For the love of God, someone please help me

I'm about to take my newly built computer and chuck it straight over the balcony and watch it smash into tiny bits four stories below...

Here's the horror story: just built a new system, Intel (yeah yeah) P4 on an Intel D850MV motherboard, SB Audigy, and a Leadtek GF4 4600. Windows XP Pro for OS.

This was my first time building from scratch. After all the normal headaches, I have everything running. Oh, except all the games I built the damn thing to run keep freezing whenever they try to render anything in 3D. It takes a soft reboot to clear. One thing of interest, it would run Dungeon Siege in 640x480x16 fine, but the moment I switched to anything higher it crashed. The desktop runs fine in higher modes.

What have I tried... let's see... 28.32 Detonator drivers, 29.20 Detonator Drivers, latest mobo drivers and BIOS, turning acceleration down.

dxdiag tests run fine. NVidia demos (werewolf and chameleon) run fine in both OpenGL and DX mode.

The BIOS in the Intel board isn't the most flexible. The ONLY options I have for AGP are, uh let's see, to set the video card to AGP mode and to set the AGP aperture size. I've tried the 3 settings there, 256MB, 128MB, and 64MB. Same behavior in all 3.

Thinking it was the card, I took it out and put in my old GF2 from my old computer. The computer won't even POST with that one in. That could mean something, eh? Anyway.

I got a different GF4, a PNY GF4 4400. Put it in. Well, now I can play Dungeon Siege just fine in 1024x768x32. Everything else still freezes immediately upon getting past the initial 2D intro screens.

So I've updated all the drivers. I've tried the various settings on the one video related BIOS option. I've tried different cards. I've spent 4 hours on the phone trying to talk to someone at PNY technical support (no luck yet).

I went to local computer shop to get a larger power supply since I'd read that could be a problem. I have a 350W one now, and tried unhooking all the extra fans and stuff, but that didn't help. A guy there said 350W should be more than plenty, but also mentioned that they've had a horrendous time with incompatibilies between several of their motherboards (even top of the line ones) and the new GF4 cards. He mentioned that some mobo companies were offering updates or replacements, so I should contact Intel.

So I spent $25 to talk to someone at Intel, who informed me there were no known incompatibilities. Just for fun we went through all of the normal things. Incidentally, the BIOS upgrade I did a couple days ago from off their website is a version which no longer exists on their site and which he assures me is not available to the public yet... Um, ok. That ended with him basically saying "Thanks for the $25, loser, you're screwed".

So now I'm into my 4th hour waiting for PNY tech support, all my options exhausted from what I've read about so far in my research. Does anyone have anything they can suggest?

Thanks in advance for any help.
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  1. That copy of XP pro is updated? Not a pirate right? Doesnt sound like a video card problem if you tried 3 boards and all display the same problem. Could be the motherboard, or RAM. Youre just getting a solid lockup? No BSOD? You didnt damage anything upon installation did you? Take out everything except for the vid card, then run it. No USB periphs or anything unnecessary. Got a PCI video card? Try that to rule out the AGP/Mobo.

    I sold my sig for $50.
  2. Is the fan on the video card getting power?
    Have you tried the geforce 4 on your old computer.
    Only games are affected so it seems like a heat problem(maybe)
    If you have a small house fan try opening your case and have the fan blowing on the video card, then try some games.
    Maybe you can check all the dip swithes on the motherboard.
    Anyway I hope this helps.
    What kind of monitor do you have?
    Do you have the right power cord to the monitor?
    Hope this helps,
  3. Quote:
    What kind of monitor do you have?
    Do you have the right power cord to the monitor?

    Those damn monitors making computers crash. lol :wink:

    Blame the newbies not the technology
  4. The GeForce2 might have been a weird version that would not work at 1.5v AGP, like earlier cards. As for the others, it's probably a driver problem, nVidia has been getting worse and worse with driver instability for over a year now.

    What's the frequency, Kenneth?
  5. Copy of WinXP is not pirated and has all the windows updates. Just getting a solid lockup, no BSOD.

    The fan(s) on the video card are getting power. I haven't yet tried either card on the old computer. I suppose it could be heat, but it's not like it runs for a bit then overheats, it locks the second the app switches resolution to whatever and tried to render in 3D after the 2D intros. I also don't understand why I can run the highly intensive NVidia demos just fine, but games won't run. Monitor is an NEC Multisync FE950. Power cord is whichever one came with it.

    Thanks for the replies, guys. I think today I will burn all the driver updates to a CD, reformat the drive and install Windows from scratch, updating the mobo drivers first, then adding just the video card, see where I get. If that doesn't work, then I guess I'll have to cave and try another motherboard or something.
  6. dont tell me u havent tried reformatting!!!! try using win 98 se now and use 256 mb ram as it will crash a lot in 512 mb ram
  7. Usually when a system crashes immediately upon starting 3D applications this points to a power supply problem but this is not always certain. However, if it is the case then graphics intensive tasks (not just 3D) and CPU intensive tasks might both trigger problems. Try playing a DVD if you have a DVD player. Try and intensive application like DivX encoding or even MP3 encoding. If these also cause problems then you have another clue.

    I suggest getting a copy of Motherboard Monitor 5. You can set it up to take periodic readings of your voltages. I think the shortest interval is 10 seconds). Try this and then run any apps that seem to cause crashing. Later you can look at the log and see if any key voltages have dropped. You'll be looking at the +5, +3.3, and AGP voltages. See what your normal voltages are and how they change when the applications are run. Don't start with the 3D applications if they just crash immediately. Perhaps, it's best to try simple programs and then work up to the intensive stuff.

    One more thing you can do to check for power issues is temporarily disconnect unnessary drives and fans and remove extraneous PCI cards, like modem, sound card, and NIC. I see you have already tried this but there is one thing you can add to this list. You can UNDERCLOCK your video. This will cause it to use less power. Use a utility like Riva Tuner. (You can get it at <A HREF="" target="_new"></A>.

    <b>I have so many cookies I now have a FAT problem!</b>
  8. I missed the fact that nVidia demos work. I'm stumped by this. Sorry.

    <b>I have so many cookies I now have a FAT problem!</b>
  9. Don't be too quick to "update" everything. Try a vanilla Windows install first. Just load it up, apply the MS updates (only - not the nvidia ones, etc), and see what happens. Get hold of a Burn-In / System Testing app and let it go for a few hours. Then install and run one game at a time to see if it was a game installing something the the system doesn't like.

    Just try to narrow it down...

    <i>I used to have a girl, but then I got my CS degree...</i>
  10. I think it's the video card drivers. 27.xx, 28.xx, and 29.xx are very buggy and break a lot of games. In Unreal Tournament it runs fine using the default resolution, but if you try and change it or change the color depth, it locks up instantly. There's also problems up the butt in many other games all caused by nVidia's drivers. It's too bad you have a GeForce4 'cause no older drivers will work with it. :(
  11. why dont u just try using the drivers given by the card manufacturers, instaed of using the nvidia reference drivers...
  12. Just a follow up: I replaced the Intel D850MV motherboard with an Asus P4T-E, problem solved (of course this was after 3 weeks of hair pulling and gnashing of teeth).

    In case anyone was interested :)
  13. Asus makes the p4 boards in the business. Never use anything but myself.

    This coming from a yet to be converted to AMD p4 geek.

    The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the empires state building, along came goblin, wiped the spider out
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