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Windows 7: Installed Secondary HDD, Screen Now Flickers on Startup

23 Feb 2015   #11
ItchyAlgae

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Hooked up a different monitor. Screen still flickers (and it's getting worse). New cable and it still flickers. Video drivers are current. Any ideas? GPU or PSU (and how would I go about checking that?)


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Feb 2015   #12
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

For power supply, see post #7. You will need a multimeter.

The average user can't really test a power supply (that requires some very expensive equipment) but they can do some basic tests with a multimeter to uncover obvious problems.

To test you open the case and find a spare, unused power connector coming off the power supply (a molex connector works great) and connect the multimeter to one of the black wires (black to black) and one of the yellow wires (yellow to red) by inserting the multimeter probes into the hollow pins on the molex. Normally the will stay there, but you may need some tape.
Set the multimeter to read DC voltage in the 20v range. Then you start the computer and watch the readings on the multimeter to see if there is any drop in voltage as Windows starts up. The voltage should be very close to 12v. The voltage on the multimeter may normally fluctuate +/- .10v. You are looking for something more significant than that.

For GPU the first test you should try is to start Windows in Safe Mode. See if the problem persists in Safe Mode. This test will rule out the driver or driver conflict.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Feb 2015   #13
ItchyAlgae

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

So I booted it up in safe mode and didn't get any screen flickering. There's a bit of good news. Drivers, possibly? I did install AND Catalyst Control Center and download the latest video drivers, but that didn't seem to do anything.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Feb 2015   #14
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Well that narrows it down a bit to EITHER the graphics card or the graphics driver.

So let's try this. I"m going to have you do a 2-part clean install of the driver.
  • First, go to the AMD website and download the most current known good driver for your video card. Save the file where you can find it.
  • Next, go into Windows Explorer and in the (usually) C: drive find the Program Files > ATI folder (inside will be Drivers > and your driver version) and delete it (the whole folder).
  • Next, Go into Start > Control Panel > Remove a Program and uninstall all programs for the video card. Do the actual driver last. For AMD, you may be able to select “AMD Catalyst Install Manager” and click on “Change”, then “Uninstall All Components”.
  • Restart the computer.
  • When the computer reboots to the desktop Windows will install it's own generic WDDM1.1 driver and you will be asked to restart again. You must do so in order to install the new Drivers > Restart.
At this point you should run the computer with the Windows generic driver for a while. See if the flickering stops.

If it does, then you could try installing the newest AMD driver from your download.

Let's see what you find.

AMD Instructions > go to Windows 7 section:
How-To Uninstall AMD Catalyst Drivers From A Windows Based System
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Feb 2015   #15
ItchyAlgae

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

I'll give that a shot. I should mention that two new symptoms have popped up:

My monitor is taking a ridiculously long time from when it's powered on to when the screen comes to life. 30 seconds +

And when my computer boots and goes to the log on/password screen, there's a 5-10-second delay from when the screen comes up and when I can type in the password box. It just won't register any character entries until then. It's never done that and I've had this computer for almost five years
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Feb 2015   #16
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

The monitor has very little to do with the performance of the PC. Meaning there is nothing that could be happening on the monitor end of things that would have anything to do with causing a problem on the PC. This applies to a PC in which the monitor is a separate component, attached to the PC by a cable. It does not apply to an all-in-one PC or a laptop exactly the same way.

So when you say: "My monitor is taking a ridiculously long time from when it's powered on to when the screen comes to life", that could mean that there is a problem with the monitor, or it could mean it takes 30 second for any output from the PC to show up on the monitor.
Test 1: with the PC up and on the Windows Desktop, turn off the monitor, wait 5 minutes or so, then turn the monitor back on. Does the image come up immediately after it turns on?
Test 2: switch the monitor on but not the PC. Let it stay on for 5 minutes or so, then start the PC. Does it now take 30 seconds for any image to show up on the screen?
Let us know the results of both tests.

The delay at the login screen means the system is busy, probably loading something (like a bad driver) and trying to resolve a conflict. It could also be hardware failure - a bad video card for instance, or a power supply problem is still not out of the equation.

So we will work down the tests and see if we can isolate the cause. Start with the monitor tests, then do the graphics driver test.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Feb 2015   #17
ItchyAlgae

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

I doubt it's the monitor. It did the same thing with the newer monitor last night.

Test 1: No, it takes quite a while to come up. It never used to.

Test 2: It comes on immediately.

On deleting the AMD folder: There's one under Program Files and another under Program Files (x86). Delete both of them?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Feb 2015   #18
Berton

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17, Windows 10 Pro TP
 
 

Your System Specs show 9GB RAM, is it possible there's mismatched modules? RAM modules are usually multiples of 1GB, 2GB or 4GB but some motherboards had sufficient slots to also use smaller capacities to add up to 9GB, e.g. 2 x 4GB and 2 x 512MB = 9GB or any other such combination.

In some computer cases it's not hard to slightly dislodge an Add-in Video card. Some VGA to DVI adapters can cause problems, quality counts.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2015   #19
ItchyAlgae

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Berton View Post
Your System Specs show 9GB RAM, is it possible there's mismatched modules? RAM modules are usually multiples of 1GB, 2GB or 4GB but some motherboards had sufficient slots to also use smaller capacities to add up to 9GB, e.g. 2 x 4GB and 2 x 512MB = 9GB or any other such combination.

In some computer cases it's not hard to slightly dislodge an Add-in Video card. Some VGA to DVI adapters can cause problems, quality counts.
9GB RAM is a bit odd, but the computer has run fine with those sticks since it was built in May 2010.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2015   #20
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ItchyAlgae View Post
I doubt it's the monitor. It did the same thing with the newer monitor last night.
Test 1: No, it takes quite a while to come up. It never used to.
Test 2: It comes on immediately.
Did you write that backwards? Because Test 1 result above shows a problem with the monitor.
If the PC is up and running and you can see the image on the monitor, then you turn off the monitor and wait for it to cool down, and it takes a long time to show that same image again when you turn the monitor back on - that's a problem with the monitor.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ItchyAlgae View Post
On deleting the AMD folder: There's one under Program Files and another under Program Files (x86). Delete both of them?
I would use the method in the AMD article linked in Post #5. Go to Control Panel > Programs > and use the AMD Catalyst Install Manager. Just select the radio button to remove everything.

Then go into the Program Files folders and see if there are any stragglers and delete them then.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Installed Secondary HDD, Screen Now Flickers on Startup




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