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Problems with my graphics card/drivers


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#1
peterdavies79

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I'm running an Albatron GeForce 7600GS GPU on (genuine) windows XP home with 1024 RAM. I recently had my power unit upgraded in the top-rear of my tower due to overheating trouble and everything internal cleaned while it was done. Everything worked fine for a while after that latest work.

I'm having a problem while I'm playing Age of Empires 3. The problem occurs both playing online and just vs the computer. The game will often stall momentarily (the background music will loop and the mouse is inactive) then kick back in but lately, will just reset my computer.
When the latter happened today I sent the windows error report and got the following information back.

Technical Information
Error Message: STOP 0x000000EA THREAD_STUCK_IN_DEVICE_DRIVER (Q293078)

Windows gave me 2 things to do. The first was to install the latest driver for my card. I did this on the Nvidia site which included turning off all anti-virus programs and un-installing the original Nvidia driver in order to make the download a success. I used the online download instead of my original driver disc as I guessed it would be the most up-to-date driver. The second advice from windows was to turn off all graphics acceleration but this stops A of E from working so isn't an option.

After getting the latest driver I started a game (vs computer, not online) and then paused it for about half an hour and when I came back my pc had rebooted again.

This may be important - about a month ago when starting the game up I got a prompt saying I didn't have the graphics capability to run the game - just like before I got the card and extra RAM installed - so I inserted the driver disc for the card and went through the install wizard and it was ok until recently.

Any help or ideas would be great. Thanks, regards Pete.

P.S. I don't really understand this stuff so any help in "idiot language" would be best for me.
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#2
Troy

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about a month ago when starting the game up I got a prompt saying I didn't have the graphics capability to run the game - just like before I got the card and extra RAM installed

Okay, so after the computer upgrade (graphics card and RAM) did you uninstall and reinstall the game? Sometimes programs don't work right in Windows, but a simple uninstall/reinstall can do wonders... Go figure...

I recently had my power unit upgraded in the top-rear of my tower due to overheating trouble and everything internal cleaned while it was done.

Internal cleaning is good :whistling: but do you know what PSU (power supply unit) you have now? Can you please post the specs of it? While you're at it, maybe you could complete the specs list for us (CPU, mobo, RAM type and speed, post a link to your graphics card).

As for your BSOD's, follow this instruction: On the desktop, right-click "My Computer" > click on the "Advanced" tab > click the "Settings" button under Startup and Recovery. Now uncheck the Automatically Restart box. This way you can see your BSOD's. Then the "Write Debugging Information" box, make sure it is selected as "Small Memory Dump (64 KB)" It may be that we need to get you to upload some of these text files for analysis, just hold on for that.

Also, this is good:

I used the online download instead of my original driver disc as I guessed it would be the most up-to-date driver

but I'm not so sure about this:

turning off all anti-virus programs

unless you had updated your anti-virus, disconnected from the internet, run a complete scan, turn off your anti-virus, and then installed your driver, turn your anti-virus back on, then reconnect to the internet.

Another question: have you received errors like this anywhere else (like doing anything else), or a different game, or ONLY on AOE3?
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#3
peterdavies79

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Thanks for your help. I'll try to answer each of your points one at a time.

When I got the RAM and card installed I also got a genuine XP installed and as I understand it everything on my computer was wiped and re-installed as part of the XP installation. I know the guy who did it for me (semi-relative, semi-proffessional) used an external hard drive to copy my computer contents and then copy them back. I don't know for a fact AofE was re-installed but I would assume so. If you think this is a good idea I'll give it a go.

The PSU I got fitted is 400 Watt but that's all I know. If you'd like more detail could you advise me on how to get a full system spec to show you.

I don't have a clue what a BSOD is - sorry. I'm no that knowledgable about these things. When I right click "my computer" I get a menu but there isn't an "advanced" tab????? so I can't follow those instructions.

All I did with the anti-virus was right clicked on the AVG icon at the bottom left of the page and selected exit. I then did the download and at the end of it I had to restart the computer. AVG automatically fires up when I start the computer. I don't even know if that's the only antivirus on my pc.

