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After my PC has been on for a bit (15mins?) some of my windows start displaying see-through properties and other bizarre characteristics (like being able to draw on each other with by dragging the windows over other windows).

Now, this PC is a Core2Quad, 4GB system with Windows XP SP3 32bit. The graphics are 128MB PCI NVidia.

Below you can see a screenshot of a Ubuntu session in Virtualbox showcasing this:

wild windows

However, any and every window can do this. Chrome, Firefox, OpenOffice, anything that is a window occasionally pops-up see-through. Most the time it happens when I minimize a window and then pull it back up later. So perhaps some re-draw based on the memory isn't happening.

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Could be a number of things. Problems with the video memory, RAM starvation. It does look like you've got a lot of programs open there. How much RAM is installed? –  Robert Harvey Aug 30 '10 at 20:28
    
Also, how come you are discussing Ubuntu and Windows XP in the same question? –  Robert Harvey Aug 30 '10 at 20:28
    
To clarify: this happens to windows inside your VirtualBox Ubuntu VM, but it also happens to windows on your host Windows XP? –  boot13 Aug 30 '10 at 20:32
    
@Robert A VM allows you to run client OS inside a host OS. Also, my question states that I have 4GB of RAM. –  Xeoncross Aug 30 '10 at 20:33
    
@Xeoncross: Was that a response to Robert Harvey's comment? –  boot13 Aug 30 '10 at 20:35
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

It could be as simple as out of date display drivers. It definitely seems like a display issue to me. Since you said it starts happening after the machine has been powered on for a while, it could be heat-related as well. Make sure the display card's fan is operating and that it isn't getting too hot. You can install freeware hardware monitoring software like Speedfan to help you get a handle on that.

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I updated the drivers just a bit ago - and this also occurs when I use other video cards (like my 512MB PCIe). I also doubt this has anything to do with heat since I'm using an Antec 900 case with 4x 120mm and 1x 200mm fans on it. Sandra reports CPU @ 30C and mobo @ 38C. –  Xeoncross Aug 30 '10 at 21:11
    
@Xeoncross: What about the GPU: does it have a fan? What temperature is reported for the GPU? –  boot13 Aug 30 '10 at 21:28
    
I'm not showing anything for the GPU and the system is not OC'ed –  Xeoncross Aug 30 '10 at 21:40
    
I changed to a new ati Video card (instead of the other two nvidia) and I haven't had the problem anymore. –  Xeoncross Apr 19 '11 at 15:04
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