Summary: My PC is choking on my graphics card. Loud fans and no booting. It was fine for almost 2 years with one, then I got a replacement one on RMA and it freaked, and now I have another from RMA and it's doing more or less the same thing.
It all starts a few months ago (I’ll try not to ramble too much!) when I had an overheating issue so I sent the card in for RMA replacement. I got a prompt replacement from BFG. Then I started to get this odd issue. It was intermittent at first - sometimes I’d get graphics distortion on the screen and an odd clicking noise inside the case and would have to reboot, but eventually it started to happen more constantly.
A friend said it was probably the card, so I RMAed *again* and got my current card. This one did the graphics distortion thing the first time I powered it, but then worked fine for a few weeks (go figure). Then all of a sudden the graphics distortion happened again (no clicking in the case this time), I rebooted and got loud fans and nothing on screen. But then I would try again a couple more times and it would boot, but then distort again. The space between booting and the problem slowly got more contracted (always following the pattern: distortion, reboot, loud fans. Then about 2 failed boots with loud fans then it would boot okay, then distort, etc etc), until it got to the point where I couldn’t ever boot, I just got the loud fans and nothing on screen. They were literally about 3-4x louder than usual. There was no beep code.
I figured this was probably a POST issue anyway, so I followed the steps in the POST guide on this website. I got as far as step 1. When I remove the graphics card the computer sounds as though it’s booting up normally (the fans sound normal). I can’t tell absolutely for sure as I don’t have an on-board graphics chip (and no spare PCI-E card) so I can’t get anything on screen. All I know is when I put the card back in it goes nuts again.
So I was wondering… what should I do? Chances are if I get another card it will just happen again I would have thought, it's already happened with two. It isn't the same card - I checked the serial numbers to be sure.
Thanks for reading, any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
Oh, and I have carefully sucked most of the dust out of the case with a mini hoover before you ask.