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  1. #1
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    PUZZLE - Dell XPS 600 Video Meltdown? Desktop extends beyond monitor edges...

    KILL this thread -
    1. It goes awry after "Bonkers" - the monitor is dead (sometimes).
    2. New drivers from AMD (ATI) fixed the "floating deskeop" New drivers from Dell did not.

    Now how do I mark this "Solved"?
    ================================================== =======================

    My video has gone from "bonkers" to gone.
    Background
    I opened up the case to add two Seagate SATA hard disks. My video was not displaying on the second monitor so I thought I would simplify things by removing the second ATI Radeon HD 2600XT video card and the CrossFire cables to the primary card (I am not doing any gaming). I power the PC down before making any of these changes, no obvious problems occurred, etc. I use Windows XP with SP 3.

    "Bonkers"
    • My normal 1280x1024 resolution changed somehow to 1024x768 (I think) for no discernible reason
    • When I would change the resolution (Desktop, Properties) to anything above 1024x768, the desktop would extend BEYOND the edges of the monitor!
      • I've never seen this. Move the mouse down below the bottom of the screen and the desktop pushes up, allowing me to see the Start Bar. Move the mouse to the right and it "pushes" the desktop to the left. WHAT?
      • The Dell monitor (1901FP) menu displayed an additional piece of info that I haven't seen before (or since with another computer) - under "Optimal 1280x1024 60 Hz" it displayed "Analog Signal [I think] 1024x768 60 Hz" regardless of what I set it to in Settings

    • I started a post in the Lounge and the monitor stopped displaying anything other than the ping-ponging Dell color box
      • When I power the system off, I hear the Windows Goodbye chimes
      • When I turn it on I hear the Windows Welcome sound and then dings for the USB devices found (I also do not see the Dell BIOS opening screen)
      • Is this getting interesting yet?


    OK - time to do some analysis and experimentation.
    1. The monitors and cables work with another computer
    2. I reinstalled the second video card with the CrossFire cables = no change (Window chimes in the background so I know it's actually booting)
    3. I installed the second V card in the primary slot as a single = no change
    4. The MB does not have a video port and I don't have any usable alternative cards to test with


    Note: I had been running at a 75 Hz refresh rate, which is what I thought I had read was appropriate for the 1901FP monitors. But when I saw the "optimal" message in the Setup box on the Dell 1901FP screen, I changed it.

    Suggestions? Is it sensible to think the MB is probably good (chimes) and track down another video card?
    • The MB has the two slots for the video - Two PCI Express x16 164 pins - identified as primary and secondary GFX slots
    • One PCI Express x8 98 pins
    • One PCI Express x1 36 pins
    • Two PCI with 124 pins

    Will any V card that fits x1 or x8 or x16 be OK?

    This is my main office PC and I would hate to have to change to a new box and have to go through all the setup. I will respond as quickly and competently as possible to requests for more info.
    Last edited by hobkirk; 2013-08-31 at 15:20.

  2. #2
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    Do you get any start up BIOS options or such before it blanks out or is there nada? If there is something, see if you can start in safe mode, or enable VGA mode, system restore to before you pulled any internals, shut down and replace all the hardware exactly as it was and try booting.

    If you don't get anything on screen try resetting the CMOS t manually perhaps and if you have a XP disc you can make a UBCD4Win boot disc and see if that will boot the system so you can perform an eqivalent system restore with the registry restore utility, maybe try replacing the hardware as it was beforehand also.

    If you just want to try another card, make it a different brand so there's no chance of compatibility with the installed drivers, in this case then NVIDIA most likely.
    Last edited by F.U.N. downtown; 2013-08-31 at 00:11.
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  3. #3
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    No Dell logo screen, no BIOS screen, just a "no signal" message from the monitor.
    I don't think an XP boot disc would help. I think it's booting up just fine (Window welcome chimes) but I can't see anything.
    I am mystified by two cards failing (I tried each one individually in the GFX Primary slot).

