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This has two techies and a few forums confused..

Last response: in Windows XP
November 16, 2010 5:46:00 PM

Sorry if this is the wrong place to made the most sence to post here.

Ok, my problem is, i recently reinstalled winxp pro sp3 onto my home built system which has had xp pro sp3 on it for over a year now. i reinstalled it last week with some help with my local techie, every thing went smoothly.

Alltho now, No game on my system will load, except Red faction guerrilla, which only plays when windowed.. if i maximise it, its just a black screen, sound and every thing works just no picture. Need for speed shift allso launches, but as soon as i enter game play, it crashes to desktop.
Nothing else loads, downloaded from steam or installed from a disc.

Now, when my tame techie reinstalled windows for me, he tested the hard drive, the ram and everything else. no problems showed up
I have installed all windows updates and i made a real point of installing the most up to date versions of the drivers i need and use, G-card, lan chip, chip set, mouse + keyboard, and everything else.

Previously to this reinstallation, my copy of Steam stoped opening and just ghosted in the background, I had redownloaded and installed it but nothing changed. It showed up on Task manager but.. but not on the screen or task bar, Itunes allso did this. (the reason i reinstalled windows, i felt like a system refresh anyway) but other then that, everything worked hunky dory. games ran seemlessly, no problems anywhere.

Current specs are:
intel duo quad core at 2.33ghz, OC'ed to 2.45ghz
4gb DDR2 installed ram (xp uses 3.5ish)
WD eco green hard drive
500watt storm silent psu
Nvidia GTS 250 core edition 1gb
Generic dvd drive + floppy drive

Any idears?
any serguestions would be much loved.
Cheers, Jim
November 16, 2010 5:55:09 PM

Hello and welcome to Tom's Hardware Forums. Try going from your Start button to Run and in the Open box, type dxdiag and hit Enter. See if that shows up any graphics problems - perhaps a need to alter acceleration settings.

November 16, 2010 7:29:34 PM

i did the direct draw test, it was fine, then i did the direct 3D draw test, that changed my resolution but still i could see the spinning box. no problems found.

the direct draw, direct3D and AGP texture acceleration settings are all on enabled. should i try disableing them one at a time or is there another way to alter the acceleration?
No problems were found on any tabs of DxDiag.
and there are no yellow ?'s in device manager.
thank you for the fast responce
Related resources
November 16, 2010 8:06:45 PM

Confusedracoon said:

Any idears?
any serguestions would be much loved.
Cheers, Jim

I'm going to exploit the word "Any" from above.

It would appear XP is fully loaded and ready to go, "but" (yea, that word that smashes so many dreams), is the BIOS properly setup for your video card? Is PCIe selected as the primary display adapter?

Is the 4/6 pin power plugged in? (I think it beeps like hell if it isn't)

That is a PCI Express card and many new Mobos have a BIOS that manages several things that affect the video card, such as how much power to allocate to it. Check BIOS settings, if the card is only allocated 25 watts, maybe it won't work in high-powered graphics situations. There are other settings also, check them all, ask Nvidia tech support about unknown settings and values.

Of course, one of your games could have a nested virus.

November 16, 2010 8:21:11 PM

You say you've got an overclocked chip. Was this long before you had problems? Is your power supply and cooling fans working OK? Is your chip OK?
November 16, 2010 10:12:10 PM

@mibix19 - yes my bios comes loaded with preset OC settings, i have never uped it more then 5/10% as im still running a stock CPU cooler, i have a big, BIG 22/24cm case fan plonked right on the side pushing air over the G-card and cpu fan, since its an asus board it came with asus probe which moniters temps, iv never seen the mobo temp go higher then 32C and the cpu rise above 37/38C. but like i said iv never gone over 10% max, and it was running at 10% oc since i found the settings and decided to have a fiddle about 6/7 month ago, I have had the G-card for about 5/6 months. i allso have a rear exhaust fan chugging air out the rear, my pc is sat on the floor, but i give it a good clean every 2/3 months max. I learnt the hard way about keeping things cool and clean due to a nicely blown cpu =D

