Here's my problem: my system (newly acquired on my part, though it's an older system my step-father had lying around) keeps locking up, for no apparent reason. I'm of the general concession that it has something to do with the video card, which I've recently swapped out. I don't know what the old card was, but the new one is an NVIDA Geforce FX 5600 Ultra.
The system was working fine until I changed this component (I changed the RAM too, upgrading from a slow 256MB to a more functional 1GB). I also believe it's the video card because my monitor has been going haywire since the change. One moment it works fine, and then at another it goes to sleep, as if it's not getting any video signal.
The computer has also been locking up randomly since I changed out the card too. I've only received an error once, unfortunately, and it's part of the reason I'm having so many problems figuring this out on my own.
The one time I encountered the error (about a week ago), I was unable to write down what it was (the computer restarted itself, which I found odd), so from memory I recall it was a blue-screen error, giving me something about an nv_40 driver, or some such. I've been unable to determine what that may be, or even if such a thing exists. I also recall something about an "infinite loop" having caused the error, if that helps any.
I've tried to reinstall the graphics driver, checked my internal connections, and made sure nothing was overheating. I've tried to use a different video card (I don't believe it is the same one that was originally being used, but rather another spare of my step-father's. He's using the original card in a different machine) , but the monitor acted as if the computer was giving no signal at all, even on boot-up. The 2nd card could be damaged for some reason, but I'm unsure of this, and have no other cards to experiment with currently.
On a side note, I've personally observed that the computer locking up seems to correspond to the actual functions of the computer, such as loading a program, or using a web-browser or instant messenger. Even scrolling down a page in the web-browser seems to cause the system lock. However, if I leave the computer on it's own, doing nothing but looking at the desktop, it can seem to run for an inordinate period of time without any problems (I've left it on for a 6-7 hour period with no activity, and it hadn't locked when I got back).
So, aside from possibility that the card itself is irreparably damaged, or that the MoBo socket is not receiving as it should, does anyone have any possible reasons for this state? My only other thought is that there may be something wrong with the RAM, but I've never seen RAM affect the video functions in this manner...
My sincerest thanks in advance,