Friday, July 29, 2005


My PC gameplaying has ground to a halt: I'm having bizarre display problems on my computer. It's a two-year-old laptop, an Alienware 51m with an ATI Radeon Mobility 9000.

Check out those crazy broken colored lines. Larger images are here and here. The screenshots don't suggest how bad the problem is, but trust me, the computer is largely unusable. Any ideas? Anyone? Bueller?

I hear that the lines could be due to a hot video card, but these lines are there from startup and the fans seem to work fine. The machine's always run hot, so I suppose I could've fried the card.

No luck with Alienware's self-help support section. I'm putting off calling them because they're going to yell at me for installing non-ATI drivers. I had to install the Omega ones because City of Heroes kept crashing with the OEM ones. And I needs me some CoH. The computer ran fine for over a year on those drivers, so I doubt that's the problem.

Sorry about the messy desktop. I usually clean up for company. And yes, that's PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL wallpaper on my desktop. I won it fair and square in a promotional game on the movie website. What?

Update: I did call Alienware and they did not yell at me. They did, however, diagnose the issue as a dead/dying video card, which in a laptop translates to "buy a new computer, sister."

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