Problem: After installing Windows Vista Ultimate on my self-built computer, I have encountered an issue with the display of Windows Vista Ultimate.

Bios Version: Pentium 4 V88 P1.60 Prescott Motherboard
Processor Type: Intel Pentium 4 CPU 3.00Ghz
Processor Speed: 3000Mhz
Microcode Update: F34/13
Cache Size: 1024KB
Total Memory: 2048MB (Dual Channel Memory Mode)
Power Supply: 500w
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 6800 Ultra
Audio: SB Audigy Pro Z

Details: After booting up Windows XP and successfully passing through the Windows Welcome (the screen that shows before windows desktop) screen, the display shows, red, green and blue pixels randomly flashing on the screen. These pixels are often not next to each other, display on some portions of the screen, or display all over the screen.

I am sure it is not the display/monitor because I have connected the computer to several different monitors.

Also, when I control/alt/delete the pixels do not show, all is normal, and the Welcome Screen does not have any problems.

I have thought about buying a new video card to see if this is the problem, because I do not know if the GeForce 6800 Ultra is able to handle Windows Vista Ultimate, or if there is some other problem, for instance, my motherboard.

I have had problems in the past with overheating when running the video card with some high intensity online games like TF2 and WOW. But I haven't been doing this because of the enormous heat created in the room. I literally had to get an extra air conditioner for the room to offset the temperature.

I bought the video card used in 2004. And the motherboard was bought new then as well.

The motherboard has an AGP 8x slot and PCI's. I have also considered buying a new computer, or rebuilding, since I have a sufficient hard drive, dvd, and case already. However, the new Motherboard, Memory, Video Card, PSU and chipset would cost about $1000.

Solutions: Any suggestions?

I would think video drivers or video card hardware. Do you have the latest drivers from nvidia?

It could be power related, new video cards require 450w all by themselves.

Assuming you are in Windows XP...

1. Right click your desktop
2. Select Properties
3. Click the settings tab
4. Click the advanced button
5. Click the Troubleshoot tab
6. Uncheck the "enable write combining" box

It's a common problem with the 7000 series. Its easy to fix under XP... don't upgrade to Windows Vista. You can't solve it is a problem with running an 8x card on a 4x AGP controller.

I think I had the latest drivers the last time I was able to check ... it does freeze fairly quickly after it boots up .. so I often can't do much of anything ... :/

Francis, I have can't not upgrade to Windows Vista. It's already installed and was a new copy bought from Best Buy (of course non-returnable). I do not have XP license or CD.

As far as running the 8x card, I wasn't aware that my motherboard wasn't an 8x AGP slot. I have been running the card succesffuly without any problems until shortly after the installation of Vista, which is why I suspect that to be the issue.

I do believe you are correct in your assumption that it is a power issue however.