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It's all gone badly wrong

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October 14, 2002 8:10:56 AM

Hi. I'm posting here 'cause it looks like the most general forum, as usual, any help/advice much appreciated.

Here's the score:

I was running the same setup as below with a TNT M64 - old Dets and I think 4.28 4in1s and hadn't had a single crash in 2 years (ok, maybe 1 or 2). I had the graphics card upgraded to the GF4, the shop installed 4.42s (I know, bad idea).

Everything ran ok, basic DirectX 8.1 tests ok, 3DMark2001 giving 4850 (not bad considering the rest of the rig). I tried playing Jedi II, Max Payne, and was thrown out to desk top after about 10-15 minutes play. Sometimes I got lock-ups during level-loading / resolution switching.

I de-installed the 4.42s, as the info here suggests they aren't too stable with W98SE, and installed the 4.35s. I thought I'd cracked it as the crashes reduced enormously (still got kicked out on one occasion) until.............

I plugged in the webcam and every single time I boot I get "XXXX process ha ejecutado una operacion indebida" (Spanish version of 98) i.e. I get the memory dump/invalid operation error message. I also got "Registry Corrupted" one time, I lost the settings in Tiny Firewall, the desktop wallpaper changed of it's own accord, the down-arrow icon on combo boxes turned into an "8" etc. I unplugged the webcam, rebooted, no problem (apart from the others below). Strangely enough, if I plug the webcam in after booting it actually seems to work ok.

Other problems:

I'm getting visual/audio "ticks" in Jedi II: The game sometimes gets stuttery when there are explosions, doors open etc.

There are artefacts in Jed II that weren't their before.

I've checked the IRQs and their don't seem to be any conflicts.

What should I try changing first?
Am I missing a patch?
Is the video card a dud?
What about the PSU?

PIII 800,
GA-6VXE7 - VT82C693/A - VT82C691
4in1: 4.35
PSU: 250W
30 Giga Seagate Barracuda
256Mb (2x128Mb SDRAM 133Mhz)
GF4 4200 128mb (D.30.82)
W98 SE
SoundBlaster Live 128
Cannon S600 (Parallel), Philips WebCam (USB),Boeder SmartScan USB), Zoltrix Modem, CD-R, CD-RW


<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by valmojado on 10/14/02 11:00 AM.</EM></FONT></P>

More about : badly wrong

October 14, 2002 4:47:18 PM

*bump*

Any ideas? How can I test the possibility that its the PSU?
October 14, 2002 5:28:59 PM

If it's any help, my Athlon has similar problems under JK2. The configurations are actually suprisingly similar...

Athlon 1200C
MSI K7Master (I'll need to check Via drivers, AMD AGP is V4.80)
Leadtek Geforce 2 Pro 64MB (V30.82)
Sound Blaster Live Value
Seagate 40GB 7200RPM hard drive
6 GB 5400RPM secondary drive (Quantum? I forget)
Sony CD-Rom
Lite-on 24x CD-RW
Win 98SE
Direct X8.1
PSU: 300Watt
Related resources
October 14, 2002 5:38:20 PM

A 10 pound sledge hammer comes to mind.. Grr...
That is a pretty small PSU. Borrow a friends PSU. However I don't think that'll fix it. Sounds like a problem with your video card.

I'm not really stupid...... I just play one on TV.
a b V Motherboard
October 14, 2002 8:12:48 PM

Your webcam draws power from the 5v+ line. Do you see where this is leading?

<font color=blue>You're posting in a forum with class. It may be third class, but it's still class!</font color=blue>
October 14, 2002 8:37:05 PM

Yikes! Via chipset, Ti4200, small power supply!

Old Via chipsets had a hard time with high powered video cards. The AGP port has a hard time supplying lots of current.

These are the things that can help that issue (but not always).

- Oversized power supply w/ lots of +3.3 volt and +5 volt reserves. Supposedly makes it easier for the motherboard to regulate AGP power.

- lower the AGP speed. If you have an AGP 4X board run it at 2X. If it is a 2X board run AGP at 1X (probably can't do this with a Ti4200).

- In the Geforce256 days these cards actually consumed more power than Geforce4 cards. Some people claimed that they could get more stability by running the GPU fan from the power supply and hardwiring the +3.3 and +5 volt pins of the video card likewise to the power supply. Takes the strain off the motherboard from regulating PCI/AGP voltages. (The fan is easy but voltage pins don't know about that one).

- Bump AGP Drive Strength up. If default is DA then try EA and FF. Never lower the drive strength values below default. One is the N-control one is the P-control (never did find out what these really meant). The values are hexidecimal. In this example with default being "DA" the first value is "D" and the second value "A". You can raise the first value to "E" or "F" and the second value to "B", "C", "D", "E", or "F". Just don't lower either of values below default, whatever default is for your board.

Non-power related possibilities

- nVidia/VIA 4-in-1 drivers easily get "broken". The easiest fix is a clean install of 4-in-1's, detonators, and DirectX, in that order. Run the 4-in-1 installer once and use the uninstall options. Run it a second time to reload. With Win9x you can use Detonator destroyer w/ the Windows Add/Remove uninstall process to clean up corrupt nVidia drivers. Get DirectX Eradicator (Win9x/ME/2000) to remove and DirectX then reinstall.

The steps in previous paragrah often resolve the 3D game crash problems, both freezes and dropping to the desktop. Memory errors, corrupt registry, lost settings are clearly memory problems which could all be due to an inadequate power supply.

I'd try the clean driver installs before spending money but I really think you will need a new power supply.



<b>I type sixty words per minute. Ten are spelled correctly.</b><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by phsstpok on 10/14/02 04:47 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
October 15, 2002 7:46:58 AM

Thanks to all. I'm currently preparing for a complete re-install but the power supply swap is going to mean returning the rig to the shop (not too bad as they're 100m from my flat).

If it turns out that the mobo/chipset can't handle the TI4200 I'm kind of screwed because I can't really afford a triple whammy - CPU/mobo/Memory.

I guess I could try and get hold of a more modern PIII mobo but the question is which one?
October 15, 2002 3:31:51 PM

If you do get a new mobo try to get one with the intel chipset, theyre a lot more stable. If you have a slotted processor get a motherboard with the 440BX chipset, and if you have a socket either use a slot BX mobo with an adapter (powerleap make good slot-socket adapters), or use the intel 815 chipset, which im using on my p3 (very stable).
Dont bother with ddr chipsets for p3, it will give no performance increase. Also DO NOT get the intel 810 chipset. It has crappy integrated graphics and no AGP slot for upgrades. I had this once and the performance was worse than my PCI TNT2 Vanta 16mb :( 

My sig's faster than yours, and it overclocks better too....
October 15, 2002 5:20:56 PM

Assuming you keep the VIA based mobo, after a clean Windows install reload the new VIA drivers. Uninstall the old VIA drivers first using the new VIA installer. (Old drivers will load with Windows). Run the VIA installer a second time and you will get a clean install. Load the nVidia drivers after the VIA 4-in-1's. Good luck!

<b>I type sixty words per minute. Ten are spelled correctly.</b>
!