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Little Square color blotches

When I leave my PC unattended for a while, these little square color blotches appear all over the screen. If they're on a window, refreshing the window clears them. Even a local refresh, like if there's a mouseover script on a page element in my browser, then mousing over the element will clear the effect from that element, but leave it everywhere else on the window. The worst, though, is the wallpaper. Once the blotches are on the wallpaper, nothing refreshes them, until I reset the wallpaper. What's causing this? A graphics card going south? A virus? Solar flare activity?

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The most common reason for this is your video card overheating. You did not post the make & model of your computer, but if you have a separate video card installed check it for overheating. Pull the side panel off the computer to inspect. If your card has a cooling fan make sure it is still working (it may have failed) and not clogged with dust. If you have integrated video (the video "card" is part of the motherboard, not separate) check for dust & clogging in the vents. This is especially important if you have overclocked the GPU (video card processor) or the CPU, many gamers do this.
If you are still having problems, I hang out at www.suggest-a-fix.com, a free help forum. Post in there and we can go deeper. This forum is just not set up for in-depth communication.

Posted on Apr 14, 2014

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  • ed_4nderson
    ed_4nderson Apr 15, 2014

    Screen shot attached

  • ed_4nderson
    ed_4nderson Apr 15, 2014

    NVIDIA GeForce GTS-450. Stress tested for over an hour and the temp never went above 70. And this anomaly happens overnight, when the computer is mostly idle.

  • Try installing the latest graphics drivers from Nvidia. Dont overclock the card, Overclocking the card can result in glitches if its overclocked even if the temperature doesnt skyrocket. Try unplugging and replugging the card. Otherwise i suggest using a screensaver when the computer is left unattended for more than 10 minuttes.

  • ed_4nderson
    ed_4nderson Apr 15, 2014

    I might be a driver version or two behind. I don't overclock--never felt like it needed it. I will give your suggestions a try, and see what happens tonight.

  • ed_4nderson
    ed_4nderson Apr 18, 2014

    OK... I had the most recent driver installed, but I deleted and reinstalled it anyway. I also disconnected the cables, and pulled the card out of the case, then blew what little dust there was out of the heat sink, out of the cable connectors, and out of the slot in the case. Reinstalled, reconnected, powered on, and have been running for a couple days with no colored blotches. I'm calling it solved, though I'm still not sure what the problem was. I also set up a screen saver, but I don't think it's actually working. I suppose I could try one of the boring ones that came with Win7, but I wanted something a little more... interesting. Oh well. Thanks for the suggestions.

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