Artifacts on top of Starting Windows screen, freezing

My Asus G73-JH laptop is currently freezing at the Windows Starting screen. I've read a lot of other forum posts that feature the same problem, BUT there is artifacting (bunch of colored dots) on the top of this screen that goes across the "Starting Windows" screen in a sort of horizontal line. Sometimes it just goes straight to the "Windows has failed to startup" screen. None of the System Recovery Options from the Startup Tool seem to help fix the problem, they've all been tried. Trying to boot in safe mode doesn't work either, as after it starts to load the files, the artifacting appears on the top again after about the third file and it freezes.

I have not made ANY major changes to anything on the system for over two months prior. Because of the artifacting seen, I imagine the video card is fried or malfunctioning. I called Asus and all they suggested to me so far was to reformat, because apparently they think its a driver issue, but I'd like to consider myself fairly tech savvy and believe that there has got to be a better solution that does not involve reformatting the hard drive, as I had a lot of important data that had been stored and not backed up the previous night before the unexpected freezing.

The only things I seem to have access to is BIOS and the Startup Tool. I have a System Recovery Disc too, and am curious if there is a solution to this problem (I am not well versed in BIOS), and (assuming the video card is shot) if there would be a way I can access by data and possibly back it up before reformatting so I can persuade Asus support that my card is in fact shot so I can send it in for a replacement!

Thanks for any assistance!


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
You might try plugging an external monitor to see if it shows the same. If you can turn off the laptop display, it might help, but hard to say. But these are probably two different video sources, so even though the external monitor might look fine, the onboard video might be having problems.

You could try a new hard drive. Install using one of the downloadable .iso versions of Windows 7 for testing and don't put in a key during the install. At least you could verify a driver situation.

If it is a driver, there is a fairly complicated way to keep it from starting if you want to try that.

After you install a device or update a driver for a device, Windows Vista or Windows 7 may not start

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