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Old 07-12-2007, 01:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My crazy computer - help needed!

Hi Everyone! I am hoping somewhere out there can help me with the odd problems my computer is having.

To (hopefully) make a long story short, here's some background. I have a year-old Gateway computer that is under extended warranty at Bset Buy. (I know... you can make fun of me later!)

My computer has begun locking up on me for no apparent reason. When this happens, my monitor gets all garbled. No motion. Just static garbledness. This happens sometimes while in Windows, sometimes at bootup, sometimes in the BIOS settings. Wherever it wants! There's no rhyme or reason as far as I can tell. Sometimes it happens when I'm pushing the processor, but other times not a single thing is running.

Here are some pics of what I'm seeing on the monitor -- also included is a pic of my CPU temps at a lockup. Doesn't seem to be an overheating issue, right?

Computer - a photoset on Flickr

When it locks up, it's COMPLETELY locked up. I can't do a thing other than open and close my CD/DVD drives. I have to do a manual power shutdown. Sometimes, after powering up again, I can't even get a bootup screen to come up. Power's running through, CD/DVD drives are powered, but nothing else.

I've already brought it the Geek Squad like 5 times. First they tried to tell me my OS was corrupt and tried to charge me $130 to install Windows -- screw that! Finally, they shipped it away for a week and told me a new mobo was installed, which I'm starting to doubt.

But before I go back screaming and yelling, I would love a REAL expert opinion.

Any help is GREATLY appreciated -- and if more info is needed, just ask!

Thank you all!


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Old 07-12-2007, 01:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My crazy computer - help needed!

Video card would be my bet, seeing as that's what's responsible for rendering what you see on the screen. If it froze, hung, or turned off random it could be CPU or memory, but that's not what's going on here. Clearly it's not a PSU issue. If it's the motherboard, my guess would be the PCI/PCI-e/AGP slot which again, would fall into the "video card" category.

Tell Geek Squad to shove it, because this definitely is not an OS based issue. Here's a very obvious hint, if it's an XP issue, why is the screen garbled in BIOS - something totally separate from the OS altogether? That's what you should tell them. And by the way, if it's an OS issue, didn't your computer come with a Windows XP CD? Or at least a recovery CD? If you have a valid version of Windows on your comp their must be a way to recover it or reinstall it (though as I said, this isn't an OS issue, this is just for the sake of owning what's yours).

BTW what is your model number so maybe I can do some research and get back to you.

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Old 07-12-2007, 02:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My crazy computer - help needed!

Hey, thanks for the response! Per your comment, it does actually freeze and hang randomly. When the screen gets like that, the computer is 100% locked up. The video card is also on the actual motherboard and is not a separate card. (Which I do plan on getting soon.)

One thing I forgot to mention -- if this happens while in Windows, more often than not, I end up having some corrupt System32 files afterwards. Once I'm able to get the computer to boot again, it typically will do a chkdsk run and find a lot of errors. This initially made me think it was a bad HD, but I swapped drives and the same thing happened! Put them in a different computer and both were fine.

Computer is a Gateway GM5072. Thanks again for replying!!!
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Old 07-12-2007, 02:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My crazy computer - help needed!

Get an inexpensive video card and install it. See if the problem goes away and if it does, disable the onboard completely in the BIOS. If not you may have an unstable Windows install.
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Old 07-12-2007, 02:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My crazy computer - help needed!

Have you tried a different monitor? I experienced something like this with an old old monitor.
Good Luck

BTW, f... the geek squad

update: never mind, it's not the monitor. Definitely video issues. Get video card
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Old 07-12-2007, 03:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My crazy computer - help needed!

Theoretically though, if the video chip is on the mobo, and they claim to have replaced the mobo, that means the video chip should also have been replaced.

So that should either means one of two things -- it's not the video chip, or they never replaced the motherboard! Right?

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