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Video Problem with Windows XP


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#1
jt1990

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Ok, I'll start at the beginning...

Two weeks ago a guy brought in his grandson's computer. The machine kept shutting down at random. We thought that his GeForce 7900 graphics card might be maxing out the 300W PSU, so I put a new one in and it seemed to work fine.

Last week the guy brought the comp back in, said it was doing the same thing. Now, all my monitors are VGA monitors, so I had to use a DVI converter because all the ports on his 7900 card are DVI. I don't *think* that should have anything to do with the problem that came up, because it worked fine when the computer was in before. Now I can't even get the original card to give any video. The board has an onboard video, so I took out the card and plugged it in and it seemed to work fine.

I put a different PCI-e card in, and it gave video through the BIOS and Windows Loading screen, but when it came to Windows the monitor gave an input not supported error. Same thing in Safe Mode. Same thing with a PCI video card, and now the onboard video is giving the same error. My thought would be that the monitor went kaput, except I got the same error on a different monitor.

The computer is an HP Pavilion a1483w with an Asus ABN-LA mobo. It has an AMD Athlon chip and 2 GB DDR 400 RAM. I've tried replacing the RAM, and taking out the modem, but that hasn't helped anything. Does this model computer have a known problem like this??? Does ANYONE have ANY idea whats going on??? I really need to get this comp back to the owner since he's had it in already...
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#2
nigglesnush85

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Hello jt1990,

Are there any indications to support a software or operating system fault?
Try using a Linux Live CD, if it boots up and you can get to a desktop you are dealing with a windows problem.
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#3
jt1990

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Well, I'm *guessing* that it's probably a software issue, and the original video card is/was failing...maybe?? :) I really don't know.

Any idea where I can get a Linux Live CD? I don't believe I have any...
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#4
jt1990

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Ok... I booted to Linux, which ran fine, so I'm guessing that there's a corruption inside Windows. I talked with the owner, and he said that he thought his video card was failing before he sent it here, so I'm guessing that's why it hasn't given me any video with his original card. Is it possible that the dying card has caused all his problems? Like shutting down randomly, and now corrupting Windows so it wouldn't give any video?
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#5
jt1990

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Ran the recovery and the PC is working fine with the onboard video. Still need to test a card in it tho...
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#6
nigglesnush85

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If Linux could be viewed then it is a problem with windows. The graphics card could have played a problem with it, Do you know if the drivers were up to date and that the card was ventilated correctly?
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#7
jt1990

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Umm... I doubt the card was ventilated properly. It had a massive fan that was blowing directly at the bottom of the case. I would guess that it overheated and that messed stuff up.
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#8
nigglesnush85

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All the graphics cards I have messed with have always had the fan pointing to the bottom of the case. As long as the fan was not obstructed there shouldn't be a problem with ventilation.
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#9
jt1990

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Ok... I ran HP's diagnostic from the recovery partition, and it gave an HD521-2W error. Google tells me that this means the hdd is failing. I'm not sure how this fits into the whole problem. Maybe both the video card and the hdd are failing/have failed???
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#10
nigglesnush85

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How old is the system?
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#11
jt1990

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Um... about a year, year and a half... AMD Athlon 4200, 2GB RAM, Windows XP.
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#12
nigglesnush85

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Hmmm, that is strange, I have an old 80GB IDE HDD for 5 years now and it is still running like new. Can you perform a chkdsk on the hard drive?
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#13
jt1990

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I believe I did that already, and it "found and fixed some errors." I'm going to guess it didn't fix enough errors tho.

Heh. Well, you know what they say about hard drives? "It's not a matter of if it will fail, it's a matter of when it will fail."
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#14
nigglesnush85

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Thats true, I would perform another chkdsk just to see if there is anything left to recover. If you can get to the event viewer it might shed some light on whats been happening. If not I would start considering the possibility of a reformat and a clean install.
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#15
jt1990

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Catch is, we don't have recovery CD's, just a recovery partition, and we lose that when we put a new hdd in, unless there's away to transfer that partition over to the new drive???
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