Graphics card malfunction causing BIOS spelling errors?!

MoreDents

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
294
Ok, so here's the story:

1) I have owned my EVGA 8800GT for 2 years

2) 2 weeks ago, I wake up and turn on my computer to find my video card stopped working. I get these weird spelling errors when I go into BIOS and the res is 640 x 480 in 16 bit color

3) Got a 250GTS from the office and it kinda works on my computer so now I can confirm its the defected 8800GT and not my mobo. So I RMA my 8800GT!

4) Received new 8800GT from EVGA. Insert and it works! I set the res to 1920x1080 and works great, but then a minute later, the card stops working!! :confused: The same weird error from my first card is back!

5) Hardforum time............ :cool:


I attached a nice compilation of screenshots to show you the weird spelling errors in BIOS
Has anyone else ever seen these spelling errors in their BIOS? It's quite bizarre...


I cleared my CMOS (jumper), even removed the CMOS battery overnight, and used another start up driver, even rolled back the 8800GT driver, updated new ones, etc etc....but to no avail. The same weirdness is happening.

Any help? Computer specs in sig is the same setup here ;) Thanks!
hmm.jpg
 
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MoreDents

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
294
It was fucked, then I installed the new 8800GT and everything worked great. Until I set the res to 1920 x 1080....then it reverted back to that weirdness as you can see in the screenshots posted...

So I believe there is still hope.
 

Kaitian

Supreme [H]ardness
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Aug 12, 2008
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You don't happen to have another motherboard that you can test your card on perhaps?
 

Ocellaris

Fully [H]
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It was fucked, then I installed the new 8800GT and everything worked great. Until I set the res to 1920 x 1080....then it reverted back to that weirdness as you can see in the screenshots posted...

So I believe there is still hope.

Unplug the computer from the wall, pull the cmos battery, wait 15 minutes, put the battery backup in, plug in the pc and see if the bios is still messed up (boot right into the BIOS). If the text is messed up after that, your board is very likely bad and you need a new one.

I get that you had a 250GTS work, however with failures like this, different combinations of hardware will often give different results due to memory address ranges.
 
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Acer_Sheep

[H]ard|Gawd
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May 18, 2007
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I think it's failure of memory controller in mainboard. Information are correctly stored but they are not correctly interpreted in video memory, probably the reason why your card crashed and you keep seeing these errors. Otherwise I first time see something like this and it looks very drastical to have these spelling errors.
 

MoreDents

Limp Gawd
Joined
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Messages
294
Unplug the computer from the wall, pull the cmos battery, wait 15 minutes, put the battery backup in, plug in the pc and see if the bios is still messed up (boot right into the BIOS). If the text is messed up after that, your board is very likely bad and you need a new one.

I get that you had a 250GTS work, however with failures like this, different combinations of hardware will often give different results due to memory address ranges.
I pulled the CMOS battery out for an entire night, with the computer unplugged as well. I also pulled out the CMOS jumper (there's no 3rd pin tho. Just 2)
You don't happen to have another motherboard that you can test your card on perhaps?
Don't have another mobo I'm pretty sure it's not the video card problem because my BRAND new 8800GT succumbed in under 2 minutes....

I think it's failure of memory controller in mainboard. Information are correctly stored but they are not correctly interpreted in video memory, probably the reason why your card crashed and you keep seeing these errors. Otherwise I first time see something like this and it looks very drastical to have these spelling errors.
Hmm, I see. So no number of flashing or resets of the motherboard can fix this?
 

Acer_Sheep

[H]ard|Gawd
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If you didnt re-flash BIOS yet try it. I see it as hardware failure that cant be fixed actually. But for sure it is worth of trying but be careful because you might have changed graphics in flash utility either.
 

Lorien

Supreme [H]ardness
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Aug 19, 2004
Messages
5,197
What a surprise, another bumpgate card dying...
I'd be very suspect of the advice from people who tell you otherwise, specially those blaming the motherboard :rolleyes:
Making the assumption that it's not the video card because a "new" one died is misguided. 8800GT's have not been manufactured for nearly 2 years. Did it ever occur to you that they sent you a used card someone else returned?. How do YOU know it's brand new? Anyone can clean a card and use new packaging materials. Go read the video card baked in oven thread http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1421792 to see how many people with 8800GT's and other Nvidia cards of that generation fixed theirs.

