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#839412 - 09/30/12 04:08 PM Dead Video Card??
oldbroad Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 1066
Loc: Chicago
OMG, I just typed this all out and lost it somewhere by hitting my enter key while previewing and trying to correct a typo???

I just turned on my XP computer which worked fine a couple of days ago. It booted up fine, I went online and into my email program all fine. Walked out of the room for a couple of minutes and when I went back the screen was blue with a lot of writing on it. I did not note the error message, I just know it said closing to prevent damage to computer and memory dump stuff.

I shut down with the power button, waited a bit and tried again. It did not get very far and I noticed the green light off to the side of the power button went out. Again I shut it off, waited, and tried again. This time there was writing on the screen that said: 423SE P/N 113-A32102-103-8P A12 BR#7891 Rel 9.3.17. I googled this and it refers to my video card which is an ATI Radeon X800SE. Also noted the lights on the back of my system which are green, green, green, and yellow which means "another failure has occurred". There are some suggestions to check connections.

I googled my computer Dell Dimensions 8400 and the specs show a 350 Watt power supply. I did not/cannot verify that is what is in my computer. Do you think this is just a video card problem and can it be replaced? If so, I need help please with what card I can use and where I can find it.

Thank you,

Jackie

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#839416 - 09/30/12 04:20 PM Re: Dead Video Card?? [Re: oldbroad]
Creeping_Doom Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 11/28/11
Posts: 160
Based on the symptoms described , your problem could be a couple of different things . In addition to a possible bad video card , it could either be the power supply going bad , or the cpu is getting too hot . I would actually guess that either your cpu or power supply is faulty .

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#839425 - 09/30/12 05:08 PM Re: Dead Video Card?? [Re: oldbroad]
oldbroad Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 1066
Loc: Chicago
Why then the reference on my screen about the video card (if it would be the cpu or power supply)?

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#839426 - 09/30/12 05:23 PM Re: Dead Video Card?? [Re: oldbroad]
Creeping_Doom Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 11/28/11
Posts: 160
Not too sure . As I think I stated , it is also quite possible that the video card could be bad as well . Short of taking your computer to a repair facility , the best way to tell is to exchange that video card for another similar ati/amd video card with like power requirements .

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#839448 - 09/30/12 07:42 PM Re: Dead Video Card?? [Re: oldbroad]
Jenny100 Offline
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 35163
Loc: southeast USA
You can get another X800SE video card fairly cheaply on ***eBay***.
For example, this one is $18.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/300786790093

On the other hand, if you bought a new power supply (I'd get one greater than 350W), you could also use it to test other computers if the power supply wasn't the problem.

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#839461 - 09/30/12 08:49 PM Re: Dead Video Card?? [Re: oldbroad]
oldbroad Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 1066
Loc: Chicago
Creeping_Doom, I know you also said it could be the video card. I guess I just wondered why you thought it might be something else if it referenced the video card - and hoping it is not something else.

Jenny100, I just went and ordered that card that you linked to. I'll start there and hope that's it. If I want to attempt to install it myself, can I come back here for help?

Thank you both so much, especially you Jenny for the link. You are always very helpful to me with that kind of thing!

Jackie

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#839480 - 09/30/12 11:03 PM Re: Dead Video Card?? [Re: oldbroad]
Jenny100 Offline
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 35163
Loc: southeast USA
Originally Posted By: oldbroad
If I want to attempt to install it myself, can I come back here for help?

Sure you can. But it's pretty easy. Mostly you just need a Phillips screwdriver.

There are a lot of YouTube videos that can show you what to do. Some are better than others. This one wasn't bad
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YRlO-55njI
Skip to about 1:45 into the video to where he's taking out the old card.

Here's another one by a guy who uses coffee. I'd recommend putting the computer on its side while you operate on it instead of keeping it upright the way he did.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVzfHCVtwvk

Here's the online manual for the Dell 8400, which isn't all that great.
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim8400/SM/parts.htm

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#839606 - 10/01/12 06:47 PM Re: Dead Video Card?? [Re: oldbroad]
Donald Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 09/09/07
Posts: 477
Loc: Florida
It could also be bad caps on the motherboard .
Here is a link as to what bad caps look like

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzFBEzI4KnY

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#839622 - 10/01/12 09:45 PM Re: Dead Video Card?? [Re: oldbroad]
oldbroad Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 1066
Loc: Chicago
Thanks Jenny and Donald. I'll be having a week off of work starting the 15th so I might not attempt it until then. I'll let you know what happens.