@ Tigsounds - i dont think any bois settings have changed i will ahve alook, im pretty sure the cards set to primary display adapter. i will give XfXand Nvidia a support post and see if they know the right settings. the cords pluged in, as i swaped it for my older 8800GT earlyer today to see if that helped. same problem. NARF >.<
If a game as a nested virus i will be worried about the steam community getting it, as 70/80% of my games are downloaded off steam as i loose CD's like i loose brain cells sneezing.(aparantly you do o.o who knew?!). How would i check if the cards getting 25watts? il have alook at the bios after posting this and i will update.
I allso have been thining about ripping xp out and going with 7, but..its XP its so easy to use...Usually, 7 is so new and scarey looking :( 
Thanks for the replys
November 16, 2010 10:14:35 PM

jsut a quicky, just downloaded and updated DirectX drivers....tested a few games..they took longer to try and load, then crashed back to desktop... grrr
November 16, 2010 10:25:08 PM

ok just checked bios. everything seems fine the 12v thingy say's theres 11.978V going to where ever its going to. so im guessing thats ok. im waiting for a new 650watt psu to arrive and i bet it will arrive when im at work ¬¬. other then that i dont know what else i can tell ya apart from posting a dxdiag save up, which i could do after taking out the personal stuff? would that help?
November 16, 2010 10:44:33 PM

You could say what the mainboard is so we can have a look at your BIOS settings and see if there are things there waiting be set/unset.

Edit: By this I mean we can see what's available...
November 17, 2010 9:00:01 AM

@ Tigsounds - Its an Asus P5KPL/1600
November 17, 2010 4:38:46 PM

I downloaded your user manual and looked at available BIOS settings.
Your BIOS does not have settings specific to the PCIe bus. :( 
Apparently ASUS has things pre-set with generic values that should accommodate those video cards.

This makes me wonder about other things that we take for granted but then again, maybe not...
Were the chipset drivers installed? This is rather routine, but if they weren't...
Are there any hardware problems showing in device manager? Any "unknown hardware" items?
I hope there is a clue somewhere.
November 17, 2010 4:53:07 PM

It might sound a strange one, but have you tried using an older version of graphic drivers.
November 17, 2010 7:23:43 PM

@ Tigsounds - yeah the chip set drivers are installed, well, they are if they are on the mobo CD, i put that in and installed everything that looked like a driver. The device manager, For the first time acturly is showing that everything is as sweet as it possibly could be. i usualy have a usb device not quite right which still works.. but aparantly everything is A-OK.

@ mibix19 - i will give that a try in a min... will edit this after thats done.
November 17, 2010 8:06:06 PM

hey again. just rollbacked the G-card driver.


Red faction guerrilla - is working with everything on max in maximised mode - steam downloaded

Need for speed shift - Still crashing to desktop when entering game play with no error message, what ever graphical settings are set. - Steam downloaded

Prince of persia the forgotten sands - Crashes to desktop when entering game play, with an error message but it dosnt say anything apartfrom "encountered a problem and needs to close." - Hard copie

Batman Arkham Asylum - Wont even boot. Steam pops up with its "prepairing to launch...." window then nothing. - Steam downloaded

Need for speed Pro street - Crashes when entering any races, with an error message saying " NFS.exe has encountered a problem and had to close". - Hard copie

Nothing has changed, apart from RFG will paly in fullscreen mode, i think that was resolution based. my screen has truble showing anything below 1024/756. thats allso the max resolution. it hasnt been a problem befor tho.
November 17, 2010 8:35:38 PM

Hi again. I am not an expert but it seems to me that somthing inside your pc is loose or broken and needs a second look. Did your tech help go inside your case? If tigsounds comes back he might have an idea.
November 17, 2010 10:36:57 PM

im not sure if he did or not. i could take it all apart then put it all back together again once i get my new psu and case fan...make an afternoon of it =D change the heat paste on the cpu as well. i really hope something like that helps.
il go ask my techy if he would be kind enough to reinstall windows for me and just get it all sorted by some one whos qulified and knows what there doing..instead of me...just knows what im doing cos iv done so much of it while tinkering =D.

