Personal computing discussed

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Darkaiser
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Thu Jan 24, 2002 8:20 pm

Hi all. I'm new to the forums, looks like a great community. Anyways, I've got a serious problem with my Computer. For some reason, no matter what I try, my computer completely freezes when I try to play 3d games, and the only way I can get out of it is to push the button on my tower. I dont get an error message, it just flat out freezes. It has gotten me very frusterated. At first I thought it was a video card problem, even though the Nvidia Vanta TNT2 card 16 mb card I had was plenty to run the things I was trying to run. So I upgraded to the ATi Radeon 7200 64mb card, and it does the same thing. Ive got the latest drivers for the card, and the latest version of DirectX. So I'm convinced that the video card is not the problem. This problem occurs in ALL 3d games I try to play, including: Sacrifice, Quaker 3 Arena, Giant Citizens Kabuto, Moon Project, Everquest, etc... So its not a specific brand of games. I've even formatted my hardrive and reinstalled my OS to no avail. Ive checked for hardware conflicts and Tested both the Direct 3d, Direct Draw, and Open GL of my card, all of which passed. I have disabled all programs running in the background with the exception of Systray, Explorer, and Scan Registry. I myself dont know much about computers, but my friend and my cousin, both of which know a thing or two, tried to figure out the problem, and they are stumped. Sorry for making this post so long... but imma kill my computer if it doesnt stop being penile lol :smile:. Here are my system specs:

AMD Athlon 950Mhz
448 MB RAM
Radeon 7200 64mb Graphic card or whatever :razz:
(It's in the AGP port)
OS: Windows ME
Company is Gateway.

Please Please Please fix my problem.

Please remember that I am a computer idiot, so dont skimp on the details and explinations, lol.

Thank you for your time.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Darkaiser on 2002-01-24 19:23 ]</font>
 
Ryu Connor
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Thu Jan 24, 2002 8:28 pm

We need a bit more information that that.

In particular the chipset of the motherboard, the make of your sound card, etc.

Even give us the driver versions if you can.
"Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends. We're so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside!"
 
Darkaiser
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Thu Jan 24, 2002 8:35 pm

Hmmm...... how do I find out what kind of motherboard im using? And the sound card is Sound blaster Live something....
 
Forge
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Thu Jan 24, 2002 9:24 pm

Get a new power supply. Gateway has been below the minimums for quite some time. One of their last Athlon PCs paired an Athlon Tbird 1200 with a 235W PSU, and they wondered why they had so many complaints/returns.

In the future, I'd also advise building your own, or at least not buying Gateway.
 
Lao Tze
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Thu Jan 24, 2002 9:57 pm

It might not be the power supply, what is the model of your computer. Check your ram, with a good prog, (suggestions??),also when was your last install???
-Kim Kommando
 
JSyn
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Thu Jan 24, 2002 10:59 pm

I have an Asus V8200 GeForce3 and that thing would lock up on 3D games. I tried everything, including downloading and trying out all the drivers. I was ready to chuck it out the window, but by chance I set antialiasing in the Display Properties Setting to something other than "None" (set Manual at 2x, Quincux, 4x etc.); and everything worked fine! Maybe trying that might work for you (Darkaiser) too. Does anybody out there know why this fix works (or should I not be having this problem in the first place)?
My system:
Asus P4T-E Motherboard, 1.8 Ghz P4, 512MB Rambus memory, Windows XP, Creative SoundBlaster Audigy sound card, 350 watt Power Supply.
 
Darkaiser
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Thu Jan 24, 2002 11:53 pm

I just checked, and my Power Supply is 250W. Is this enough or do I need more?
 
Forge
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Fri Jan 25, 2002 6:48 am

Need more. It's borderline OK, though, so some other problem may be more important. I'd still get a better PSU as soon as you can afford to. More wattage won't hurt you, and it's good to have more PSU than draw.
 
