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GeForce GTS 250 issue

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 25, 2010 7:01:39 AM

My specs:
AMD Phenom II X2 550 BE
Biostar TA790GX A3+
4GB PC3-10600 RAM@1333MHz
MSI "Twin Frozr" N250GTS 1GB DDR3
Windows 7 x64 Ultimate


I joined this site to actually get feedback on an issue I'm having with my GPU, or at least I think it's the video card. So, about two days ago I was having a problem with games crashing and getting a BSOD. I was frantic tearing my hair out and after a lot of troubleshooting I finally figured it out when I looked on the back of my computer to check some cables. On the back of my PSU there's a voltage regulator switch where I can set the AC input to either 250V or 115V. Normal operation in the U.S. is always 115 and I realized my computer had become unstable because somehow it had been set to 250 :o  . I might have unintentionally flipped it or something the last time I opened up my case when I was working on my computer.

Anyway, I flip it back and everything went back to normal...mostly. Recently I've reinstalled and started playing Titan Quest again, but I'm getting the occasional video lag. The lags aren't that long, maybe half a second, and they're not that frequent, but I shouldn't be getting any video hiccups with an older game like TQ. The last time I installed and played TQ it was on my 8600 GT and I always had smooth frame rate. I think when my PSU had accidentally been set to the wrong AC input and I was getting the BSODs that it may have damaged the GPU.

I've researched other possibilities to confirm my suspicions. I'm using the latest Nvidia drivers from their website and I know they're not the issue because it's the same drivers I was using without any issues on my 9600 before I bought the 250. I've downloaded and reinstalled the latest DirectX runtimes (February 2010 redistributable) and I've also checked to make sure my hard drive isn't fragmented. So, the only conclusion I can come to is that it has to be the video card. I think this because when I first got the 250 I played Splinter Cell Conviction on very high settings with silky smooth frame rate, but now I'm getting random small video lags on an older game like TQ.

Of course there are still other factors which could be involved. The first realm of possibility is the hard drive itself. It's an older Western Digital Caviar SATA 3GB/s I've had for a while (only rates 5.5 in the Win7 experience) and it doesn't have the best speeds with only a 8MB cache for a 7200rpm drive. I think the slower disk transfer rate, average latency, and seek times might be affecting the video card's performance. I also think the drive might be on its last leg and I will be replacing it with a SATA 3 WD Caviar Black with 32MB cache soon.

The second realm realm of possibility is it has something to do with my faulty Windows 7 installation and I say this because when I was investigating the BSODs I did a "sfc /scannow" in cmd to check the integrity of the file system and SFC reported finding corrupt files (mainly iassdo.mui.dll) which could not be repaired. I've taken ownership of the corrupt files and have replaced them with the originals from the Windows 7 DVD countless times, but no matter how many times I do it every time I do SFC now the same files keep getting reported as corrupt. It's an unusual issue because it doesn't impact my system in the sense all of my games, multimedia applications, and programs still run and don't crash. So, I'm contemplating this as a possible factor. I know I'm eventually going to have to reinstall Windows, but I want to wait until I get my new hard drive.

So, what do you all think? Did the PSU damage the GPU when it was set to the wrong AC input? Is it the HDD itself? Or, is it the faulty Win7 installation with the peculiar problem I'm having? Possibly a combination of all three factors? Any and all feedback is appreciated.

More about : geforce gts 250 issue

May 25, 2010 12:47:54 PM

I would like you to try running your system with a different power supply. If you can borrow one that is.
Living in europe I haven't tried switchin from 115 to 230, but I know that if you're on a 230v line and you set it to 115 it'll break. I've seen that serveral times in my working life.

Also, if you have access to a voltmeter, check one of the molex jacks while playing (or run a 3dmark06 test while looking at it). You may've roasted a capaciator in your stunt, which means the voltage won't be stable. (liquid inside will evaporate).
The 12V rail (yellow and the black next to it) is not allowed to go under 11.4v or over 12.6v unless it approaches its rated maximum load. In which case it musn't exceed 13.2 or drop below 10.8v ; but I'd bet that if you see a voltage below 11.4v the system will not remain stable.