il see if tigsounds has anything else to say, if not il go talk to Mr. tech-shop.

could wait untill pay day and just buy a brand spanking new rig ready built with some excrement OEM software i love so much ¬¬

short of giving my rig to some one for a week or 2 just to poke everything in/on/around/near it untill something works, im all out of idears :( 
thanks for the constant help and replys. its been nice to see a forum acturly answering back for once.
November 18, 2010 5:17:09 AM

I'm to the point of questioning .Net Framework. There are so many versions now and all since 2.0 have frustrating issues with service packs. M$ saying to run a service pack to one version, for another. Framework is out of control and should have never been placed into such a dependency position.

How's your .Net Framework? Got any idea what version it is, what service pack to it you are using?
Your problems are in line with the failures of Framework.

If you read the M$ knowledge base articles on Framework, it'll scare you. Since everything you have is such good, reputable equipment, I have to suspect M$ Framework. Maybe you don't even have it installed, but alas, you must have it or many things will not work. I use versions 1.1 , 2 & 3.5. Next question might be, how so many versions at once? Because M$ didn't make the stupid thing entirely downward compatible, and yes, you can run many versions at the same time. Some programs will run under 1.1 but can't even see 2.0 is installed. It's sickening.

its been nice to see a forum acturly answering back for once.
All of the regular's here, with one un-named exception, truly want to see people using and enjoying their computers. We all have something here that was un-thought of to own just 30 years ago and nobody ever thought they would advance as fast as they have. So, we try.
November 19, 2010 2:29:47 PM

haha thats awesome.
Thanks Tigsounds.

I just installed my new psu,the 650watt powercool jobby off Ebuyer. with a nice lime green fan =D. still no change. Im fully out of idears now.

Im runnings windows XP pro 32bit SP3

I just ran Asoft .net version detector X, Resualts were:


< Installed .NET Frameworks >
.NET FW 2.0 SP 2
.NET FW 3.0 SP 2
.NET FW 3.5 SP 1

In the program window i have these three in green and 1.0/1.1/4.0 are red. should i download these or just download NFW 4.0? or leave them be/uninstall them and reinstall them?
November 19, 2010 2:55:03 PM

That stupid Framework isn't like a service pack where one includes the previous as an accumulation. They seem to be all separate and will answer the call individually as programs inquire of their presence.

Go you idea of "download these."
November 19, 2010 3:03:07 PM

well i just installed NFW 4.0 windows did 2 updates after that. still no change. just a slightly longer boot time.... 0.o

Il go see if i can find versions 1.0 and 1.1 see if that completes the list ¬¬
thanks again tigsounds

ahh blast. it wont let me install version 1.0. its saying i should check that i have the right version, and that the right program to upgrade is installed yadda yadda yadda.

Would starting fresh with the frameworks work? E.G. uninstall all of them then reinstall them starting with 1.0 then on and so on?
November 19, 2010 3:37:33 PM

I haven't seen 1.0 in a long time (skip that one). I don't think it will change anything to delete/re-install them.

Don't round up all of them that you can either. Your games/programs might say which version they want to run, but then they may not need framework at all. I'm not running those applications/games so can't see what their requirements are. I go to Framework as a possible culprit because it is used so extensively now and it has some bad issues.
November 19, 2010 4:07:39 PM

Of course, the final answer may be to try a different vid card. Maybe yours has a problem, like in it's on-board RAM.
November 19, 2010 5:34:41 PM

Another final answer maybe c-4. I hope not because I want to see a good outcome after all yours and Tigsounds efforts.
November 19, 2010 11:53:19 PM

aww thanks mibix. erm. whats the C-4? i havnt heard of that before

and i wont bother reinstalling all of them then il leave them be.
The cards fine, it worked fine in my other computer. and my older 8800GT which i tried in this one made no difference... nothing loaded :(  Its so weird that only games have been effected.