Despite
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Fri Jan 25, 2002 8:38 am

I'd agree with Forge and bet on the power supply being the problem. However, one other thing to try would be to get into the BIOS and turn down the AGP settings to be as wussified as possible, then give a 3D game a try.
 
jsbach11
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Fri Jan 25, 2002 8:48 am

Before you get too hasty and run out and buy another power supply or new memory, I would like to make a few suggestions since you didn't mention having both a CDRW and a DVD and several hard drives on your system. I know that not being able to play games when I wanted to in the past made me want to throw a fit.

Since you changed the video card from Nvidia to ATI, my guess is that your problem is a) likely with the chipset of your motherboard, b) possibly a problem with your video card driver, c) a problem in your BIOS (basic input-output system).

Download a program called Sisoft Sandra--it is a good diagnostic tool--it will tell you many things about your computer including the various manufacturers (besides Gateway), the chipset, the CPU speed, and driver versions, etc. It'll also give you suggestions on what could be wrong and what you might do to improve performance. Go to the link to download it. It's shareware, so you can't use *all of the components in the program unless you cough up $30, but the parts that are *free will tell you plenty:

http://download.cnet.com/downloads/0-10 ... ml?tag=upd

If your chipset is from VIA, you might have a chipset like the KA133, KT133, KT133A, or KT266, maybe even the KT266A (which is doubtful since Gateway is stingy and that chipset is brand new and works well). VIA has tended to have problems with their AGP and memory controllers in their chipsets so getting the newest 4-in-one drivers might help. That 4 driver package will upgrade all the software related with your chipset. If your chipset is the AMD 760, get the latest drivers from AMD. I would bet that you don't have the AMD 760 chipset though--that chipset is relatively problem free. If your chipset is from ALi or from SIS, check those sites and get updates.

Find out (using the Sandra program) who the motherboard manufacturer is and go to their website. Often times, people who have similar system setups (and therefore similar problems) will have already gone to the manufacturer's website and complained. There are usually FAQ's (frequently asked questions) that might suggest BIOS flashing (*if necessary!!*) or other suggestions to fix the problem--or they might even shed light on what the source of this problem might be, even if they don't give you the answer. DON'T FORGET TO GO TO GATEWAY!! It sounds like this should be their burden to fix, since you paid up the yin-yang for their tech support.

You mentioned that you did manage to download a lot of drivers. Was this for just hardware or did these include game patches and updates? Those are important too. I won't even play a new game till I have the patch downloaded and ready to fix the game right after I install it on the hard drive. You did mention however, that this lock-up problem affects every game that you play, so I would guess that that might not be it.

Don't forget to download the latest ATI drivers too. ATI has been known to have slow and terrible driver support for their cards in the past. Upgrade that driver too!

Also, like the other person mentioned--tinker with your video settings. Go to Start-->Settings-->Control Panel. Click on the Display icon. Click the Settings tab. Click on the Advanced button. Look for anti-aliasing (you won't see Quincunx because that is Nvidia only). Try checking-unchecking boxes and alternately starting the game that gives you the worst problems. Look to see what your OpenGL settings are set at. Mess with those too. You can tinker with these video settings freely for the most part (but do NOT change the refresh rate higher than your monitor can actually support--you could blow the tube. Rest assured though--refresh rate has nothing to do with this problem).

If the problem is in your BIOS, I suggest reading this article from Tom's Hardware. They give great tips and info (better than I can):

http://www6.tomshardware.com/howto/01q3/010725/

Finally, and maybe most importantly--make sure your OS (Windows ME) is updated. I've heard so many horror stories about that operating system, it makes one want to cry themself to sleep. Get updates!

No one person is going to have the magic bullet that will make this problem go away for you. It is up to you to find the problem for yourself.

In the end, even if this problem is indeed your power supply or memory, at least you will know that much more about how computers work and the next computer you get, you might build for yourself.

By the way, I *should tell you that 250 Watts of power is borderline and iffy. AMD (the company that makes the Athlon) recommends 300 Watts for a system running an Athlon processor, regardless of the periperals (like IDE drives, HDD, CD, DVD, and SCSI parts, etc.) Having stong and clean power to your parts is ideal but some problems wouldn't go away even if you hooked your system to a nuclear power plant. Keep the power-problem possibility in mind, though.

