View Full Version : What is wrong with this damn graphics card??

28th Dec 2003, 05:57
I bought this card 2 weeks ago. Its an Xtasy 9800XT 256 meg card, and its turning into a huge waste of my time. I have a Dell 8200 2.8Ghz 256MB of RAM running windows XP, and the 'fun' started with Rainbow Six 3, the damn thing wouldnt hold a resolution higher than 640/480. Everytime I set it higher, it would go to the desktop, the program would still be running, but when I go back in, its back to 640/480. Now, with Thief 2, I enter the game, for about a half a second, then Im back at the desktop, again, with the program running, so it isnt a CTD, I dont think. I got the latest drivers for this card, and I read to download and use this thing called Refreshforce, but its done nothing. I paid so much money for nothing but a pain in the ass, I could do much with my old Geforce MX 420 but something is better than nothing. This is a freakin joke! Does anyone know what this thing is doing?

28th Dec 2003, 06:09
Do you have an onboard card with your off the rack system? If so go into the BIOS and disable the device.

Run the control panel and device manager to see if you have two display devices shown. You may be able to disable it from there, if not open the BIOS and disable the on board system device.

If you don't have an onboard, then look for updated drivers.

28th Dec 2003, 15:45
The first two points are assuming you upgraded from your GF2 to the 9800XT without formatting your PC and re-installing the OS.

1. Remove all traces of the Nvidia Drivers. Download and run Nvidia File Remover: NFR (http://www.softpedia.com/public/cat/12/1/12-1-28.shtml).

2. Reboot. You will probably get a few messages saying that Windows can't find nvcpl.dll and nvmctray.dll. Download Startup CPL (http://mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml) and install/run it. Go to HKLM/Run and HKCU/Run and find the rundll entry that has nvcpl.dll and nvmctray.dll in it and disable/delete it. Reboot.

3. Pick up the latest Omega Driver and install it: ATI XP Omega Driver (http://www.omegacorner.com/ati_2kxp.htm).

4. Disable Hyperthreading for Thief 2: My guide to that (http://www16.brinkster.com/salvage/thief/darkengine.htm).

If you still have problems then you can ask for help at the Visiontek Forums (http://forum.visiontek.com/).

As for Raven Shield, ubi has a FAQ (http://ubisoft.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/ubisoft.cfg/php/enduser/std_alp.php?p_sid=dLPNYY_g&p_lva=&p_li=&p_page=1&p_prod_lvl1=88&p_prod_lvl2=257&p_cat_lvl1) for these sort of things, and even has an answer for your specific problem (http://ubisoft.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/ubisoft.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_sid=dLPNYY_g&p_lva=&p_faqid=1135).

30th Dec 2003, 03:49
Hmm, Ok, I appreciate both replies. I will do as you say, but I do it blindly because this is just relativly new territory, complete with new terms for me. I'll manage. I'll be sure to write back if I run into trouble.

30th Dec 2003, 04:19
OK, I followed your steps Salvage and got to the point where I was rebooting after chaging my start-up sequence. I got the very scary blue screen twice, causing me to restart, but third time is a charm, it recovered without problem. According to the automatic online crash analysis thing from MS the crash was caused by a driver for something, but it seems to work now. As I write this, Im downloading the Omega drivers (damn dial-up), but, so far so good and I'll let you know the end result.

30th Dec 2003, 17:42
Wow, a blue screen. I've never even seen a blue screen under XP. It shouldn't have happened.

30th Dec 2003, 18:37
Originally posted by Salvage
Wow, a blue screen. I've never even seen a blue screen under XP. It shouldn't have happened.

Blue screens in XP will happen once in a while. Most times the page will come up with a message that a driver has caused the problem.

The computer will then reboot, send a auto message to MS, and then sometimes come back with an error correction report.

I have had it happen a couple of times, and each time it was reported to me as a Driver conflict with one or more of the devices.

Haven't seen it for a while as I updated a sound and Vid driver. The report never specificed WHICH driver, merely that one of the many had caused the problem.

31st Dec 2003, 10:27
VERY VERY BAD NEWS!!! Help needed! I installed the Omega divers, and when it asked me to restart I clicked ok. I got another blue screen and now when it tries to start I get this "Windows cannot start because the file is missing or currupt. <windows root> system32\hal.dll
Ok, since it seems I cant ***** anything up, what do I do now? I tried using XPs little go back in time feature, but it still doesnt work. Please dont tell me I have to erase everything and start from scratch. I have no back-ups, it will take me years to get all the stuff I had back, not to mention documents for school ect. How do I fix this?? Please be as specific as possible as we know that I am totally usless.

