Monitor Issues - anyone remember 'scrambled' cable tv?

By dasein ยท 5 replies
Jan 26, 2005
  1. no, i'm not trying to watch naughty movies on a computer that doesn't get cinemax. however, it sure looks like it... about a week ago when i started playing high heat 2004 (which i'd been playing for weeks beforehand on the exact same comp), after the opening screens and the intro movie finished, as
    soon as the game got to the 1st user selection menu, the image started pulling away from the sides of the monitor, like scrambled cable. it started out slow, just a couple of horizontal patches that didn't want to stay put, but by the end of the first inning the game was unplayable. i ended it, reloaded the game and it was even worse as soon as i got to that screen. what's more is that as i left the comp on overnight, i woke up and with no programs running, etc., (only 5 small progs installed on this comp, its destiny is to become a streaming media player now that i have a p4 775 cranking away in my aria rig) the screen had degraded and was doing the same thing as when i load the game, except the game wasn't on. when i close the game, the screen reverts as soon as the desktop comes up, but over time it seems like it just gets worse anyway, even if i don't start up the game from the time i log on to windows. eventually, the screen goes completely black, the happy green light becomes the worried orange light (my monitor signal indicator) and i begin crying.

    this is my comp:
    i'm running windows server 2003, tweaked in most places, and definitely in graphics, to workstation performance-level, with the latest catalyst drivers from ati, directx 9.0c, etc. the game worked perfectly before, as did much more 3d-intensive games like knights of the old republic.
    amd athlon xp 2000, stock everything
    asus a7v8x-mx
    512mb pc 2700
    ide00=wd 40gig
    ide10=liteon sohw 1633s dvd burner
    ide11=liteon sohd 167T dvd rom (cos for some reason my burner CANNOT read)
    xTasy radeon 9200se agp 8x
    d-link pci gigabit ethernet card
    soundblaster live 24bit pci card

    the main hardware note i will add is that this comp is networked to my other comp and ALSO the two share a KVM switch. this is an issue because the one thing i have not done extensively is test the video cable running from the kvm box to this computer, although lots of moving it around, unscrewing it, re-plugging it, etc., did not affect it or even slightly reduce/increase the quality of the image. the monitor DOES work fine when switched to my other comp, although i have not tested games on it. the kvm setup has been fine for at least 2 months now, and i thought if something was wrong with the cable, it would show up immediately, not degrade over a long period of time.

    i've tried everything from checking every available refresh rate to installing and testing every version of catalyst drivers since i think 4.2. for some reason though, it seems like a hardware issue, as the monitor works fine with the other unit, and that computer is likewise left on for long periods of time, with no video issues.

    well, i have only two possibilities right now i can think of:

    either the video cable going to the graphics card from the kvm switch is busted, or the video card is busted. i will switch the cables up tonight and see what happens to test the first scenario, and i left the comp on last night with the radeon card taken out (i have onboard graphics, but they're crappy and can't even run highheat which is pretty light on required 3d features) and will see what the monitor looks like tonight to test the second scenario.

    does anyone know what could be up with the computer? has anyone seen/heard about this sort of issue? i can't think of anything beyond the two above factors that could be causing this problem, but the fact that nothing has changed on my comp, no one has touched the kvm setup since it was put together, and the graphics card is only a couple of months old and is NEVER put under any appreciable load, lead me to wonder what else could possibly be going on that would be hardware specific to this computer, as a my other computer has a nearly identical software setup with a similar but faster hardware setup and works fine for weeks on end with intel onboard graphics (which won't however, play the game).

    thanks in advance for any advice!
  2. Dafriz

    Dafriz TS Rookie Posts: 25


    Actually i have encountered this problem b4..... but... lets make sure its the same scenario.

    Ok does it look all weird when playing any game and not just high heat.

    If it does then is it possible to find a game u can play in windowed mode.
    (A good game thats free would be continuum which u can find from "not which some of my friends thought that was wat it was and ended up in some porn site")

    Does the game play fine in windowed mode??

