737-21241: Display Corruption

Article Number: 21241

​This article provides troubleshooting steps to help users experiencing display corruption during the boot up period before the Windows loads.   This is referred to as corruption during the initial post stage of the boot up process.


When starting, or restarting your system before Windows loads, users may experience any of the following issues:

  • Lines
  • Checkerboard patterns
  • Flashing dots
  • Giant triangles
  • Graphical glitches
  • Monitor flickering
  • Fuzzy or blurred images
  • Out-of-focus images
  • Unstable images
  • Noise on the screen


This typically is due to a problem with the of the video card's hardware, such as overheating, or hardware damage; however corruption during the boot up stage has been known to be caused by other system components. 


Since there is no software loading at the time of the boot up. A process of hardware elimination should be applied in these cases.  Hardware swapping is generally used to rule out which component is causing the problem. 
Technical Details:

Here is a checklist to go through when experiencing corruption during the post stage of the boot up:

  • Visually inspect the back of the computer for a monitor connector located within the section where ports for keyboard, mouse, and printer are located.
    Check the cables and confirm that the monitor's cable is screwed in tightly. Replace the cable with new one and note if the problem persists.
  • Try moving the cable back and forth near both connectors. If this causes the color to change, a broken wire in the cable or a loose pin in one of the connectors is the cause of the issue.
  • Check for any interference around the monitor e.g. Cell phone, radio and florescent light, etc.  This causes interference with the monitor and creates electrical noise.
  • Adjust the monitor's analog clock and phase to match the graphics mode using the auto-adjust function.
  • Please check with the Motherboard or PC manufacturer to ensure that the latest BIOS is up to date.
  • Ensure that the card is firmly seated in the slot (PCI/AGP/PCI-Express), and clean away any dust in the slot or on the card.
  • Ensure that good air circulation is occurring within the system and the computer is kept near room temperature.
  • Ensure that the processor and system memory are firmly seated.
  • Test the system with a single memory module if multiples are being used.
  • Disable or remove all non-essential hardware (i.e. sound cards, network card, additional HDD etc…).
  • Ensure that they system has adequate power, below are the requirements for the card for a standard system configuration. This would include 1 hard drive, 1 optical drive, 2 case fans, 1 sound card, and 1 network card.
  • 300 Watts for 9700, 9800, X300, X600 and X700
  • 350 Watts for X800, X850, X1300, and X1600
  • Radeon HD 2900 requires 550 Watt (750 for Crossfire™) or greater power supply with two 2x3-pin PCIe® power connectors is required.
  • RADEON X1800/ X1900/ X1950 require special power supply search for the knowledge base Power Connection on a RADEON X1900 Graphics Card for more information regarding the power requirements.
    450 Watt capacity with 30A on a +/- 12 volt rail (connection) for single graphics configuration
    550 Watt capacity with 38A on a +/- 12 volt rail (connection) for dual graphics configuration for Crossfire.  ​
  • ​​Current Radeon™ HD high performance cards require 6 pin and 8 pin connectors. Each series differ in the pin out configurations; please check the manufacturer's documentation for more information.
  • For AGP video cards, the motherboard and the video card must be compatible in AGP port speed they must have the same AGP specifications.  Search the online article ATI AGP Graphics Cards - AGP Compliance Details for further information.
  • Try the video card in another computer or a different video card in the system that being tested. If the video card works in another Computer, then the video card is not defective.  Check the remaining components in the system for the cause of the issue.
  • If another video card also exhibits the same behavior then the video card is not the cause of the issue, in this case ruling out the video card has been established and the other system components are in question.
    If the problem exhibits itself by testing the video card in question on another computer, then the card is defective.
  • Testing a second video card with no corruption will indicate that video card is defective.

If ​the card is proven to be defective, please apply for warranty service, or exchange the product at the point of purchase.

AMD only provided RMA warranty services for cards that have "Built by ATI" product bought in a Shrink-wrapped box and are still under warranty.  "Graphics by ATI" or "Powered by ATI" products, please contact the respective manufacturer of the video card. 
Cards designed and pre-configured in either Dell, HP, Gateway ECT. Please contact the OEM computer manufacturer to invoke their warranty service.

"Built by ATI" products may apply for an RMA as follow:

Visit our RMA Hub Page​
Read the terms and conditions
Scroll to the end of the page, and click on "Online Returns Materials Authorization (RMA) Form".
Fill out the form and submit it.
Please wait for a reply containing details to the RMA and the shipping instructions.
The response may take up to 48 hours.

Related Products:

The information in this article applies to the following configuration(s):

  • ATI All-in-Wonder™ series
  • ATI FirePro™ series
  • ATI FireGL™  series
  • ATI FireMV™ series
  • Radeon™ series