Stability issue

Hi,

I've just met my first problem with my "new" 1.2 GHz Athlon and would really appreciate some advice. I've been running it for 2 months now and it has always been stable, whether in games or in apps. Now that I have installed Need For Speed - Porsche Unleashed, troubles began. The system sometimes freezes completely and the only way to shut it down is the soft off mode. (keyboard not responding) It does not freeze in any benchmark or games except this one. And it always freezes in races.

I have downloaded the latest ASUS drivers for my vid card but it didn't help. (I've not tried the latest Nvidia) I did not update the BIOS (and I'm not willing to do it) and I think I have the 4.30 4in1 drivers (not sure, I'm not home right now). I am currently running 3DMark 2001 in loop mode to make sure my problem is not overheating or stability but it's not the first time I run it and I don't expect any problems. I will also try Prime95 but I am beginning to think that the problem might be the OS, is it possible ? Here's my system

- Athlon 1.2 Ghz AXIA :-) (266 FSB, not overclocked)
- ASUS A7V133 mobo (VIA KT133A chipset)
- ASUS GeForce 2 GTS 32 MB
- PC-133
- Windows ME OS

I was suspecting the chipset but it's the only game in which I've encountered troubles and the KT133A seems to be relatively stable from what I've read on this forum. My guess is that the problem comes from ME but I'm pretty confused right now, that's why I need your advice. Should I format and install 2000 (even if NFS - PU is not supported by this OS). I know I should try to switch parts with someone else's computer to make sure my prob is not hardware but the problem I am talking about is really hard to reproduce and I don't want to spend my time racing in order to make it happen again. What's your opinion.

Thanks for any help

BTW, I know there's a site that lists the games that are compatible with Windows 2000 and would really like a link.

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair...<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Hmg57 on 07/03/01 11:21 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
4 answers Last reply
More about stability issue
  1. It appears to me that your system is running fine, except for when you play that particular game. Would that be correct? No lockups when running any other applications?

    In that case ... isn't it possible that the <i>game</i> itself is the problem, and not the chipset or the operating system?

    I don't see any reason at this point for you to start switching out components with someone else's machine, (which might actually mask the problem) <i>or</i> to format and install a new OS! If you really want to install Win2k ... that's cool, but not just to fix one problem, with one game.

    If it was the hardware ... the problem would be likely to occur in <i>all</i> 3D applications. If it was the operating system, corrupted Direct3D files, or video card drivers, 3DM2K would also crash. Benchmarks are more intensive over a short period of time than almost any game. If there was a problem ... it would definitely show up when running this program in a loop.

    If it was due to heat .. again, it would happen regularly, and not necessarily just when playing this game. That scenario wouldn't be difficult to reproduce.

    If I were you ... I'd do three things. First, I'd look for bug fixes/patches for the game. Secondly, I'd make absolutely certain that there are no issues of this type when playing any other games. If there isn't ... you've found the source of the problem. Three ... I'd consider trying out a different set of video card drivers, and see if that improves the situation. The Detonator 6.50's should work well with your card, for example. And so might the latest 12.4x series ... of which, I think the 12.40's do very well with GeForce2 cards. if you don't like the different nVidia reference drivers, it's not that complicated to go back to the ASUS drivers.

    But look for patches to the game ... first. Your current video card drivers might be just fine.

    Since you asked for it ... here's a few links:

    <A HREF="http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/server/howtobuy/upgrading/compat/search/software.asp" target="_new">http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/server/howtobuy/upgrading/compat/search/software.asp</A>

    <A HREF="http://www.w2kgamer.com/" target="_new">http://www.w2kgamer.com/</A>

    <A HREF="http://www.ntcompatible.com/0.shtml" target="_new">http://www.ntcompatible.com/0.shtml</A>

    Bit of advice: Don't make this molehill into a mountain. Try the simple approach, before tearing your system apart. I've seen people with problems finally end up here after formatting a drive 15 times in a day, and replacing half the system components. Don't let it make you go crazy! ;-)

    There's a standard, seven layer troubleshooting model called OSI that IT people use to track down a problem. The first part of that is the application. Be sure that you eliminate this possibility before suspecting the hardware.


    Toejam31




    <font color=purple>My Rig:</font color=purple> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new">http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847</A>
  2. First of all, thanks for your suggestions. When I went home last night, the 3DMark 2001 benchmark (which was set to loop 50 times) had crashed my system. The monitor could not be turned on (it is set to turn off after 1/2 hour of standby). It was the first time my system crashed on this benchmark.

