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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Wonder if you can help me with the following it has me stumped.

I currently run:

Jetway 866AS Mobo
Athlon XP1700 Proc,
640MB Ram
Geforce ti 4200 64MB
Soundblaster Live!

The problem I'm having is that the graphics keep playing up.

I'm currently running windows 98 after a fresh format (several infact). I can replicate the prob on Win2k wihtout too much time being required. WinXP will not install owing to hardware probs, this is a very bad sign I know. It crashes mid install with a Hard Error msg and something about ntdll.dll.

The graphics go completely wild in any game I try to play, I was running Everquest on Directx8.1 for test purposes.

In windows I get more problems though less frequent. The screen will actually blank on and off. It only goes off for a second or so but I get all sorts of corruptions once it begins and it usually gets worse and worse till I have to reset.

I'm totally lost. I've eleimnated the following through alternate component testing:

Monitor
Graphics Card
RAM
Operating System

I'm now left thinking it's some kind of motherboard prob and I would say the AGP slot is the most likely candidate. I wandered if anyone else could suggest anything at all on this front as I don't want to shell out £100+ for a new mobo, rebuild and then find I still get the problem.

It's driving me insane, any thoughts would be great, thanks folks.

James.
 
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Welcome to the forums Prot :winkgrin:

How many times has this hard drive been formatted to your knowledge? Also what brand is it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Speedo,

The HD is a 30GB Western Digital.

It's been formatted fairly regularly I would suggest. I typically use the format/partition features of windows 2000 to perform this operation as this is the OS I normally use.

It's currently configured as one 30GB Partition devoted to the install.

I'd thought it might be the HD but couldn't put my finger on why this would affect the graphics in such a peculiar manner.

James.
 
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Well to honest with you formatting doesn't really do what most people think it does and there are remnants of all the old data still on there.

Go here and download DLG Diagnostics and follow the instrutions on how to make a floppy.

Then boot to this floppy and write zeros to the drive, This will clean it off and allow better performance from your new install.
This has become standard practice for me and it has lessened new install problems to a minimum.

This will take some time so be patient..................:D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Speedo,

Thanks for the suggestion I'll give it a shot tonight.

One noob query tho:

How the heck do I write 0s to the drive? I've always gone for the format c approach I'm afraid.

I feel a bit better having something else to try before I strip the system.

I'm a bit unclear as to how the HD could affect the graphics in such a strange way. That said gradual deterioration of the HD would fit in with the gradual drop in stability of the system as a whole.

Thanks very much for the advice, I'll give it a bash when I get home.

Prot
 
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After you read the instructions and write zeros to the drive just remove the floppy and boot to the XP CD and let er rip.
You do realize that if this is an upgrade CD that you will need a previous version to show XP during the install to verify previous ownership of Windows.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here's what happened...

I got the diagnostic file as linked (thanks very much for that).

I managed to get it booting with the aid of a win98 CD (the floppy it created wouldn't boot by itself).

Once in I was able to write zeroes to the drive easily. I was left with a frsh system ready to go.

I opted to install win2k as this is my OS of choice. It went on fine.

When I installed the Graphics Card drivers all seemed to be ok, from the same disc I installed directx 8.1 and rebooted. Immediately on reboot I got the serious problems with the windows desktop. This time to such an extent that the monitor did not come back on for several seconds. I even got an amber light indicating no signal to the monitor.

I can't isolate whether it was the drivers or directx specifically causing the problem, though I did make it through the directx setup program so I suspect this is what triggered the graphics fit.

I've no idea at all why directx would cause such a problem. Any further suggestions would be deeply appreciated.

My OS is totally unstable except in VGA mode, which is how I write this at present.

Many thanks for help so far. I grow increasingly confused as to where the problem lies.

James.
 
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Have you gone here and downloaded the latest driver if there is one newer than your version?

Look up the top of the page for download drivers. Have you gone through your motherboard manual and checked all the bios settings to make sure something isn't set wrong.

What revision number is your motherboard? And what is the bios number?
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Hi again,

Apologies for the belated response. I've been away the past week which has been handy as it means I wasn't stressing over this PC issue. Unfortunately, I'm no closer to restoring my crippled computer.

Here's the latest following your previous advice (which as always, is greatly appreciated):

I installed a fresh set of the latest NVidia drivers fresh from your link.

I don't honestly know what revision the board is as it's about a year old now and I can no longer trace the manual for it. It was the Ultra RAID version of the 866. I haven't retraced hardware settings as the board had previously been running for said year with no hassle whatsoever. With this in mind, I'm guessing it's not jumper related. Additionally the BIOS is the one it came with, I'd not updated this as it's been running fine and I was loathed to alter a bios on a working machine.

The bios itself is the Award Modular line and it's version 6.00PG. I hope that's what you're after.

It still strikes me as odd that the machine will work in safe mode if there is a serious hardware problem. I tried dropping hardware accerleration right down as well as changing refresh rates etc and still I get the problem. It does seem to be fine when running in normal VGA mode.

I'm confident it's graphics related as the machine does not lock during the "black outs" but it's not clear to me whether it's board/drivers/dx/something else.

I hope this helps you to help me. Thanks again for your support so far. It's very much appreciated.

James.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I've tried 2 different AGP video cards and I get the same problem.

I'll try to get hold of an old PCI one to see if this makes a difference. I have a sneaking suspicion it will.

Will let you know how I get on.

James.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi again,

As a update to my last post I've aquired a PCI 3d Card. An old Soundblaster 3d Blaster Banshee.

Surprise, surprise it seems to be working fine and here I am after some 3 hours of use writing this.

This seems to be a real pointer that the fault lies with the AGPconnection somewhere along the lines. I'm convinced the graphics cards I've used are ok as there's no reason they'd just break, both at once.

This suggests to me that the problem lies with the AGP socket on the mobo as I'd hoped would not be the truth.

It looks increasingly like I'll have to do a rebuild.

If you have any other suggestions let me know, I'll be holding off getting a new board while I think about what I want to do. It's a 1700 so it's just between the point where it's worth upgrading for performance and it's not worth upgrading for expense.

Thanks for all your support, if you have a miracle cure that prevents me redoing my board I'd be very grateful, but very surprised also.

I thought about compatibility issues with AGP8X for the new card but this doesn't then explain why the Geforce2 GTS Pro that had been in there previously does not want to work now either.

I'm also surprised that if the AGP slot has gone, it's the only thing not working. Motherboards aren't usually this forgiving, if something has gone they usually die altogether in my experience.

Anyway, I'll stop rambling now.

Thanks again for all the help, anyone able to suggest a cheap mobo?:rolleyes:

James.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I set this to 4x figuring that both cards could handle this comfortably.

Unfortunately it didn't fix the problem but it's still running ok on the banshee.

James.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Final update.

Bought a new motherboard and put it in. Problems all soved after a little twinking.

Big prob now is temperature related, since using the new board the ambient temp has jumped 10 degrees and the chip locks up whilst booting.

I've had to set it down on 100MHz bus and it's running fine at a reduced speed of 1100MHz. **** computers, if it's not one thing it's another.

Wanted to take a moment to thank SPEEDO who has been very persistant in trying to help with the problem. You're a star, thank you very much indeed.

Right, I'm off to look up some new computer prices I think ;)

James.
 
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