Home > Computers and Internet, Life or something like it > Entry 11/21/2010 01:17:35 PM – Mentat 589

Entry 11/21/2010 01:17:35 PM – Mentat 589


Well all right, I have something really interesting going on here in a really bad way at the homestead. About a week or so ago, I had updated my video drivers for my card so that I could take advantage of the SLI features in it once Fallout 3: New Vegas works out all the problems. Seems that things were running pretty damned good on the games that I bought earlier this year (all of which I’ve reviewed as well). Woke up this morning, turned my monitor on, and saw that the system had rebooted. Getting to the desktop eventually I saw that it had crashed at about 1 in the morning, and that it had something to do with the video card which would’ve been about the time the monitor and card would’ve shut down for power conservation. Didn’t think too much on it, although I kept in the back of my head that I should watch the next couple of days to see if this problem continued.

I puttered around the net a bit, and then got around to popping in Fallout 3 to play a bit while I waited for the laundry to finish and that’s when I really saw “the fun”. It looked like driver corruption or some sort or another and Windows BSOD on me. Restarting the computer, I tried Mass Effect 2 as it’s not quite a processor and vid-card intensive. Same issue complete with a BSOD. Went through Dragon Age: Origins. Same. Thinking it’s the drivers, I decide to roll-back to the previous version as that driver set from August was much more behaved and had served me well for the last 3 or so months. Same with each and every DVD game. For giggles, I tried Steam to see if it was going to effect Modern Warfare 2: it did. It can get through the menus without issue but then dies when trying to play the game.

Loaded up a couple of older games (Warcraft III, Diablo II, Sims 2) – they run just fine. Even Half-Life and Half-Life 2 run all right. In fact, every game prior to 2005 and those that require low level DirectX (9.0c and before) run just fine. So I went looking for some tools to see whether or not I can find some diagnostic tools to see whether or not the video card was in fact failing. One of tools was for over-clocking (which I rarely need to do). The next tool looked as though there had been some serious compatibility issues going on (although it did give me the impression the problem might still be a drivers issue — as the Kernel failed and I was forced to restart one more time). Tried a memory test of which that test definitely passed with flying colors.

I find myself torn as to what could possibly be the problem: either the drivers are corrupted and even the rollback has made it impossible to correct. Or that the video card is dying and I’m working on borrowed time. Even after a whole lot of research into a problem that seems to describe an issue that I had seen when the kernel stopped responding indicating a driver issue — after a clean-up of the drivers to the best of my ability, along with reinstalling the ones that worked — I continue to experience the same problems. I have one more thing to try before I have to go the hardware route: reinstalling Windows 7 from scratch. Pain in the ass that can be considering that it’s not like Linux in being quick and handy about installs. Last time I did an install from scratch it took me about 2 days to complete. Ugh! Definitely not the sort of thing I’m looking forward to doing.

Oh and for the Linux-mavens out there that occasionally read my blog — I did bounce over to Linux for the sake of it. All programs running fine and dandy there. None of them really rely on DirectX or really heavy graphic intensive GPU sort of work like Windows games — even Blender was running all right in Linux with no hiccups. So I can’t truly or honestly be certain if it’s the drivers or the video card even with the testing I did on that part of the boot partition.

Maybe when things are quieter this week, I’ll give it a go with a completely clean install to see whether I continue to have problems with the video. If that’s the case, I already have my sights on another nVidia Card (GTX 460) which is going for about $200 (American). But that’s something I’ll worry about later on.. Right now — things are sort of working all right at the moment — even if I can’t play any high end games for hours at a time. More on this in the next week or so…

[Last Edited: 11/21/2010 07:55:55 PM]

Well, it definitely looks like it’s the video card. I was playing one of the low end games for a bit and the same problem that I had with the higher-ended games began rearing it’s ugly head causing the display to crash. Hell, it even gave me some grief trying to watch a movie as well, both through full-screen from Hulu along with a DVD movie. Unlike the higher-ended games which completely crashed the display — with the lower ended ones — it was able to recover. Still had to restart given the amount of green pixels on the screen. Seems to run pretty okay for about 8 hours at a time before I really start to feel the crimping on it. Went off to order a slight upgrade from New Egg to see if it is in fact the video card and purchased an nVidia GTX 465 for under $225 (American) including shipping and a year extended warranty. MSI is the manufacturer, and seeing their comments on the really bad reviews on New Egg has given me hope to try to swap it out and see if that will fix the problem. If not, then I’m on the right track to finding the solution to the problem. I should have the new card by the end of the week; given how quickly New Egg is about expediting shipments put in during the weekend. Well, hopefully by the end of the week, given that I completely forgot that Thanksgiving is this Thursday.

So if I suddenly disappear over the next couple of days — you’ll know the reason why… Not that some of you can tell really given that I’ve been spending less and less time in the usual haunts because of the holidays.

I’m off for the time being. Might as well enjoy the borrowed time I have with this video card before it completely craps out. Until the next time.

  1. 11/24/2010 at 1:20 am

    Good day I was fortunate to come cross your blog in yahoo
    your subject is superb
    I obtain much in your subject really thanks very much
    btw the theme of you site is really outstanding
    where can find it

    • 11/25/2010 at 4:49 pm

      Thank you for the compliment on the blog itself. It’s just my telling of my life. Nothing more, nothing less.

      As for the theme — it’s one of the free/default themes on WordPress called INove. You can pick it up from the link provided.


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