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disappearing icons & bizarre graphics


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#1
steve.reid

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Dear Team,

I wonder if anyone can help with this very annoying problem. When I start up windows xp, 4 times out of 5 i get strange blue icons on the black screen before the windows logo appears. and then on the desktop many of the icons are either invisible or have invisible stripes across them. this is the same for icons on the program list and on the internet browser. when i use the dvd player or the cinergy tv card i often get coloured squares covering the display making them unwatchable.

I don't know if this is significant but if I change the color quality under display settings from 32 to 16 bit the screen is covered with a series of blue lines and dashes which makes things illegible. this is reversed by going back to 32 bit.

I've been through the malware process and one of the staff from the forum, Phil, suggested i post here as he thought it may be a graphics card issue.

Any helpful suggestions gratefully received

cheers, steve
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#2
makai

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Hello,

It does sound like a vid card problem... although it could also be a corrupted driver. What happens if you boot to safe mode? Is the display still messed up?

To boot to safe mode, restart the machine and before windows begins to load, continuously hit the F8 key. You will get the safe mode options list. Choose safe mode... and let the computer boot. If the display is ok, then it's probably a driver problem. If it's still bad, then more than likely it's hardware. It could also be that the vid card just needs to be reseated.
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#3
steve.reid

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thanks for that

here are the details of my desktop pc:
mesh matrix s3100plus
cpu: amd sempron processor 3100 1800MHz

Motherboard Name K8VSEDX
Motherboard Chipset VIA VT8383/5 Apollo K8T800(M), AMD Hammer
System Memory 512 MB (PC3200 DDR SDRAM)
BIOS Type AMI (08/03/04)
Communication Port Communications Port (COM1)
Communication Port Communications Port (COM2)

Display:
Video Adapter RADEON 9800 SERIES - Secondary (128 MB)
Video Adapter RADEON 9800 SERIES (128 MB)
3D Accelerator ATI Radeon 9800 SE (R350)
Monitor Plug and Play Monitor [NoDB] (P37044702142)

Multimedia:
Audio Adapter VIA AC'97 Enhanced Audio Controller

Storage:
Floppy Drive Floppy disk drive
Disk Drive Promise 1+0 Stripe/RAID0 SCSI Disk Device
Optical Drive SONY DVD RW DW-D22A
Optical Drive SONY DVD-ROM DDU1613
Optical Drive VOBID InstantDrive CD SCSI CdRom Device

Partitions:
C: (NTFS) 151825 MB (95961 MB free)

Input:
Keyboard HID Keyboard Device
Mouse HID-compliant mouse

Network:
Primary IP Address 192.168.0.3
Primary MAC Address 00-11-2F-60-A9-E5
Network Adapter Marvell Yukon 88E8001/8003/8010 PCI Gigabit Ethernet Controller (192.168.0.3)
Modem Softk56 Data Fax Voice Speakerphone CARP

Peripherals:
Printer Fax
Printer hp deskjet 5100 series
Printer Microsoft Office Document Image Writer
USB Device USB Composite Device
USB Device USB Human Interface Device
USB Device USB Human Interface Device
USB Device USB Printing Support

I tried to reboot in safe mode but when I pressed the f8 button I got 4 choices:
reboot from here:
1st floppy drive
sm-sony dvdrom
ss-sonydvd rw
ft tx aryl

....and no safe mode option. is this abnormal?

cheers, steve reid
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#4
makai

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I tried to reboot in safe mode but when I pressed the f8 button I got 4 choices:
reboot from here:
1st floppy drive
sm-sony dvdrom
ss-sonydvd rw
ft tx aryl

This is not the menu we're looking for. Please try it again. You must continually hit the F8 key before Windows begins to boot up. The safe mode options screen should look like this...


