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Weird video card problem

by nanaki84 / September 13, 2004 11:14 PM PDT

First off here's my system specs:
Operating System: Windows XP Professional Service Pack 1 (2600.xpsp2.030422-1633)
System Manufacturer: MATSONIC
System Model: MS8157E
BIOS: Default System BIOS
Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) Processor, MMX, 3DNow, ~1.1GHz
Memory: 992MB RAM
Page File: 978MB used, 1460MB available
DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0b (4.09.0000.0902)

Card name: GeForce4 Ti 4600
Manufacturer: PNY Technologies
Display Memory: 128.0 MB
Current Mode: 1024 x 768 (32 bit) (60Hz)

The problem is, whenever I try to load a full screen game, the screen goes black, the sound starts skipping, and I have to hard reset the system to get out of it. I've checked my drivers numerous times, I've got the newest video card drivers, have DX9, and I've looked through the hardware manager and there's no conflicting IRQ's. The card will display my desktop, movies, etc just fine, but when I try to play certain games it locks up. It's not even all games, I can play UT just fine, and Tribes1, but if I try running Tribes2, Everquest, Morrowind, and a few others, it crashes.

I thought it may have been overheating, so I cleaned off the fan / heatsink on the card and it still does it. I've got a CPU fan, video card fan, plus 3 more case fans and nothing's overclocked oncesoever. Any help would be appreciated Happy

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Things to try.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 13, 2004 11:38 PM PDT

I'd pester the machine's maker why it doesn't work proper, but a big clue is that 992 memory.

You may have onboard video memory and that, plus onboard sound cards usually results in some games just never work proper.

Things to review:

1. Microsoft will not install MOTHERBOARD DRIVERS.
2. Microsoft will not fetch latest MOTHERBOARD and other drivers for you.
3. Microsoft will not update your BIOS!
4. Given 1, 2 and 3, what have you done to assure such are uptodate?
5. The 992 MB RAM is a gimme that I would try it with just a 512MB stick of RAM.

Best of luck, but it looks like it's just a bum machine that needs to have it's maker fix it.

Bob

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Re: Things to try.
by nanaki84 / September 14, 2004 12:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Things to try.
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When did you do this?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 14, 2004 1:09 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Things to try.

Before or after my post?

I can't tell if it helped or not since you didn't tell.

Bob

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Re: When did you do this?
by nanaki84 / September 14, 2004 1:51 AM PDT
In reply to: When did you do this?

I just tried it after redownloading my vid card drivers, and after installing the 4 in 1 drivers, and now it's working! :-D The problem must've been I didn't install my motherboard drivers when I replaced it a few months ago. Thanks for the help Happy

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Here's why it fixed it.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 14, 2004 1:56 AM PDT

The motherboard drivers deal with many issues. Too many for me to list, but the video card communications can be afflicted if the motherboard drivers are out of date or worse, updated by Microsoft. An out of date BIOS can be a factor too.

STOP!!! You've fixed it and while I did list other items, I'd see if the issues are gone.

Bob

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Re: Here's why it fixed it.
by nanaki84 / September 17, 2004 5:38 AM PDT

Actually, it works fine for a while now, but after a few hours it locks the system up. Sometimes it's fine overnight, other times it locks up after half an hour. The vid card is NOT overclocked and neither is my cpu. I've got an intake fan, exhaust fan, plus fans on the CPU and video card. But just in case I took the side off and have a box fan blowing in, but it's still doing it. I've double checked and I've got the newest video card drivers, newest direct x, newest motherboard / agp drivers. Have no idea how to update my BIOS though, although the motherboard's only about 6 months old, not even sure if it'd need updated.

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The BIOS matters.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2004 11:55 AM PDT

I think I noted a discussion where they nailed it after the BIOS was updated. Here's why it matters.

You wrote: "Have no idea how to update my BIOS though, although the motherboard's only about 6 months old, not even sure if it'd need updated."

The motherboards are made and a bios that "works" is put on all the boards. A container of some thousands of boards floats across the oceans while the BIOS elves fix bugs. If your BIOS is out of date, and you are having issues, then it's a candidate for what could be the issue.

I LIKE THE FAN AND COVER OFF and keep that till you nail the issue.

