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computer goes to strange screen, has to be unplugged


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#1
Clinty

Clinty

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This has been a reoccurring problem for me recently. The computer I'm having issues with is quite old (i bought it new in 1998). After three or four minutes of normal computing the screen flashes, and brings up a screen that is usually a bright green or off white with some lines in it. Most often there is also a small square of black or white in a random position on the screen as well. Once this screen comes up the power button will not work, ctrl+alt+del obviously wont work, and the only way to turn the computer off is to unplug it. It's seemingly a fairly serious problem but usually a fresh reformat and reinstall of windows will take care of it for up to a year or more. However, I just reformatted my computer a few days ago and already the problem is back. Any help or an explaination of the problem is appreciated. (I'm pretty close to being able to junk it, but it still works for basic computing tasks and if I could keep it up and running i would like to do so.)

EDIT: It's a Dell, Windows 98, Pentium III 500Mhz, 512 mb ram(i dont know why it has so much)

Edited by Clinty, 23 July 2007 - 08:13 PM.

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#2
Tyger

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CPU, Video adapter, power supply or motherboard. If it has a PCI or AGP video card, one that plugs into the motherboard, you might substitute another one. Also you CPU could be overheating, make sure any fan is working, or your power supply. You can get CPUs up to 850mhz for that. If it's the motherboard or power I'd say completely forget about it. You can get new, much faster machines for a few hundred now, might be time for a new one.
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#3
Clinty

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The problem was a fairly easy solution. I took the computer apart to check the fans and it was completely covered in dust. I took it out to the garage and blew the dust out, checked the fans and they were working fine, and plugged it back in. Usually the problem happens within 5-10 minutes after i start the computer and mess around on it. I've been on it for more than a couple hours now and haven't had a problem. Thanks for your help and inspiring me to open up the box. I'll probably clean this baby a little more routinely from now on.
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