I don't play any other games but AofE but recently I've had the odd web page or media player not shutting down and then an "program is not responding" prompt.

Hope this is some help for you to help me. Thanks for your time, its appreciated.

Edited by peterdavies79, 04 July 2007 - 03:01 AM.

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#4
peterdavies79

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Ahh I found the system information.
I'll not put it all here but at least I know where it is now if you'd like more. Here are what I guess are relavant

System Information report written at: 07/04/07 19:03:35
System Name: HOME
[Display]

Item Value
Name NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS
PNP Device ID PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0392&SUBSYS_00000000&REV_A1\4&A0C09A8&0&0008
Adapter Type GeForce 7600 GS, NVIDIA compatible
Adapter Description NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS
Adapter RAM 256.00 MB (268,435,456 bytes)
Installed Drivers nv4_disp.dll
Driver Version 6.14.10.9424
INF File oem0.inf (nv4_NV3x section)
Color Planes 1
Color Table Entries 65536
Resolution 1024 x 768 x 60 hertz
Bits/Pixel 16
Memory Address 0xC0000000-0xC0FFFFFF
Memory Address 0xB0000000-0xCFFFFFFF
Memory Address 0xC1000000-0xC1FFFFFF
I/O Port 0x0000C000-0x0000CFFF
IRQ Channel IRQ 16
I/O Port 0x000003B0-0x000003BB
I/O Port 0x000003C0-0x000003DF
Memory Address 0xA0000-0xBFFFF
Driver c:\windows\system32\drivers\nv4_mini.sys (6.14.10.9424, 3.80 MB (3,988,384 bytes), 19/04/2007 1:26 PM)

System Information report written at: 07/04/07 19:10:51
System Name: HOME
[Hardware Resources]



[Conflicts/Sharing]

Resource Device
I/O Port 0x00000000-0x00000CF7 PCI bus
I/O Port 0x00000000-0x00000CF7 Direct memory access controller

I/O Port 0x000003C0-0x000003DF Intel® 915G/P/GV/GL/PL/910GE/GL PCI Express Root Port - 2581
I/O Port 0x000003C0-0x000003DF NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS

IRQ 23 Intel® 82801FB/FBM USB Universal Host Controller - 2658
IRQ 23 Intel® 82801FB/FBM USB2 Enhanced Host Controller - 265C

IRQ 16 Intel® 915G/P/GV/GL/PL/910GE/GL PCI Express Root Port - 2581
IRQ 16 NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS
IRQ 16 Intel® 82801FB/FBM USB Universal Host Controller - 265B
IRQ 16 IC Plus IP1000 Family Gigabit Ethernet Adapter

IRQ 17 VIA OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Host Controller
IRQ 17 Realtek AC'97 Audio

Memory Address 0xA0000-0xBFFFF PCI bus
Memory Address 0xA0000-0xBFFFF Intel® 915G/P/GV/GL/PL/910GE/GL PCI Express Root Port - 2581
Memory Address 0xA0000-0xBFFFF NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS

I/O Port 0x000003B0-0x000003BB Intel® 915G/P/GV/GL/PL/910GE/GL PCI Express Root Port - 2581
I/O Port 0x000003B0-0x000003BB NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS

I/O Port 0x0000C000-0x0000CFFF Intel® 915G/P/GV/GL/PL/910GE/GL PCI Express Root Port - 2581
I/O Port 0x0000C000-0x0000CFFF NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS

Memory Address 0xB0000000-0xCFFFFFFF Intel® 915G/P/GV/GL/PL/910GE/GL PCI Express Root Port - 2581
Memory Address 0xB0000000-0xCFFFFFFF NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS


[DMA]

Resource Device Status
Channel 4 Direct memory access controller OK
Channel 2 Standard floppy disk controller OK

[Forced Hardware]

Device PNP Device ID

[I/O]

