Strange Characters/Artifacts and Horizontal Lines in BIOS, OS won't boot

By EternalWarrior ยท 4 replies
Dec 18, 2014
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  1. Hello all,

    My poor baby is getting old (built in 2009). Title pretty much sums up my problem. Been having sporadic BSOD, and application hang-ups that I associated with an old video card (PNY GTX 275). However, I was playing a video game last night on my primary monitor, while a movie was playing on my second monitor and the whole rig just froze up. There was an audible buzz similar to what I'd heard in the past at BSOD, but images just stayed frozen with the constant buzz. I had to do a forced reset, but when doing so was crushed when my BIOS posted with strange characters and horizontal lines (Pictures attached). Despite multiple reboots, system restore attempts, and startup repair attempts, I have had no luck getting into the OS, nor has f8 let me boot into safe mode (just offers to boot from floppy or RAID 5). The windows splash screen loads but then before the "login" screen appears it just resets to BIOS. I'm inclined to believe this is a dead video card scenario. If it is a hard drive situation then I'm wondering if there were multiple simultaneous failures. I have 3 Western Digital Black 500mb drives setup in a RAID 5 array to help protect from data loss on a drive failure. But shouldn't everything still boot even if one of the drives has failed? Also, could RAM failure cause this problem?

    In summation -

    OS: Windows 7 SP2
    Motherboard: ASUS P5Q Pro
    CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Overclocked to 3.02GHz
    GPU: PNY GTX 275
    Memory: 4x2GB G.Skill 1066 DDR2
    Storage: 3x Western Digital Black 500mb - RAID 5

    Problem: Strange Characters/Artifacts and Horizontal Lines in BIOS. Can't get into OS or Safe Mode

    Attempted so far: Multiple reboots. System Restore. Startup Repair

    Attached Files:

  2. EternalWarrior

    EternalWarrior TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 21

    I just got safe mode to work! (no idea what to check in here though....)

    After trying yet another startup repair I got another window with advanced system recovery options, including command prompt.

    From there I used:

    bcdedit /set {default} safeboot network

    Clicked restart and waited longer than usual, including an all black screen with white lines matching the pattern on "Second Screen" .jpg

    But I've gotten Safe Mode to boot! Any suggestions for reports to check in here?
  3. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Could be a power supply problem on this 2009 system
  4. EternalWarrior

    EternalWarrior TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Any particular way of narrowing things down to that? Other than the obvious of buying a new Power Supply and seeing if there is more success... ha.
  5. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Ha... no, not if this power supply was the original one installed in 2009!

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