For those still doubting, here is a video of another 8800 with the same type of artifacts as your card, including the same gradient mess at the windows login screen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hf3yMzmgT90
 
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socK

Supreme [H]ardness
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Jan 25, 2004
Messages
4,215
I'd try the glorious bake first, spelling errors / gibberish is plausible enough for the GPU hardware to botch. I'm guessing it loads the character sheet into video memory and your fucked up hardware somehow manages to screw that up.
 

Falkentyne

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 19, 2000
Messages
1,822
Two cards causing an identical problem is NOT a video card problem.

To the OP:
Do the following:

Turn off the computer, remove the connectors from the computer, remove the motherboard from the case.

Give ALL of the slots and especially the RAM and PCIE slots a GOOD and THOROUGH dustcleaning blast of compressed air. If you don't have any, you could try blowing directly into the slots, but you had better make very sure you don't get it wet, and let it sit for awhile just in case.

Give everything else a thorough cleaning as well.

Reinsert everything and power on and use the computer.

Is it fixed?

If NOT, then there are two possible issues:
1) dying power supply/PCIE cable issue
2) motherboard dying.

Don't listen to the other trolls. Unless you got the EXACT Same card back that you sent (meaning they simply cleaned and shined it out and made you think it was new), two identical cards just will NOT cause the -exact- same problem to occur. It's statistically improbable. It is likely to get two bad cards. But not two cards with the exact issue to the letter.
 

scaarbelly

Supreme [H]ardness
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Dec 11, 2008
Messages
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Two cards causing an identical problem is NOT a video card problem.

To the OP:
Do the following:

Turn off the computer, remove the connectors from the computer, remove the motherboard from the case.

Give ALL of the slots and especially the RAM and PCIE slots a GOOD and THOROUGH dustcleaning blast of compressed air. If you don't have any, you could try blowing directly into the slots, but you had better make very sure you don't get it wet, and let it sit for awhile just in case.

Give everything else a thorough cleaning as well.

Reinsert everything and power on and use the computer.

Is it fixed?

If NOT, then there are two possible issues:
1) dying power supply/PCIE cable issue
2) motherboard dying.

Don't listen to the other trolls. Unless you got the EXACT Same card back that you sent (meaning they simply cleaned and shined it out and made you think it was new), two identical cards just will NOT cause the -exact- same problem to occur. It's statistically improbable. It is likely to get two bad cards. But not two cards with the exact issue to the letter.

I agree, It is probably the psu or the mobo, unless the exact same card was sent back to you.
 

Lorien

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Aug 19, 2004
Messages
5,197
Looks like some people are attempting to rewrite history :D. Good luck with that.
I've already shown proof this is a card dying from the bad underfill materials Nvidia used on their g80/g92 and derivative chips. This is a well known fact, no "statistically improbable" drivel required.

P.S: Another video with the same BIOS artifacts using a 8800GT
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKNpbAyqFlY
 
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mhenley

[H]ard|Gawd
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Messages
1,981
Looks like some people are attempting to rewrite history :D. Good luck with that.
I've already shown proof this is a card dying from the bad underfill materials Nvidia used on their g80/g92 and derivative chips. This is a well known fact, no "statistically improbable" drivel required.

What you've shown, is a high rate of long-term failure, not proof that your theory is the exact issue with this card. It's called troubleshooting for a reason.

Add me to the list that think it's a memory controller. If this were my machine, I'd start with swapping video card, but if you have another non 8800GT available that will certainly put the doubters to rest. Reseat memory, test, drop to one stick, test, use another known-working stick if you have one available, test, if none of these steps work, then it's either the motherboard or processor.

My gut says motherboard, but you can't skip steps when troubleshooting. If you don't have spare parts to test, either try to acquire them locally from someplace that has a return policy that doesn't include a restocking fee, or start building your new system..
 

Lorien

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Messages
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He already tested with a GTS250 and it worked. The telltale signs of an Nvidia bumpgate card dying are the row of red dots all over the screen and the same artifacts in the BIOS in the other 2 videos posted already.
Here's another video showing the same gradient artifacts and red dots at the windows login screen (fast forward to 42 sec.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Bcb1FQ7g3w
 
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Arcygenical

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Jun 10, 2005
Messages
25,068
I've had this EXACT same issue on my car-PC board. In the winter, the CMOS battery gets too cold to supply the required voltage, therefore the BIOS seems to corrupt it's ability to display proper text, though all the functions work just fine.

Try changing your 3.3v battery and see if that helps. Otherwise, you'd be wise to re-flash the BIOS from a floppy or USB drive, not in Windows... And of course, I assume you've reset the CMOS, yes?

