Wierdest crash ever

By jonnyx
Aug 12, 2007
  1. Ive just had the wierdest crash ever.

    Computer froze then screen said 'no signal' so I reset.

    The next bit is difficult to explain. When I reboot all of the text is mumbo-jumbo right from startup. Even the startup text before windows boots is all wierd characters. It looks like the text is there but the characters are all wrong, mostly odd 'a's with slants. I can get to the safe mode startup, and even though I cant read the text I can select safe mode option.

    It boots in safe mode and then has all lines running down the screen.

    I have no idea what this could be, software error? virus? Hardware? Graphics card? RAM?
  2. THNDR143

    THNDR143 TS Member Posts: 43

    Graphics card

    Graphics card
  3. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Agreed, you might try taking it out and reseating it (of course after the power is off and the cord is unplugges, and you are properly grounded).

    If it is onboard graphics, then I'd suggest getting a new one (PCI, AGP, etc.). We can give you a good suggestion, if you give us more details about your PC setup.

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  4. jonnyx

    jonnyx TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the replies guys!

    I also suspect that it is the graphics card, because I can start up in Safe Mode. However even in safe mode I have several stripes down the desktop like so;


    These appear on the boot up (near bios stage) and on the desktop, but not in windows menus.

    I have now updated my system specs in my profile if it is any help.

    I have taken out & cleaned my graphics card but it hasnt improved anything. My motherboard doesnt have any onboard graphics, or a monitor output, so without the graphics card in I cant plug in the monitor to see if it made any difference.
    Im not sure what to try next, any ideas?
  5. neonjaguar

    neonjaguar TS Rookie

    Try this

    Now that you have cleaned the connections to your video card, you should unplug your system and pop out the bios battery. Remember that there's usualy a 30 second or so time limit before the bios will reset. Then put the battery back in and try stating it again.
  6. jonnyx

    jonnyx TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Nope, that hasnt worked either. If anything it is worse. It now give me a screen which I cant read coz it is all garbage, and then it takes me into the bios options, which I also cant read.

    Is there anything I can do other than buy a new graphics card? Also can I be sure that 100% it is the graphics card before I buy one. I dont want to end up with 2 working graphics cards and still have the same error.
  7. jonnyx

    jonnyx TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I want to backup some of my stuff off the HD but cant get past the bios screen because I cant read what it says.
    Why would it be taking me to the bios screen after resetting the battery?
    Maybe if I just need to set the system time I can figure out which option that is and then boot back in through safe mode.
  8. God Of Mana

    God Of Mana TechSpot Paladin Posts: 493

    OMG the grahics card got killed! Lemme guess...u waz playin a 3d support game when it crashed? -.-
  9. jonnyx

    jonnyx TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes i was, but only civ 4.

    How can I be sure it is the graphics card though and not the motherboard or RAM?
  10. resu

    resu TS Rookie Posts: 172

    with ram .. you would get a bsod as soon as you tried to run any program
    with mobo .. well if youve got visual problems then its gonna be 90% a gfx card problem rather than a mobo issue

    i guess it could be your pci-e/agp slot playing up but i doubt it

    the gfx card is relativly easy to replace where as with the mobo youll have to "fix" windows so you can install a new board as it doesnt support (as standard) another motherboard

    your best bet is to borrow a card from work or from a friend or another pc and give taht a try in your machine .. if that makes no difference then you have another problem .. which will most likely be the mobo

    good luck
  11. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    Ive seen those symptoms before, its a dying graphics card for sure. Your one and only option is to replace it unless you can diagnose the fault with an oscilloscope and logic probe.
  12. jonnyx

    jonnyx TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Thanks for all of your answers & replies.

    I am now confident about buying a new graphics card to solve the problem.

    Im thinking of getting a used one from ebay, no point in buying a new card when I might upgrade the whole system in the next year.

    Ill post here & say if a new card fixes it. Thanks again.
  13. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    Buy a used card from Ebay and you will be wasting your precious cash. Better go to a local PC shop and get a new cheapo grahics card. You always get a PCI card and then fit it to the new machine for a second monitor, perhaps?
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