Try this. One stick of RAM and this memory test. http://www.memtest86.com

Bob

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Reference discussion.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2004 11:58 AM PDT
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Re: Weird video card problem
by nanaki84 / September 19, 2004 10:28 PM PDT

After running out of options I checked my IRQ's again. The video card is sharing the same IRQ as the sound card and my onboard USB controller and onboard ethernet adapter. They're all using IRQ 11, I'm guessing if I move the sound card to another PCI slot the IRQ should change on that, but how do I change the IRQ on the video card or the onboard stuff?

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No. You didn't fix the underlying issue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 19, 2004 10:43 PM PDT

The IRQ issue is a legacy old-tech DOS dinosaur urban legend that doesn't apply to today's hardware. You can see effects if you keep the slot next to the AGP slot clear, but you didn't update the BIOS and as such will suffer either to that or that you haven't forced the machine's supplier to HONOR THE WARRANTY.

Why should you be saddled with this defect?

bob

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Re: No. You didn't fix the underlying issue.
by nanaki84 / September 20, 2004 12:50 AM PDT

I checked the Matsonic website, the manufacturer of my motherboard, and looked for a BIOS upgrade. The most current BIOS for my system on their site is dated from 2003, I bought the motherboard in early 2004, so it has their most current BIOS installed on it already. The computer itself doesn't have a manufacturer... it's a home built system, therefore there's no warranty or anything on the system itself.

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Re: No. You didn't fix the underlying issue.
by nanaki84 / September 20, 2004 12:54 AM PDT

Also, the system only locks up with this video card installed. If I use onboard video, it works fine, no crashes or anything. It varies so randomly, sometimes it locks up twice in 5 minutes, other times it's fine for 8+ hours. I went through Windows error logging and the way the system is freezing it's not logging any errors, so that doesn't help.

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Then we still have the BIOS issue and... power.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 20, 2004 4:42 AM PDT

When you add a video card, the WATTS needed can jump another 40 Watts and if it's some just big enough supply then the owner will start to feel random lockups and reboots.

The thread is very long and it comes down to these two issues to work.

1. BIOS shall be current. No guessing.

2. The power supply will be super sized to handle the additions.

Bob

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You didn't tell.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 20, 2004 12:57 AM PDT

The BIOS version is still an issue because boards are made, shipped and stored for many months.

As to the warranty, if a board shows a defect it doesn't matter if you built the machine yourself or not.

Wish I could help, but you are not revealing what version BIOS you have installed.

Try this. Post the contents from Belarc Advisor. Here's the link -> http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html

It's very tough to help when such information is not provided and one gets thinking that a "new" board would come with current BIOS. Very few do.

Bob

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Re: Weird video card problem
by billzhills / September 20, 2004 4:24 AM PDT

Just read thur this post and a question accured.

To re-cap the system will operate w/o this video card installed but hangs at random w/card installed.

If this is true then it is the video card itself or the drivers for the card that are creating the issue.

--------------------------------------------------

992MB memory -- sharing 32 w/video?
Are the memory chips matched. (Same Mnf/speed)
Incompatable memory chips will also create your issue.


Bill
.

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Re: Weird video card problem
by nanaki84 / September 22, 2004 12:11 AM PDT

The system ONLY hangs when playing games, it seems like the more resources they take up the more they hang the system. The DxDiag you looked at with 996mb of ram or whatever is old, I posted a recent one in one of my replies ( http://hosted.tribalwar.com/slicer/DxDiag.txt )
I've tried stopping every single program except the games, I've turned off firewalls, I've checked drivers at least half a dozen times. I scanned for adware / viruses, defragged, checked IRQ's, you name it I've probably tried it.

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What have we done?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 22, 2004 12:24 AM PDT

1. I've noted the BIOS. Is it the latest? If not, what will it take to get this issue off the list?

2. You note it occurs in games. That's not unusual. I have a nice GeForce 3 that fails during games. It's defective and I know it. I have another card of the exact make/model and even within 10 on the serial number. There is NO CURE for that card and I keep it as a shop card since we need such for testing... If you have a defective card, a deficiency of the PC industry is the total lack of diagnostics.

To get item 2 off the list, you use another card.

