PC crashes intermittently pixelated display.

August 1, 2011 at 07:34:16
Specs: Windows XP
Hi all and thanks in advance of any help you can offer.

Over last few months my Desktop has suffered with intermittent crashes, whereby the screen is filled in with repetetive multi-coloured rectangles and the PC is unresponsive. The only way to exit is to force a shutdown by holding down the power button for 5 seconds. When I attempt to reboot the machine the power comes back on, fan and fan lights operate but system does not reboot hard drive does not spin, the only way round this is to remove power lead for a few minutes and then reboot.

I have formatted the hard drive and re-installed windows, to see if problem was software issue, but problem still exists. Furthermore I have now had incidents of PC crashing in safe mode and whilst in the bios settings screen on boot up. So I am guessing (rightly or wrongly) that the issue is to do with the hardware.

I have opened up PC and cant see any visible signs of blown capacitors, but I am by no means an expert so unless it is obvious then I may have missed something.

Is there anyway of finding out which hardware component may be to blame or is there anything from the way it crashes that highlights a specific problem. I would be grateful for any advice.

Thanks in advance.


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August 1, 2011 at 07:48:11
If you have a system test in Setup, use that. It sounds like you have a bad memory stick. If there are two installed, remove the one farthest from the CPU [with the power cable removed]. Try with the one stick. If it doesn't work, swap the sticks and try again [power cable removed for swap].
Also a possibility is the CPU. Make sure the fan spins easily and the heat sink is clean. Just a burst or two of canned air will let you know if dust has built up. Don't spray the liquid [holding down the nozzle] and be sure power is removed when you do this. A vacuum is handy if running at the time you clean. Hold it close to grab the dust that flies.
This is a few of many possibilitiies... get back with us.

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August 1, 2011 at 08:22:25
Thanks for reply. I don't recall seeing system test in setup, just options for BIOS and cmos settings. But I will check again.

Have checked CPU, fan and heatsink and all are clean and clear of dust and fan is working. I also checked CPU temp in the setup screen on boot up after last crash and it was.reporting a temp of 35c. Which I believe to be pretty low.

You also mentioned, "memory sticks", excuse my ignorance but are you reffering to my RAM or my harddrive. I presume you mean RAM and I shall try booting up PC with one removed from its slot on the motherboard. Is that correct? If you did mean the harddrive I only have the one.


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August 1, 2011 at 14:43:02
Yes I was referring to the memory sticks not the hard drive.

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