hoping that someone here will be able to help with a problem i have or at least help to explain some things to me.
i've just built a PC last week, with a EP45-DS3P mobo, 8800GTS 320MB vid card and using a couple of 300GB Maxtor hard drives that i had spare. RAM is nothing special - just Kingston 2x 2GB sticks. 550W power supply.
now i installed the Windows 7 Beta on the weekend... but even before that i was having troubles with the display just getting all garbled, first when i was playing Fallout 3, and then when i was just browsing the 'net a message would pop up along the lines of "Windows Nvidia driver kernal had an error and has recovered" - the display would flicker on and off, but eventually it would just jam the system or crash.
i thought the video card could be overheating, so i took it out, took it apart as much as i could and there was a little bit of dust that i blew out. but then after i put it back in the display problem didn't really get any better... and eventually i couldn't even boot into Windows, it would just garble the login screen.
i installed Ubuntu last night - which seemed to go okay... until i activated the Linux Nvidia driver and it just froze... then could not boot Linux either.
after that things got worse - there were artifacts appearing on the POST screen, and even when i went F12 to boot from the LiveCD that boot selection screen was getting garbled....
i used the PC in safe mode a little bit last night after that - and it had a bunch of big vertical coloured lines on the screen... i've got pics of some of this stuff that i can post up a bit later from work, if it would be helpful.
now the more confusing bit - i checked the diagnostic LEDs on the mobo, and the SATA and IDE LED's were lit up blue. i don't know if they change colour or if lit up just means there's a problem? well i don't even have anything IDE installed, and i swapped the SATA ports around, still the same - unplugged all the SATA connectors from the mobo and rebooted - still the SATA and IDE LEDs were on. and inbetween all of this the PCI LED came on randomly (which again, is not even used, since i have a PCI-E gfx card and no PCI card is installed). also when i started up with all SATA unplugged, the CPU diagnostic LED flashed on briefly.
so i was wondering - does it mean anything if those lights flash on briefly, or should they stay on for how long? could it just be the SATA and IDE controllers starting up, causing the LED's to come on?
i read another post on here about someone having problems... seems that his problem were related to putting the PC into hibernate, or sleep. I tried this the first night i had it built, and it just came back on straight away. well his solution was to start up without the CMOS battery in, use last known good setting - then shut down - put the battery back in and start up normally and apparently all was well for him. i tried this and made no difference.
one last thing - i got this 8800GTS off my bro, his old card. what are the chances that the card is just past it's use by date? he did mention something about some oily stuff on it when he stopped using it... but i don't know what that could be...???
i was going to get a copy of Vista to install, but i'm now thinking that's pointless because of the garbled screen now in POST.
well if anyone has any ideas i'd be glad to hear them. even if i can just find out about those diagnostic LEDs. i'm at my wits end here. thanks for any help.