TechSpot

Possible Graphics Card Failure?

By Obes
Sep 17, 2008
  1. So I've been running my EVGA nGeForce 8800GTS for a little under 6 months now and I couldn't be happier with it. Until this morning. I think this is a graphics card problem because I've heard of the 8800GTS failing recently, but I want to describe the situation in full because I have a hunch it might also be a motherboard issue (which would be a relief because my motherboard is under warranty for a couple more weeks).

    So it started yesterday, I was gaming with some TF2, when my Logitech G15 USB keyboard suddenly shut off. Over 20 seconds or so, the keyboard flickered on and off as the computer was seemingly trying to detect it. The keyboard and mouse (which I have running through the keyboard's built in USB hub) eventually got running again, but my headphones (again through the keyboard) did not detect sound. I'm figuring this is just because the computer tried to switch audio channels when the one wasn't there anymore. Anyways, when I quickly wrapped up what I was doing and began to reboot my computer, but was getting no response. Windows wasn't trying to shutdown, nor was it giving me a "End Program Now" prompt like it does when a program holds it up. Reluctantly I resorted to a hard shut-down, and upon boot-up, everything was back to normal and thought nothing of the incident.

    Fast forward to this morning. I'm gaming again (Warcraft III, so I know this isn't a program problem) when my keyboard, mouse and headset fail, then are re-detected again. Again no sound, so I go to reboot my machine. No response, no error message/End Now prompt, so I resort to the hard restart again. Computer loads windows, gets to desktop, then while I was bent under my desk moving USBs around (decided to plug mouse and headset directly into computer so if my keyboard was failing I wouldn't lose the others) I got a blue screen physical memory dump message. Powered down my computer and rebooted it, but on my bios boot up screen was prompted to hit F1 (blue screen errors it sometimes reset setting). Only problem is keyboard isn't working, no response at all and can't move past the screen. I try every USB port on my computer, tried rebooting, nothing.

    At this point I'm thinking USB hub may have been fried and was about to get a serial keyboard to get past, but on one of my restarts, I got this very loud continuous beep. Confused I quickly shut it down. A couple reboots yielding the same result got me thinking there was a larger motherboard failure, but in the back of my head were stories of 8800GTS failing, so I opened up my case to check things out. First thing I noticed when I opened it up was a large clump of dust on the mobo near the USB hub and also a thin film of plastic on my g-card that was supposed to be pulled off and kind of flapping around (total noob error). First thing I checked was unplugging the onboard speaker, rationale being if the beeping continued, then it wasn't a motherboard problem.

    Unplugged speaker + continuing sound = me suspicious about my graphics card. Unplugged g-card, gave it a light dusting and cleaned connections and plugged it back in. The beep stopped. Unfortunately I was too busy staring at the case and listening that I didn't realize that my monitor now had no output to it. Nor did it give me the monitor message that it gives when the monitor is powered up, but not plugged into my computer. Rebooted, no change. The motherboard is not making any odd beeps that would signal any errors, but I can't tell what's going on. One thing that 'changed' is when I pulled my graphics card out again and plugged it back in, the Beep returned. Unplugging and plugging back in removed it.

    Confused? I am and sure hope that someone out there has an idea after reading this wall 'o text as to what's going on
     
  2. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,650

    have u tried u're graphics card in another computer? which model of the EVGA nGeForce 8800GTS is this, the new or the old model?
     
  3. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 2,278

    Well, I can tell you that since you have got video from the 8800 that the card is fine. From what you've described, I'm going to guess that either the motherboard or motherboard drivers are to blame for your reoccurring problems. Your graphics card is in no way tied to any USB or other system devices, aside from the monitor. If you can get into safe mode, uninstall the graphics drivers, reinstall with the latest mainboard drivers and then reinstall the graphics drivers.
     
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