[attachment=12764:attachment]

If it still doesn't work, check the bios to make sure the Hard drive is the first boot device. To get into bios, continually hit the delete key right after you start the machine. Look for and entry in the bios which allows you to change the boot order and move the Hard drive to the top of the list. You can save and exit the bios by hitting the F10 key and confirming yes. Your machine will restart and you can try again to get to the advanced options menu.
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#5
steve.reid

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hi ,
i went to the bios screen, but found that the only options listed for booting were the floppy disk, dvdroms, and the "FT TX Ary1". Could that be the hard drive as nothing else is listed?

thanks again, steve
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#6
makai

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Your machine is set up in a Raid configuration. Yes, the FT TX Ary1 option is the Raid Array (hard drive).
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#7
steve.reid

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got there at last

on safe option, the display seems OK.

I've also noticed that at the Welcome screen my user account is no longer displayed and the startuup just jumps to the desktop without waiting for a click.

cheers
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#8
makai

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I've also noticed that at the Welcome screen my user account is no longer displayed and the startuup just jumps to the desktop without waiting for a click.

I'm a bit confused as to whether you're referring to Safe mode boot up or Normal boot up.

In any case, that doesn't matter. At least now we can almost be assured it's a vid driver problem. Do you have the original ATI Driver disc? I would recommend using the original drivers rather than any updated drivers you can download from the net.

If you have the disc, go into Control panel>Add/Remove Programs and uninstall the ATI Display driver, then restart your machine. Windows should prompt you to reinstall the driver or, it may find the driver folder ATI created when it uncompressed and reinstall it automatically.

Hopefully, this will cure your problems... my fingers are crossed! :whistling:

Edited by makai, 23 January 2007 - 11:47 PM.

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#9
steve.reid

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hi,

unfortunately, things have gone from bad to worse. i re-installed the ati drivers. the fuzzy icons remain as before, but now i have a new problem with the graphics, which seem to have slowed right down. trying to move a window around the screen seems to have a lag, and scrolling up a page is real slow with a kind of drift effect.
i also have a cinergy tv card which is now not working at all.
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#10
makai

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You are probably having a driver conflict between the TV card and the ATI. I didn't see the TV card listed in your specs.

What you might try is disabling the TV card in Device manager, restart your machine and see what happens. I can't say for sure that it'll do anything, but it's worth a try.

You may end up having to pull the TV card out completely and uninstalling the drivers, just to troubleshoot this display problem. A lot of work, but it might be the only way to go.
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#11
steve.reid

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the tv card is an external one - plugged in via a usb socket, so disabling it isn't a problem. i don't understand why my graphics have slowed up though

cheers, steve
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#12
makai

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i don't understand why my graphics have slowed up though

I have no idea why this would happen.

You just happen to have the same vid card I'm running (ATI 9800). From you initial description, it would seem the card actually has gone bad. However, I wanted to try safe mode to see what the screen looked like because safe mode only uses the generic windows drivers. After you were able to get to safe mode and the screen looked good, I thought it must be just a driver problem. This could still be the case.

However, it is possible that the card is actually bad, but... what I would do before replacing it, is to pull the card out and clean the connector using an eraser. Oxidation can build up on the contacts and cause poor contact with the motherboard. I would also check to make sure the fan on the vid card is spinning rapidly and hasn't slowed down.

There are really only a few things that can cause your problem. However, it could also be that your Power supply is waning and is not supplying a clean 12v to the vid card. I really don't want to think its a power supply problem!

I would really start all over by uninstalling any vid type driver... including your TV card drivers. I would then pull the card, clean the contacts and reseat it... be sure to touch the computer case (bare metal) to discharge any static electricity before you touch anywhere inside the computer... and please be sure to pull the AC plug! I would then restart the machine and reinstall the ATI drivers from scratch.

By the way... when you reinstalled the ATI drivers, did you have to supply the disc, or did windows automatically install the drivers for you?

I don't know where you're located, but if it were Southern Cal, I would be heading over to your house with my vid card right about now!

Edited by makai, 24 January 2007 - 04:14 PM.

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