Sorry, another computer problem/question (Graphics)...

A few months ago, you guys fixed my printer. I hope you can come through again…

In short, my graphics “don’t work”. I believe it is because there is something wrong with my graphics card. There are “spots” of color where there shouldn’t be. I’ve got three examples:

  1. AOL buddy list (the big black lines are “censor lines”
  2. Download screen (pink area)
  3. Display Screen (pink dots around monitor)

Right now, you’re probably thinking something along the lines of “So what?” Well, I’m big into computer gaming, and every game I have has something wrong with the graphics now. For example, on Black & White, it’s so bad that I’ve deemed it unplayable now, and that game was expensive.

The only game that isn’t affected is Civilization III. But that’s only after I go and change my color quality everytime I play it, so I wouldn’t even count that.

You may want specs, so here you go:

Graphics Card: ATI RADEON DDR (AGP)
PC: Dell Dimension 8100
OS: Windows XP Home Edition (but the problem still exsisted before XP, on ME)
Processor: Intel Pentium 4 1500 MHz
Memory: 256MB RAM
DirectX Version: DirectX 8.1

Some of that should be useful. If you need anymore information, I’m all ears. I noticed the problem sometime around late December. I bought Civ III and was having problems getting it to work. Our old graphics card was outdated and we installed a new one. Then it worked. I don’t know how long it was after that, but it was sometime around there that the dots started appearing, and I haven’t been able to get them to go away.

So… What should I do? Should I just go and buy an entirely new computer? Do you have any idea what the possible cause of this was so I don’t do it again?


I should probably point out that the problem with the Buddy list is the black dots/lines around the icons. (next to the censor lines)

Ugh! And the 3rd URL should be This.

My apologies.

I’ll start simple. Have you updated your graphics card drivers? Go to the ATI site and make sure you have the latest for your card (and for WinXP).

Was the card OEM or did you add it later?

In either case, you might want to try the fine folks over at:

I’ve had pretty good luck sorting out Dell computer problems over there. They seem like a pretty smart bunch (not as good as us of course).

First guess after looking at the pics: Bad graphics card, or bad connection.

But yeah, try updating the drivers first.

Since your computer’s a Dell, you shouldn’t have much trouble getting a replacement if the card really is the problem. Hit up their support page and type in your service code. That should give you access to the drivers for your model computer.

I’ve seen bad graphics cards give off pretty much the exact same symptoms as what you have, so I’ll toss in my two cents and agree with Tattva and Why A Duck.

In the OP he said that the card is new to the system (but worked at first.)

Will Dell still give him the hookup? Or just advice?

Eeep. No, Dell won’t hook him up. But ATI should. Look on their web page for warranty information.

So far, Duck’s suggestion about going to the site and downloading the newest version of the driver didn’t work. I tried to install it, but it had a “severe error”, which scared the crap out of me. I thought it was ruined for good. I was able to get it back to how it was before, though.

Tattva’s suggestion didn’t work either.

I didn’t do that Dell Talk thing yet, though. I suppose I’ll try that next…
Thanks for all the input, keep it coming.

I’ve posted it. If you want to check it out, here you go…

Possible Graphics Card Problem
That link should work…