I have a Sony PCV-RS430G with Pentium 4 2.8GHz, 512 MB Ram, Windows XP Home sp2, a Radeon 9200 video card, Intel 82865G chipset.
After Christmas, the computer started having random restarts occasionally, not associated with any particular application. The Windows support error message indicated a device driver issue. The random restarts continued to become more common and the windows error message indicated a graphics device driver problem. Now the computer is constantly restarting.
To attempt to fix the problem, I have updated the system Bios, the Radeon driver, and I think I updated the chipset also (but it was at midnight and I didn't document that). This has not worked. Setting the hardware acceleration to "none" didn't do anything but cause loss of driver functionality. Turning off the combined writing on the same troubleshooting tab as the hardware acceleration has helped with the rebooting. Now I have a little more stability, but with frequent "Windows has recovered from a serious error" messages, which again return with the graphics device driver message from Microsoft. I suspect the new driver software may be helping to reset the driver without restarting the system, but I don't know, I'm an amateur.
The instructions from Microsoft say to replace the video card, but I don't want to do this if the problem was caused by software. I am very suspicious of my son's gaming programs. The troubles started after he installed SIMS 2 (which I uninstalled). When I tested the system last night, it was fairly stable until I ran his World of Warcraft CD, and then the computer was fairly unusable due to the Recovery messages.
How can I sort out the source of the problem so it can be fixed?
Thank you very much for your time.