     
  4. steveurkel

    steveurkel TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Now I am really stumped.

    I ran driver cleaner and completely wiped my computer free of any Nvidia drivers and I can at least log into my computer and try to get things working again.

    I am *still* getting the vertical blue bars on boot up though. Windows seems to be working fine (I haven't tried any games, but I know it will freeze my computer since those bars are still hanging out).

    Everest is showing all my temperatures ranging from 30-62 (highest is GPU at 62, which isn't that high I don't think?).

    I am pretty much reasoning it out being a video card issue since with no drivers I am still seeing those bars.

    This is really frustrating ... I don't think it would be a memory issue because I doubt i'd even be in Windows if that were the case.

    Any suggestions or ideas what those bars mean upon boot? I don't think its a monitor issue since I am logged into the correct user account right now.

    Edited: Added a picture as attachment of what this looks like.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. billwilliam

    billwilliam TS Rookie

    I can't find any comments to your problem after 10/23/07. Did you find the problem? I have a similar problem; the vertical lines come and go, but look exactly like those in the jpg you posted.
     
  6. steveurkel

    steveurkel TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I went and bought a new video card.
     
  7. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Simple "to the point" fix ;)
     
  8. billwilliam

    billwilliam TS Rookie

    Thanks for your reply. I just bought a new card, that solved my problem as well.

    Thanks again.
     
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