Flickering/missing graphics and freezes

Micro-star international / Ms-7260
June 21, 2010 at 19:58:52
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, 1.809 GHz / 2047 MB
I've been using this PC for about six years now, and only about four days ago am I experiencing a frustrating weird stuff happening with it. Whenever I run 3D games (which I used to be able to run without any problem at all), the graphics are either flickering, out of place, or just flat out missing. To top off that, the computer just freezes without being able to alt+tab or open Task Manager, and I'm left with restarting it from my computer.

I've tried updating the display driver and even resorted to trying out some outdated versions of the driver, to no avail. I'm pretty sure it's not some sort of overheating issue after some tests.

I've also tested out my RAM using Memtest86+, but I'm not seeing any errors.

It's weird that my computer would just suddenly act like it can't do the stuff it used to be able to do. Help!

Manufacturer: Msi
Model: Ms-7260
OS: Microsoft Windows XP Professional
CPU/Ram: 1.809 GHz / 2047 MB
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT
Sound Card: Realtek High Definition Audio

EDIT: I'm still able to do stuff like internet browsing and chatting, usual low-memory applications.

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June 22, 2010 at 01:11:10
Something could be overheating. Have you cleaned the dust out of that thing?

A can of compressed air can work wonders. Don't use a vacuum cleaner...lots of static electricity generated by a vacuum.


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June 22, 2010 at 08:49:50
6 year old card, could be gettin ready to kick the bucket. what an excellent opportunity to replace that 7300!

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June 22, 2010 at 16:49:18
I already tried replacing the 7300 with a Radeon HD 5670, but I think it's having some issues with my 500W PSU. When I installed it, the problem got worst 'coz even the games that used to work with the 7300 crashes!

Now my computer's general state is getting worse. Sometimes, it just won't boot up past the Windows loading screen (this is more random though, like my computer's being moody or something). SkipCox might be right; it could be an overheating issue that I failed to notice before.

I'm going to go with the first suggestion. I'm planning to clean this computer by tomorrow, but I'll probably need help on cleaning the heatsink, which I have NEVER attempted to remove before. I'll get you all updated as soon as possible.

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Related Solutions

June 23, 2010 at 07:51:24
Cleaned my computer, problems still persist. Probably need to reformat my computer, as my friend who helped me suggested.

Also, yeah I might have to test the video card itself on other computers to see if it's faulty. That might take awhile, though.

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June 23, 2010 at 09:01:31
in your own post, you make it sound like a faulty power supply. if the PSU is dying, you'd get all sorts of symptoms including the inability to play games, or even boot into windows.

it makes sense that you'd have more issues with the 5670 than the 7300, because of higher power supply requirements.

if the system crashes before booting into windows, reformatting and reinstalling windows doesn't address your issue. it sounds hardware related...

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June 23, 2010 at 12:20:45
ur psu is giving me doubts lots cz when u replaced HD 5670 the problem got worse soo the gfx card is not an issue its the hardware(psu) but the card is also six years old so consider that too

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June 23, 2010 at 18:10:50
I'll be checking the PSU, then. It does sound weird that my 5670 didn't work quite as planned, and it makes sense to consider the PSU for that.

It will take awhile for me to give an update about that, though. I don't have the money right now to buy a new one, so I'll have to do some research and maybe some begging from my relatives who might have a spare.

Thanks for the help, though. I've been able to eliminate several factors that might contribute to this problem of mine, and I've reduced my options to a few. One of them's giving my computer the reformat it probably deserves.

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June 30, 2010 at 14:15:44
No considerable updates. I've already reformatted my computer, which should eliminate spywares/malwares from being a factor. That still doesn't solve my problem (though I now managed to make a very old game work in my computer, namely Worms World Party from 2001). I still haven't gotten a new PSU, and partially because I don't know what I should consider in getting a new one and what exactly should I get.

Any comments/suggestions to help me decide? Information about my computer parts on the first post.

EDIT: I'd probably need >500W, based on my old PSU. Of course, I actually never bothered to check how much wattage my system really needs, but I guess it won't hurt to have a more powerful PSU, right?

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July 13, 2010 at 12:25:15
Hello. I'm back with an update.

Replaced my old PSU with a 450W 20-pin PSU with decent ampage. I still have the same problem, computer freezes during games and memory-extensive applications. The PSU is just a hand-me-down from my uncle, and I doubt it's giving enough power, especially with the 20-pin.

Anything else that could be the reason for my problem? I'm thinking about buying a stronger PSU for now...

EDIT: I remember resetting my BIOS. Coudl it be that this messed up my CPU and made it weaker? I need an immediate answer on this.

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