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The W - Internet & Computers - Possible video card issue?
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Since: 14.9.07

Since last post: 3326 days
Last activity: 3323 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.49
Since product support for my PC was ever so helpful (not), I decided to The W for advice -- there seem to be a decent amount of people here who know their stuff.

I have an eMachines T6532 with an NVIDIAŽ GeForceŽ 6100 GPU. This computer has functioned just fine for the better part of a year. More recently, however, I've encounted the following problems when turning the computer on: when I press the power button, the computer will turn on, but there is no display, while the humming noise (from the fan and other assorted parts) continues along.

When I press the power button to shut it off, and then turn it back on, the OS boots up, and there is a display, but said display flickers non-stop, so severe as to prevent me from being able to do anything. When I turn the computer off, and then back on for the third time, everything boots up normally, and there is no display problem.

Am I off base here in thinking there's a problem with the video card/driver? Or is there possibly something else at work here? Any help you all can provide is greatly appreciated.
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Since: 13.2.02
From: Back in the Heart of Hali

Since last post: 154 days
Last activity: 5 days
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.00
    Originally posted by eventhis

    Am I off base here in thinking there's a problem with the video card/driver? Or is there possibly something else at work here? Any help you all can provide is greatly appreciated.

I'll quietly assume you've checked all your connections and cleaned out however much dust was in your system with some canned air.

While it could very well be a video card issue or even a motherboard issue (check your board for "bulging caps" after doing a google image search for that phrase), my stab-in-the-dark guess would be that it's a power supply issue. Without a multimeter or another PSU, though, it's tough to prove.

Do you hear any beeps, especially the first time you turn it on? Most computers generally beep once on power-up to say, "I'm happy, here I go." Is there any difference in the beeping or lack thereof on the three boots?
Potato korv

Since: 2.1.02
From: Quincy, MA

Since last post: 3570 days
Last activity: 3422 days
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.23
You've got a CRT, right? Sounds to me like the monitor is shitting the bed. Either that or the cable is bad, and unfortunately, most cables are built in these days. Try the system with a known good monitor. I bet the problem will go away.

"I could drown the pain, and drink upon commuter trains, and here you stand in eastern standard time"
- Mike Doughty

Since: 2.2.04
From: Austin, TX

Since last post: 424 days
Last activity: 308 days
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.08
First guess would be the monitor normally.

However I had a PC at work that displayed VERY similar behaviour last year and it was running an NVIDIA 6100 or 6200 (can't recall which). When I looked at the card itself I saw it had some black burn looking marks on it. Not sure how it functioned at all, but just like yours it would not work for a few times and then all of a sudden kick on. No beeps from the motherboard occured like they normally should.

If you have another monitor handy, try that first cause it doesn't cost you anything. Otherwise, inspect that card for physical damage just in case.
Guru Zim
SQL Dejection

Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 12 days
Last activity: 12 days
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
Tarnish is dead on, as is the monitor suggestion.

If it isn't the monitor, I would bet that it isn't making the initial beep noise when you boot it the first time.

Do you have a hard drive activity LED on the front? Watch this during a normal boot and get an idea of what it looks like when Windows is loading. I would bet if it does not beep on booting that you don't see normal activity (either none, or full time ON).

Did you change any hardware in the PC recently?

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Since: 14.9.07

Since last post: 3326 days
Last activity: 3323 days
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.49
Thanks, all. Just to provide further details:

I've tried using another monitor -- the same thing kept happening. Also, I haven't changed any hardware in the computer since I've had it.

I listened out for the beeps that occur during a normal boot, and sure enough, when the boot failed initially, those beeps did not occur.

I will have to take a look at the card itself; which is difficult because of the way that the computer was designed: the video card is actually part of the motherboard, although there is an available PCI slot (PCI Express = PCIe x16) to add a new one.

Assuming for a moment that is it the power supply: is the power supply an easy thing to replace?

Again, thanks for replies, and any further assistance is always welcome...

(edited by eventhis on 2.2.08 0720)
Potato korv

Since: 3.1.02
From: Brisbane, Australia

Since last post: 2595 days
Last activity: 2573 days
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
The power supply is easy to replace. It will plug into your motherboard, possibly in 2 spots if you have a P4 board, and into each of your drives.
They usually just have 4 screws in the back holding them in.
It should have a rating in Watts on it. Get one the same or higher from just about any PC shop/repairer. If in doubt tell the sales staff what your motherboard is and they should be able to get you one to suit.
It might be worth getting a cheap PCIe card at the same time too.
El Nastio

Since: 14.1.02
From: Ottawa Ontario, by way of Walkerton

Since last post: 4 days
Last activity: 4 days
#8 Posted on

Some budget friendly reccomendations (with an eye towards upgrading in the future):

- Get a good sized power supply, watts wise. If you get another system in the future, you can ALWAYS always (almost always ALWAYS) switch power supplies. And believe me, stock power supplies are often not very good. As long as it works, you can take it with you from system to system. I've got a 585 Watt power supply which I spent 60 bucks Canadian on, and I probably won't need to upgradeit anytime soon. If you look around, you can probably find one cheaper than what I paid for mine.

- Without knowing what you're using the system for, a low cost PCI Express x16 card is the nVidia 8500 GT. It's the "budget" (ie; low end) of the 8x series nVidia cards, however based on you using Onboard Video, a 512 meg 8500 GT might be an idea for you. And if the place has a return policy, you can always return it if you don't like the card or if the video card is not the problem.

(edited by El Nastio on 3.2.08 0024)

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Since: 14.9.07

Since last post: 3326 days
Last activity: 3323 days
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.49
Well, it appears that the power supply, was the issue -- I had it replaced with a new Antec power supply over the weekend, and everything appears to be running smoothly.

I am still thinking of obtaining a new video card. El Nastio, I actually took a look at the 8500 GT while I was out shopping for parts this weekend.

Thanks again for all of your help!
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