Does this look like a video card issue?

TSx

Gawd
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
647
I've had this type of artifact happen half a dozen times in the past couple months, generally from installing windows updates and having to restart the computer.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/28903/artifact.jpg

The last time I had something like this happen, it was a video card issue, but this seems a bit more awkward. This time it was after doing standard windows updates, not checking or unchecking any of the defaults, then restarting. I have to power the comp down and let it come back up, then half the time do a system restore to get back to windows.

I don't know if somehow the drivers are being corrupted by windows update files or if something just isn't working as it should be.

The computer in question:

- Intel Core i7 I7-870 2.93 GHz Processor BX80605I7870
- Corsair TW3X4G1333C9A XMS3 4 GB Memory Kit PC3-10666 1333mhz 240-pin Dual Channel DDR3
- GIGABYTE GA-P55-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
- MSI N470GTX-M2D12-B GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
- Kingston SSDNow 64GB SSD (boot, Windows 7)
- IBM 80GB IDE HD (OS backup, windows XP)
- Samsung HD103SJ 1TB SATA HD
- ASUS VH236H Black 23" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 20000 :1 (ASCR)
- OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ700MXSP 700W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V PFC Power Supply
- LITE-ON 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 2MB Cache SATA DVD Writer
- Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Case

Thanks for any input!
 

Matrices

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 5, 2003
Messages
5,256
Is the BIOS also graphically corrupted? Can you boot into safe mode normally? What happens when you undo the updates through Restore?

I'm not optimistic, but on the other hand, if you're *consistently* able to make your system usable by using Restore and going "back in time", it's probably a software issue.
 

TSx

Gawd
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
647
After a few days of downtime trying to figure it out here and there without getting too frustrated, I literally have no idea why it's doing it. I am currently on said computer after a hard restart (pressing reset button on the case) after a lockup after a windows update. This time it loaded in just fine with no issues.

Half the time the restart after windows update locked it, I'd have to hit reset, and it would do it again. I'd then have to boot to safe mode and initiate a system restore, back it up a day, and sometimes it would still artifact on boot. Most of the time it got into windows, but after installing some/all updates, it would do it again. I tried narrowing the update down but every other time installing updates, some would error (with completely useless error messages) and the following time succeed without issue. I could fail an update then try it again 10 seconds later and it would work fine.

Since the last restart I'm running over a day uptime and have loaded games, played World of Warcraft for a 5-6 hour stint, run Photoshop with iTunes and multiple Firefox windows open, nothing seems to affect it once it's running. I am able to maintain 10-15 days of uptime consistently, only restarting when necessary or when things begin to feel bogged down.

I don't have another video card to try unfortunately, or any spare parts that would fit this machine.
 

woodscomp

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 10, 2010
Messages
268
If you can play a game for 5-6 hours at a time and the system can go days without this happening I would start with a few basic things.

1. Check and recheck your monitor cable. Make sure it is seated properly and if you are using any DVI adapters to the PC I would try to go without them or at least make sure they are plugged in all the way and secured by the screws into the video card.
2. Make sure your monitor's power plug is in all the way, not just barely making contact.

Lastly if that does not clear this up I would remove your current drivers and freshly install them directly from Nvidia.

When a video card goes bad you will not be playing 5-6 hours of any graphically challenging game. And it would be highly unlikely that you could go days and days just running the desktop without issue.
I put my money on the cables, at some point whether there is a loose one or a bad cable.
 

qbanb8582

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
2,063
After a few days of downtime trying to figure it out here and there without getting too frustrated, I literally have no idea why it's doing it. I am currently on said computer after a hard restart (pressing reset button on the case) after a lockup after a windows update. This time it loaded in just fine with no issues.

Half the time the restart after windows update locked it, I'd have to hit reset, and it would do it again. I'd then have to boot to safe mode and initiate a system restore, back it up a day, and sometimes it would still artifact on boot. Most of the time it got into windows, but after installing some/all updates, it would do it again. I tried narrowing the update down but every other time installing updates, some would error (with completely useless error messages) and the following time succeed without issue. I could fail an update then try it again 10 seconds later and it would work fine.

Since the last restart I'm running over a day uptime and have loaded games, played World of Warcraft for a 5-6 hour stint, run Photoshop with iTunes and multiple Firefox windows open, nothing seems to affect it once it's running. I am able to maintain 10-15 days of uptime consistently, only restarting when necessary or when things begin to feel bogged down.

I don't have another video card to try unfortunately, or any spare parts that would fit this machine.

World of Warcraft isn't too demanding on the GPU. Try running unigine heaven its a free app. This will really stress your GPU, if theres a problem with your GPU I would expect it to show symptoms within 10-15 minutes of running maybe sooner. If you can run this for a while I would think you can rule out its the video card.

Next try using different PCI-e connectors to see if it changes anything. Also try molex to PCI-e adapters if you have them.

Check you power management settings in your bios. Update to the latest BIOS and see if it helps.

If you're motherboard has two PCI-e x16 slots move the card to the other slot and see if the problem continues.
 

Lord_Exodia

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Sep 29, 2005
Messages
7,008
Yes that would point to a videocard problem. Double check by using another card.
 

Messerschmitt

Weaksauce
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
76
First thing to do is like other said try another card and see if the issue still persists. If it is, then change to another slot, if you have 1.
 

woodscomp

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 10, 2010
Messages
268
As a system builder for the past 15 years I reiterate the need to double check your cables. For some it is easy to cross reference with a second video card. For everyone else that does not have a spare card laying around it is not. Start simple, and cheap. You have had this setup for some time, you said in your post that this has just started to come up in the past couple of months and it is sporadic. If the cables are not the culprit I would call MSI and have them trouble shoot it with you. They are a very good company and should handle your issues under warranty if there is warranty left. If not they will still help you out and offer solutions cheaper than you having to go out and buy another card at retail.
 
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