Graphics Stall & Whirring down noise

Hi, I know I'm new so I hope I'm abiding by the rules.
The reason I'm here is because I know not where else to turn, I have a mysterious problem with my computer... one that remains unsolved so hopefully if I provide the details here someone can assist me?

To start, let me describe my setup:

Tower Case
A7N8X-E Deluxe Mobo
2 512mb ram chips (I forget which brand, doesn't really matter, i'll explain further down)
Athlon 2800+ Processor (clock speed seems to vary between 1.2ghz - 1.8ghz, which I belive is not overclocked, correct me if wrong)
ASUS v9950 Geforce FX Graphics card, 256mb onboard ram
Windows 2000 Professional
3 internal fans (One on side panel, one on back, one on front) not including powersource.
400w powersource

I have been running this computer for approximately a year, lately however it has been acting strangely, my 120gig drive completely died and now this (see below) I believe the damage to my drive may have been caused by overheating as I previously only had 1 fan in the computer for about a year, until recently when I added extra fans.

And now for my wonderful symptoms, I will be running a graphically intensive program or videogame and I will notice a distinct 'whirring' down noise a few moments later my entire computer locks up OR, should I be fortunate enough to exit the program the computer will operate with a few flaws, explorer will not retain full functionality, the cpu usage will peak ever 10-15 seconds freezing the computer for a moment or two and though I may exit the program , it does not leave my process list, when I try to end the process, I get the "This program cannot be debugged" error. Initally this error occured only when playing Neverwinter Nights, and nowhere else... however lately it has been getting progressively worse, now I cannot run any game without it locking up after a few moments, or 3dsMax.

Rationally I presume this issue has to do with my graphics card, I have taken steps to attempt to test this theory;

I have tried switching 3d drivers multiple times, currently i'm using the lastest asus released drivers for this specific card, Previously I have used the latest NVIDIA drivers and even old detonator variants. The problem may be alleviated for a temporary basis, but soon arises again. It appears drivers are not my issue.

On a side note, I have tested my RAM using a program titled "Memtest", I wish I had the website to use as reference, however that is gone, the test ran on bootdisk and tested my memory, I passed every single test. No errors there. SO presumably that excludes my ram as a defective part. Is there perhaps a similar program that I can use to test the memory on my graphics card?

I have made certian that there is NO dust particles inbetween heatsinks, or inside my computer period, I currently operate it with the side pannel off But this has no impact on the rate in which it crashes.

Upon closer inspection, i've noticed a distinct buzzing noise eminating from something in my computer, I believe this might be my graphics card, hard to tell.

Have I provided enough information? I know my points are a little messy and all over the place but I can't think coherently at the moment, I just stepped out of a history exam... damn essay questions.
Anyone who takes the time to look this over/reply; Thanks, I really appreciate it.. i've no clue where else to turn for help.

-The Thing
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More about graphics stall whirring noise
  1. I had a problem similar to that on my old comp. My GA8INXP motherboard would emit a high pitched buzz (sort of like an old monitors high pitch scream) when accessing the hard drives or network. It did that for about a month then the motherboard stopped posting, that was the end of that board. I replaced it with another and it ran fine for a while then started doing it again. That board died as well, that is when I bought a new comp :)

    I recently started noticing it on my work laptop as well. It is doing the exact same thing as my old desktop computer. It seems to definatly be the motherboards. What on the board would make that sound I dont know but it is.

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  2. Could be the fan on your grafix card dying. That happened to me with my old 9500 pro. Fortunately I caught it in time and replaced it.

    For the other guy's problem, might be a bad pcu killing your MB.
  3. I had a diff psu in the system after the first time the mobo died. went from a vantec 520a to a antec tp550. I think that motherboard just sucked. It was a granite bay board.
    My laptop at work does the same thing though... it is very strange. Oh well, if that dies work will buy me a new one ;)

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