Broken AGP?
March 13, 2006 4:10 AM   Subscribe

PC problems. Help me revive my machine.

A week or so ago I began having problems when using my home PC - every so often, at seemingly random times, the monitor would go into standby and then a couple of minutes later the machine would shut down. If you tried to start the machine up, sometimes it would get all the way to loading XP, sometimes the monitor would go into standby during the boot process. Now the monitor won't go out of standby at all when you start up the machine, although everything else seems to be starting up fine.

After thinking it may be the graphics card, I borrowed a substitute and gave that a go, to no avail. The monitor doesn't seem to be to blame, as it works fine with my laptop. I'm thinking the AGP slot may be knackered, since everything else seems to power up fine - all fans spinning including the fan on the X700 graphics card.

Does anyone have any other ideas before I go and buy a new mobo?
posted by StuMiller to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Have you checked the event viewer under Administrative Tools in the Control Panel? There may be some kind of clue there. If you suspect the AGP slot, you could try getting your hands on a PCI video card and see if the machine behaves better with that.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 5:36 AM on March 13, 2006

Response by poster: Bit difficult to check the event viewer when you can't get the display working!
posted by StuMiller at 5:47 AM on March 13, 2006

Best answer: I'd try reseating or swapping memory modules around, before trying to get a new mobo. Most AGP cards use system RAM to store additional texture maps, and even in pure 2D applications, will be looking to remap some system memory at POST or when their drivers load. In my experience, 50% of AGP card problems are eventually found to be main memory or driver related.

Since your monitor is never even coming on during POST, I'd also suspect and try verifying your power supply. A bad 12V rail can cause similar problems. Simplest way of doing this is substitution. If you have a friend who try your card in a working AGP slot machine, I'd also try that to see if it will at least POST.

If your present mobo has on board graphics, in addition to AGP capabilities (many Intel chipset boards based on 865 chipset did offer integrated video, and an AGP slot for upgraders), you could also try the onboard video connector, with your card out. If you have a system memory problem or a power supply problem, you might still get the same issues as you have with the AGP card in place, but if your problem is the AGP slot itself, you might find video on the integrated port.
posted by paulsc at 6:18 AM on March 13, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks Paul. I've haven't got on-board video - it's an Asus k87V deluxe mobo, but I've found someone who's willing to lend me an old PCI based graphics card to give that a go. I'll also test the memory this evening.

Failing that, I'll replace the PSU first before going for the replace motherboard option. I wasn't aware this could cause 'partial' problems, but one of the fans on the PSU does occasionally make a bit of a racket on warm-up. Don't know if it's related though.
posted by StuMiller at 7:15 AM on March 13, 2006

Response by poster: Okay. I tried reseating the memory last night, and even running with only one of the chips at a time. This didn't do anything, so I tried a PCI graphics card rather than an AGP one. Still no joy. I guess it's not the AGP slot, then!

I've ordered a Hiper 580W PSU which has dual 12v rails at 18a and 20a last night to replace my exisiting Magna 600w PSU (which seems to have something of a bad reputation) and only has a single 17a 12v rail. Should be a whole lot better.

I just hope this ends up being the cause of the problem - the only thing left to do if this doesn't work is a new mobo!
posted by StuMiller at 5:16 AM on March 14, 2006

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