I was given an MSi GTX295 for free by a friend, known working, low hours usage. He'd got rid because of display driver issues with certain games he plays...Age of Conan and the like...But from a hardware viewpoint there was nothing apparently wrong with the card.
In my machine the card runs XP professional fine, browses the web etc. But programs like 3dmark, aquamark, crysis, and fallout 3 (all I've had time to test so far) refuse to work.
Crysis loads to 98% and stays that way forever
fallout 3 loads then crashes the computer as soon as it tries to play the actual game.
Drivers are the ones currently as of 5/11/10 on the Nvidia site.
It seems like he gave you a defective card hoping it would work fine on your PC, but it didn't. I wouldn't give a fully working $500 product to anyone, unless it was intended to be a gift.
Try a clean install of windows and see if it still happens
It worked fine on Bob's PC, Just a black line in the middle of the display on some games.
Bob works as an accounts supervisor in central London, earns lots of cash and doesn't spend it in the pub, so to him its just a piece of unused hardware hanging around which didn't work the way he wanted it to.
will try as you suggest...but will first try completely cleaning out Nvidia drivers, then disabling one core...
A complete reinstall is a bit of a pain, I'm sure you'll understand. just want to try simpler options first.
People have complained about such issues but taking it apart and replacing the old stock compound. Once done give it another shot and turn the fan to max. Dual gpu cards rarely work without having some problems and they are only for a few that can afford them or have no other way of getting the performance they need in a single card. I got 3 such dual gpu cards but not a GTX295. The single pcb is known to suck when it comes to problems like this and the dual has it's own share of problems.