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#839633 - 10/01/12 10:44 PM Re: Dead Video Card?? [Re: oldbroad]
InlandAZ Offline
Glitches Forum Moderator
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 08/14/02
Posts: 6734
Loc: Arizona
They're fairly simple to change out, let us know how it goes.

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#839648 - 10/02/12 01:34 AM Re: Dead Video Card?? [Re: oldbroad]
Homer6 Offline
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 5450
Loc: Oklahoma, USA
Originally Posted By: oldbroad
Creeping_Doom, I know you also said it could be the video card. I guess I just wondered why you thought it might be something else if it referenced the video card - and hoping it is not something else.

Jenny100, I just went and ordered that card that you linked to. I'll start there and hope that's it. If I want to attempt to install it myself, can I come back here for help?

Thank you both so much, especially you Jenny for the link. You are always very helpful to me with that kind of thing!

Jackie


oldbroad, when something goes wrong with a computer, it could be one part or several parts. Or, what a person believes it to be is the symptom of something else going out.

Taking your case, suppose the real problem is a power supply going bad. Because the video card isn't receiving enough power, its going to kick out an error message crying out for help.

Or say again the real problem is the power supply and because the CPU doesn't have enough power it can't handle everything it's suppose to, which means it can't handle all the hardware. And again, in your case, the video card it going to kick out an error message.

Troubleshooting this type of problem can sometimes get real involved, because a person has to work backwards from the know to the unknown.

You are taking the correct action, replacing the most obvious part, the video card in your case. But keep in mind if replacing the video card doesn't fix your problem then the next most obvious part will have to be replaced. The power supply. And if that isn't the problem then you may be getting into the realm of needing specialized equipment to troubleshoot the problem. And then it'll be time to find a good computer repair shop.
_________________________
If something gets your goat, it just proves you have a goat to get.

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#839717 - 10/02/12 10:35 AM Re: Dead Video Card?? [Re: oldbroad]
Draclvr Offline
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 9627
Loc: In Missouri near St. Louis
Homer6, I'm going to copy and paste your post into a little Wordpad file! Software issues are hard enough, but hardware issues are very difficult to diagnose long distance.

I'm having an issue right now that illustrates your point exactly. This is going to be extremely difficult to resolve and I'm pretty good at this stuff. So far I've been able to narrow it down to hardware because I'm getting the same behavior on both my Windows 7 (on a 60 GB SSD boot drive) and on my Windows 8 (on a 500 GB HDD). Because the exact same thing happens on both operating systems (and after multiple disk checks and a few other diagnostics), I've also eliminated (well, almost) the SSD or the HDD. So, now it's on to motherboard, CPU, RAM and power supply.

Troubleshooting is a tricky business and can even involve an interaction between more than one source.
_________________________
Gardening is better than therapy. Plus you get tomatoes.

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#839830 - 10/02/12 09:28 PM Re: Dead Video Card?? [Re: oldbroad]
oldbroad Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 1066
Loc: Chicago
Thanks Homer for the explanation about why it might be something else even though it references to my video card. I don't LIKE the answer but I get what you're saying. Fingers crossed it's an easy fix.

Inland, I know I see in the forum here that it sounds pretty simple but I am a chicken/worry wart kind of person so, we'll see.

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#839979 - 10/03/12 01:01 PM Re: Dead Video Card?? [Re: oldbroad]
Homer6 Offline
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 5450
Loc: Oklahoma, USA
Drac, I think I'll need to find a pin to pop the bubble that's forming on my head. lol

Haze, yeah. Sometimes we don't want to hear the news, but it has to be told if our babies are to run properly.

