Corrupt Screen - Post / Bios

Grimspoon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 19, 2006
Messages
433
Last night I had a nasty computer crash (comp in signature) while playing L4D. I was OC'd to 3.8GHz, so immediately I went to bios to reset my settings to default.

During the process I noticed garbage on my screen during post, and when I got into bios and was seeing random characters / garbage all over the screen.

I don't know what to make of this.

Another bit of info that might hint at what's going on; the previous night I was also playing L4D, and while my system didn't crash, my video card was getting extremely hot. I normally keep my 4870x2's fan speed at 45% while in game, but this wasn't enough and and my card automatically increased it's fan speed on it's own to compensate.

I checked my temps and while my first GPU was showing normal-high temps, under 100C, the MemIO sensor (through Everest) was registering at 145C!

I immediately cranked my fan to 100% - but kept playing.

One other note, I'm using a modded bios.

Please help me figure out what to do.
 
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Grimspoon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 19, 2006
Messages
433
You think it's my video card? It's an HIS 4870x2, I bought it in Nov 2008, so if this is the case I'm still within warranty I believe. Going to have to hustle though...

Still open to suggestions as to what might be happening here.
 
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Grimspoon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 19, 2006
Messages
433
I've decided to include some screenshots of what it is exactly that I'm seeing:

When I enter bios, all is well:

1.jpg


However, after a few minutes in bios this happens:

2.jpg


3.jpg


I'm not sure if this is a video card issue or not. Please advise!
 

gimp

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
10,470
You think it's my video card? It's an HIS 4870x2, I bought it in Nov 2008, so if this is the case I'm still within warranty I believe. Going to have to hustle though...

Still open to suggestions as to what might be happening here.

I'm 90% positive the video card was the issue when I saw it happen. But there's that 10% chance it was something else.

does anything funky happen once you get into the OS? Or does it happen at any other screen, other than the BIOS?
 

Grimspoon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 19, 2006
Messages
433
On the rare occasion I get strange "things" on my screen at post, but mostly it's in bios. I'll go into bios and after about 2-3 mins, the screen will change to what you see in the pictures above.

Since I posted earlier today I've went back to a official bios from Gigabyte, and while I was flashing it the screen turned into that ascii garbage. The flash was successful, but the official bios did nothing to help my situation.

Once I'm in Windows everything seems perfect. No artifacts on desktop, and nothing in game either. I've spent about 2-3 hours playing both L4D and CSS earlier this evening and didn't experience any graphical anomalies or any crash to desktop / blue screen.

I think maybe, ascii is the text-only equivalent (such as in bios / post) of video card failure? Either it's that or mobo / ram, because I've already ruled out bios.

Still, any other suggestions, input would be GREATLY appreciated!!!
 

Kdot

Weaksauce
Joined
Oct 11, 2009
Messages
83
Based on the fact that you are seeing random ascii characters rather than artifacts like dots and lines I would have to advise you to flash your BIOS and see if it fixes it.

You can always verify whether it is your card by trying the card in another computer; (I'm sure you at least have friends that would let you do this if you don't have another system with PCI-e) however it seems to me that this is a BIOS problem, not a video card problem.

If you boot into windows/w.e you are running do you see any artifacting? If you can still play games without dots, lines, or patterns going all over your screen your video card is probably fine.
 

Grimspoon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 19, 2006
Messages
433
I flashed to a normal Gigabyte bios earlier this evening, still had the ascii in bios.

On 3 different occasions since yesterday I've had garbage show up in post, both when I have full screen logo show enabled and also while disabled. In both instances, the screen shows little green dots in the text (no logo) such as when its looking for HDDs and showing me my CPU speed.

When it happened while I had full screen logo enabled at post, it was similar, dots throughout the screen.

In bios it's just simply shows up as misc ascii where normal text should be.

Everything in Windows is fine though; both desktop and in game.

Unfortunately this is my only computer - aside from a laptop.
 

Kdot

Weaksauce
Joined
Oct 11, 2009
Messages
83
Hmm, that is very strange. If theres no problems in windows I would still maintain that your card is fine, but something is definitely wrong elsewhere. I'm afraid this is beyond me.
 

Grimspoon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 19, 2006
Messages
433
This one ws hard to capture, but maybe it'll give an idea.

This the the anomaly I've been seeing less frequently at post; green dots in and around the text showing on screen:

dots.jpg


I've now noticed, and it has happened more than twice now, that if I see this anomaly after seeing the ascii in bios, my computer will BSOD while loading windows.

If I don't see em, or if ionly see ASCII and try to load windows, it'll happen normally.

I've also noticed now that sometimes if i try to save bios settings while I have the ascii on screen, my computer will hang after I save and exit.

I'm really starting to worry about this.
 

Grimspoon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 19, 2006
Messages
433
Ran Memtest86+ for ~9 hours last night, 6 passes - no errors.

Although when I booted from the Memtest86+ CD I did notice some of the ascii characters that show up in bios were also appearing during Memtest.

So far I think I've ruled out the modded bios I'm using and memory. I think that just leaves video card or motherboard...

memtest.jpg
 
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Grimspoon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 19, 2006
Messages
433
an ancient post from elsewhere, but could be helpful none-the-less

http://www.howtofixcomputers.com/bb/sutra28324.html

Another piece of the puzzle, thanks!

With bios + ram ruled out, I'm inclined to believe it is the video card. Looks like it's time to initiate RMA process.

Edit: Computer just froze after ~45 mins of CSS.

Edit 2: CSS froze again after restarting. On a whim I decided to switch my video card from the first PCI-E slot to the second, and immediately after starting up I was seeing the dots on my post screen and ascii in my bios setup screen.
 
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Grimspoon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 19, 2006
Messages
433
I went to Best Buy earlier today and grabbed a Radeon 4850, swapped out the cards - problem solved. No more ascii in bios or dots on post.

I guess I'm calling this one solved.

Now to try to get HIS to honor their warranty.
 
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