Video Card Problems

Last year about this time I built a system with an AMD Athlon 1.2 GHz processor, an ECS K7S5A motherboard, 256M DDR RAM, a Gainward GeForce 2 Pro/Golden Sample video card, a Plextor CD/RW, and Windows XP Home. I am a very minimalist user, mainly running an old DOS daily planner/financial manager (Andrew Tobias' Managing Your Money 9.0, for old-timers) and doing a little bit of web browsing and word processing. I mainly built this system to enable my kids to enjoy some of the current game offerings that would not run on my OLD system (100 MHz Pentium).

Most recent problem: whenever I attempt to web browse, I experience, within ten minutes or so (I use Juno's paid service for an ISP.), the first symptom, which is that a mouse click does nothing. This is followed eventually be slowdown and eventual freezeup which can only be corrected by rebooting. I suspect my video card, since I recently had similar problems with it when the video card processor fan came unseated and elicited similar symptoms. I have checked the fan, and it is securely fastened now. Is it possible the video processor was damaged during the fan's season of detachment? My next step is to substitute the video card out of my old computer and see if it solves my freeze-up problems when browsing. If this is my problem, this card is only about a year old. Any possibilities of warranty solutions? If not, can anyone recommend a cheap but decent card? I'd be looking in the $100 or less price range.
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  1. I would suspect the system is freezing due to an inadequate power supply or heat issue. I don't think the video card would cause the problem you're describing. What brand and wattage is your power supply?
  2. Oldie,

    Appreciate your response. After spending a good part of yesterday reading folks' problems with this mobo, I'm inclined to agree with your suspicions. I bought an Enlight case with a marketed "300 watt" power supply. I'll have to open 'er up today and check for manu and specifics. I've also experienced many other symptoms with this system that may indicate power problems, to name a few:

    1) System won't POST on power up; must press "reset" to initiate boot up (this was how I ran the system for the first month or so, then it self-corrected)

    2) Early on, I was able to use the 133 MHz settings in the BIOS, but lately I've noticed that the machine won't boot at all with these settings.

    3) I recently received a "CMOS Battery Low" message on bootup--but only once. However, I have had several instances where the machine wouldn't boot up and I had to reset the CMOS using J4. Even then, I had to repeatedly "reset" and eventually get lucky to reboot.

    4) This is probably unrelated to the other symptoms above, but on two occasions recently, during boot-up I got the message that the S.M.A.R.T. status was OK and bad--backup and replace. This really concerned me, so I ran a Norton Disk Doctor and found no problems with my HD. I also ran the first two tests on Maxtor's diagnostic utility, but didn't go any further as my disk has been working fine since and the test said, "don't run the next test unless you're still having problems".

    Anyway, will let you know more specifics on the PSU soon.
  3. My power supply is an Enlight rated at 340W max load. The combination of the +3.3, +5, and the +12VDC busses are rated at a max of 315W, which seems more than adequate to me(+5 @ 30A, +3.3 @ 28A, +12 @ 15A). I also measured several voltages at the plug that goes into the mobo under load. The +3.3V measured 3.41 volts; the +5V measured 5.09V. After looking at the power supply specs and voltages, I don't believe that the power supply is at fault. As for temps, my BIOS hardware monitor (I don't know how accurate it is...) sez my CPU temp is 43 degrees C, which seems fine. After reading OCWorkshop's power supply FAQs, I've decided to try putting some Arctic Silver on my chipset, CPU, and video card processor. I've also noticed that the inside of my chassis is pretty dusty. I'll blow it out, clean it up, and try the Arctic Silver. Incidentally, I have a fan sucking air into the front of the chassis, a fan on the rear exhausting air, the power supply fan, the CPU fan, and a fan on the video card processor. I'm admittedly a novice, but there certainly seems to be plenty of air moving around in there to me! If these measures don't help, maybe a new mobo would do the trick. Any recommendations? Thanks.
  4. Back in the day, when the 1.2 AMD came out, a friend of mine picked up the 1.2 and an Asus VIA chipset mobo. He and his girlfriend (who have almost the same system) suffered the same problems while surfing web pages. (and only then). After weeks of troubleshooting and forum participation, the only thing that seemed to fix it was to:

    disable animated GIFS in your explorer.

    Give it a try, it will prolly help
  5. Thanks for the tip--I'll give it a try and let you know what happens...
  6. Suggest you test your system RAM. I have the same board with a cheap 300 W PS and no problem with a basic system with a 1.3 Duron. Find MEMTEST86 on the web and download. This is a great freeware that tests your system memory for errors. You may just need a new RAM card or to reseat the old one.
  7. Appreciate the tip. I downloaded and ran this software. After about 4 hours and eleven passes, no memory errors were registered, so I don't think my memory has a problem. The memory I bought for this system was a new Crucial 256M DDR stick. Thanks anyway. By the way, the last several times I've used the internet, the freezeups have not occured...
  8. I went looking in my version of Explorer's menus, and I couldn't find a setting entitled "enable/disable animated GIFs", so I was unable to implement your suggestion. I'm running Windows XP Home with the latest version of Internet Explorer. Thanks.
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