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Old 11-02-2009, 11:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 119
Default Help me solve a hardware mystery please

Hi everyone, thanks in advance for any help in solving this mystery. Haven't been able to use my PC in a month and it's really got me down I'll lay out the basic history for starters, if there is any more information I should supply I would be glad to do so.

1- Went away for about 6 months (basic training and tech school for Air Force) stored my computer unplugged in a safe place. Was working fine when I left.

2- Got back and ordered a new solid state hard drive and install windows vista on it, previously i had been using xp on a regular drive. after a few short days I started getting massive artifacting in vista. (680i mobo and 8800gtx video card). Figured since it was artifacting it was probably the video card so I ordered a new one.

3- New card arrives, GTX 260 nvidia, works fine for a day or so then the artifacting returns even in bios now. now i heard that there was a bad batch of 260's out there (memory issues) so i thought maybe i got a DOA.

4- Trying to work out the details of the RMA when all of a sudden my keyboard stops working on my PC even in bios but it works fine on my laptop. now it looks like the motherboard.

5- RMA motherboard, new one arrives, pop all the hardware back in and the 260. more artifacting.

6- Put old 8800 gtx back in thinking maybe it was fine in the first place and just the motherboard was guilty. works fine... for a day... then more artifacting even in bios. There was one thing tho now that I think about it. I got a weird error message just before everything went wrong again. Actually it also happened right before everything messed up the first time too. The screen started flickering and then I got a yellow caution sign on the taskbar that said something like "nvidia driver something has recovered from a serious error." It was shortly after this that everything went to **** and I got artifacting again. However I don't believe this is a drivers issue because I am getting just as much artifacting in bios before windows even loads. Maybe the video card dying caused a driver error?

So as it stands now I RMA'd the 260 back. I have a (supposedly) brand new motherboard and a maybe dead 8800gtx. I really don't know what to think now. Other details:

I run off a battery backup with surge protection 100% of the time. Voltages off my PSU are spot on 11.99V, 5.04V, 3.25V, 1.91V for memory (1.90 is specs), and vcore is 1.07V which i think is fine. It's a 700Watt supply with both PCI-e power cables going to card. Card is seated firmly with nothing touching it to short it out. System is well cooled. I can currenly run vista in safe and normal mode, but both have massive artifacting.

Possible theories...
Motherboard exploded and took my 8800gtx with it? New video card was a dud also? There was a bad batch out supposedly...
Power supply bad? Wouldn't my voltages be out of whack?
I got TWO bad motherboards? Doubt it...

If you have any ideas please let me know I'm getting pretty desperate here Anything I should look for? Anything at all no matter how crazy it is I'll check it out. Please help.

buckman341 is offline  
Old 11-05-2009, 09:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: WV
Posts: 15
Default Re: Help me solve a hardware mystery please

Well from what you have said it seems all this started when you installed the new HD. If you have the old one try putting it back in and see if that solves it. Not sure how it would but that seems to be the only thing you havn't tried.
RSinger is offline  
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