31st Dec 2003, 10:50
Ok, we're kinda back in business. I kept putting in CDs until one did something, and I saw the option to repair, so I did it. Then a DOS-like command prompt came up, I didnt know what to do, so I exited, and windows loaded. Dont ask me why. I dont think the drivers installed for the graphics card, so Im trying again. I noticed during the install that window/system32 is the folder where everything is happening. So, I guess its safe to conclude that this is the problem? Im going to restart now. If I dont come back, Im back in hell.


Ok, windows still works. But on start up, I got yet another blue screen. Things are ok now, with second start up, but these things are starting to bother me. Why are the drivers killing my system? How can I have installed them wrong to create this problem???

31st Dec 2003, 16:38
Something is very wrong with your XP install. It really shouldn't be doing anything like that since this was basically a driver upgrade.

I have 3 dell support links:

What steps should I attempt to possibly avoid reinstalling Microsoft® Windows® XP? (http://support.dell.com/us/en/kb/document.asp?DN=1062461)

How do I perform a Repair Reinstall of Microsoft® Windows® XP? (http://support.dell.com/us/en/kb/document.asp?dn=1056993)

How do I install the Microsoft® Windows® XP operating system on my Dell™ Dimension™ 8200 computer? (http://support.dell.com/us/en/kb/document.asp?dn=1066312)

I'm sure that's the order that Dell would recommend you do things in. Back things up ASAP.

Looking at the specs of the 8200 you should have a CD burner. You can pick up a spindle of 50 CDs for $25 CDN, a marker to write on them for about $1.50 CDN, and a CD case to hold them in for about $15 CDN. Whatever you do don't use XPs integrated burning software, use Easy Cd Creator or Nero or something like that.

31st Dec 2003, 20:00
Ok, I just happen to have the company's external burner. Im going to begin making backups. Now, with the Omega Drivers, assuming that Im starting from scratch, do I install what came on the ATI CD, then the Omega stuff, or does the Omega drivers take priority?

Oh, and last night, I think I repaired XP with the windows CD. I mean, I had to fix something in order to get windows running again. Unless I did whats called something else.

31st Dec 2003, 23:39
You can just install the Omega Drivers and not worry about those on the CD. They're the ATI drivers except they have several tweaks to make the video cards run at a higher fps with the default quality.

2nd Jan 2004, 02:46
Ok, I think Im about back to normal. One new concern, Ive noticed that in some games my speakers are really staticy during explosions, and deep sounds. This wasnt always the case, it handled noise fine before. Im hoping that its a driver issue. These speakers are new, and while they arnt overly expensive, they are Altec Lansing model 251 [5 speaker, plus sub], they are supposed to be of relative good quality. I have them running on my relatively new (last year) Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum Ex. Do you know of any 3rd party drivers I can get? (or if they even exist?) I currently have the latest offered at the Creative website, and I really hope the speakers arnt already starting to go, as I got them less than a month ago.

2nd Jan 2004, 03:19
Try backing the sound volume down a little, or adjusting the frequency with the Creative Speaker Calibration menu.

You should find it in the Creative Start Program menu. You can pan the speakers, and adjust the bass, treble, r/l and sub-woofer settings.

Munin the Raven
2nd Jan 2004, 18:53
I have the Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum, which is almost identical to the Ex. There are many controls in the Surround Mixer application, including some that aren't very obvious, that can make the sound coming out of the speakers sound horrible. There's one checkbox called "digital output only" that can cause trouble (you usually want it unchecked). Your treble or bass settings might be too high, etc.

With any computer audio setup you have to make sure all of your connections are correct and snug (sometimes a little twisting of the plugs is required). You also need to balance the internal volume controls with the external ones. I've found that I get better quality sound by raising the internal/software controls and then doing the final adjusting with the external speaker controls, although this process can make the speaker controls annoyingly over-sensitive.

Just to make sure it isn't your speakers you could borrow another set from someone else or try an older set you have lying around. Defective speakers sets are far from unheard of.

4th Jan 2004, 06:24
Ok, I think Ive got it. Thanks everyone!