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Unable to boot Win XP with Nvidia drivers installed

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 7, 2013 5:46:54 AM

July 4th heading out to eat I shut down PC to let it cool. When I got back the PC blue screens when XP tries to display the Desktop for the first time. The only way to get in is to enter safe mode. Knowing this PC, I've only had problems with the video cards and drivers so I uninstall the driver and XP loads fine. I have two Nvidia GT 9800 cards. Each of them will work without Nvidia drivers and load Windows but as soon as any driver installed - blue screen. Unfortunately the cards are by BFG Tech so no support there.
I have deleted C:\Nvidia and reinstalled two versions of drivers
I have cleaned registry with CCcleaner and reinstalled drivers.
I have restored Windows to a prior date even though no recent changes to hardware or software.
Any ideas or suggestions to get this working again?

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July 7, 2013 6:16:35 AM
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Nice debugging.

Assuming it was working before, and that the fail is the driver -- download an older version of the nvidia driver. They have them on the nvidia site. Then doc which version works, which doesn't' over at nVidia. They may be interested.

Note that WIN XP is no longer supported by AMD on new drivers, so NVIDIA may be headed that way too. http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Radeon-Catalyst-Beta2-...

If older drivers don't work then suggest you drop to one card. Test it. It works. Swaps to just the other card. Test it. It works. Put both back in. Sometimes re-seating the cards and the bridge fixes problems. This is common on memory and pci cards. Sometimes older cards (or the MB PCIe slot) fail. From your detailed bebug description you know how to do this so i left that out. If it's been a while since you removed the card then don't forget the catch at the bottom, back of the PCie slot -- getting to the catch with two cards must be a chore.

edit: missed this part. "I have restored Windows to a prior date even though no recent changes to hardware or software. " It makes the re-seating or failed card/slot scenario more likely if a backup from a working system no longer works. Given a hardware fail is more likely the PSU is also a possible problem if both cards work individually but will not work when both are plugged in. A power spike coul dhave hurt the PSU so that is can deliver some output but not it's prior full load output.
July 8, 2013 6:39:06 PM

tsnor said:
Nice debugging.

Assuming it was working before, and that the fail is the driver -- download an older version of the nvidia driver. They have them on the nvidia site. Then doc which version works, which doesn't' over at nVidia. They may be interested.

Note that WIN XP is no longer supported by AMD on new drivers, so NVIDIA may be headed that way too. http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Radeon-Catalyst-Beta2-...

If older drivers don't work then suggest you drop to one card. Test it. It works. Swaps to just the other card. Test it. It works. Put both back in. Sometimes re-seating the cards and the bridge fixes problems. This is common on memory and pci cards. Sometimes older cards (or the MB PCIe slot) fail. From your detailed bebug description you know how to do this so i left that out. If it's been a while since you removed the card then don't forget the catch at the bottom, back of the PCie slot -- getting to the catch with two cards must be a chore.

edit: missed this part. "I have restored Windows to a prior date even though no recent changes to hardware or software. " It makes the re-seating or failed card/slot scenario more likely if a backup from a working system no longer works. Given a hardware fail is more likely the PSU is also a possible problem if both cards work individually but will not work when both are plugged in. A power spike coul dhave hurt the PSU so that is can deliver some output but not it's prior full load output.


Tsnor,
Thank you for taking the time to answer the post. First I tried ruling out a failed card with the latest Nvidia driver installed and it was all fail either card in either slot. So I searched and grabbed an old driver from 2008 and it worked! Next I found a newer archived driver and it worked too. These cards pull power off the MB and don't connect to the PSU.

I appreciate the compliment and your taking the time to answer, I try to figure it out before I ask for directions.

Thank you.
!