Resource Device Status
0x00000000-0x00000CF7 PCI bus OK
0x00000000-0x00000CF7 Direct memory access controller OK
0x00000D00-0x0000FFFF PCI bus OK
0x0000C000-0x0000CFFF Intel® 915G/P/GV/GL/PL/910GE/GL PCI Express Root Port - 2581 OK
0x0000C000-0x0000CFFF NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS OK
0x000003B0-0x000003BB Intel® 915G/P/GV/GL/PL/910GE/GL PCI Express Root Port - 2581 OK
0x000003B0-0x000003BB NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS OK
0x000003C0-0x000003DF Intel® 915G/P/GV/GL/PL/910GE/GL PCI Express Root Port - 2581 OK
0x000003C0-0x000003DF NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS OK
0x0000E300-0x0000E31F Intel® 82801FB/FBM USB Universal Host Controller - 2658 OK
0x0000E000-0x0000E01F Intel® 82801FB/FBM USB Universal Host Controller - 2659 OK
0x0000E100-0x0000E11F Intel® 82801FB/FBM USB Universal Host Controller - 265A OK
0x0000E200-0x0000E21F Intel® 82801FB/FBM USB Universal Host Controller - 265B OK
0x0000D000-0x0000D0FF IC Plus IP1000 Family Gigabit Ethernet Adapter OK
0x0000D100-0x0000D17F VIA OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Host Controller OK
0x0000E400-0x0000E4FF Realtek AC'97 Audio OK
0x0000E500-0x0000E53F Realtek AC'97 Audio OK
0x00000A79-0x00000A79 ISAPNP Read Data Port OK
0x00000279-0x00000279 ISAPNP Read Data Port OK
0x00000274-0x00000277 ISAPNP Read Data Port OK
0x00000010-0x0000001F Motherboard resources OK
0x00000022-0x0000003F Motherboard resources OK
0x00000044-0x0000005F Motherboard resources OK
0x00000062-0x00000063 Motherboard resources OK
0x00000065-0x0000006F Motherboard resources OK
0x00000074-0x0000007F Motherboard resources OK
0x00000091-0x00000093 Motherboard resources OK
0x000000A2-0x000000BF Motherboard resources OK
0x000000E0-0x000000EF Motherboard resources OK
0x000004D0-0x000004D1 Motherboard resources OK
0x00000290-0x0000029F Motherboard resources OK
0x00000800-0x0000087F Motherboard resources OK
0x00000020-0x00000021 Programmable interrupt controller OK
0x000000A0-0x000000A1 Programmable interrupt controller OK
0x00000080-0x00000090 Direct memory access controller OK
0x00000094-0x0000009F Direct memory access controller OK
0x000000C0-0x000000DF Direct memory access controller OK
0x00000040-0x00000043 System timer OK
0x00000070-0x00000073 System CMOS/real time clock OK
0x00000061-0x00000061 System speaker OK
0x000000F0-0x000000FF Numeric data processor OK
0x000003F0-0x000003F5 Standard floppy disk controller OK
0x000003F7-0x000003F7 Standard floppy disk controller OK
0x000003F8-0x000003FF Communications Port (COM1) OK
0x00000378-0x0000037F Printer Port (LPT1) OK
0x00000060-0x00000060 Logitech PS/2 Keyboard OK
0x00000064-0x00000064 Logitech PS/2 Keyboard OK
0x00000400-0x000004BF Motherboard resources OK
0x0000F000-0x0000F00F Intel® 82801FB Ultra ATA Storage Controllers - 2651 OK
0x000001F0-0x000001F7 Primary IDE Channel OK
0x000003F6-0x000003F6 Primary IDE Channel OK
0x00000170-0x00000177 Secondary IDE Channel OK
0x00000376-0x00000376 Secondary IDE Channel OK
0x00000500-0x0000051F Intel® 82801FB/FBM SMBus Controller - 266A OK

[IRQs]