    If that is true its not the driver.. or the video card... im pretty sure it would be something wrong with the mobo which ironically was the problem after i found out when i put in a dif video card i had the same exact problem and i tried dif monitors too.
  3. dasein

    dasein TS Rookie Topic Starter


    thanks for the tips... i hope it's not an MB issue as it's been holding up well as my main rig for the better part of 3 years, but i suppose it is time to upgrade, not sure how it's gonna like serving mp3 on demand to a dozen or so users anyway...

    my results from today's experimentation:

    so, with the ati card out and the computer on all day i came home and checked and the image seems stable, which makes me think i can rule out the kvm cable as an issue, unless for some reason it just can't handle how much 'stuff' the card is trying to send. i can try replacing the cable and trying to play off the video card again, or i can try running something like kotor on the video card with the same cable (and/or after it's switched).

    unfortunately, the integrated chip on this board is pretty old and not too good by current mainstream comp standards, even for a light game like high heat. i can't test highheat because i immediate get an error message from the JIT compiler (pid is invalid) but i'm thinking - why is .net referencing the process id for this game??

    anyways, i will post more results later if i get anywhere... i have a feeling it might be the video card, possibly overheating, although i can't understand why as it's not under terrible strain, even with high heat, which when it worked never jumped or paused or had a single glitch even though lots of users in forums for the game have had numerous video issues. i suppose my fate was just waiting farther down the road...
  4. dasein

    dasein TS Rookie Topic Starter


    i just installed the video card again, stuck it in and again, the game was unplayable by the first out made in the demo which i just let play while i watched. when i went back to the desktop, same issues. starts out ok, degrading very slowly over time, especially bothered by some screens (control panel and nbs divx catalogue, for example), and i could notice the screen make those horizontal 'jumps' whenever i opened new windows. i rebooted windows, did not open high heat but instead tested the control panel and divx catalogue and the jumps were still there.

    it could be that this card is dead, it was just very sudden and there was no sign of it happening until just a couple nights ago, and now it's consistently awful. and the motherboard graphics are awful - this comp is supposed to serve games, music and movies over a small network, but i suppose it will have to be with another graphics card... which of course makes me think, might as well stick SLi in here or something, as the mb is outdated and the processor would be better suited in a light-load capacity as a domain controller box or some such...
  5. dasein

    dasein TS Rookie Topic Starter

    one other thing, i just took the card out and was giving it a good look see to find anything indicative of failure... there's nothing i can see, aside from removing the heat spreader... however, as i have plugged and unplugged the monitor cable countless times, i took off the vga header and will get a replacement tomorrow. maybe something came loose? wires got stretched? i'm not sure, but i know this is the only part of the card that may have been subject to any recent change or movement. i also slide my computer to the side of the desk when i clean it, and the kvm cable is pretty stiff and unforgiving when i try to push it... maybe that did something to the header... it's just weird that in windows mode it takes a while to start jumping, but as soon as i hit that menu on the game, i get the jumps instantly and the situation degrades within minutes, rather than hours. oh well. will install the continuum game as well as kotor or tony hawk or simpson hit & run (why are all these games 3 or 4 discs to install?!?!)... i'm troubleshooting cd burning issues on this comp so i need my monitor to work. onboard video here i come :\
  6. Dafriz

    Dafriz TS Rookie Posts: 25


    Well im sry i guess im not being of much help...

    Ill see what i can see about it... if i were u id get continuum then try the onboard video.. if the onboard video works it will prolly be the card if not..
    i would suggest getting a new motherboard.. and if thats the only thing thats wrong.. be happy motherboards are cheaper than buying a whole new computer.

    I'm working on trying to resolve some issues.. mainly bcuz some of the issues on these forums are ones my friends are having... so i guess im not really going out of the way to help except just posting what i did to solve em :)

    Goodluck on seeing at least wats wrong the mobo, or the card
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