Permanent checkerboard pattern
Hey gurus. Figured I'd give y'all a chance to solve this one. So today I'm plugging along, playing an old ass game that I got for $8 from Amazon when the whole screen goes into this grainy checkerboard corruption. At first I thought it was just a minor issue, easily solved by a reset, but after the computer rebooted, I've still got the same checkerboard problem. Using System restore didn't make it go away either, which-dun dun DUNH-makes it most likely to be a hardware issue.
A quick internet search suggested that I might have some heat issues, so I went back in, and sure enough, my Radeon 9800 Pro is just caked with dust. I get an old tooth brush, get it to where it looks like new, stick the thing back in and wait a little while. On the next reboot, the lines are still there. I figure maybe it needs to cool down a little while, but I'm still pretty annoyed for the time being. (Using my brother's computer until then.)
I've never had any cooling issues before, despite living with the world's fluffiest mutt. I don't think I'm drawing that much power from the rest of the equipment, either. The Radeon's the spiffiest thing I've got stuffed in there. Even still, I'm a little worried that it's going to be a power supply issue. I don't think they sell those at Best Buy. But other than a wireless router and a bit of extra RAM, I don't think anything's drawing that much power. Maybe the ZIP drive that I've got installed, but I can't imagine that's adding too much to the load.
One other weird thing. I've been running my external hard drive through my sound card. It's the only thing that had the right port for the cable. It was a desperation ploy when I plugged it in, but it's been working fine for over a year now. That said, I've been downloading a lot of files directly to that drive in the past few days, and I'm wondering if that hasn't added a lot of excess heat to the system.
Let's see, the computer's a Dell Dimension 8300. That's a PIII. I believe it's the non-Intel chipset. My drivers should be up to date, but I haven't checked recently. The fact that the problem doesn't go away when I restart suggests that it's not the drivers anyways.
If anyone's got any ideas or had any similar problems, I'd love to hear about it.
*City Watch comic not actually coming in February, nor in any other month.