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IBM intellistation Z Pro won't play games

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June 18, 2012 2:05:44 PM

Hi guys, I have this old old old intellistation Z pro (type 6221 MNG) dual Xeon 2.8GHz processor, 2.0Gb RAM, Windows XP 2002 SP3, Quaddro4 980 XGL Nvidia (updated drivers), 20Kgs worth of rock solid PC standing here and I use it for 3D work. It works solidly with 3D Max, zBrush and other packages.

However, sometimes while my other quadcore is busy rendering, I'd like to play a PC game on the IBM. Now for some mysterious reason, this IBM just refuses to co-operate with most these games. And I don't have a clue why.

Some games say, yeah the video drivers are out of date, others just don't run on full screen, some cannot find the CD drive... and many other super strange reasons. I've changed all the possible settings on the video card, on the PC, I cannot find the source of the problem. With my other PC (pentium 4 intel core2quad, wXP SP3, Nvidia card) I never ever have any of these problems. I'm sure it has something to do with the IBM or something, and not only the video card (although could be because it has some horrendously complicated interface).

I've tried Spore, Battle for Middle earth 2, L4D, Fallout NV, Battlefield Bad Company 2, OPF Dragon Rising... all have some kind of issue. Others seem to do fine: Warcraft 3 works, Sins of a solar Empire works, Far Cry 2...

Is this a common problem? What settings should I watch out for? Did I miss some vital update?

Cheers
AW

PS: I do run most games from another drive than the C drive, its quite full. I don't suspect this cuz on my other Pentium is never has issues with this.

Edit: tried it again with FalloutNV.exe for example: starts up the JIT debugger and says "Unhandled Exception 0x0040ca45" and something about "Access Violation reading location 0x00000000" xP
note: falloutNV comes with a C++ package

Update 1:
In the case of Fallout NV I've done the following to no avail:
-Defragment
-Chkdsk
-Registry Cleanup (repeatedly)
-CCleaner (repeatedly)
-Repair Windows through CD Boot
-Removed SQL Server and some older C++ redistributables
-Installed Framework 4 (over 3.5)
-disabled NVidia Control Panel: nwiz, NvCpl...
-rolled back the graphics drivers (tip from this website: http://www.updatexp.com/0xC0000005.html)
-reinstalled fallout a million times (cleaned the old folder, even wiped the drive)

NOTHING HELPS! What a pain in the ass

Please if anyone knows anything, let me know.
June 20, 2012 2:07:23 AM

Look for software things that games needs and that 3d packages don't. Start by refreshing directx and running dxdiag. then look at sound driver. then look at dot net install. etc
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June 27, 2012 12:35:01 AM

tsnor said:
Look for software things that games needs and that 3d packages don't. Start by refreshing directx and running dxdiag. then look at sound driver. then look at dot net install. etc


I tried everything you said to no avail. DX Diag worked fine for video, passed all the tests. Sound check was also ok but did mention: "your sound card does not support hardware buffering. it will only play back from software buffers" - could that cause all these issues?

I uninstalled all of the Visual Studio Installs because the JIT problem seemed to give a lot of hits on google related to Access Violations and games. However nobody can come up with a solution. I've changed the registry values of the JIT and set the DrWatson is now the default debugger... but nothing...

I reinstalled .NET frameworks and added the latest one. Nothing (in the meanwhile I also reinstalled the game). I seriously think it has to do with either the IBM motherboard settings, or the old Quaddro4. With every game I install there's always an issue.

Any more ideas besides reformatting the whole PC?
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June 30, 2012 12:56:27 AM

No idea why your business apps (3D Max, zBrush and other packages) are stable and games fail. Reformatting corrects a variety of problems. however it's a pain. I'd swap in a new disk drive and save the old one in case the reformat doesn't help -- saves you reinstalling all your businesses apps and getting them back to correct service level.
-- aside:
Given you have 2GB ram maybe make sure you have a reasonably large page space defined (3-4GB).

Click Start, search Computer and right click on it and click Properties
2. Click Advanced system settings and it will open System properties on Advanced tab
3. Look at Performance area and click Setting and it will open Performance Options windows
4. Click Advanced tab and look at Virtual Memory area and click Changechange virtual memory
5. Uncheck Automatically manage paging file size for all drives
6. Choose what drive you want to put your virtual memory
7. Click Custom size
8. Fill the size form with 4GB (4096 MB)

(clipped from http://www.ripleonline.com/how-to-increase-virtual-memo... )
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July 3, 2012 8:38:13 PM

tsnor said:
I'd swap in a new disk drive and save the old one in case the reformat doesn't help -- saves you reinstalling all your businesses apps and getting them back to correct service level.
-- aside:
Given you have 2GB ram maybe make sure you have a reasonably large page space defined (3-4GB).

