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outdated graphics drivers causing games to crash?


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#1
Mark Holleley

Mark Holleley

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Hello, I wonder if someone can help me out?

I've had this problem for a while now. When I try to play games such as Freelancer, Rise of Nations and Civilisation IV my computer will start to work fine for a short while before simply resetting itself. This has even happened a couple of times when I've been on the internet. it seems to happen when I'm scrolling quickly down a page as if it can't handle it. However, I seem to be able to play Football Manager (my only other game) without any problems, apart from once when this too crashed and reset itself. When this happened the last time I clicked on the 'send error report' button on the 'your computer has recovered from a serious error' window which led me to a Microsoft website for downloads. At the top of the page, the title said that my graphics drivers were the problem but offered no specific solution.

I have a A7N8X-VM NFORCE MB & GEFORCE 4 GRAPHICS (SMA) by NVidia and it's 128MB. I went to the NVidia site. Following their instructions I removed my Nvidia windows display driver and replaced it with 84.63_forceware_mobile_winxp2k_international_whql.exe which I think is actually meant for laptops (mine's a desktop) and so it didn't work. I then went back on to the Nvidia site and downloaded 91.47_forceware_mobile_winxp2k_international_whql.exe. This has enabled me to play longer on the games before I start noticing some slowdown and then they eventually crash.

I have telephoned Mesh to ask their advice. All they could advise me to do was to format windows which I have already done previously and which didn't work at all.

I'd be enormously grateful if someone could give me some advice as I really don't know what to do anymore. Apologies too if this is not in the right thread.

Thanks, Mark.
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#2
ZEUS_GB

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Hello Mark Holleley and welcome to G2G!

First of all please turn off auto restart on error as this might give us a blue screen to work with.

Right click my computer > click properties > click advanced > click settings under startup and recovery > untick automatically restart on error > click ok > click apply and restart your PC.

If the PC blue screens note down the information and paste it with your next post.

What are the specs of your PC?
If you don't know then please download and run SysSpec. Run the file > click on the system button > click edit > click copy to clipboard and then paste it with your reply.
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#3
Mark Holleley

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Really sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. Had a really busy week! Thanks for your reply.

Here are my system specs:
Windows: Windows XP5.1 (Build 2600) Service Pack 2
Internet Explorer: 6.0.2900.2180
Memory (RAM): 480 MB
CPU: AMD Athlon™ XP 2600+
CPU Speed: 2061.7 MHz
Sound card: NVIDIA® nForce™ Audio
Display Adapters: NVIDIA GeForce4 MX Integrated GPU | NetMeeting driver | RDPDD Chained DD
Screen Resolution: 1024 X 768 - 32 bit
:
Network Adapters: NVIDIA nForce MCP Networking Controller - Packet Scheduler Miniport
CD / DVD Drives: D: SONY CD-RW CRX300E
:
COM Ports: COM3 | COM2 | COM1
LPT Ports:
Mouse: 5 Button Wheel Mouse Present
Hard Disks: C: 72.1GB
Hard Disks - Free: C: 53.0GB
USB Controllers: 3 host controllers.
Firewire (1394): Not Detected
:
Manufacturer: American Megatrends Inc.
Product Make: System product name
:
AC Power Status: OnLine
BIOS Info: ATAT COMPATIBLE 081503 A M I 8000315
Time Zone: GMT Standard Time
Battery: No Battery
Motherboard: ASUSTeK Computer INC. A7N8X-VM
Modem: SoftK56 Data Fax Voice Speakerphone CARP


About the blue screen, sometimes when the games crash it doesn't restart the computer. It just returns to the desktop. I'll give it a go now and then get back to you.

Thanks for your help,

Mark
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#4
Mark Holleley

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Hello again,

I've just run a game (Freelancer) having previously changed the settings as you suggested. This was the first time I had tried Freelancer since trying to download the new graphics drivers, as I described in my initial post. I noticed that the game now ran for longer than it had been previously, although the graphics were messing up - large chunks were missing (such as people floating in mid-air with their spaceships nowhere to be seen!)

After a few minutes it crashed and went to the blue screen. I noted down what it said:

'There was a problem with file nv4_disp.dll

PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA'

It was a stop error screen and suggested Windows updates might be the answer, or alternatively disabling or removing any new hardware or software or disabling BIOS memory options such as caching or shadowing.

Here's the technical info that it gave:

Stop: 0x00000050 (0xCEE0A3E8, 0x00000001, 0xBF1A5180, 0x00000000)

nv4_disp.dll - Address BF1A5180 base at BF012000 Datestamp 00000000


Hope this helps!