Oh i got this error message last nite, i wish i wrote down what the crash report was for. but it said something about the
file being ...either dead or missing....... could i just be missing some .DLL files? I shouldnt be.. this windows installation is only...just 2 weeks old.

November 20, 2010 12:37:49 AM

C4 is high explosives. That MSVCP71.DLL is a C++ runtime library. M$ doesn't say much about it.

You can copy it from another computer, mine is dated 9-16-204 so it doesn't change much with updates etc..
November 20, 2010 5:23:08 PM

Oh was the C-4 ment to be a pun? lol sorry i was tired. =D

Is it worth copying that .DLL file?
once pay day comes il take my pc to my techie and let him work some magic.

along with red faction guerrilla... Star wars the force unleashed some degree. it has crashed twice with out warning...but it plays for a good hour or so befor each one crashes. Racedriver Grid allso works =D alltho i dont like that game, and when i was putting the settings up to ultra i could hear my G-card fan going something Fierce. Portal is working.
Dirt 2 works fine on full graphics, allso fuel works. i think im drilling it down.
i will reinstall BMAA and NFS shift. i will let you guys know.
cheers for the help so far =D been excelent.
November 20, 2010 6:13:46 PM

I have found that crashes after the periods of time you are saying have been caused by faulty /loose seated memory and overheating.
November 20, 2010 6:55:23 PM

no, my system.....i cant over heat my system, its usualy about 21C/70F in my room at all times, iv never seen my mobo go over 36degrees and my cpu never goes over 34/35degrees. iv got a very good airflow through out my system and like is aid before..i think, i make sure i clean it out good and proper every 2/3 months.

i think star wars the force unleashed isnt a very stable game at the best of times, kinda like the first assassins creed... there really REALLY picky about how and what they play/play on. i will stick a thermomiter in my rig and craft something so its sat as close to my G-card as possible with out touching it. it shoudl then tell me...rather roughly what temps the card gets to. but iv got 2 120mm fans going, and a bit 24/5cm fan constantly on.. so voer heating isnt a problem
November 20, 2010 7:51:33 PM

Updating to Win 7 64-bit might be a good idea... seeing that you have 4GB of RAM. Don't be afraid... it's Windows... just as easy to use as any other version before it.
November 20, 2010 9:52:45 PM

Now, when my tame techie reinstalled windows for me, he tested the hard drive, the ram and everything else. no problems showed up
Why have someone else install Windows? You seem bright enough to do it yourself.

Well, it would have been good to witness the test for yourself. How can you be sure the test were actually done? Did your techie show you what the test was that was performed? Maybe Windows installed and looked OK, and that was the test.

Your problems don't have the characteristics of software trouble. They act like a hardware problem.
To say your vid card has worked fine in the past is no comfort. Light bulbs burn out, my 1970 Rambler used to run fine, it still ended up in the junkyard, as well as a few cars and light bulbs since then.

You said you tried a different vid card. OK, that was smart, but same problems? (I'll assume you properly removed the Nvidia GTS 250 and loaded proper drivers for the 8800 card). Look at what else is still in the machine, like RAM. "But it always worked before" is not good enough. You lost possession of your machine to a techie or anyone else. Now you can't say with certainty what was done with/to your machine and it's components. If your techie is anything like one member we have here, it's time to buy a new computer. Your last hope is to use different RAM as that is the last thing you can swap out, unless you can use another CPU, but that isn't usually an available option.

You can download and run your own memory test. One from Microsoft is
Another one is HERE

Follow all instructions. They both require you to make a disk to run them.
November 20, 2010 10:29:00 PM

@ Zoron - My Mobo isnt win 7 compatable, i dont think :(  its an asus p5kpl/1600. i checked the asus website and i didnt see anything saying it was win7 compatable. QQ

@ Tigs -
Awesome thanks for the tests i will run them tomorrow after work. About the techy, I kinda trust him. i poped in a few times befor i let him loose on my rig, to check out his shop and what kinda business goes on there. He has recovered lost data from an old machine my landlord owns, as i tried to have ago my self, but i couldnt get the HDD to be detected so i gave up, but the techy sorted it all out recovered gigs and gigs of stuff.