Resource Device Status
IRQ 9 Microsoft ACPI-Compliant System OK
IRQ 16 Intel® 915G/P/GV/GL/PL/910GE/GL PCI Express Root Port - 2581 OK
IRQ 16 NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS OK
IRQ 16 Intel® 82801FB/FBM USB Universal Host Controller - 265B OK
IRQ 16 IC Plus IP1000 Family Gigabit Ethernet Adapter OK
IRQ 23 Intel® 82801FB/FBM USB Universal Host Controller - 2658 OK
IRQ 23 Intel® 82801FB/FBM USB2 Enhanced Host Controller - 265C OK
IRQ 19 Intel® 82801FB/FBM USB Universal Host Controller - 2659 OK
IRQ 18 Intel® 82801FB/FBM USB Universal Host Controller - 265A OK
IRQ 17 VIA OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Host Controller OK
IRQ 17 Realtek AC'97 Audio OK
IRQ 0 System timer OK
IRQ 8 System CMOS/real time clock OK
IRQ 13 Numeric data processor OK
IRQ 6 Standard floppy disk controller OK
IRQ 4 Communications Port (COM1) OK
IRQ 12 PS/2 Compatible Mouse OK
IRQ 1 Logitech PS/2 Keyboard OK
IRQ 14 Primary IDE Channel OK
IRQ 15 Secondary IDE Channel OK
IRQ 11 Intel® 82801FB/FBM SMBus Controller - 266A OK

[Memory]

Resource Device Status
0xA0000-0xBFFFF PCI bus OK
0xA0000-0xBFFFF Intel® 915G/P/GV/GL/PL/910GE/GL PCI Express Root Port - 2581 OK
0xA0000-0xBFFFF NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS OK
0xC0000-0xDFFFF PCI bus OK
0x40000000-0xFEBFFFFF PCI bus OK
0xB0000000-0xCFFFFFFF Intel® 915G/P/GV/GL/PL/910GE/GL PCI Express Root Port - 2581 OK
0xB0000000-0xCFFFFFFF NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS OK
0xC0000000-0xC0FFFFFF NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS OK
0xC1000000-0xC1FFFFFF NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS OK
0xD0100000-0xD01003FF Intel® 82801FB/FBM USB2 Enhanced Host Controller - 265C OK
0xD0011000-0xD00110FF IC Plus IP1000 Family Gigabit Ethernet Adapter OK
0xD0010000-0xD00107FF VIA OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Host Controller OK
0xD0101000-0xD01011FF Realtek AC'97 Audio OK
0xD0102000-0xD01020FF Realtek AC'97 Audio OK
0xFFB80000-0xFFBFFFFF Intel® 82802 Firmware Hub Device OK
0xE0000000-0xEFFFFFFF Motherboard resources OK
0xCE200-0xCFFFF System board OK
0xF0000-0xF7FFF System board OK
0xF8000-0xFBFFF System board OK
0xFC000-0xFFFFF System board OK
0x3FFF0000-0x3FFFFFFF System board OK
0x0000-0x9FFFF System board OK
0x100000-0x3FFEFFFF System board OK
0xFEC00000-0xFEC00FFF System board OK
0xFED13000-0xFED1DFFF System board OK
0xFED20000-0xFED8FFFF System board OK
0xFEE00000-0xFEE00FFF System board OK
0xFFB00000-0xFFB7FFFF System board OK
0xFFF00000-0xFFFFFFFF System board OK
0xE0000-0xEFFFF System board OK


Hope that's helpful.

Edited by peterdavies79, 04 July 2007 - 03:12 AM.

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#5
Troy

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Okay sorry! I made a mistake up there. But I'll try and respond in order too, keeping things in line.

If the computer was wiped and XP completely reinstalled, then that means anything on there now has been reinstalled also, including any games. My next question along this line then: Is there a patch available from the Microsoft website for AoE3? It might be a known problem and has been fixed with a patch. Next question: Have you updated the drivers for your graphics card to the latest? You should be able to find them on www.nvidia.com and this may fix your problem.

If you open the side of your case, you should be able to see the power supply. It has the power cord plug into it from the wall to the back of your tower, and then on the inside it has a whole bunch of colourful wires going everywhere in your computer. If you could get a photo of the sticker on the unit (close-up), then we should be able to see if your system is getting enough power.

A BSOD is "blue screen of death", a wonderful term given to the blue screen windows gives you when it detects a serious error and immediately stops windows from running to prevent further damage. This can also be called a "STOP error", because it gives you a STOP error code on the blue screen. By default, windows will automatically restart your computer instead of showing the screen. To disable this automatic restart, follow my UPDATED instructions as I have made a mistake up top - you're right, there is no 'advanced' where you are looking!

