I came downstairs this morning and switched on the monitor (the computer was already on) to find a completely garbled version of the windows login screen staring at me. The colors were wrong, the graphics were broken up and shuffled all over the place, the resolution had reverted to 640. My heart skipped a beat.
I reset the computer and…
Now everything appears to be okay.
Time for a new computer? New graphics card? Was this just a freak incident? Any ideas?
Could also be something stupid like a screensaver messing things up, or the GFX card not coming out of sleep mode properly.
Do what gotpasswords says, and don’t worry about it if it doesn’t happen again. If it does happen again, look for patterns (eg, always happens after a certain amount of time, when it hot outside, after playing a certain game…)
it’s a good idea to shut down home machines when not in use, if possible.
Of course, as always, make sure all important data is backed up anyway.
Good advice, sounds like the video card was overheating.
People should vacuum out their PC’s every now and then to make sure air flows through the unit properly and that there isn’t a dangerous buildup of dust and stuff on the components.
I open mine up (turned off and unplugged, make sure you discharge any static) about once every three months and clean it out.
Use your floor vac with a crevice attachment. Don’t use a high powered shop vac.
You don’t have to get too close to the guts of the machine, just make sure you suck off the power supply vents and the other air holes on the case. Make sure the various fans inside and on the MB are free spinning and clean.
I, personally, get up and close with the vacuum and suck debris from all cracks and crevices. Haven’t had any problems yet.
Use common sense and just make sure the air flow paths in the unit are unnobstructed.
Shifts in resolution and color depth would not be consistent with screen degaussing needs. More like a twitchy or overheated video card. IF the pc in question has integrated video it could also be bad/overheated RAM.
Computers should be able to run trouble free for days or even weeks straight so if this is happening on a daily or every few days something is probably on the way out.