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I recently faced a problem with my XP desktop PC.While i was working on one of the server application development(like Mochasoft for AS/400),my screen suddenly distorted and the operations stopped.(Not even mouse movement was detected).I had to restart my OS to rid the issue.But even after second reboot i faced similar problem.

What could be the possible reason?Is it virus or is it a hard disk problem.But now after i rebooted my PC its working fine.Though i wonder whether i'd face that problem again.

Please advise

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

In order of probability, top being most likely:

  • Graphics card may be loose in slot as @Everett says
  • Try updating display drivers
  • Try updating BIOS
  • Graphics card may have overheated
  • CPU may have overheated (dust it)
  • Graphics card may be faulty
  • Power connector of graphics card may not be properly attached
  • Power supply may be faulty or overloaded
  • RAM may be faulty, test and replace if needed
  • Other expansion card or hardware may be overheating or faulty
  • Motherboard component (chipset) may be overheating or faulty
  • Slight chance malware or software related issue could be the culprit (very unlikely)
  • CPU may be faulty (very unlikely)
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Appreciate your error forecast.Though i really cant be sure of what went wrong and how it auto recovered from that. – techie Jul 24 '12 at 16:34
Guys the reason for that problem was moisture on the RAM which needed to be cleaned! – techie Jul 28 '12 at 12:09

Without something more to go on, I have a suspicion your graphics card is loose in its slot. This sounds very much like an electrical problem. Not only did you see the issue, but the entire computer locked up. As there isn't more here for me to work with, this is a best guess. I'll be happy to edit this answer if you can provide any more relevant symptoms.

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It may also be the power-cable to the card. – Synetech Jul 24 '12 at 16:18
Well if loosening of slot was the reason,i did no pushing or gripping of connection.Jus rebooted and it worked fine.Plus it was an abrupt fault that was triggered.In the midst of my working it occured.Though i appreciate your opinion.Do u suspect any other reason too? – techie Jul 24 '12 at 16:19
Which means that this can go as far back as being a power supply problem i.e. the power feed, for the graphics card, from the power supply is damaged/dying. This is only likely on higher end graphics cards (ones that have a separate connector for power because the bus power is inadequate). – Everett Jul 24 '12 at 16:20
Techie, I agree that an intermittent failure that fixes itself is typically indicative of a mechanical failure. I am unaware of anything mechanical other than the physical connection between a video I/O card, and the slot it's seated in. If you are convinced it's something else, that's fine. Have you turned the computer on and shaken it (not to roughly) to see if the problem occurs again? – Everett Jul 24 '12 at 16:24
It could also be a problem with the card itself (maybe something's misbehaving when it heats up)? – Shinrai Jul 24 '12 at 16:31

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