Thanks once again for helping me out,

Mark.
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#5
Lightning61

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Howdy Mark!
I'm going to throw a few things out there for ya, (just in case Zeus is unable to respond soon).
This is usually a driver or IRQ conflict between VGA and NIC, and IIRC certain P2P proggies, (HAAAAWWWHEEEE).
The integrated graphics solution is a marginal one at best, so the first thing I would recommend is finding a reasonably priced AGP8x Vid card, (this in itself should remedy your problem).
Next thing would be get some COOLING in there!
A box fan blowing in with the case cover off is better than the stifling heat in a small case with poor flow.
Try disabling the onboard Networking, and install a PCI NIC in a slot that does not share IRQ with VGA or Sound.
If the above doesn't help, leave the PCI NIC in and try running with the onboard sound disabled.
If this helps, I would advise getting an Audigy2, (or better if money doesn't matter), and install it in a slot that doesn't share with the VGA or NIC.
If you could, please go into bios and post some more detailed info concerning your Ram mode and timings.
This should keep you busy until Zeus has a chance to get back to ya!
Have a nice day!
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#6
Jazza

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1 simple answer Integrated graphics are not for gaming get a new graphics card you can get one for as low a $100 but still not for intense gaming i would recommend getting a Geforce 7800 GPU and you will have no probs

Have a nice day!

Edited by Jazza, 27 October 2006 - 05:50 PM.

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#7
ZEUS_GB

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Have you overclocked any of the hardware?
Have you run a RAM tester such as Memtest86+?

http://www.memtest.org/

Leave the tester running for at least several hours.

Edited by ZEUS_GB, 28 October 2006 - 04:38 AM.

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#8
Mark Holleley

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I've had a look at the Memtest link you've sent me and I can't work out what to download to run the test. Can you help me out at all?

Thanks for all the other replies too! I'm starting to wonder whether I do need a new graphics card. Trouble is, I've played these games fine on this computer before with this graphics card and everything. I'm just trying to work out what's changed and what I can do to fix it!!

All help is very welcome!

Thanks again! :whistling:
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#9
ZEUS_GB

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Go to the prebuilt & iso's section and download either the ISO or the floppy disk version.

The ISO version will have to be unzipped and then burnt to a CD using your CD burning software. Once you've burnt it, restart the PC with the CD in, it should boot straight off the CD and begin testing.
The floppy disk vesion is quite similar. Unzip the file and run the install.bat file. Command prompt will open with some instructions, insert a floppy disk, type in the drive letter of your floppy drive (usually A) and press enter twice. After a few seconds it will tell you the process is complete, leave the disk in and restart your PC.
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#10
HPDV8315LOVER

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Mark, before you buy a Video Card, Make sure you have enough watts on your power supply. You need at least 300 watts of power.
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#11
Mark Holleley

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Right, I ran the Memtest and it found two errors. I noted them down in case its useful!

test:8 pass:2 failing ad: 0000b31f890 - 179.9Mb

good: ffffffff bad: 00000000 err-bits: ffffffff count chan 1.



test: 8 pass: 4 failing ad: 0000bo99734- 176.5Mb

good: ffffffff bad:oooooooo err-bits: ffffffff count chan: 1

I ran it again after that and left it going for around 10hrs. It then came up with around 900 errors but I don't know if this was because the test ran a few times over.

I hope this is helpful!

Perhaps I do need a new graphics card but I still don't understand why the one I have now has made these games work before!

thanks again people!
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#12
ZEUS_GB

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Now that's a lot of errors.
Your RAM is dodgy so you'll need to get some new RAM.
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#13
Mark Holleley

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I've found, on the same page as the memtest, a ram tester called bug doctor. That only found 82 errors and had a button that said "fix" or something like that. Is it worth giving that a go or not?

Also, do you have any advice on how to go about buying new ram if it came to that?

Cheers!
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#14
ZEUS_GB

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As far as i'm concerned Bug Doctor is a scam.

The Bug Doctor website states outrageous things like:

"This is the software that computer geeks don't want you to know about!". - If it's good i'll tell you about it.

"94% of PC's have corrupt and potentially dangerious files" Basic scare tactics!

"this is but one of the many types of errors that the award winning Bug Doctor for your PC can fix."
It's got so many awards that they don't list them anywhere on the site....hmmmm..interesting!

The people who make Bug Doctor also make Spyware Snooper which is known to detected false positives and is listed on the Spyware Warrior rogue Anti-spyware list.

At the end of the day Bug Doctor is nothing more than a glorified registry cleaner which you have to pay for and isn't going to sort out your RAM issues. RAM is a piece of hardware and unfortunately it needs to be replaced.
If you want a registry cleaner try Registry Mechanic or CCleaner which is freeware.

If your still unsure of what RAM you need use the Crucial system scanner on their website.
http://www.crucial.com/systemscanner/ It will scan your PC and tell you exactly what you need.

Edited by ZEUS_GB, 14 November 2006 - 04:54 AM.

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#15
Mark Holleley

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Right! well I won't touch that with a barge pole then!

Do you have any advice for what RAM I need to go and buy then and how much it might cost etc? The other thing is, the new graphics driver I downloaded makes the games last longer but, like I mentioned earlier, makes the graphics judder or slow down. On Freelancer, for example, some parts of the graphics are missing altogether! Will new RAM do anything to help this problem or do I need to download a different graphics driver again??

Cheers!
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