Dave's wife got a "blue screen," and he thought the monitor was the culprit. Leo says the simple and cheapest solution is to swap out the monitor cable first. If the issue persists, he should try updating the drivers. He can create a bootable thumb drive that will allow him to get into the computer without running the hard drive. He can also do it from a CD. His recovery disc will do this as well. Then if it's a driver, booting to a separate OS would tell him a lot. If it's still blue, then he'll know it's a hardware issue.
Jack wants to build his first computer and he has a budget of about $800. He needs a good gaming quality video card. Leo says that learning how a computer works is a great reason to build one. Leo recommends going to PC Perspectives and check out their hardware leaderboard. Leo says that the AMD XFX video card is the best in that price range.
Dan has a 24" screen because he's into music recording. Should he buy a new video card? Leo says not for that screen. At 1920x1080, any video card is going to handle it. Leo says that the processor and RAM are more important for editing music than a video card. But it he requires a set manufacturer like Nvidia, a low end card will work just fine.
Ken has a problem with his monitor. All his icons have turned to negative. He tried to change the cable, and he even tried another monitor. Leo says it may be that his settings were changed. Ken should go into accessibility and see if it's set for high contrast mode. But when he unplugs it and plugs it back in, it goes back to normal. Leo says that's odd. Leo says to update the drivers on the video card. If it rights itself when he tries again, that points to a hardware issue and Ken should try replacing the video card.
Paul bought a new Mac Pro but he's having issues using a third party video card. Leo says that's because of compatibility issues with drivers. Leo says that it's always best to stick with Mac designed video cards or go with Windows. Mac doesn't play well with third party hardware. He should stick with the card that comes with the Mac. If he still wants a third party video card option, Leo recommends going to MacSales. They will have models of cards that are designed specifically for Mac.
Devon thought his video card was failing so he removed it and now he's getting no post codes. Could the motherboard be bad? Leo says it could be a number of things, including loose cables or CPUs, memory etc. He should try reseating everything. Leo says Devon may have also lost the CMOS battery in the process, but that wouldn't fail the post.
John's computer shuts down intermittently. Leo says he has a computer that does it and it's proven to be a flaw, and the company is replacing it. Leo says it's usually related to the power supply, or the computer is overheating. This can trigger a reset. The chat room says it can happen when watching YouTube as video playback is challenging. On the software side, he should make sure he has the latest video card drivers. But if that doesn't work, then he'll have to bring it in.
Paul's PC runs Vista and today he booted up and got nothing but a pattern on his screen. Leo says it sounds like either a bad video driver or a failing video card. Leo advises going into safe mode, reinstalling the video driver and reboot. If it comes back, then he's solved the problem. If not, then he should look into replacing the video card.
Derek was on a file sharing site, he downloaded a file, and the next day his computer was unusable. It just would boot up to a random pattern. Leo says that often, malware is distributed via filesharing sites. So it may be malware. Malware would typically lock the user out and then try to extort money to unlock it. This isn't what it's doing, though.
Tyler turns on his computer, it runs, but he can't see anything. Leo says the card could have unseated. He could try pushing it back in. He also should replace the video cable. It's likely just a bad cable.