(clipped from http://www.ripleonline.com/how-to-increase-virtual-memo... )


Swapping a disk drive sounds like a very good plan! I think I might then go for XP 64bit. Do you think that would work for my system?

Ok so I tried what you suggested (thanks b.t.w), but nothings changed. However, I have new information that might help me (us) understand what's going on and its looking more and more like my Video Card is the cause of the problem.

I installed ARMA 2 on the IBM and now the story is this: :fou: 

Quote:
"Cannot Create 3D Device:
Adapter 0 (NVIDIA Quadro4 980 XGL) Fullscreen
Resolution 1024x768, Format X8R8G8B8/ X8R8G8B8/ D24S8, refresh 60hz
Error D3DERR_INVALIDCALL"


Thankfully the makers of ARMA 2 have a very helpfull wiki and the error description says the following:

Quote:
"Cannot create 3D device" (D3DERR_INVALIDCALL)

Upgrade video card. Card with Shader Model 2 or higher is required to run ArmA. Change the desktop resolution to be the same as the in-game resolution and then re-launch ArmA.
You may also try to update drivers of your graphics card.


God bless their souls for making that effort. But I cannot seem to figure out if the Quadro4 980 XGL is Shader Model 2... would you know? This is what I could find on the card:

http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/11575_na/...

So yet again, does anyone know anything about this issue? I must be sure that its a video card issue because I don't want to spend cash on something that won't help... especially since I live in Africa and I cannot exactly return it...
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Best solution

July 4, 2012 2:20:31 PM

Yes, and your current card is an AGP card, not a PCIe card. Your MB has an AGP slot, not a PCIe slot (http://download.boulder.ibm.com/ibmdl/pub/systems/suppo...) so you would need to get an AGP card.
AGP cards are hard to get now new, so cost more than they should. For example, here is a 4760 AGP card for $115. http://www.amazon.com/HIS-Radeon-Native-Graphics-H467QS... (Note this one is doiuble wide, make sure you have two slot clearance on your MB) (Note you have AGP pro slot, an ordinary AGP card will work in that slot)

The card you get might not work as well in cad/cam as your current card. Or it might work better. You'd need to google and see results with your programs.

EBAY is any option, $45 "New XFX NVidia GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB DDR2 TV DVI VGA
Video Graphics Card " http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Dell-XFX-Nvidia-GeForce-760... That would get you to directx 9.0c compatible games vs. the directx 8.1 of your current card.

Or an EBAY 4670 http://www.ebay.com/itm/HIS-Radeon-HD-4670-AGP-1GB-/271... for $50++ with directx 10.

I'm glad you're keeping the intellistation Z pro alive, others would have bailed for a newer box.



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July 4, 2012 7:38:34 PM

Best answer selected by AfricanWarhead.
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July 4, 2012 7:42:32 PM

tsnor said:
Yes


Sh*t

tsnor said:
I'm glad you're keeping the intellistation Z pro alive, others would have bailed for a newer box.


I have to hand it to those guys at IBM, its not mega fast, but this mother of a PC just never crashes. Stable as a rock. Its a bloody locomotive (and sounds like and weighs as much as one too).

Thanks tsnor. Well, new card it is. Will this old baby be fine with a new card you think? (like the ones you mentioned)

cheers
AW
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July 4, 2012 9:05:41 PM

" this old baby be fine with a new card you think? "

I certainly hope so, and wish you the best. You system will be stronger than the AMD c-50 used to benchmark these: (much better CPU, somewhat better video) http://www.tomshardware.com/picturestory/594-netbook-ga...

(From how detailed your earlier debugging was, you know a $400 build based on i3-2100 and HD67770 would kill the xeon system gaming, boot faster, have a longer life, and probably do the cad/cam work faster. You also know whatever you spend on an AGP card is throw away. I traded my last AGP card (ati x800xl) for a 6-pack a few years ago.)
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July 4, 2012 9:32:07 PM

tsnor said:
I traded my last AGP card (ati x800xl) for a 6-pack a few years ago.


hm, you think you have it bad? I live in the middle of the bush. I think I'm going to have to go to the nearest airport and search the scrap yard there for random electronics, best chance of me getting something remotely similar to an AGP Video Card... hahaha
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