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I purchased a new hard-drive, and after doing a fresh install of Vista and installing all updates/latest drivers, I'm noticing that all of a sudden and shortly after being powered on, I get black boxes/rectangles all over my screen (below). Any ideas as to what could be causing this? On a (maybe) related note, my brand new hard-drive is squeaking. Not often, but it is there. Debating on whether or not it is worth the hassle of sending it back, or if this is related to the mysterious rectangles.

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I doubt the hard drive's squeaking is contributing to the artifacts you're seeing (though it should definitely still be checked out--each "squeak" is likely the needle bearing down too hard into the drive, ruining bits). The artifacts you are seeing are commonly caused by two sources:

  1. Inadequate power. If your new hard drive draws more power than your old one, your PSU might not be getting enough power to your graphics card.

  2. (More likely) Overheating. While it is odd that you haven't experienced this probelm int he past, artifacts such as these are very common indicators that your graphics card is overheating. Grab a monitoring app such as HWMonitor and compare the temperature of your graphics card to its manufacturer's listed operation max.

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Thanks, although it ultimately was an issue with Windows automatically updating with the wrong graphics driver, your answer led me in the right direction. –  Nick Jun 7 '10 at 0:53

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