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Recently the following thing happened to my PC a couple of times:

  • Screen was as if covered with black and white stripes with a distinct square in the middle and the PC was not responding to input.

  • When the PC was rebooted it either was beeping with three long beeps or there was no beep at all.

  • Another weird thing was happening that may be related: from time to time when the PC was operational the buzzing continuous sound appeared on the AUX sound card output.

It also may be worth noting that both video card and sound card are integrated with motherboard.

Any ideas what could be done with that?

Striped display

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Do you know what motherboard you have... or what computer model it is, if not? –  Kez Aug 29 '09 at 19:15
    
ASRock P4VM890: asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=P4VM890 –  Meisner Aug 29 '09 at 20:43

5 Answers 5

up vote 4 down vote accepted

re-seat your RAM module(s)

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that seemed to have done the trick. I'll watch PC's behaviour for a while and I'll add one more comment to let you know if it remains OK –  Meisner Aug 29 '09 at 21:12
    
fingers crossed :) –  Molly7244 Aug 29 '09 at 21:30
    
everything is OK so far so it looks like this was the issue –  Meisner Aug 30 '09 at 18:36

This wouldn't explain the beeps, but test the screen quickly on a different input to rule out any problems with that.

Next, the beeps! if the screen is fine and you are getting that output, it would mean that the motherboard is having problems. First step would be to remove everything, and just leave in power, one RAM (if you had more), nothing external apart from the screen and no hard drives. We are not trying to boot up, we are just trying to get past the BIOS.

If this works, gradually put items back one by one until you get another failure.

If it does not work, and you are still getting beeps, you most likely have a dead board. Check for capacitors that have blown

alt text

The top should be almost flat (with slight indents out embossed sections depending on specification... look at the middle one) but you do not want to see any big bumps such as the first one or any leakage as the last one.

If your pc is of the late P4 generation, there were MANY MANY boards that had this problem which lead to a lot of random failures as you are experiencing now.

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1  
if he has memory problems, the PC wont boot up, seams the graphic cards is broken. –  Revolter Aug 29 '09 at 20:38
    
many thanks for such an exhaustive answer –  Meisner Aug 29 '09 at 20:51
    
@revolter It is why I said to try one memory (but I should of said try another, so you are right)... However, I have never seen memory that goes bad over time to the point where the pc won't boot - it either works or doesn't at the start and you may need to reseat it.... that being said, not saying it can't happen, just never personally seen it. –  William Hilsum Aug 29 '09 at 21:41

Your screen shot looks very similar to the screens I occasionally got with my old, failing, graphics card. The square in the middle is where the cursor is.

My solution was to replace the graphics card. As you're using the integrated graphics on your motherboard I can only suggest that you buy a graphics card. Your motherboard has a PCI Express slot so you shouldn't have any difficulty finding a reasonably priced card.

I can't explain the beeps with this theory though. It might indicate that something more serious is wrong with the motherboard.

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What were you doing exactly when these things happened ?

I had it some times, and to me it was linked to graphical card. It happened in two cases :

  • Graphical card heating too much. (most of the time this reason)
  • Unplugging the power cord on my laptop, causing the graphical card to switch to a low-power mode, with reduced frequencies, for example. (happened like 2 times)

However, it was only a temporary thing, and passed with rebooting. (Even stranger, it was passing on the "Windows is preparing to close" screen.)

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I wasn't able to link this issue to any specific event - one time this thing happened when the system was idle, so it was not caused by overheating. –  Meisner Aug 30 '09 at 12:23

Three long beeps is really puzzling, since it's defined as keyboard card error. You may check your keyboard, but this doesn't explain the strips screen or the other funnies.
(see beep codes at http://www.computerhope.com/beep.htm)
If I were you, I would take the computer for professional checkup and repair (unless you're yourself a technician).

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3 short beeps indicate a memory error and this may very well cause a distorted display especially with an integrated GPU and shared memory. so, my money is on the RAM being the culprit. –  Molly7244 Aug 29 '09 at 19:51
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That dependent on the motherboard! Mine have three long beeps for video card error ! –  LiraNuna Aug 29 '09 at 19:52

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