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Sukh
10-27-02, 04:01 PM
Hi, I seem to be in quite a predicament at the moment. Basically, a week ago my CRT monitor decided to blow up, so as a replacement I decided to buy a TFT screen (LG Flatron L1510S). I installed this and added the appropriate drivers (ICM profiles etc...) and so on.

I eventually logged onto this "wonderful" website known as Windows Update, which advised me to update my drivers as new Detanators were available for my graphics card (Inno 3D GeForce Pro 64MB DDR). So, trusting Windows Update, I downloaded and installed these new drivers. Suddenly, I'd get random crashes, 'device failures' etc... So I thought I'd use Windows XP's Device Driver rollback feature, but it was to no avail.

I tried various things to try getting it to work, using other drivers from Inno and Nvidia etc. Again, no luck. So I decided to reinstall Windows XP and hopefully start afresh, thinking that it was some stupid driver problem that could be easily fixed with a reinstallation of Windows.

This time however I had atleast some luck. Crashes have been less frequent, and they usually revert back to 640x480 @ 16 colours, allowing me to save what I'm doing before a reboot - although not always. But the funny thing is, if I try to restore my current setting (32bit 1024 x 768) after a crash without rebooting, I simply get a black screen with a flashing underscore '_' in the top left-hand corner.

I've again tried messing with different drivers and what not, aswell as changing my monitor profile back to standard plug and play. Not much luck so far.

Please, please, please, if you have any suggestions, advice or hopefully a fully fledged solution in a nice neat package with easy to read instructions, leave a message!

Oh, by the way, an example screenshot of a semi-crash is shown. Hope it helps.

-Sukh

*EDIT*

Oops, nearly forget, a summary of my system specs:

CPU: Athlon 1.4Ghz TBird
RAM: 256MB DDR
HDD: 80GB HDD + 13GB HDD
OS: Windows XP + SP1
Graphics: Inno3D GeForce 2 Pro 64MB DDR
Monitor: LG Flatron L1510S

FastM
10-30-02, 09:15 AM
When exactly does it crash? Working in Windows or in Games?

I assume you tried WHQL Driver also?

How is your case cooling? and last what kind of Motherboard/Chipset do you use.

ALobpreis
10-30-02, 09:58 AM
With your previous monitor, did it work ok?
What's your power supply? Is it powerful enough? (at very least 250W, or 300W, if you have DVDs or another hi consuming devices).
If you just reinstall any new drivers from www.nvidia.com, does the problem remain the same?

Sukh
10-30-02, 10:38 AM
Right, thanks for the help guys, here's what's going on now...

WHQL Driver? Erm, well I've tried the standard WinXP driver, signed new detenators and unsigned ones (41.3). My case cooling is adequate, well now atleast. Before my AMD Athlon used to run at about 72C :/ But it's been replaced and it's now an AMD Athlon XP 2,100+ running at 59C (Using a more expensive fan and Arctic Silver III). Yet I still get crashes.

I'm running a K7VTA3 and I've just flashed it so it's running the latest version (1.2)

It crashes in Windows constantly. I haven't actually tried any games so far.

I'm pretty adament that the crashing issue is driver related. It may have something to do with my monitor driver AND graphics card driver together, although I'm not sure. When I got my new screen I installed its drivers aswell as the ones on WindowsUpdate.com (latest 'official' ones from Nvidia/Microsoft). So i'm unable to check whether or not it was the driver for the monitor or the gfx card.

I then reinstalled Windows with default drivers for everything yet still no luck - it STILL crashes. I think my power supply is good enough, it's 300W and off it I run a DVD player, CD player/writer, 2 hard drives, graphics card, modem and lan card. But that's about it.

One thing I have noticed now with the Latest detantors (41.3), is that I get black flashes (about 1 second each) 2 times before my system freezes. I no longer get the device failure messagebox as I used to, now it simply freezes.

I'm going back to the latest official drivers (30.82) now, I'll see how that holds up...

FastM
10-30-02, 10:45 AM
Well 60c is acually very hot. If you were to run a game it would easily hit 65c even 70c. So i wouldn't rule out Heat just yet. Since your crashes are happening on the windows desktop im not sure if its driver related. Most of the time a system will run perfect until you enter a game before crashing if its a driver problem.

I would also get a progam like Gold Memory Tester just to make sure your Memory is good.

Sukh
10-30-02, 11:35 AM
oooh!

Result (maybe). I've done a memory test and the system crashes when it does the first 1% of the following test:

"#5 - Block Move, 64 Moves, Cached"

Is it safe to say that it is the RAM playing up?

FastM
10-30-02, 12:15 PM
If you memory is the issue, then your next step would be to set all the timing options on the BIOS back to Normal, CAS 2.5 ....

If that does not help then try and get your hands on another peice to try. It is possible that your ram just suddenly died on you (or parts of the stick of ram, like one bank or side), it happens.

I also noticed that with your motherboard layout the Memory socket is Very close to the CPU socket and if your CPU is hitting very high temps, it could also be causing your Ram to overheat and eventually fail.

Sukh
10-30-02, 12:59 PM
Well, thanks for your help. I've ordered myself some new RAM and hopefully that should fix everything :). If it doesn't I'll be sure to come back!

Thanks again

FastM
10-30-02, 02:54 PM
no prob, either way i would like to know how it turns out.

Sukh
11-01-02, 04:27 AM
ARGH!

Nope, the new RAM didn't seem to help, it STILL crashes, this time chucking me into 640 x 480 x 256c. What could it be!?!!

tweaked
11-01-02, 01:57 PM
i would definately say 1 of 3 (or maybe all 3)


1. Heat, as previously mentioned you are running very hot, my experience with AthlonXP's is that anything over 40c at idel is getting too hot over 50c at idle gaurentee's crashes.