Right-click "My Computer" > PROPERTIES > Advanced tab > Settings button under "Startup and Recovery" and uncheck the automatically restart box.

As for your antivirus, may I strongly suggest you read the following link and learn up about this. Malware is a very important topic that every computer user should be fully aware. Actually I can't find the link at the moment, but you should only have one anti-virus program on your computer. If I find the link I'll repost it.

Those errors are annoying, may I suggest you download memtest86+ and run it overnight, it's a memory checking tool that can diagnose faulty RAM. I've had may of those errors once, and it eventually turned out to be faulty RAM sticks. We'll give this a shot just to rule it out. Any problems with it, you can read through the FAQ.

And of course, you're welcome. :whistling:
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#6
Troy

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Okay, that information you have posted doesn't look incredibly helpful to me (it might to a REALLY brainy geek, I'm not quite there yet), but it does look like your drivers are the latest for your graphics card, which is good.
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#7
peterdavies79

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Sorry I haven't replied to your help until now - been away.

OK, so I followed everything you said and all seems ok with my RAM.
I was playing online tonight and all was well for about 2 hours until I resigned from the battle I was in. Then the thing just totally froze on me and due to the settings you told me to change I got this BSOD you told me about. Then I had to reboot.
Here's the BSOD message in full:
____________________________________________________
A problem has occured and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.
The problem seems to be caused by the following file: nv4_disp
If this is the first time you've seen this stop error screen, restart your computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps:
The device driver got stuck in an infinate loop. This usually indicates a problem with the device itself or with the device driver programming the hardware incorrectly.
Please check your hardware device for any driver updates.

Technical Information:
***STOP : 0x000000EA (0x86332300, 0x85F507D8, 0xF7A1CB4, 0x00000001)
nv4_disp
Beginning dump of physical memory.
Physical memory dump complete.
Contact your system administrator or technical support group for further assistance.
___________________________________________________

So after restarting I get the "windows has recovered from a serious fault" window and I send the error report. I get the same advice - get updates from microsoft and turn off graphics acceleration. I got all latest microsoft updates but they weren't related to this stuff and obviously the turn off graphics acceleration is not an option.

I don't think I mentioned this before and don't know if its important but I've found out that if I turn off all the running programs in the bottom right hand corner of my desktop then the game works better.
Here's a list of what I've done/do to get the best performance:

Screensaver > set off
AVG free > turn off
Windows live messenger > turn off
SUPERantispyware > turn off
Logitech mouse and keyboard > turn off
Nokia PC suite > turn off
Any active program/window/internet page > turn off
All automatic updates are set for a time when the computer isn't being used
The Firewall is set so Age of Empires is not affected.

But with all these things done the problem still occurs. I thought maybe heat was a problem but its winter here in tropical Queensland Australia and its chilly in the evening when I'm playing.

Any ideas - I'm getting very annoyed with it now. Would getting two 1gb RAM sticks to replace the two 512mb RAM sticks I'm running help? Or maybe some big cooler system? Just ideas I got from a friend.

Again, Thanks for any help, Pete.

Edited by peterdavies79, 11 July 2007 - 07:04 AM.

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#8
Troy

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No, like you've said, it is winter here and it's freezing at the moment - I'm on the Gold Coast, glad to see a fellow QUEENSLANDER here! I think your idea of a RAM upgrade from 1 to 2 gigs is always a good idea, but I really don't think this is going to change your problem. nv4_disp is your graphics card drivers, so I think you'll need to focus on that.

Here is the link to a patch for AOE3, have you installed this one yet?

Here is the link to the Microsoft system requirements page, can you please confirm that your system meets all of these? If the error message you received is one of the ones listed in red on this page, your graphics card might not be adequate for the game, or it could be faulty. Also, work through the DirectX Diagnostic Tool instructions on that page.

EDIT: and if you are turning your anti-virus off, I strongly suggest you disconnect from the internet if you are not playing online. If you are playing online, I guess you should do a full system scan afterward, I don't like the idea of turning it off personally.

