Archive for July, 2009

Random characters in text mode -> graphics card

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

Quick note: One of the strangest things I’ve seen in a while was during my desktop’s boot-up today. There were random lines across the manufacturer’s BIOS logo, then all sorts of weird and random characters during BIOS messages and boot-manager. The monitor was fine, the power-on self test didn’t indicate anything fishy and even Linux would boot fine (but only in 640 x 480 resolution). If it had been the RAM or something, chances would be that the OS would have crashed or complained. Obviously it wasn’t a driver or OS issue as the computer hadn’t even booted up yet. It turns out it was the graphics card (an old 7xxx nVidia) and replacing it with a newer one did the trick. I’m a bit puzzled how the graphics card could have caused all those weird characters to show up, but I’m guessing the graphics RAM might have died or something like that.