Keep us posted on your progress!!
 
ANApex
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Fri Jan 25, 2002 9:49 am

This problem occurs in ALL 3d games I try to play, including: Sacrifice, Quaker 3 Arena, Giant Citizens Kabuto, Moon Project, Everquest, etc...

Ok I hope you all will forgive me for this one but I couldn't resist...But is "Quaker 3 Arena" the sequel to "The Jehovah Witness Project"? Cause I quite enjoyed the immersive 3D environments I encountered while trying to pawn a religion on unsuspecting families. Seeing as Quakers are against violence does the arsenal in Quaker 3 include suchs things as verbal warnings and the all powerful Bible reading attack? Alright I think I'm gonna just stop now.
 
Darkaiser
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Fri Jan 25, 2002 2:14 pm

LMAO ANApex.... you made coke come out of my nose. LOL.

Jsbach11, Wow thats a mouthful. I will definately give all of your suggestions a try, and thanks for being specific as to where to go in order to check/change things. Whether any of this fixes the problem or not, your help is most appreciated. Thanks!

Forge: Next chance I get I'm gonna get a new power supply. Even if thats not the problem, you and some others brought to light that it is very important, and therefore worth the investment. Thanks.

I will try some of these suggestions and report back about my computer. Thanks to all for the help.
 
DIREWOLF75
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Fri Jan 25, 2002 5:27 pm

I got an almost identical problem when i tried to upgrade my current system from TNT2-M64 to a GF2MX.
Anytime any other program than the DirectX testprogram tried to use/run D3D, the system hardlocked.
Whenever i switched back to old m64 card, no problems; I tested with 4 different GF2MX cards, all did same thing.
I could not find what was wrong, indeed any and all tests i ran said everything was perfect, yet as soon as a game switched to D3D, crash!

And I don´t seem to have even a single part the same as Darkaiser; K6-2,Ali Alladin V, 128 MB pc100.

Anyone have any further suggestions on the cause of problems such as this, not that I´m gonna use this K6-2 for that much longer, but it would be nice to find out WHAT didn´t work.
 
IntelMole
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Fri Jan 25, 2002 6:18 pm

This actually is probably nothing to do with it... but I had a sort of similar problem a while back... my computer just RADOMNLY froze all over the place, always after I moved the mouse. And sometimes the pointer would go haywire and move in opposite directions with wacky magnitudes, move the mouse a mm to the left, it would end up in the top right hand corner somehow...

Anyway, once I got rid of the mouse it went sweet as a nut, so I ended up buying this beautiful Microsoft IntelliMouse, which has never given me a problem... made for quite a hard time controlling the pc with no mouse though i can tell you...

But to get to the icons in the system tray, press Windows Key, Alt, Tab, Tab, then left and right to the icon u want, then enter...

Okay, I'm scaring myself now,
IntelMole
 
DIREWOLF75
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Fri Jan 25, 2002 9:58 pm

Hey Intelmole, excactly what you describe have been happening me also lately and also early on just after i got this system(just the "hickups" early on, no wild countermovement), early on i reduced the number of times it happened by getting a better HSF on the cpu, now however, my K6-2 is beginning to(probably) go to pieces, but 90% of those problems disappeared when i underclocked my 500 to 450 and reduced voltage to the original 2.2, it refused to run properly at any lower than 2.3 before that; yah i know, the cpu was damaged from the start, i wish it would have shown then when i could have got it replaced, still, the shop that sold it have promised me the cost of that K6-2 reduced from the cost of the next cpu i buy.(in theory that means i could get a low hz Duron AND money back, now isn´t that something!) =)
 
IntelMole
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Sat Jan 26, 2002 6:48 am

Direwolf, if the problem is similar, then we both had something in common... aging parts.