3. Heat. Plain and simple. You pull the case cover, point a fan at the PC and try again. If the issue vanishes, you've found that some part is ... heat sensitive.

Bob

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Re: What have we done?
by nanaki84 / September 22, 2004 12:38 AM PDT
In reply to: What have we done?

It still happens with the side off and a fan blowing in, it doesn't even prolong how long before the hanging occurs. Sometimes with the fan blowing in it still hangs within 2 - 3 minutes, other times it's fine for a few hours. It's the same way whether the fan is blowing in or not. I tried running the games windowed as well, and it still hangs.

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Re: Weird video card problem
by nanaki84 / September 22, 2004 12:31 AM PDT
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Looks out of date.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 22, 2004 12:45 AM PDT
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Re: Looks out of date.
by nanaki84 / September 22, 2004 1:01 AM PDT
In reply to: Looks out of date.

Ok, I found the upgraded BIOS on my motherboard manufacturer's website, along with the flash utility. I made a boot disk, plus I unzipped the BIOS and flasher, and put those on a seperate disk. I can't find anywhere on the BIOS creater's website (American Megatrends) saying what (if any) special parameters need to be input after I run the executable, should I assume I don't need any? Also, on the matsonic site where I got the rom file and bios flash utility, there was nothing listed for the instructions.

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No standards here.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 22, 2004 1:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Looks out of date.

While I've done thousands of such updates, I just wing it as there are similarities in such flash updates. Most don't require any command line parameters and ask for some .BIN or other file that you may need to pencil down since I can't remember such and don't want to...

Then you run the tool, answer its questions and it does the upgrade.

If you want step by step, this is hard to come by since there was no efforts made to standardize the procedure. "They" expect people to figure it out sometimes.

Bob

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Re: No standards here.
by nanaki84 / September 22, 2004 1:38 AM PDT
In reply to: No standards here.

Tried running the startup disk, was getting an error so I booted up the rest of the way and tried running the disk in the XP command prompt, and I got: "Wrong MS-DOS version"...

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How to make a dos boot disk?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 22, 2004 1:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: No standards here.

I use Win98se.exe from www.bootdisk.com

Then I may delete enough to make space.

Best of luck,

Bob

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Re: How to make a dos boot disk?
by nanaki84 / September 22, 2004 2:19 AM PDT

Ok I went to bootdisk.com and got a DOS disk image creator program, booted up the disk, and it started running DOS just fine. I switched disks, and tried running the flash executable and it said bad command or filename.... so I did a dir a:, it was still showing all the files on the DOS startup disk, even though I had switched it out. I've checked the disk with the flash executable and rom file through windows and the command after windows has started, and sure enough, my 2 files are on there. Any idea why my disk drive isn't detecting the disk switch?

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That's a sign...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 22, 2004 2:30 AM PDT

That the disk switch failure and your machine has a BIOS issue or a failure...

What I do is to delete a few files (scandisk...) and then put the BIOS program and files on the new boot disk.

Bob

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Re: That's a sign...
by nanaki84 / September 22, 2004 3:30 AM PDT
In reply to: That's a sign...

Ok, I deleted a few files off the boot disk and made room for the flash executable and the .rom file (deleted QBasic and it's help file). I ran the flash program, and I got: "Error 2 - File Does Not Exist", I did a dir a: and it definately had the flash program AND the .rom file on it. *scratches head looking puzzled*

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Try....
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 22, 2004 3:42 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: That's a sign...

AFLASH SOME.ROM

On the command line. As I noted, there is no standard here. You didn't tell the names of the .exe or .rom in your last post so sub what you have as above with the space after the AFLASH program and then the .ROM file. Sometimes it's odd and you don't tell the SOME.ROM, but just SOME.

Bob

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Re: Looks out of date.
by nanaki84 / September 22, 2004 4:03 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Looks out of date.

I successfully flashed the BIOS and updated it with the newer one off matsonic's website, it said they matched the motherboard model number MS8517E, and I'll let ya know if the system still hangs, could be within 10 mins, could be a day or two, due to how random it is.

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That's good to read. Next...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 22, 2004 4:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Looks out of date.

Share what magic spell was used so forum members see what others figure out.

Bob

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