Graphics card driver freezes & distorted sound (the usual...)

Hi guys!

So.. basically I've been trying to track down the cause of this for the last couple of years so far without success so I'm hoping you might be able to help out.
The problem: every so often (only when playing fullscreen games) my display driver decides to 'give up' with different symptoms depending on the game and the technologies used in those games.. for example with world of warcraft I get a 'resolution change' -like effect a really short blackout then my
screen comes back on with me seing only the upper left part of the game in fullscreen (as if the resolution got changed but only for the monitor and the game would be the same size as before so I only see a portion of it) - then I have to alt+tab out (to see all my previously fullscreen windows like total commander resized aswell, then I tab back into the game the resolution is fine again but the picture is all grainy like when there's poor reception on an old tv.. it's really annoying actually. Only thing that fixes this grainyness is restarting the pc.

Okay so this is my current issue, but the 'problem' goes way back a few years ago when I bought this graphics card, it's a simple gt220.

At the time I think the actual newest flash version was flash 9 and right after I installed the card all flash videos (eg. youtube) had their sound distorted (crackling popping sound sometimes changing pitch like when you play an old record and tap on it so it periodically slows a bit) - so I instantly assumed there is something with flash somehow 'not liking' my card (strange part was that video was just fine and the sound had issues though I only changed the graphics card).
Initially I thought that 'nvidia high definition audio' device that appeared in my device manager was screwing around with stuff.. so I tried messing with that, still nothing.
At the time I found a 'work-around' for flash videos, by disabling hardware acceleration of the flash player the sound came back to normal.

Then flash got updated to v.10 subsequently 11. and the sound got fixed even with hardware acceleration.
Strange thing though... only for videos. Whenever I play a game that uses flash in fullscreen mode up to this day the sound is a bit distorted. For example Guild Wars uses flash overall so the whole game had sound distortion same as wow, but some single player games use other technologies and in those games the sound distortion only appears during cinematics (presumably flash videos again?).

There are lirerally thousands of threads on the internet with 'similar' issues, with slight variations of the symptoms but basically I haven't found a single one that ends in a working solution

I tried almost everything, currently I have the newest drivers, though I tried older ones aswell to see if it changes anything. I don't have any conflicts, I even assumed it's because the card isn't getting enough power so I disabled and disconnected everything that isn't essential (disabled everything in bios that isn't needed, like paralell port.. etc, removed all unused pci cards, disconnected both optical units I have, and I have a 500w ps so it should be enough for a gt220) .

So.. any help would be appreciated, my current concern is that I started playing wow again but it's kinda hard if I get random lockups and grainy picture all over, the sound distortion isn't that important at all but my guess is the two are related so that's why I mentioned it.

Thanks in advance and cheers!
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  1. Oh forgot to mention... currently I'm using Win7 x64 but it was exactly the same on XP pro x32. as well so I don't think it matters much. Right now I'm installing all windows updates I didn't have till now to see if it's some bug that was both in XP and 7 and maybe microsoft fixed it since... who knows...
  2. That ofcourse didn't help ;) any thoughts?
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