GP6-300 Power Supply, Radeon video problem

Discussion in 'Gateway' started by Marty, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. Marty

    Marty Guest

    Sorry this is a long post. I hope someone will be persistent enough t
    help me out.

    I have been working on a friend's old Gateway 2000 GP6 (maybe G6?
    300MHz PII MMX system.

    It has a problem where the video "zaps out" frequently. I say tha
    because the monitor literally makes a zapping sound as the scree
    contents quickly collapse into a bright white spot and then it goe

    The video card in question is an ATI Radeon 9000 64M AGP card that wa
    installed by "some guy" a year or so ago because they needed to run tw
    simultaneous displays (one on the monitor and another on the s-vide

    I have determined that after the problem occurs, the OS (Win98 firs
    edition) is not locked up. I can use the keyboard shortcuts to blindl
    shutdown or restart the machine. However, the video will not come bac
    until the system is powered off/on (restart won't get it back).

    The problem seems to occur when the system tries to display a lot o
    white. For example, clicking maximize in a blank Internet Explore
    window will do it every time. I have also noticed that by starting wit
    a small IE window and dragging it bigger and bigger, the problem wil
    occur when the window has almost filled the screen.

    First I thought this was a software problem (drivers or something), bu
    now I don't think so.

    The Radeon manual says the system should have at least a 300-watt powe
    supply. This system only has 200W.

    However, my friend insists that they did not always have this problem
    I'm not so sure. I don't think one would really pay attention t
    wheteher they were doing things full-screen and/or what the colo
    content of the screen was.

    Therefore I theorized that maybe the power supply had weakened ove
    time and what used to be borderline OK had become a borderline failure
    Miraculously, I happened to have a brand-new replacement power supply o
    the exact same model (6500126) which I got stuck with on a prior repai
    job. I tried the brand-new 200W supply and we still had the sam

    The peripherals in the machine, besides the Radeon card are 1 ISA mode
    card, 1 ISA sound card, 1 HDD, 1 floppy, 1 Zip drive, 1 CDRW. Thes
    components have all been there since before the Radeon card.

    While I had the new power supply hooked up, I tried disconnecting th
    Zip drive to see if that would give us the boost we needed but it di

    I cleaned everything out with a can of air so it should be cooling OK
    All fans appear to be fine and nothing feels hot to the touch. Thi
    problem occurs even when the system is cold, however it may be a littl
    worse when it gets hot (this is what first lead me in the direction o
    power supply).

    Just for a test, I replaced the hard disk with another and installe
    Win98SE from scratch (did not load ATI drivers). Even in this defaul
    state, 640x480 with MS VGA drivers, the problem occurred as soon as
    maximized Internet Explorer. To me, this test eliminates software fro
    my possibilities.

    So what do you all think?

    Could the power supply cause something like this (especially since th
    Radeon doc specifically asks for 300W)? I want to believe my frien
    that "it used to work fine" but I just think most people don't alway
    pay that much attention.

    Given the power supply theory, could it be the content of the scree
    (i.e. mostly white) that pushes it over the edge?

    I tried different resolutions and that did not help. It occurred to m
    while typing this that one thing I did NOT try was disabling th
    secondary display. Do you suppose that the combined content of bot
    displays trying to do "all white" is what draws more current than w
    have available? When we ask the video card to run both displays, wil
    it need more juice?

    Does it take more power for a video card to display more bright colors
    or white?

    Lastly, I would like to try a beefier power supply but I am afraid t
    hook up a standard ATX replacement. I've been under the impression tha
    Gateway used a standard ATX connector but the pinouts may be different
    The physical differences are obvious, but I may be able to do a littl
    drilling and fabricating to make a standard ATX supply fit physically.
    It's just the electrical (pinout) part that scares me. I don't want to
    fry my friend's machine.

    If you've read this far, THANK YOU VERY MUCH IN ADVANCE!

    Marty, Dec 12, 2004
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  2. Marty

    Ben Myers Guest


    First, if the monitor is the one that came with the computer, it sounds like the
    monitor may be failing. Can you try another monitor?

    Second, yes, why not use a standard ATX power supply? The motherboard in the
    GP6-300 is a straight generic off-the-shelf Intel board with 440LX chipset, and
    the Gateway power supply is a standard one, a little light on the wattage. But
    I've seen worse: Packard Bell systems and some earlier Gateway systems with 145w
    power supplies. But first, try another monitor to see what effect the system
    has under the same conditions.

    If I had to place a bet on this one, I'd bet on a failing monitor... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Dec 12, 2004
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  3. Marty

    Fireclown Guest

    Ben has demonstrated his computer accumen. However, my money is on
    Marty's first suspicion, the power supply. If by some miracle the power
    supply isn't browning out, I would expect an eventual failure. However,
    as Ben says, check with a different monitor first before spending any

    Fireclown, Dec 12, 2004
  4. Marty

    Ben Myers Guest

    Well, excess dust and dirt on the inside, preventing proper ventilation, could
    also be a cause. Especially if the Radeon has its own cooling fan clogged with

    But I've seen defective monitors behave exactly as the OP described... Ben
    Ben Myers, Dec 12, 2004
  5. Have you tried powering off the monitor but leaving the computer running?
    The "zapping" sound probably comes from the monitor high voltage and should
    not be causable by any reasonable failure of the computer itself. (Also the
    collapse of the video screen into a single dot further points to the same
    condition.) After leaving it off for a short period turn it back on and see
    if the system is still "booted up" and the display comes on.
    Tom Clydesdale, Dec 12, 2004
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