If you think your harddrive can cause the lags check the event viewer (eventvwr in run) - under system there'll be controller timeouts, as half a second is plenty long for the system to notice.

Nvidia cards usually make a highpitch noise when they don't get enough power. Did you notice any such noise?

If you think your windows install is broken, try loading a windows dvd (vista or windows 7 or repair dvd of either) and run prime95 from the dvd (flash drive or something). If all is fine, it could be the windows. If it fails or crashes it is hardware related.
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May 25, 2010 4:27:04 PM

neiroatopelcc said:
I would like you to try running your system with a different power supply. If you can borrow one that is.
Living in europe I haven't tried switchin from 115 to 230, but I know that if you're on a 230v line and you set it to 115 it'll break. I've seen that serveral times in my working life.

Also, if you have access to a voltmeter, check one of the molex jacks while playing (or run a 3dmark06 test while looking at it). You may've roasted a capaciator in your stunt, which means the voltage won't be stable. (liquid inside will evaporate).
The 12V rail (yellow and the black next to it) is not allowed to go under 11.4v or over 12.6v unless it approaches its rated maximum load. In which case it musn't exceed 13.2 or drop below 10.8v ; but I'd bet that if you see a voltage below 11.4v the system will not remain stable.

If you think your harddrive can cause the lags check the event viewer (eventvwr in run) - under system there'll be controller timeouts, as half a second is plenty long for the system to notice.

Nvidia cards usually make a highpitch noise when they don't get enough power. Did you notice any such noise?

If you think your windows install is broken, try loading a windows dvd (vista or windows 7 or repair dvd of either) and run prime95 from the dvd (flash drive or something). If all is fine, it could be the windows. If it fails or crashes it is hardware related.


Thanks for the reply, I do appreciate the input and you've helped me put a couple of things into perspective.


[1] Alas I don't have access to another power supply, it would really help out if I could. Hey, if you have a second hand 550 or 600 watt unit you could sell me cheap and don't mind shipping to the U.S. I'll take that :kaola: 

[2] I don't have a voltmeter either and the strange thing is I don't think it's the power output either. Once I set the psu back to 115 the system and the power supply have been running perfectly stable. I haven't had any system errors (other than the problems with sfc) or crashes. All of my games and applications run and they don't lock up or freeze. I could run 3DMark06 while studying the voltmeter which I hadn't thought of doing and sounds like a really good idea because then I would know definitively if it is indeed the psu. Alas, I need a voltmeter.

[3] Event viewer won't run since the service won't start, it's part of the problem I'm having with the sfc errors. I was trying to look at the system error dump files and the minidumps to try and discern the exact nature of the BSODs (before I realized the psu was on the wrong AC input voltage setting), but event viewer wouldn't load up nor could I start the service. This is what led me to do the system file checker in the first place. I've done my research and apparently there is a Windows 7 update which causes the service to become unavailable. So, basically MS puts out an update which fixes one issue with the OS, but ends up breaking something else. Typical frigging Microsoft. God, I hate them.

[4] No, I haven't noticed any high pitch noise from the video card and it sounds pretty much the same. Except this time the dual fans do sound a little...off. They still work though and I'm pretty sure the video card is getting the power input it needs.

[6a] Could you elaborate a little more on running prime96 from the Windows 7 dvd? Pop the disc into a drive and run p95 from the flash drive? How would I get p96 to run a torture test on the Win install? I'm not exactly sure what it is you want me to try out.

[6b] I don't think there's an issue with the Windows installer on the dvd, but I do think the installation on my hdd might have become corrupt. I'm pretty sure the disc itself is fine because I used it to install Win7 on my laptop and I ran a sfc /scannow command on the laptop and the file checker didn't find any errors. This leads me to believe that there is an issue with the Win7 installation on my drive and not the disc itself.


Other than that I was thinking about reinstalling the 9600 to see what kind of frame rate I would get with it when running Titan Quest and compare it against the 250 GTS. What do you think?
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