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Display (graphics) freezes up

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I'm having a strange problem that appears to be graphics related with various programs . I first noticed it a couple of months ago while playing Dungeon Seige. A couple times during the game the picture would freeze up, & the mouse pointer wouldn't move. This would last for about 20 - 30 seconds & towards the end the sound would seem to get stuck (not sure how else to descride this) then suddenly everything would go back to normal & I wouldn't have any more problems. Then 3 or 4 weeks ago this started as soon as I loaded the game & wouldn't stop. It seemed to last for about 20 - 30 seconds then immediatly start over. If I tried to move the mouse it wouldn't move except for a split second between cycles. The only thing I could do is reboot as CTRL/ALT/DEL didn't seem to do anything.

I tried to use the Nvidia Control Panel to check my settings, but when I opened the 3D settings option it locked up with the same symptoms as the game. The spinning Nvidia logo would turn a little then freeze up for 22 seconds then turn a little more & freeze etc, and of course the mouse pointer would freeze & only move for a split second. I noticed that the time in the system tray was not advancing too. I let this continue like this for a long time & eventually the time would jump to the current time. Eventually I had to reboot.

Recently, my daughter was playing a game on zone.msn.com. When a commercial started up between game levels the same thing started happening. I think I was able to kill the session with the mouse everything was fine.

Rise of Nations is another game that freezes up with the same symptoms, except I don't lose mouse control.

While this is happening I'm sometimes seeing brief streaks of white lines flash across my screen from left to right, and in some cases the screen will go blank for a few seconds.

I'm not having these problems with everything I do (Outlook, surfing the web) or with every game I play, although some games will have the white streaks periodically & an occasional blank screen briefly.

One note: I've been using this pc with no problems for several years. It has XP pro for an operating system & I'm using an NVidia GeForce FX 5200 graphics card.

I should point out that my monitor is about to quit on me but I don't think it's the cause of my problems. It does this thinq where the picture has a yellow bias to everything which will eventually go away (emphasis on eventually). Sometimes instead of yellow I get a red or magenta biased screen but these will usually change over to yellow or a normal screen. But again, I don't think it's the cause of the other symptoms. :whistling:

Here's what I've done in trying to figure this out. I've checked NVidia for new drivers (found none). I uninstalled/reinstalled the video driver, ran diagnostics on Direct X (version 9), & even tried re-installing XP. I checked for viruses using Avast, ran Spy-bot & Adaware. I also tried cleaning up the hard drive, defragging etc.

I don't know if I did something to cause this or if it's a hardware failure of some kind but I'm running out of ideas on how to troubleshoot this & as a single, working mother I can't afford to pay $250.00+ to have someone look at it. Please, if any one has any ideas or suggestions, please let me know. Any help will be greatly appreiated.

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Start by checking the temperature of your video card. Go into the Nvidia control panel and click 3D settings then click monitor temperature levels. Check the box label "continue to log temperature after I leave this page". Minimize the control panel and play a game. After about 15min check how your temperature levels were and report it here.
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