I usualy reinstall windows every a rule of thumb. I have had quite a bit of practise lol.

I set a spare afternoon aside to do so, I started it off, but then my screen being a TV screen with a VGA port on it decided to not show anything and neither of my other screens would either so i was like right... swaped the hard drive into another machine as the slave drive copied what i wanted off it and formatted to NTFS? NTSF... you get the picute, then my system wouldnt boot from the CD, so after a few days of this ( and a few trips to my techie) i gave in and let him start the process but leave it at the... "enter serial key"/ "choose language" / "sort out internet connections" sort of bit. so basicaly he got it to boot, then i finished it off. I asked him to do as little as possible to get it running, which ment me finishing off the windows installation. Any way half way through that i needed 'Win xp SP2 Disc 2' which i didnt have so i went back. he gave me disc two after many apologies and what not. I put in disc 2, finish the process. I get the system running, I then somehow completely messed up with windows updates as stuff started going wrong from hour 1. problem...Solved. i put my original disc back in, boot that, Again i had to try different screens, eventually i got one to work after much "reset to default" -ing and i got a fuzzy screen, but still i perservierd and won, i got windows SP3 installed working hunky dory. this put me to a few days ago befor i posted these forum plees for help, as games werent working at all.

I have been thinking about getting intouch with my Old techie who helped me put this rig together to have alook, or failing that, my techie befor him, along ago friend of my motheres who used to fix my first ever computer.

Sorry about punctuation and spelling and grammer and all that, i failed english =D

Any ways thanks again, i will get back to you all maybe tomorrow night maybe the day after once these tests have been run, and completed i will get in touch with one of my older techies who i fully trust.
November 20, 2010 10:39:54 PM

Sorry about punctuation and spelling and grammer and all that, i failed english =D
As long as the message gets through... :) 
i will get in touch with one of my older techies who i fully trust.
Glad to hear it. I've seen from some I wouldn't trust with an alarm clock.

November 21, 2010 3:55:00 PM

tests finished my ram is fine.
Alltho my screen wont show stuff like.....ermm. well. it wont show anythign from the "press any key to boot from disk" screen...its just blank.
im looking to get a new screen soon anyway.

i forgot tosay i did my old ram test a few days ago...well..i took both sticks out, puit one in, took it out put the other in and stuff like that.. no effect :( 
November 25, 2010 12:20:40 PM

well im ringing my good old techie man later this evening, hopfully he migth have something to say about it...

my system got to a max temp of 35degrees C last nite while doing a long stint of Race driver Grid on max settings. then it cooled within minutes back to about 31/30degrees C. My G-card was blowing cool air out constantly so no over heating problems. ram was a bit warm but after payday il be getting a ram cooler.
hopfully the phone call tonight will shine some success on the problem =D
November 25, 2010 1:13:25 PM

While you're waiting for that phone call, look around for a new Mainboard.

Not a lot of bad press for Gigabyte boards. There is a forum for Motherboards and memory, maybe reading a bit there will enlighten you to what's hot and what's not.
November 25, 2010 11:13:01 PM

yeah maybe., i hate switch mobos :(  such a hassle. but oh well. whats gota happen, has gota happen :(  cheers tigs, il post some options for what i might be choosing.
if i cant get it fixed by my old techy then ima call it for this time. i just found out google earth keeps crashing about 10 seconds after opening. Just ODD.

Any ways thanks for every thing guys i will be useing this forum again.
November 26, 2010 6:21:25 PM

Confusedracoon said:
yeah maybe., i hate switch mobos :(  such a hassle. but oh well. whats gota happen, has gota happen :(  cheers tigs, il post some options for what i might be choosing.
if i cant get it fixed by my old techy then ima call it for this time. i just found out google earth keeps crashing about 10 seconds after opening. Just ODD.