    After rebooting, I decided to install Prime95 to test non-3D reliability. After about 1 hour of calculations without errors, I closed it and opened MBM5 to monitor to CPU temp. Second freeze. Note that the temperature never went over 61 C. Tonight, I plan to format, flash my BIOS, install Windows 2000 and the latest drivers (VIA 4in1 4.32, NVidia 12.41). If you have any suggestions, please post 'em cause there's nothing more frustrating than an unstable system.

    Thanks

    BTW, is there an order in which it is preferable to install the 4in1 drivers, the vid card drivers, DirectX and the W2K service pack to achieve the best system stability ?
    Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair...<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Hmg57 on 07/03/01 09:18 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
  3. Hey, I don't know if there are many guys playin this game here but I've just found an interesting FAQ on the NVidia's website. Even if I still have stability issues with my system, I'm pretty happy to know that I'm not the only one that has encountered that kind of crash. So here it is:

    Q. I have problems with Need for Speed 5: Porsche. How can I fix them?

    Try NVIDIA's latest (leaked) reference drivers. In particular 6.18 may help with speed and instability problems.

    Make sure that the Direct3D settings in the NVIDIA control panel are set to defaults. In particular, 'Enable fog table emulation' should be enabled.

    Try setting your Windows colour depth to 16-bit colour instead of 32-bit.

    If you get lockups, try the following tips, in the Options/Graphics/Advanced Settings dialog:

    Switch off lens flare
    Switch headlights to vertex

    The first time I managed to avoid a system crash that was always happening on a the same track (Auvergne) was when I turned off the lens flare and I really didn't understand why. In fact, I still don't understand but, at least, I know my problem is not hardware. Anyway, if this can help someone, I'll be happy.

    Have a good day


    Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair...
  4. Some installation guides:

    <A HREF="http://www.labmice.net/install/installbasics.htm" target="_new">http://www.labmice.net/install/installbasics.htm</A>
    <A HREF="http://www.ntfaq.com/Articles/Index.cfm?DepartmentID=782" target="_new">http://www.ntfaq.com/Articles/Index.cfm?DepartmentID=782</A>
    <A HREF="http://www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/default.asp?url=/TechNet/prodtechnol/windows2000serv/maintain/featusability/systeman.asp" target="_new">http://www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/default.asp?url=/TechNet/prodtechnol/windows2000serv/maintain/featusability/systeman.asp</A>
    <A HREF="http://web.ukonline.co.uk/cook/install.htm" target="_new">http://web.ukonline.co.uk/cook/install.htm</A>

    Installation Issues:

    <A HREF="http://www.labmice.net/install/installbugs.htm" target="_new">http://www.labmice.net/install/installbugs.htm</A>

    Tweaking:
    <A HREF="http://www.windowplanet.net/software/2k/tweakguide.asp" target="_new">http://www.windowplanet.net/software/2k/tweakguide.asp</A>
    <A HREF="http://www.wtfiml33t.com/viewarticle.php?artid=34" target="_new">http://www.wtfiml33t.com/viewarticle.php?artid=34</A>
    <A HREF="http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/techenthusiast/tricks/default.asp" target="_new">http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/techenthusiast/tricks/default.asp</A>
    <A HREF="http://www.jsiinc.com/reghack.htm" target="_new">http://www.jsiinc.com/reghack.htm</A>
    <A HREF="http://www.amd3d.com/articles/iboost.htm" target="_new">http://www.amd3d.com/articles/iboost.htm</A>
    <A HREF="http://www.tweak3d.net/tweak/win2kmem/index.shtml" target="_new">http://www.tweak3d.net/tweak/win2kmem/index.shtml</A>

    Patches, Fixes, Service Packs and Help:
    <A HREF="http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q261/6/06.ASP" target="_new">http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q261/6/06.ASP</A>
    <A HREF="http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/default.asp" target="_new">http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/default.asp</A>
    <A HREF="http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/recommended/encryption/default.asp" target="_new">http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/recommended/encryption/default.asp</A>
    <A HREF="http://www.ntcompatible.com/faq2.shtml" target="_new">http://www.ntcompatible.com/faq2.shtml</A>

    Compatibility List:

    <A HREF="http://www.w2kgamer.com/" target="_new">http://www.w2kgamer.com/</A>
    <A HREF="http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/server/howtobuy/upgrading/compat/default.asp" target="_new">http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/server/howtobuy/upgrading/compat/default.asp</A>
    <A HREF="http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q279/7/92.asp" target="_new">http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q279/7/92.asp</A>

    I would install, in sequence:

    DirectX 8.0a
    VIA chipset drivers
    Video card drivers
    SP-2

    Post afterwards, when you find time ... and let us know how it went. I'll check the board tonight and tomorrow, in case you get stuck with something.

    Best of luck ... and I hope that it fixes everything!

    Toejam31


    <font color=purple>My Rig:</font color=purple> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new">http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847</A>
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