graphics card vs. PSU problem

Evga Nvidia by evga e-geforce 8800 gt 51...
March 15, 2010 at 12:03:14
Specs: Windows Vista, 3.0gz / 2gb DDR2
I am going to try and make a long story short. Last week I downloaded the new NVIDIA driver 195.76, this driver was found to fry multiple cards and alter fan speeds, it was subsequently removed from NVIDIA's website. . . . After downloading the driver everything was fine for about 2 days. Then I started to get errors on the screen where pixels would be altered (different colored squares everywhere) and the screen would randomly turn black or even a neon green (happened twice). It also had multiple: "your display driver is not responding and was reset." During this time when I would reboot my comp the BIOS would say "H/W monitor status abnormal, check settings." I though it was related to my graphics/monitor problems (I'll get back to this)

So I tried may darnedest to get back into windows to delete the driver and reinstall and old version. My computer developed problems booting and during boot it would either: shut down by itself, screen would turn black. But after 20,000 tries I finally deleted the driver and the computer actually worked just fine for a complete day. I was able to play COD4 for about an hr at 1900 x 1200 flawlessly. That night I shut down my computer

The next day everything went to hell. The boot problems came back and I couldn't get into windows. I tried to get into safe mode to reinstall the driver and the screen would randomly turn black and become unresponsive. At this time I noticed that the longer I kept my computer off the longer it would stay on before the monitor went black.

After multiple attempts I was able to keep the comp on long enough to format my HDD and reinstall windows. I was able to boot to windows and then it shut down again on its own. Since then I haven't gotten past the bios boot screen. Sometimes the BIOS boot screen will freeze.

I didn't find this out tho, the "H/W monitor status abnormal" msg was referring to my 3.3V. It was running at ~2.5. I currently can't even turn on my comp. I am ordering a PSU right now.

My questions:
Even though I had pixel problems and a neon green screen, I was still able to play COD4 at one point for an hr flawlessly. So my graphics cards are probably fine right? Could this be a coincidence with the whole driver problem?
Do you guys agree it is a PSU problem? And could this have messed up other hardware in my system?

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March 15, 2010 at 12:50:37
A psu might be a good starting point. What did you order for a replacement psu? What are the specs of your old psu?

One clue you gave

"At this time I noticed that the longer I kept my computer off the longer it would stay on before the monitor went black."

could point to an overheating problem. Where that problem lies is another bag of worms though. Probably not the cpu but could be the psu or the video card (8800GT?) or some damage that occured while running the 196.75 drivers. I assume you meant 196.75 although you said "195.76"; don't think nVidia ever offered that version.

Still, a good psu is probably where I'd begin here.


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March 15, 2010 at 13:10:02
I water cool my 2 8800 gt's and cpu . . . I check those temps regularly and they have been good. Maybe the chipset is overheating or ram? . . . . would the 2.4V's at the 3.3V rail cause this kind of problem?

I am getting a thermaltake tough power 875W. I have 2 8800gt's, a 3gig core2duo, 2 WD raptors, 1 IDE HDD, lights/fans, and the pump for water cooling. I am not around my comp but I know when I built this rig about 2 yrs ago I knew at some point this PSU was gonna have to be replaced. Its a good PSU but was made right before SLI/etc. came out. And I do OC a little bit.

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March 15, 2010 at 14:31:30
You're sure willing to spend money on a good psu...that's refreshing around here.

About the only thing you can do at this point is wait for the new psu and see what happens when you install it.

The + 3.3v rail is used for Standby Voltage, CMOS, PCI slots, LED's, memory, SATA, USB. That's the first problem I'd like to see solved.


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March 15, 2010 at 18:28:25
So for $hits and giggles I turned on the PC (don't have my PSU yet) and BIOS beeps and says "H/W monitors status abnormal, check temp/voltage/etc.". . . My 3.3V is in the red at 2.4V. I exit out and try to boot windows. The screen quickly turns black and monitor enters "power saving mode" but the HDDs/etc. are still loading the OS.

Is this compliant with a voltage problem? Or could something be wrong with my gpu's too? I am just really nervous, I don't feel like buying 2 new graphics cards.

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March 15, 2010 at 21:19:26
Don't blame you for being nervous but that sounds like a failing psu. One or both of the cards may have a problem but I still feel you're describing a failing power supply.


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