How do I diagnose a problem with my video card?

My son, God bless him, decided it would be really funny if he hit the glowing red light on the power strip yesterday while the computer was on. Ever since then, when I have gone to play a game the computer display will lock up or give me some weird screen with distorted or poorly rendered graphics.

How can I find out if damage was done, or more appropriately, what damage was done?

Run dxdiag.exe and use the diagnostics. SO many things could of happened the direct x diagnostic is a good starting place.

No dice. EVerything checked out OK, yet as soon as I loaded a game and went to play it it locked up again.

It’s good that everything worked with the diagnostic.

Start the game in safemode and reset the graphic mode to something that works. Many games will restart in a graphics mode that doesn’t work if the program is exited incorrectly like happened on your computer.

What game doesn’t work?

Game program corrupted? Do lockups occur with other programs?

Open the computer and check that the fan on the graphics card is working and that there are no blown capacitors anywhere - both on the card and on the motherboard.

If that fails, borrow another graphics card and try that.

Other than SEGs, how do you check for that?