Graphic weirdness troubleshooting checklist

Awkward title, but here’s what’s happened:

I upgraded most of my system in January, including moving to an Nvidia GTX570 video card. I’ve had no issues until yesterday. When I turned the monitor on in the morning (I leave my PC on 24/7) I noticed lots of weird glitches on the Windows desktop – windows not drawing in fully, leaving behind ‘shadows’ of themselves when moved, taskbar or menu items blinking invisible, funkiness when mousing over some elements, etc.

I updated to the June 1st drivers and that got rid of the glitches in Windows itself, however I noticed glitches in Minecraft when using high-res texture packs. I tried the usual stuff – updating the minecraft.exe, running MCPatcher again, but the glitches remained. The default version of Minecraft appears to behave normally. The glitches manifest themselves like so:

I ran around on a Painkiller DM map and saw no issues there.

I loaded up LOTRO and got some very funky problems with textures, including NPCs showing up headless (!).

I tried a system restore, which also reverted the video driver. No good, the glitches in Windows returned.

I updated to the new drivers again and Windows is now behaving but games remain problematic.

Other than perfunctory stuff like running a disk check, is there anything obvious I’m overlooking in troubleshooting this? Does it seem likely that the video card may be faulty? The PC is housed in a large case, not overclocked and gets plenty of airflow from several fans. It’s only been in the new case for a few weeks so dust shouldn’t be a problem.

What say you, hivemind? Is there something else to be done or is my video card likely d0med?

It sounds indeed like minor damage to your video card. Perhaps broken VRAM in particular. Do the problems show up instantly or after a few seconds/minutes?

The problems are there right from the get-go. It does feel like an issue with the card to me. I’m going to try scrubbing the drivers and re-installing again but am doubtful. After that I’ll shut the machine off and have a look at the card in the morning, then dig out the warranty information on it. Bleah.

Tried a different PCI slot with my old GTX260 and I’m still seeing the same issues. It may be the motherboard. Or bad karma.

Try a graphics card driver cleaner. I believe they’re snake oil, but others keep telling me they work, and you seem to be out of other ideas.

I did, the driver cleaner made no difference. The GTX260 and 570 actually use the same driver, anyway (and switching to the 260 forced it to update since the 570 has a few features the 260 doesn’t and the driver needed to re-install to handle that).

For what it’s worth I’ve done more testing with the GTX260 and I’m only seeing the problems in Minecraft so far. It may be mere coincidence that I haven’t noticed it yet in other games, though. I’ve sent a message to the store I got the motherboard from, will see what they say. Computers are fun.

EDIT: Because I like pictures. These are the lines I’m now seeing in Minecraft (default textures being used below):

EDIT, The Sequel: Torchlight, Serious Sam HD, Painkiller and EQ2 are all running fine. No problems in Windows, either.

You mean like this?

Yes, that’s pretty much it. I tried disabling FSAA in the Nvidia control panel (it was set globally to 4x) and that seems to have fixed the lines in Minecraft. What’s odd is that it was never an issue before.