I have a weird problem. A couple of weeks ago I was using my computer, working on/testing a 3d game I been writing. Anyways, while the program was running the graphics kinda went messed up, my computer froze and the screen started flickering.
Since I couldn't do anything because the computer was frozen, I restarted my computer. Ever since then this is when the problem started.
First of all, with the text during boot up, many of the characters seem to be substituted by other characters. I took a few pics to show you exactly what I mean.
Booting up .. http://i26.tinypic.com/2q0prvb.jpg
As you can see at the top.. the border characters are replaced by wrong ones. Periods are replaced by commas, "Disabled" shows as "Diqa`led", etc. Also most of those numbers at the left of screen which are 0s, aren't really meant to be 0s but are displayed as such.
I have two harddrives in my computer, each have an installation of windows on them. My dual boot screen .. http://i31.tinypic.com/33f6tjq.jpg
Advanced options "F8" screen .. http://i31.tinypic.com/2lnjq4g.jpg
The highlighted option should read "Safe mode with Networking" etc.
Booting up in safe mode .. http://i30.tinypic.com/35jcsvr.jpg
"WINDOWS" = "UILDMUQ"
"System32" = "Qyqtem10"
"DRIVERS" = "DPITEPQ"
and so on.
The same problem also occurs in my bios setup. And yes.. everything is supposed to be in english. This mixed characters problem occured ever since that freeze/flicker thing happened.
Additionally, graphics during boot up, like the normal windows boot up screen, and the normal gigabyte splash screen that appears when I turn my computer on, has a pattern of pixels which are coloured wrongly.
Next, when booting into windows normally, once you are past the windows loading image/progress bar, and you actually get into windows, I get stuck with a messed up image.
The image seems to represent what was displayed last time I was in windows, as if perhaps the ram/video ram (?) was not cleared properly or something like that.
Here's an example : http://i31.tinypic.com/dnjzp3.jpg
In this case, you can see a messed up light blue/dark blue image. This is basically a corrupt version of the blue "Windows is shutting down" screen, since just before taking this photo, I had restarted my computer normally. The very first time the problem occured, it showed a messed up image of my game at the frame it froze at.
If I unplug my computer for a minute and then plug it back in (to wipe the ram or what not) then the image I get when I reach windows is just black and white stuff, as such : http://i27.tinypic.com/2mpwhvk.jpg
You can see my mouse arrow is visible. I can move it around fine, and if I mouse over where I would normally click to choose my windows profile to log into windows, the arrow turns into the hand pointer thing. If I click, my computer starts loading.
However, all through this, the image is stuck exactly how it is in the photo. The display never changes except for the mouse arrow movement.
After 1-2 minutes of the computer being stuck like that, the screen will start flickering again like it did the first time the problem occured. Then after another minute or two, the computer will blue screen with the error message reading something along the lines of "the device driver got stuck in an infinite loop".
Anyways, if I boot into safe mode, I can use my computer normally, there are no graphical glitches and such in windows (although the display problems described during boot up still occur), and this is how I'm typing this right now. Of course safe mode offers much limitation on what programs etc I can use on my computer, but this works as an alternative until I can solve the main issue.
Here's a list of what I know/tried:
- In safe mode I can use my computer normally (apart from the normal safe mode limitations)
- Starting windows normally causes the problems above
- In my own opinion, the problem seems hardware related rather than software related because,
a. The graphical problems when entering windows occurs on both of my windows installations. If the problem were simply a corrupt video driver, then my backup installation of windows on the other harddrive should still work normally.
b. Whats on my harddrive shouldn't have anything to do with what happens on boot up screens, since those boot up screens would appear even without a hdd connected.
However, I am unsure if the problem is a damaged video card or otherwise.
- I was going to try unplugging my video card and using on board video to test whether or not the problem was the video card, but I discovered my motherboard doesn't have on board video - only sound and network - so that's out.
- I considered reflashing the motherboard firmware in case that was the problem, but I'm worried it will mess up or cause other problems, or won't solve my issue. So I haven't tried it.
- I tried booting up in safe mode, going to msconfig and disabling "load system services" and "load startup items", then restarting and loading into windows normally, just in case this happened to help, but the same issue still occurs.
The thing I am puzzled the most about, I suppose, is why the computer works fine in safe mode. I would think that safe mode would have the same problems if the video card was damaged or something.
Anyways, if I have to replace some hardware then that's what I have to do, but I do not wish to buy the wrong part and still be stuck with the same problem. (basically, if the issue is motherboard related, then I dont want to waste money on a video card).
These are my computer specs:
Operating System: Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 3 (2600.xpsp_sp3_gdr.090206-1234)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
System Model: M52S-S3P
BIOS: Award Modular BIOS v6.00PG
Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 5200+, MMX, 3DNow (2 CPUs), ~2.6GHz
Memory: 2048MB RAM
Video card: NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT (gigabyte brand)
Display Memory: 512.0 MB
I've had the computer for a bit over a year and a half, and it's worked mostly ok for this time. Although I did always get some blue screens sometimes which seemed to be either ram ("IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL", "BAD_POOL_CALLER", "PFN_LIST_CORRUPT", and kernel something intake error) or video (stuff with "nv4_disp.dll") related. Though these were kinda sporadic and I never really minded much about them.
Anyways, anyone seen this sort of issue occur before? Any advice or guidance would be appreciated. Thanks.