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View Full Version : Help me troubleshoot my system.


Soluzar
12-21-05, 02:05 PM
My specs are:

AMD Athlon-64 3000 @ 1.8Ghz
1gb of generic RAM
nVidia Geforce 5700 graphics card
Two 160gb SATA HDD (RAID 0 Striping)
ABIT AV8-3RD Eye Motherboard (VIA K8T800 Chipset)

Yes, I know it's a bit underpowered, but it does what I need it do do for the most part. That is, it did until I started getting random lockups. No error message, no nothing, just sudden blank screen, and no response to anything but the reset button.

I don't think it will be overheating, since my temperature readings are (at maximum:


CPU @ 56c
System @ 32c
GPU @ 37c

As far as I know, those temperatures should be fine. I've checked my memory using MemTest 86, and didn't find any errors, and since all this equipment is only around a year old, I'm at a loss to determine where the problem lies.

Can anyone help? As things stand, I don't mind buying new parts, but which parts should I be replacing? I don't even know which part to attribute the faults to.

Infinity666
12-21-05, 06:37 PM
your troubles could be due to may factors most likely software.
when do the lockups occur? what type of apps?

Soluzar
12-21-05, 09:38 PM
your troubles could be due to may factors most likely software.
when do the lockups occur? what type of apps?

At absolutely any time, typically during something so mundane as web-browsing with no background tasks taking place. The lockups had been getting more and more frequent, until I had the bright idea to reduce the level of hardware accelleration in Display Properties.

Since this seemed to have had a positive effect, I am forced to assume that my graphics card is at fault. I did a little bit of extra research, and I was surprised to discover that when it comes to nVidia drivers, newer is not always better. I've read at Guru3D that the driver versions betweeen 60.xx and 75.xx were best for my graphics card. Up until now, I have been using the latest updated nVidia drivers. Could this be the source of my problems, or do I have a dying card on my hands?

Infinity666
12-21-05, 10:05 PM
what ones are you using now?

Soluzar
12-22-05, 07:20 AM
what ones are you using now?

Since reading the post on Guru3D, I've switched to v71.89. Up until then, I had been using v81.95 since they came out, and the most recent drivers before that. I thought it was a good idea to use the newest.... >_<

Admittedly the crashing only started a few weeks ago. I was reluctant to blame the drivers, because I assumed that nVidia wouldn't be releasing WHQL'd drivers that would crash my system. Well, I've not had a crash yet, since installing the old drivers, and that's my longest uptime in weeks. I'm astounded by this...

Could this really have been the fault of ForceWare 81.95?

Infinity666
12-22-05, 06:31 PM
Since reading the post on Guru3D, I've switched to v71.89. Up until then, I had been using v81.95 since they came out, and the most recent drivers before that. I thought it was a good idea to use the newest.... >_<

Admittedly the crashing only started a few weeks ago. I was reluctant to blame the drivers, because I assumed that nVidia wouldn't be releasing WHQL'd drivers that would crash my system. Well, I've not had a crash yet, since installing the old drivers, and that's my longest uptime in weeks. I'm astounded by this...

Could this really have been the fault of ForceWare 81.95?

It very well could have been, I am running 81.95's right now but I have a different card. Nvidia's drivers are ussualy pretty stable but if they arent go back to a version that is.

Soluzar
12-22-05, 10:19 PM
It very well could have been, I am running 81.95's right now but I have a different card. Nvidia's drivers are ussualy pretty stable but if they arent go back to a version that is.

I should have noted this before, but I wasn't aware of having done it. The other difference appears to be that I have disabled Write Combining. I didn't notice un-checking the box, but then I was trying a lot of things in my desparation...

The funny thing is that my system was stable for the longest time, presumably with that option enabled, since it's the default. I guess I must have a dying GFX card, or some other componen t really. It's still only a matter of time before I need to replace something, wouldn't you say?

Since it's not a gaming rig, I don't really care too much about performance in graphics terms. There's only the one OC game I ever play and that is several years old. What I do care about is stability.

Soluzar
12-23-05, 08:58 AM
Apologies for the double-post, but I seem to have discovered some new information. This time, when the PC crashed, it was able to display a usefull error message.

I wasn't able to see it for very long, but it was something about the driver "nv4_disp" and an "infinite loop". Is anything known about this?

Infinity666
12-23-05, 01:35 PM
its a driver issue, do you have antoher card to test the system?

Soluzar
12-23-05, 01:42 PM
its a driver issue, do you have antoher card to test the system?

Only another nVidia, which surely would cause the same driver issues? I have an FX 5200 in my second PC.

Let me clarify: If it is a driver issue, I should get the same faults with my FX5200 card, right? If that is the case, is there a way I can solve the problem?

Infinity666
12-23-05, 01:57 PM
Try your 5200 it might work maybe your other fx is just having issues. Have you reinstalled windows yet?

Soluzar
12-23-05, 04:42 PM
Try your 5200 it might work maybe your other fx is just having issues. Have you reinstalled windows yet?

Yep. Just a few days ago. The problems started again straight away. I've tried various things, and the only one that seems to work is reducing the HW Acceleration. That seems to me to indicate that it really is the graphics card. I'll be trying a test with the 5200 probably after Christmas now. I can't believe how much this sucks. The card is only a year old. I don't think I'll be buying nVidia again... I've not bought anythign other than nVidia in years, but I'm not putting up with a 12-month life expectancy.

Infinity666
12-23-05, 09:43 PM
Yep. Just a few days ago. The problems started again straight away. I've tried various things, and the only one that seems to work is reducing the HW Acceleration. That seems to me to indicate that it really is the graphics card. I'll be trying a test with the 5200 probably after Christmas now. I can't believe how much this sucks. The card is only a year old. I don't think I'll be buying nVidia again... I've not bought anythign other than nVidia in years, but I'm not putting up with a 12-month life expectancy.

Dont give up just yet, have you tried that card in anyone elses machine (i have a tnt2 thats still being used in a friends system so 12 month life is not realistic)

Soluzar
12-24-05, 01:26 AM
Dont give up just yet, have you tried that card in anyone elses machine (i have a tnt2 thats still being used in a friends system so 12 month life is not realistic)

Not yet. I have a pair of machines here that I can use to do the testing, so as soon as Christmas is over and done with, I guess I'll switch those two cards. I fear the worst, though...

Thanks for your help :)

I'll post again just as soon as I have performed the switch.