Edited by ruthandtroy, 11 July 2007 - 06:18 PM.

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#9
peterdavies79

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Hey fellow Queenslander. Shame about the titans today - they got rolled.
Anyway, these are the two red messages from the DirectX diagnostic which have now got me confused.

1 - Your video hardware is below the recommended minimum requirements for Age of Empires III. If you wish to upgrade your computer, please contact your computer manufacturer for any necessary assistance.
Age of Empires III requires at least a 64 MB video card. This computer appears to have a less than 64 MB video card. If you wish to upgrade your computer, please contact your computer manufacturer for any necessary assistance.


2 - Age of Empires III requires a processor that supports the SSE instruction set. This computer does not appear to support SSE, so the game will not attempt to run.

But before this it says "Age of Empires III requires a minimum of a 1.4 gigahertz (GHz) processor. Additionally, the processor must support Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE). Processors such as the 1.4 GHz Athlon Thunderbird do not support SSE. Your hardware must pass a system check when you start the game."

1 - My graphics card is 256 Mb/128 bit which is far more than the 64 Mb the game needs.
2- Here is my basic system spec:

Item Value
OS Name Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Version 5.1.2600 Service Pack 2 Build 2600
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Name HOME
System Manufacturer INTELR
System Model AWRDACPI
System Type X86-based PC
Processor x86 Family 15 Model 4 Stepping 1 GenuineIntel ~2800 Mhz
BIOS Version/Date Phoenix Technologies, LTD 6.00 PG, 11/04/2005
SMBIOS Version 2.2
Windows Directory C:\WINDOWS
System Directory C:\WINDOWS\system32
Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume1
Locale United States
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "5.1.2600.2180 (xpsp_sp2_rtm.040803-2158)"
User Name HOME\Pete and Bek
Time Zone E. Australia Standard Time
Total Physical Memory 1,024.00 MB
Available Physical Memory 579.54 MB
Total Virtual Memory 2.00 GB
Available Virtual Memory 1.96 GB
Page File Space 2.40 GB
Page File C:\pagefile.sys

Does this mean my processer isn't good enopugh? I thought - correct me if I'm wrong - that 2800 Mhz was 2.8 Ghz, therefore twice what the game requires. And if the computer has to pass a system check as the game starts then it must "pass" this test 'cos it always starts fine.

Is there a way to test my graphics card is working properly or is faulty?

Edited by peterdavies79, 15 July 2007 - 04:43 AM.

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#10
Troy

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Have you installed the patch yet?
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#11
peterdavies79

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Oh, sorry. Yes I did although I was already running v1.1. When I go onto ES online to play online patches automatically update.
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#12
Troy

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It sounds possible that your graphics card is faulty, but I'm not exactly sure how you could go about testing this. Unless you could get your hands on another card that meets the game requirements (borrow one off a friend) and test it in your system... Another thought is that the power supply recently put in could be faulty and is not providing enough juice to the card...
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#13
peterdavies79

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So really the thing for me to do is take the tower back to the guy who put my power supply in. Or perhaps some other tech who could diagnose the fault.
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#14
Troy

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If you are sure that all the system requirements well and truly pass, then I think that might be a good option. Although, it will probably cost you for the tech to look at it. Remember these are just my thoughts on the issue, it is difficult to correctly diagnose the fault online without ever seeing your computer. If you took it to a tech who has all the gear ready to go I'm sure he could find out if anything is wrong pretty quick.
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#15
peterdavies79

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Yeah I'm sure I've got everything the game needs and then some. Last night I went out and bought some extra fans and fitted them so I have a constant flow from front to back.
I put one big one in the front of the tower sucking in, put one blowing out next to the heatsink of my geforce card on the side, put one on the back blowing out next to my cpu fan and below my PSU and replaced the noisy one on the side sucking into my motherboard area. If that doesn't work then I'll be taking to a tech to get sorted (hopefully) but if it does then I'll let you know.

Either way thanks very much for your help - and you have been very helpful. Maybe we didn't get it sorted but you've taught me a lot and I appreciate it.

P.S. QUEENSLANDER!!!!!
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