  4. #4
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    I suggest testing the graphics card(s) in a suitable machine, I suspect the PSU to be the culprit (you just added a greater load) but all of the components feel pretty old (5-7 yrs or more ?) and I'd need to weigh up the pros and cons of part v. full replacement carefully.

    There's a slim chance that something was dislodged during the drive addition - also, if the PSU is faulty, it could easily damage the hard drives/data and any other hardware.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    I suggest testing the graphics card(s) in a suitable machine, I suspect the PSU to be the culprit (you just added a greater load) but all of the components feel pretty old (5-7 yrs or more ?) and I'd need to weigh up the pros and cons of part v. full replacement carefully.

    There's a slim chance that something was dislodged during the drive addition - also, if the PSU is faulty, it could easily damage the hard drives/data and any other hardware.
    PSU? Failure because of the extra load by adding two hard drives. I like it.

    I turned off the PC, disconnected the power leads to the two new HD's, turned it back on, and no change. And I still get the Window Welcome sound.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Note: I had been running at a 75 Hz refresh rate, which is what I thought I had read was appropriate for the 1901FP monitors. But when I saw the "optimal" message in the Setup box on the Dell 1901FP screen, I changed it.
    It's not a good idea to have your monitor set to refresh beyond 60Hz, especially so if you don't do any gaming.
    You just don't need it higher, and it'll shorten the lifespan of your monitor.
    Most monitors will not allow higher settings for a good reason, if yours does, be wary; the tech is just not up to par yet.

    Sounds to me like you have a bad GPU card.

    Test the card in another computer.

    How many Watts is your PSU?
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2013-08-31 at 02:58.
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  7. #7
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    The additional 20-32W required at bootup for the 2x drives you added could easily push an 8yo+ designed PSU into breakdown, removing them now and testing proves nothing.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    ...

    Sounds to me like you have a bad GPU card.

    Test the card in another computer.

    How many Watts is your PSU?
    1. I installed another PCI x16 card that was working 3 days ago in another machine. I installed it in the "Primary GFX" slot (labeled on the MB). No change
    2. I also changed the VGA to VGA cable (using a proven VGA to DVI adapter on the video card end). No change - just a pretty quick boot and then the Windows Welcome sound (and the USB mouse lights up, the keyboard ditto and Caps Lock triggers the warning light).
    3. Then I changed to a DVI to DVI cable - this caused the Dell ping-ponging color box I associate with "no signal" to disappear. The monitor setup button (which has not triggered any display since the video stopped working) now triggers a text message: "2: Digital Input in Power Save Mode, Press any key or move mouse" (some of which trigger Window sounds) - no effect on the video


    The PSU is rated at 750W. The machine was a fancy machine in 2007 or 2008.

    And thanks all for your help!
    Last edited by hobkirk; 2013-08-31 at 13:38.

  9. #9
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    Cool

    Could possibly be due to bad ram memory chip. If you have more than one fitted try removing one and see if anything changes. if not swap for the one removed and try again.
    Also if the graphic cards require additional power ensure the power leads are properly inserted in the cards.
    Last edited by curiousclive; 2013-09-01 at 09:45.
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  10. #10
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    KILL this thread -
    1.It goes awry after "Bonkers" - the monitor is dead (sometimes).
    2.New drivers from AMD (ATI) fixed the "floating deskeop" New drivers from Dell did not.

    Now how do I mark this "Solved"?
    So, what exactly did you do to resolve this?
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    I can understand the 'floating Desktop' fix, I've previously encountered several machines (most were XP, at least 1 was a Dell) where the Desktop could be set at a higher resolution than the native monitor had, it's not uncommon on Linux either.

    I guess your trying to fix that issue had inadvertently caused you to set a display frequency which was out of range for your monitor and it triggered the complete loss of graphics?

    Merely updating the current (Dell) drivers would not have changed the settings, but ATI/AMD drivers would not use the same settings and would have reverted to the defaults.

  12. #12
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    Indeed that part all makes perfect sense. Getting a visual on the BIOS/Startup/OS to install the ATI/AMD drivers is the unexplained Catch-22.
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