Also, you said the GTS250 "kinda" works? Elaborate?
 

cyclone3d

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
14,848
I've seen that same thing happen in a few different situations.

1. Faulty RAM.
2. Faulty RAM on the video card.
3. Faulty GPU.

A couple other things that could cause this are:

1. Not enough voltage or amperage being supplied through the PCI-E slot.
2. Not enough voltage or amperage being supplied through the power supply cable that is hooked up to the video card.
 

Acer_Sheep

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
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Messages
1,201
I've had this EXACT same issue on my car-PC board. In the winter, the CMOS battery gets too cold to supply the required voltage, therefore the BIOS seems to corrupt it's ability to display proper text, though all the functions work just fine.

Try changing your 3.3v battery and see if that helps. Otherwise, you'd be wise to re-flash the BIOS from a floppy or USB drive, not in Windows... And of course, I assume you've reset the CMOS, yes?

Also, you said the GTS250 "kinda" works? Elaborate?
The battery in Mainboard is not powering CMOS in strict sense, it is just powering EPROM to prevent loss of Bios settings and time, failure of it would either cause Bios setting to reset/erase repeately over a time or your PC would not boot with error that your battery is not working.
To get the issue solved the careful testing has to be done for every major component although miss interpreting fonts and information is not a sole problem of a graphics card. Graphics card just displays what CPU send to it, withdrawn from RAM via memory controller.
 
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cyclone3d

[H]F Junkie
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Messages
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The battery in Mainboard is not powering CMOS in strict sense, it is just powering EPROM to prevent loss of Bios settings and time, failure of it would either cause Bios setting to reset/erase repeately over a time or your PC would not boot with error that your battery is not working.
To get the issue solved the careful testing has to be done for every major component although miss interpreting fonts and information is not a sole problem of a graphics card. Graphics card just displays what CPU send to it, withdrawn from RAM via memory controller.

I have seen a few systems that would no POST due to a dead CMOS battery.
 

MoreDents

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
294
Also, you said the GTS250 "kinda" works? Elaborate?

I can use the 1920x1080 res but it's not properly placed on the screen. The task bar and app top bars are off screen. Very odd problem. I had to downres to around 1000 x 800 res to fit things properly on screen.

Weird stuff...

What a surprise, another bumpgate card dying...
I'd be very suspect of the advice from people who tell you otherwise, specially those blaming the motherboard :rolleyes:

I've never heard about this bumpgate card deal. What's it about?

Two cards causing an identical problem is NOT a video card problem.

To the OP:
Do the following:

Turn off the computer, remove the connectors from the computer, remove the motherboard from the case.

Give ALL of the slots and especially the RAM and PCIE slots a GOOD and THOROUGH dustcleaning blast of compressed air. If you don't have any, you could try blowing directly into the slots, but you had better make very sure you don't get it wet, and let it sit for awhile just in case.

Give everything else a thorough cleaning as well.

Reinsert everything and power on and use the computer.

Is it fixed?

If NOT, then there are two possible issues:
1) dying power supply/PCIE cable issue
2) motherboard dying.

Don't listen to the other trolls. Unless you got the EXACT Same card back that you sent (meaning they simply cleaned and shined it out and made you think it was new), two identical cards just will NOT cause the -exact- same problem to occur. It's statistically improbable. It is likely to get two bad cards. But not two cards with the exact issue to the letter.

I'll do this tonight and let you guys know the deal. And I'm pretty sure it's not the same card because they sent out the new card before I even sent them the old card ;P
 

YeuEmMaiMai

Fully [H]
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Jun 11, 2004
Messages
29,788
reflash the BIOS and if that does not work, time to most likely replace the MB

Your MB BIOS is corrupted
 

skruideli

Limp Gawd
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Jan 25, 2010
Messages
176
To me this all sounds like a bad video card. As Lorien pointed out earlier, the replacement 8800 GT is going to be a refurbished card from someone else's RMA. This series suffers from defects in nVidia's manufacturing process that causes the die package to eat away at itself, the end result would be the artifacts you are seeing. There are some ways to fix it (such as baking) but it will always return, most likely you received a card that was "fixed" and cleaned up. Seeing how these artifacts do not show up on the GTS250 it gives more credibility to your card being bad rather than your motherboard. Of course the only ways to be 100% sure would be to try another card, or try the card on another computer.
 

Doubl3KiLL

2[H]4U
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Nov 13, 2002
Messages
2,759
I just had a rig do the same damn thing with an 8800GT. RMA'd and got a 5750 back and all is well.
 
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