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Wow, what a nightmare.

  • Graphics Cards
  • World Of Warcraft
  • Graphics
  • Product
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
March 1, 2009 5:31:15 PM

A couple of months ago I upgraded my PSU, RAM, CPU, and Mobo, and those have been working fine for a while. Then I decide to upgrade my graphics card, and I purchased this:

I was pleased at first, until my computer started freezing. It would play games (i.e. Assassin's Creed, CS:Source) no problem. Max I think I played these games for was for about an hour. However, during normal computer usage, such as internet browsing or using itunes, my computer would freeze. No response from the mouse or keyboard. Sometimes it would make a funny sound, like a buzzing noise.

I tried fixing this by downloading the latest drivers from XFX's site, and I installed the latest driver for my chipset. Once again, I could play Assassin's Creed no problem. As soon as I opened a browser (this time Chrome), my computer froze!

I did some research, and thought that maybe it was a memory issue, and I checked into setting the timings and voltage for my RAM since I hadn't changed them and left them on default. I set the voltage to 2.04, and timings to 6-6-6-18, just like the mfg. suggested. My RAM is here:

The recommended voltage is 2.0, but the closest my BIOS allows is 1.97 or 2.04. Anyway, I changed the timings and voltage, thinking yay my problems are over. But no, they were only just beginning!

Apparently changing memory settings in BIOS requires re-activation of Windows Vista. I tried re-entering my product key, but it said that the key was invalid. The same key on the back of the CD packaging that I've used to install Vista before. Twice. So I call Microsoft, and I need to tell them the "installation ID" number on screen. Well, there wasn't an installation number, so they transfer me to tech support. I tell him my issue, and he transfers me to another number. The transfer didn't work somehow, so I called the number he gave to me, and it was their Anti-Piracy hotline. Which is closed on Sundays. Fantastic.

This all started with a simple graphics card issue....whether it's a compatibility issue or something, I'm not sure. Has anybody experienced something like this before? (not necessarily the whole activation issue, but the freezing). Below are my full specs:

Mobo: AMD Phenom 9600 Agena 2.3GHz AM2+ 95W Quad-Core Processor
RAM: GSkill 4GB DDR2 1066 (PC2-8500)
Graphics: XFX Geforce 9600 GSO 1GB DDR2
Sound: Audigy 2 ZS Gamer
Plus a Linksys wireless adapter

Let me know what anyone thinks. Thanks.


More about : wow nightmare

March 1, 2009 5:40:26 PM

Well in terms of activating vista, you have to select "activate by phone" in order to get the numbers they need off the computer.

So really what is happening is your computer is freezing. At this point you said you are up to date with all current drivers correct? And the problem is not happening during gaming but basic usage?

Did you clean out all the old video drivers before installing the new ones? that could be part of the conflict? Not just uninstalling them but using a program like driver sweeper.
March 2, 2009 2:05:52 PM

I'm working on the activation, so until then I can't clean out the drivers but I will try that first and let you know how it goes. And yes, you are correct that it freezes during basic usage, not gaming.
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a c 89 U Graphics card
March 2, 2009 2:22:20 PM

you should really do atleast a repair or complete reinstallation of windows every time you change mobos, it messes up the windows chipset drivers and what nots and can cause system instability and random freezes. You have changed pretty much every component on your rig so the windows is getting all freaked out and requires that reactivation cause it thinks it's on a new system. Better to reinstall it all together....
a b U Graphics card
March 2, 2009 2:27:17 PM

Also, as far as your lockups where you had the issue to begin with, you said you can play for about an hour, which makes me think you may have a heat issue, maybe the video card is heating up and pushing air into your case, causing instability. Easy, and cheap way to take care of that, try adding a pci slot cooling fan right under your video card to help exhaust hot air it may produce out of the case and see if that helps.
March 2, 2009 4:26:39 PM

Kari: I reinstalled windows with my mobo upgrade about a month ago. Everything worked fine until I installed my video card 2 weeks ago. That is the only new change since my last windows install

And it's not always after playing games...sometimes I can start it up and after 30 mins of basic use it will freeze. I'll look into the heating thing though.
March 3, 2009 1:21:38 PM

Alright, so I managed to get my Windows activated. I spent an hour on the phone with Microsoft, and my computer was on this whole time, with several restarts, mainly using the command prompt and windows explorer. No freezes.

Then I start up Assassin's Creed, and am able to play for over an hour. At this point my computer has been (mostly) on for over 2 hours, half of which were spent playing a graphics-intensive game. No freezes. This was probably the longest it's gone without freezing since the video card install.

I close out assassin's creed and let the computer sit idle for 5 minutes or so before I open itunes. I play a song, and almost immediately my computer freezes and I hear the strange buzzing sound again.

This morning I was able to watch some videos on youtube for 5-10 minutes, then I tried itunes again. This time it made it 2 and a half minutes into a song before freezing, once again.

Now before my computer would freeze sometimes during internet browsing, but always during itunes. I've been trying to analze it and have come up with possible problems:

1. My sound card could be incompatible (for some reason) with the video card. But if this is the case, why am I able to play games with video and sound no problem?
2. It could still be an overheating issue I guess. My sound card is right below my video card and probably gets pretty hot. But still, my computer would still freeze during normal internet browsing, no sound.
3. Perhaps a hard drive issue? My HD is almost 4 years old now, has been reformatted probably a dozen times, and is IDE, not SATA. Maybe this is the most likely issue...itunes plays songs directly from the hard drive, internet browsing utilizes some hard drive resources, but playing a game will be mostly off of the CD/DVD, no?

Maybe there's something I'm overlooking. Tonight I'm going to use driver sweeper and remove my sound card to see if that helps.
a b U Graphics card
March 3, 2009 3:56:33 PM

I've had issues with NVIDIA's drivers of late, same exact freezing issue. Seems to happen a lot with the 9000 series, but I have no idea why...

Try using driver version 178.24 for a bit, and let me know if its stable.
May 29, 2009 2:10:32 PM

I just built a machine for my wife.

-AMD Athoon 64 X2 7750
-ASUS M3N78-VM AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 8200 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
-4GB 2x2GB GSkill 1066 DDR2
-XFX PVT96OZDFU GeForce 9600 GSO 1GB 128-bit GDDR2

I got the machine built up and the machine kept locking up. I was stumped. I ran diagnostic tests and memory tests and they all passed. So I assumed video card and had it RMA'ed. I got the card exchanged and installed it. SAME THING!

I then swapped out the memory...SAME THING!

Then swapped out the PSU....SAME THING!

I was then thinking it was my systemboard. So I was about to put an RMA for the systemboard until I started searching google on the XFX 9600 1GB and it seems this is a common problem with this card.

So in my experience with this problem I would say buy a new card... I'm going to.

Good Luck,

a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2009 1:49:05 AM

The above is one good reason to buy a gx motherboard. If your add-in card is broken then you can check it easily with the onboard graphics. Also, you can run another monitor off the onboard and it doesn't slow down your gaming. I didn't realise that until I bought a foxconn 790gx recently, and it's quite a nice thing for the future knowing i can plug in another monitor for free basically.