Video Card Problem - Green-Corruption and fail to boot

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Fujilives, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. Fujilives macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2007

    Normally I build my own machines, but this time around I needed final cut for some projects so I went all out and bought a nice mac pro about a year ago to use primarily as a gaming machine, with final-cut-pro video editing on the side. I've only done a couple FCP edits on the machine and as a result, have mostly used the PC side of things (via bootcamp) and play a game a few times a week on average (Team fortress 2 and FFXI etc). It's run beautifully, easily the best purchase I've ever made.

    Today is the first day I've had any serious issue with the machine. Having grown up building gaming computers, I am familiar with the corruption (most notably the 'green' corruption that stands out) associated with video cards. Last night I popped on a game called Dragonica that my fiance is into, she needed a hand with some boss thing, so even though I'm not super into it I hopped on. Before I knew it, the screen flickered green-colored-corruption for a second, then locked up. I restarted, thinking its probably a fluke, and before I could get all the way back in, it did it again. I turned off the machine and went to bed (had work in the morning).

    Tonight I came home and loaded up OSX to play around on the mac side of things and see if the error carried over. It ran fine for a couple hours (basic browsing etc) and then I started toying around with a crossover-mac trial. It was running ok (pain in the rear to get stuff to run properly, but I was toying to see if I could install an FFXI trial, for the sake of interest). When the game finally got to the point where it wanted to load up properly (as in, 3d graphics were rendering etc) - it flickered green for a bit, and kept the sound playing in the background. I let it sit for a minute or so to see if it would kick back in, hoping it was not related to last nights issues, but it went no where. I hard-booted my machine by holding down the power for 5 seconds or so and when I came back to osx it flickered red (orange?) for a split second, then the little 'loading' circle turned green (the usual graphics card corruption stuff) and shortly there-after, the entire computer screen broke into fragmented horizontal lines that were blue, alternating to the gray "apple boot" screen beneath it. I could not move my mouse through the corruption, it was, at least visually, locked and unwilling to budge.

    I tried booting in safe mode (held shift) and made no further progress, never-ending-spinning-loading-thingy.

    So, hoping still that there was some chance it was unrelated, I rebooted, held down option, and booted into windows. Right away the windows "loading" screen was littered with fragmented green corruption - I knew for sure now it was some sort of a hardware issue. Upon letting it load further, before the windows desktop appeared, I received the "nv4_disp" blue screen of death (BSOD) indicating that hardware was stuck in an "infinite loop" - further confirming a graphic issue.

    Now, usually at this point there is little hope of coming back, but 'sometimes' you get lucky and there's just dust caked on a fan or something that causes overheating, and once you clean the system out everything runs great. I took my machine apart and removed all the dust I could reach reasonably. The card itself didn't have much dust on it at all, but the system did have some building up that needed cleaning out. I do this every few months anyhow - so it was about that time and it wasn't terribly messy.

    I put everything back together and when I tried to boot in both OSX and Windows (via boot camp) the symptoms remained.

    OK, now that I've told my story, I've come here for a reason! You guys are really good with dealing with apple, I've seen people on these forums help countless people, but I'm just not much good at working corporate entities to make sure I dont get screwed. So what I'm wondering is, what do you recommend as a course of action.

    I don't know if I am still under warranty and I don't know if this is the kind of thing I have to bring my whole system in to the apple store, or if I can just bring the video card and proof of my purchase of what... I have er.. "private" stuff (if you will) on my system and I am not comfortable having other people stumble into say... a video of a lady on a treadmill... who forgot to put on clothes that day, who has a pool boy who forgot to wear pants... if this is the case I'd just yank out the hard drives before I brought it in.

    Bottom line is this, do you think apple will replace my video card for free? I'm hoping so, an 8800 GT is still fine by today's standards and has run fantastic for everything I do, and every game I play up until today. I just don't want to end up in a situation where I'm on the phone with support all day, end up having to 'pay' for support, and then end up having to buy a new video card anyhow.

    The sooner I get a response on this the better, its past my bedtime as it is, and I'd like to get a working system up as soon as possible, I kind of planned on relaxing and playing some games this weekend, which is, pretty obviously, not possible right now.

    Thanks and sorry for the wall of text!

    EDIT. I just looked through my email and saw that Jan 15, 2008 was the estimated ship date when I originally bought the mac pro, so I'm assuming they wont cover much... any ideas?
  2. sp00 macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2009
    What did you end up doing? I got the same exact issue and not sure what to do now.

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