Any ways thanks for every thing guys i will be useing this forum again.

I can't help wondering if faulty graphics card RAM could be the cause of all this.
November 27, 2010 1:07:59 PM

rams been testest and even with another g-card (my old 8800gt) im getting the same problems, games that do run, run. games that dont run, dont run. im thinking its something on the mobo's south bridge going abit spare for whatever reason
November 27, 2010 4:21:23 PM

Confusedracoon said:
rams been testest and even with another g-card (my old 8800gt) im getting the same problems, games that do run, run. games that dont run, dont run. im thinking its something on the mobo's south bridge going abit spare for whatever reason

Now what's that word I'm looking for here... umm...Oh Yea, BINGO!

November 28, 2010 3:15:16 PM

ok iv been looking around for a new mobo, and SLI ready one, because im hoping to go sli in the near future. Finding an LGA775 socket 2-way SLI board made by Asus or gygabyte for under £100 is Nearly impossible, At last tho i found one. well its £120 pounds and comes bundled with a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio Sound Card and its an MSI board.
I lied, sorry i forgot to mention i was allso looking at this:

its this mobo:

Im still not 100% on how this sli stuff works, drivers wise, the difference between sli ready and...full sli?(if there are different types lol) and weather you need identical cards or you can use any sli ready cards, using the better one as the main card with the lesser powered one as like a dedicated PhysX card.

Im allso looking to upgrade my moniter to a BenQ G2220HD 22" TFT Monitor for £109 and allso a new case, a nice big Coolermaster Elite 430. Plus im looking to get a ram cooler + an extra fan, so a shopping list of about £270 pounds.


The case and moniter might have to wait :( 

Any way, i will repost on here after tuesday, and iv spoken to a few other people about the board, weather il get it or just settle for another non sli win 7 ready board.
cheers for the continueing support =D
November 28, 2010 5:15:08 PM

tigsounds said:
Now what's that word I'm looking for here... umm...Oh Yea, BINGO!

Is that BINGO as in "are you sure memtest works on dedicated graphics RAM", Tig? I couldn't be certain which is why I posted the suggestion. Frankly, I thought it only tested board RAM.

November 28, 2010 5:35:26 PM

Well, he changed video cards and got the same results. His symptoms have gone beyond things that can be replaced or exchanged, leaving only soldered-in components suspicious.

No, mem test won't reach into a video card and so swapping vid cards was a good thing to try, but with no improvement. :( 

With these problems, an upgrade is not a wasted venture, there will be more benefits than just the ability to run games. All around he'll have a better system.

This problem is just so rare that I wonder about on-board voltage regulators, caps and the like that could be the cause of such grief.

I am the last person to say go buy hardware, but I can't ponder any other solution to such an abnormal problem.
November 28, 2010 6:52:41 PM

Tigs, you are on my christmas card list =D.

If there is a Very rare problem, it will happen to me, I have the worst luck with compatability, ease of support and fixing things. I mean 2 years ago i got scarlet feaver which gets...7? cases a year in the UK. im just plain unlucky, i salute as many magpies as i can lol.

Any comment about the two boards? which i should get? or anything, im not bothered about the sound card, id sell that once i got it to make some money back off the more exspencive one. I dont want to buy a board then find out i need the EXACT g-card i allready have just to go SLI, id rather get like a 9800GT, around that mark for a dedicated physX card, I dont want to have to spend another £100 on another GTS250 when there not all that amazing as it is.
November 29, 2010 12:00:13 PM

cheers shovenose. tomorrow i think im going to buy a new mobo, the MSI one i link. as the asus one has been discontinued on ebuyer 0.o
i will update tomorrow after i see my techy.
December 2, 2010 11:48:24 AM

the mobo is fine, no cap leakage or bluging, still waiting for my over time pay to come through to get a new mobo. untill i can get that im all out of idears
thanks for the help guys =D its been lovely