2. Bios settings, its amazing what 1 wrong setting will do to system stability. make sure (if it has the option) that plug n play os setting = yes. this is proabably the most common system crashing setting i see set wrong on a regular basis, for whatever reason alot of mobos default to no.

3. Bad PS, they do die randomly and a 300 watter with an Athlonxp and multiple drives is seriously pushin it. if you invest in a new one, don't get anything less than a 450 quality BRAND NAME powersupply. Good high output powersupplies cost a little extra but the investment is well worth the extra $$$.

since you are getting those memory test errors i would play with your bios memory seting. change one setting, test, change another, test, etc, etc....

i have seen more than one mobo run properly at just 1 exactly specific memory setting... anything else = constant lockups...

Sukh
11-01-02, 02:50 PM
Woo, finally got it!

Well, i've determined that it was both heat AND ram related. It appears that the heat probably has been screwing my RAM up for some time, which caused it to crash originally. Now I've got a new fan and new CPU, and i've had to remove my case from the PC, but it's at 50C idle and it's stable! So, i've finally tracked it, took me a good week, 200, and made me screw up my coursework for the holiday... oh joy :(

Anyway, thanks for you help guys.

One final thing, if anyone knows if you can bypass a few bits in a RAM chip in windows (like badRAM in Linux) so I can use my old RAM chip (only a few bits are broken :/), please get in touch.

FastM
11-01-02, 03:25 PM
For the future if your only using 1 stick of ram you should plug it into the 3 slot instead of the first. Giving your new ram the most distance from all that heat coming off your CPU, might help in the long run.

FastM
11-01-02, 03:27 PM
Originally posted by tweaked
make sure (if it has the option) that plug n play os setting = yes. this is proabably the most common system crashing setting i see set wrong on a regular basis, for whatever reason alot of mobos default to no.

How come? i always set mine to NO and have done that on every system i sell with never any problems.

Sukh
11-01-02, 04:26 PM
noooooooooo...........


It just crashed :/ I don't friggin believe it. I thought I had it fixed, ARGH.

My processors at 55C now... That's not really too bad is it?


Well, my RAM settings are (first one is as it is currently set, second is other option available):

Dram Clock - 133Mhz
DRAM Timing - By SPD/Manual
[
SDRAM Cycle Length - 2.5/2
Bank Interface - 4/2Bank
] - Only editable when DRAM timing is manual.
DRAM Command Rate - 2T/1T Command

Sukh
11-03-02, 12:56 PM
not again... this time it was running at a pretty cool 47C, and it STILL crashed! I just don't know what's wrong anymore, this is sooo lame.

tweaked
11-03-02, 08:26 PM
plug and pray set in the bios to yes lets the OS resolve irq's, memory addresses, and all the other fun stuff that makes an OS plug and play.

setting that to no seriously degrades performance, your hardware is running as the bios detected it, windows 2000 and beyond were very specifically designed to take control of the hardware and allocate resources.

with 95 and 98 it helped resolve conflicts but was a little less necassary.

only on the extremely rare instance should you set it to no, usually with old as heck pro recording sound cards.

so many times people come to me going "dude! my new system i just bought is blue screening all the time! fix it!"

4/5th the time setting that to yes fixes their blue screen problem (whether during install of os or using os) and usually they end up getting a noticeable speed increase.

Case in point: Friend of mine Shawn had it set to no, i set it to yes and his fps in bf1942 went from about 4 to 24 (not a blazing system to begin with) his nvidia card was running in pci mode because the os couldn't properly interact with it.


oh and Sukh, try turning the temperature down in your home, i have found many times that an ambient 5* difference in temperature can influence overheating issues.

55 is toasty, at about 55 most processors become unstable, maybe not super crashy. but generally unrealiable for sure.

You need some serious cooling help. Maybe a new mobo if your system is seriously well cooled and still getting those kinds of temperatures. possible the mobo is frying the chips, i've seen that more than once.

Sukh
11-15-02, 02:39 PM
Well I've brought a new case, some new fans and so on and I've noticed a remarkable improvement in stability along with my new RAM chip. The crashes haven't gone away (happens once every few days now usually) and it still occurs when i play games such as Age of Mythology (usually half way through an excellent multiplayer :/). Now Im no longer sure whether it is the system temperature or not :/

Another thing I've noticed since the installation of a new case and fans is a problem with powering up. Now when i've just plugged in my PC from the mains, it will power up perfectly! It'll even reboot perfectly if I hit the reset button. HOWEVER, if I reboot the computer by shutting it down and re-powering it up, it won't come on properly. The lights all seem to come on, and everything sounds find, except well nothing works! Not the screen, not keyboard, not mouse. TO get them to work I have to unplug the computer and re-plug it in the mains. I've been told this is a PSU problem, so I removed all non-essential devices from the PSU (my 2 CD drives, 1 HDD, 2 Fans) and still the problem remains so I'm not too sure. Another thing I've noticed is my motherboard sensors don't work (before I changed my case, they used to work only after I rebooted the computer using the method above - the one that doesn't currently work).

If anyone has any further advice it'd be greatly appreciated.

vampireuk
11-16-02, 06:05 AM
Personally I think it could be a PSU issue, but then again knowing me I will probably be wrong:)

sytaylor
11-16-02, 11:33 AM
hmm this screams bios to me, bios or psu settings are the bain of my life, if all else fails theres always pc world *rofl*... yea or not :D