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Old 11-09-2005, 08:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello all, this is my first post but I'm a long time lurker here at slyck. Unfortuantly my first post is a cry out for help. Saturday afternoon I came home to find my computer acting a bit crazy. The screen was flickering and if you moved the mouse then it what shut off as if it were going into standby mode only to come right back on. I tried to restart it but once it got to the windows log in screen it would stall and then restart again and this process would continue until finally it came on - only for the screen flicker problem to arise again. The only thing that I have added to the computer hardware wise is a new SATA 100 gb HD, but that was back in mid October and everything worked fine until now. Also recently (as in a couple of months back) I have noticed that the fans in the computer (either the cpu fan or the PSU fan) have been noticeable louder than usual whenever I am doing things like downloading music or if I have my news server reader up and running. The first thing I did was to unplugged the new drive to see what would happen and when I did then computer wouldn't even make it past the windows loading screen. I posted this problem on another message board on the net and the majority of the people there said it sounds like a PSU problem. So sure enough I used to some calculator thing on the net and added up how much wattage I was using and how much it is rated for and I was over (By the way this is a Dell 8300 P4 3ghz 1gb ram and the PSU was 305watts). I ordered a new power supply which arrived today and installed it and sure enough it didn't work. However I was able to boot windows into safe mode but nothing else. I then thought maybe it was a software problem and I thought maybe the video card driver or something since the screen was flickering (and I have updated the driver but that was back in August) so I rolled the driver back to the one that was on the machine when I got it (also this computer is not even 2 years old yet). Does anyone here have any suggestions/thoughts. Could this be something in windows
(i.e. a reinstall of windows is in order) or is something else wrong, like the motherboard or cpu or both (since I was using an inadequate PSU some people have said that it could have caused damage to those other things). Sorry for the long post - but please help!
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Old 11-09-2005, 09:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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After you put in the new PSU did the noise stop or do you still have it.Can you go into bios and check your temp. I read alot of reviews on this PC and alot of people clame that it runs real hot.
I would take the side off and run it to pinpoint the noise. Also you could try a system restore.
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Old 11-09-2005, 09:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Check the temperatures in the BIOS for one. Is this flickering appearing only in windows? or during the boot up too?

If it's only in windows it's probably driver related, you can try completely unistalling the drivers and putting new ones on, or maybe reformat but refrain from reformatting untill you know forsure you have to.

Lastly I dont want to sound like an ***, but paragraphs are your friend man. Reading huge blocks of text is hard.
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Old 11-09-2005, 09:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sorry for the huge block of text.

After I put the new PSU in I really can't tell a big difference in the noise level of the fans, but that doesn't mean anything because I can't do much of anything in Safe mode of windows that would cause the fans to get louder. The power supply fan is louder but I read that the one I bought tends to be a bit louder than average.

No the screen only flickered when it was in windows. Doesn't do it while the computer is booting up and it doesn't flicker while in Safe Mode. I did roll back the driver to the one that was on the computer when I first bought it, as I had updated it - but that did nothing. So maybe completely uninstalling the driver and reinstalling it may work

Also, I just ran a graphics adapter advanced diagnostic test which came on some cd with my computer and it said that the test failed. So maybe this is a graphics card problem. Any other thoughts out there?

Thanks
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Old 11-09-2005, 09:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you have a spare computer or spare Graphics card which I doubt you do, you can swap some parts to see if it is GC. But otherwise Id save up for a new video card because when a card can't pass a test its probably bad, But you may also when to update the drivers or reinstall the old ones.
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Old 11-09-2005, 09:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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No we do have several spare computers.

After I redo the drivers I'm going to take the old graphics card out of the other computer and see what happens. Hopefully this is it.

But, would a bad/failing graphics card cause all these problems?
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Old 11-09-2005, 09:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If its only flickering in non safe mode windows then it probably is driver related. Go to ATI or NVIDIA and get the latest drivers for your video card (dont know what card you have? type dxdiag in the start > run prompt, this works as long as you have direct x on which you probably do).

Even though it failed some test I still wouldnt say your forsure screwed the test might be usless and old if it came with your computer. Try uninstalling the driver COMPLETELY, which can be hard sometimes but if you can do that and put on the new ones then you will save yourself cash if it works.

-Edit, also if this your computer only or is it possible a family member did something where they didnt know what they were doing and changed the graphical settings?
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Old 11-09-2005, 09:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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No this is only my computer so nothing should be screwed up on it.

As far as completely uninstalling the driver, what steps should I take to ensure that it is completely uninstalled?
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Old 11-09-2005, 10:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Well I completely uninstalled the graphics driver and was able to boot into windows like normal, however the screen still flickered somewhat, not as much as it was however.

I then restarted the computer just to see what would happen, and then once again right after the windows logon screen, it froze and went to a black screen. It's not restarting itself - just nothing on the screen, completely black. The cdrom drives are still spinning up and you can still here the fans on in the computer.. so hmm... its starting to seem more and more like a graphics card problem.

Is this the signs that the card is going bad or what? I'm going to try to install whatever new version is out there for my card, which by the way is a Nvidia Geforce 5200.
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Old 11-09-2005, 10:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Installed the newest set of Nvidia display drivers and nothing. Computer will only boot up into safe mode or if I go into device manager and uninstall the nvidia display drivers then restart and the computer will restart fine as normal.

However, I noticed that when it restarts normally, the nvidia display drivers which I deleted somehow magically reappear and thats when the screen begins to flicker, slightly, again. Then when you go to restart, back to the same problem - the black screen... hmm

is it the graphics card and a driver problem?
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