When you experience problems with a computer you need to ask a few questions:

1. IS THE COMPUTER PLUGGED INTO THE WALL OUTLET? AND IS THERE POWER AT THE WALL OUTLET?

2. Is it a hardware or software problem? Does the problem only occur when this or that program is started or running? Or does the entire computer act up when running? Will a program load, does your monitor display properly, do you hear any unusual noises, do you smell anything unusual? Do you notice anything else that's specific to the computer itself?

3. Did you receive any error messages? Print them out or write them out if you do.

4. You didn't receive any error messages but a piece of hardware isn't working properly. Monitor is acting up, hard drive is making noise or not giving you files you know exist, computer isn't starting, etc.

Once you've determined what piece of equipment may not be acting correctly, you need to decide whether you're going to try and make repairs or take it to the shop. The shop will have extra equipment to use in troubleshooting your computer but will cost. If you chose to troubleshoot your computer then you'll need to understand a few things about your computer.

There are a few main things in your computer:

Power supply
Hard drive
Motherboard

Without anyone of these three you can't run a computer. (Note: if a digital drive is being used in place of a hard drive, the same applies) Anything else on the computer is a periphery, and not needed to run the computer.

The power supply is basically the computer's built in power company. Just as your power company takes AC power and steps it up or down, the power does the same. That piece of equipment receives what your power company provides you at the electrical outlet your computer is plugged into; I was hesitant to say 110 AC since some my have different voltages, and some do run on different frequencies--Hz.

The power supply takes that wall outlet voltage and steps it down for use with computer hardware. Everything is fed from the power supply, whether connected directly or through the motherboard.
Those connected directly to the power supply are also connected to the motherboard for input/output operations.

If you have a piece of equipment directly connected to the power supply, and it's not working or acting up, you have now narrowed down the problems to one of three things. That piece of equipment, any connector from that equipment to the power supply, or the power supply. (Keep in mind software can also cause equipment to act up, so make sure you don't have a software problem first.)

Replacing that piece of equipment is your first option in troubleshooting. If replacing the defective equipment with a known good piece of equipment doesn't fix the problem, then you have to look towards the power supply.

Your next step will be testing the cabling from the power supply to that piece of equipment. For this you'll need a digital volt/ohm meter and the power specifications for that equipment. I say digital volt/ohm meter because they are less likely to damage equipment tested.

You don't receive the correct voltages/ohms as specified by the technical specification sheet for that equipment so it's time to replace the cable going to the power supply--if possible.

If the cable can be replaced, and it still doesn't fix the problem then you have a couple of questions to ask yourself. Does this power supply have a reset button? If yes and by pressing it things are back to normal you're done. If pressing the reset button doesn't fix the problem you're now back asking yourself more questions.

Because now you've isolated the problem to the power supply, is it possible to fix that power supply? If it can be fixed, do you have the knowledge and skill to do the work or will you see if a computer shop can repair it? Will it be less expensive to replace the power supply or fix it?

But what about those parts that attach to the motherboard? For starters, make sure they are seated properly in the pins/sockets on the motherboard. Do you notice any discoloration around those parts? Do you notice any funny smells? Smells like burning plastics? Some things will get hot, hence the need for case fans, but they shouldn't get hotter than their tested ranges.

If you suspect a part attached to the motherboard, the first test would be to replace it with a known good piece of equipment. If that new piece of equipment doesn't fix the problem then you have a problem somewhere on the motherboard.

I say somewhere because now you will need the schematics and other technical specifications for that particular motherboard, and will need to work your way through the electrical path that leads to the non-working piece of equipment attached to the motherboard. Unless you work for a company that does this type of troubleshooting, you will not have the needed equipment nor have it in your bank account to buy what's needed. This time the only two options you have is to replace the motherboard or find a shop that can do the work. This isn't something the computer shop down the street will likely be able to do. More than likely the motherboard will have to be mailed/shipped to get repaired.

Connections can work loose. Equipment plugged into something can work loose. The most basic testing that should be done is to make sure all connections are tight/snug. Everything. CPU, RAM, video cards, other cards plugged into the motherboard, cables from everything to everything, including the one going to the wall outlet. And making sure the light you plug in that wall outlet for testing, lights.
_________________________
If something gets your goat, it just proves you have a goat to get.

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