I've got a k6-2 350 @ 400 +0.1V... and it has been running like that for some time now, before I got the mouse replaced... I even took the mouse apart to see if I could spot anything wrong (I'm not claiming to be a mouse expert, but a missing connection where there obviously should be one wouldn't have been too hard to find...), and it looked perfectly normal. I assumed it was something other than a connection that I could spot or something up with the PS/2 cable, and spent £40 on my IntelliMouse, which has a five year guarentee, so as long as I keep my invoice, I'll be fine for the next five years :smile:

I should probably mention that the mouse was a dodgy brand, but I won't :smile:,
IntelMole
 
Darkaiser
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Sun Jan 27, 2002 9:47 pm

Well, I downloaded the Sisoft sandra software and looked at somethings, only to find some very unsettling news. I do indeed have the dreaded VIA KT133 Chipset :sad:. So how can I fix that silly problem? Also whats the 4 in 1 thing you were talking about, jsbach11?

Jsyn, I am starting to play around with the video options a little, and will keep you guys posted if something I do remedies it.

Thanks for your time.
 
Darkaiser
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Tue Jan 29, 2002 2:14 am

Hmmm...... By uninstalling windows ME and installing 98, i seem to have fixed the 3d freezing bug...... but then again, it may only be luring me into a false sense of security lol. However, My monitor now makes a popping noise. Anyone know what that can be?

Thanks for your time.
 
JSyn
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Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:42 am

Can you give a more detailed description about that popping noise? A lot of monitors make a "popping sound" when switching between different screen settings (i.e. from 16 bit to 32 bit, 800x400 to 1024x768,.... etc.) It can be anything from something simple like that to something really serious like circuitry potentially on the brink of failing.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: JSyn on 2002-01-30 00:33 ]</font>
 
jsbach11
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Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:28 pm

Here's a link to the latest 4-in-1-drivers from the VIA site:

http://www.viaarena.com/?PageID=2

Don't worry about the KT133 chipset if that's what you have, but I would download the latest drivers from the site if you continue to have problems with Windows 98. You could have definitely ended up with a more troublesome chipset.

I would agree with the post above--that popping noise could just be the monitor switching resolutions. You should hear, hopefully, the same noise when you manually change your desktop resolution: Start-->Settings-->Control Panel-->(Display icon)-->(Settings tab).
If you are playing a game at 1024x764 and have your desktop resolution set lower (like 800x600) then you'll hear that click when the game exits (and changes back to normal, desktop settings). I have my desktop settings set to 1280x1024 and I game in 1024x768, so I hear that pop everytime a game starts up and when it exits.
 
Darkaiser
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Wed Jan 30, 2002 8:13 pm

I am an idiot. Today I realised that it wasnt the monitor popping, but the actual sound. when i the speakers off, there is no popping. Ive already tried two different sets of speakers, so i dont think thats the problem. Wonder wtf it is?
 
IntelMole
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Thu Jan 31, 2002 12:51 pm

I'd guess the popping sound was because of electrical intereferance... If the speakers are right next to your monitor then the weak magnetic fields produced by your monitor could be doing it... the reason you only hear it when switching resolutions is probably because that's when the monitor goes blank (no field) then all reappears again at the new resolution (Magnetic field)...

I think that might be it, but don't quote me on it,
IntelMole
 
J5
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Thu Jan 31, 2002 11:23 pm

What speakers do you have? Most even low quality speakers shouldn't have that much interference on your monitor.
 
Ne0
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Sun Feb 03, 2002 8:01 pm

QUOTE: LMAO ANApex.... you made coke come out of my nose. LOL.

Stop snorting coke and many of your problems may just go away?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Ne0 on 2002-02-03 19:02 ]</font>
 
nat12
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Mon Feb 04, 2002 3:19 am

Can't really help with the popping noise, but your problem was solved by going to Windows 98 most likely because you are playing your 3d games in 32 bit color. Windows ME has a well known vmm32.dll problem when playing 32 bit direct 3d games. I would suggest sticking with Windows 98 or replacing the vmm32.dll files in ME with the files from 98. This trick should work, but stay away from updates for ME, as the problem would likely reoccur.Good Luck!
 
hiphop
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Mon Feb 04, 2002 8:22 pm

I'd stick with Windows 98, I like it better than Windows ME anyways.

And the KT133 isn't that bad, in my experiences. I'd be much more worried of the fact that I had a gateway on my hands...

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