Video card problem

By kreftm
Jul 29, 2006
  1. Let me start off by saying that this is the last time I'll post a new thread for my problem, promise.

    My specs: I have a 2002 model year Dell, P4 1.99 GHz, 2GB DDR, standard (most likely crap) vid and sound cards. I'm just getting into building/modifying computers and am, overall, newly interested in hardware. I'm going to build one from scratch soon, but want to fix my existing problem first.

    My computer was running slow so I added 1GB DDR Corsair ValueSelect of memory to my existing 256Mb giving me a grand total of 1.25GB. I use my computer primarily for multimedia (no gaming). My computer ran beautifully at that point watching movies, listening to music, downloading, uploading, etc. But, when I was adding the extra memory, I noticed that it was incredibly dusty so I bought some canned air a few days later to take care of it. I blew the whole thing out and also took off the heatsink over the processor and cleaned it. When I restarted my computer, it booted to Windows (XP SP2), and shut off. I tried to boot it again and it did the same thing. This happened 3 times total. I let the computer sit for about an hour and it booted correctly. But it ran much slower than it should have when listening to music and browsing the internet or (especially) when watching video. I've ruled out a PSA problem because it has not shut off since. A few weeks later, I replaced the existing 256MB DDR with another Corsair ValueSelect 1GB for a new grand total of 2GB. I've since ruled out a Memory problem. When browsing the internet, I notice the lag most when there are moving graphics on the screen. My CPU usage is usually pinned at 100% while this is happening.

    Could I have damaged my video card while cleaning the my case or somehow damanged the processor when I removed the heatsink? I did not force anything and was very careful not to bump anything. Any ideas?

  2. sw123

    sw123 TS Rookie Posts: 595

    Motherboards usually have a limit to how much RAM you can put into it. But if your motherboard was made around 2002, 2 GB should be its max. You could also have bad memory or the wrong memory. If your CPU is pinned at about 100% when it is slow and laggy, it could be a bad processor. But how could this be a video card problem?
  3. kreftm

    kreftm TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, it ran beautifully with 1.25GB of memory before I went in there and cleaned it. I thought it might have been a video card problem because it is usually when watching video that there is a lag. I guess I could be wrong in my thinking of the way things work.
  4. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    When you removed the heatsink did you wipe off the old thermal paste with alcohol or acetone and apply new thermal paste before reinstalling it.
  5. kreftm

    kreftm TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I did not. That could be an issue? I've actually never heard of this before. Can you explain?
  6. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    Thermal paste is applied in a thin layer on the cpu or bottom of the heatsink it acts as a thermal transfer material transfering heat from the cpu to the heatsink by filling in tiny scratches and gaps on the surfice of the cpu and heatsink. failure to apply thermal paste or reuseing old thermal paste oftin results in overheating the proper method of applying thermal paste is

    1.remove all old paste from the cpu and heatsink with Alcohol or Acetone
    2. apply a small amount (about the size of a bb) of new thermal paste (I recomend artic silver 5 or artic silver Ceramique)
    3. spread thermal paste in a thin layer(just enough to cover the cpu preferably less than paper thin) (an old credit card usually works best for this)
    4.reinstall heatsink

    here are links for thermal paste
  7. kreftm

    kreftm TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Roger, I will get right on that. I think I remember it being a pad of somesort instead of a paste? Is this possible? And if so, will replacing that with the paste be alright? I appreciate the help and now see that I've posted this in the wrong forum. Is it dangerous to be running my computer until the paste is resolved?
  8. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    yes OEMs oftain use thermal pads instead of paste to save time in manufactureing but the concept is the same. Paste usually works better than pads do. I wouldn't recomend running your computer any more than you have too but if temps get dangerously high the computer will shut itself off or automatically underclock the processer to prevent overheating.
  9. kreftm

    kreftm TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for all of your help. Last question: You think the reason for the lag in performance during videos and such is because of the lack of heat dissapation from the CPU, correct? The problem occurs even right after startup. Does it happen that quickly? I guess that's two questions. Thanks again.
  10. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    CPUs produce a tremendious amount of heat. They can get to well over 150 degrees in seconds when running at 100% without proper heat disapation or a mechinism to stop them from running that hot.Excessive heat can cause slowdown and freezing because the system will oftain underclock components (includeing the cpu) or reduce the amount of data sent at a given time to protect it self from overheating.
  11. kreftm

    kreftm TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks a lot. I will take care of this as soon as I get the supplies. Again, your help is much appreciated.
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