Damn - Artifacting Begins
Today, while having multiple sessions open, video rendering, editing a slide show, playing DVD ISO using VCL media player, burning 2 DVDs at the same time using Nero, MS-Word document open, CD/DVD "Top" printing in progress, MS-Outlook open with about 5/6 documents, MS-IE open to three sites, a VPN Connection to the "work" Citrix server (another windows box - I am working on the Mainframe using EXTRA), (various other "stuff" such as Virus Scan, etc...) and MOBMETER.
I start noticing small video imperfections. When I scroll down in IE, that particular window goes "Haywire", the others, in turn start exhibiting the same behavior (comes and goes). Temperature is at 58C, not unusualy hot when "Turbo Fans (Fn+F10) disabled).
I'm starting to "freak out". My "perfect" machine should not be doing this.
I shut down all applications and powered dowm the machine. I am real Anal about cleaning out the machine once a month, normally on the 1st day. I had not done this yet as I was a bit busy and figured that a couple of days would not hurt. I clean the machine with the "canned air trick" and see what happens. All's OK for about fifteen minutes and it starts to artifact again. This time MOBMETER is reporting 51C and I am only burning DVD's, printing DVD tops, and browsing a single web page. What gives, Im thinking - this unit went south on me and needs to be sent to Philips for repair? Sure hope not.
I again shut down the machine and accomplish a more through cleaning with the aid of an industrial vacuum machine. I also opened up every user accessable area and applied the vacuum to those areas. (Did get a bit of junk out of the back vent that I hadn't expected). Then I unfolded the keyboard and vacuumed the backside of the keyboard - lots of little dust bunnies living inside of the key areas (hard to see, but there) - also small pieces of tobacco and food particles/crumbs. The I carefully loosed a couple of screws that cover the motherboard and very gently retightened them - there are secure; however, not as "tight" as they once were. This resulted in the metal plated covering the motherboard to be about one sixteenth (or maybe less) inches higher than it used to be (figured it might improve air flow a bit).
I then deinstalled all ATI software and drivers (I had picked up version VER008.017M.097.000 somewhere and now that's toast). I then reinstalled the 8.04 drivers from the Sager site. I had these from an earlier download; however, noticed that some of the files had different date-time stamps so I elected to use the newer ones.
Well, after all of this, I have restarted the system and it is running a bit cooler than normal. It's about 6/7C cooler than it used to be running the same processes. I hope that's the end of the artifacting issue because right now, I just can't afford to be without this "beast". I'm glad that it's fixed and hope that it stays that way.
It's been an hour and no more artifcats have been observed.