Graphics card problems on an old PC
December 9, 2003 7:17 AM   Subscribe

My machine is a dinosaur (Win 2K, 700Mhz processor,) and after installing a new graphics card (NVIDIA GeForce2 MX/MX 400, 64MG), I'm having bizarro problems that never happened when I was just using the factory (ATI Rage Pro, 32MG) installed card... (more inside)

I was hoping someone could help. When I use WinDVR to screencap from cable, it promptly craps out at 80 (900MG eac) images- before I changed to an ostensibly better graphics card, that never happened. I'm also getting strange flickers in the television display (both in WinDVR and in the ATI television viewer,) also a post new-card development. In all other respects (3-D rendering, game playing, clarity of display, etc.,) the new card is definitely better. Is the card too new to get a good picture on cable, or is the new card showing me what the cable actually looked like and I just never noticed before? Am I managing the card and machine's memory improperly that I can't get more than 80 screencaps at a time without restarting the program? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
posted by headspace to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
700mhz PIII? Drivers all properly installed? Have you tried monitoring the CPU usage while all of this is going on? If you are maxing out the CPU while doing all of this, it may be that you need more horsepower.

This summer I went from a PIII 450 that was running Win98 to an AMD Athlon XP 2800+ and 1GB RAM and I cannot tell you how much better it is to have a PIV class processor. I bought a Shuttle XPC and built it with parts and it was pretty cheap and easy. I've never built a PC before and it worked on the first try.
posted by gen at 8:23 AM on December 9, 2003

Check carefully for capacitors on the motherboard with tops popped up or leaking.

Many machines from your era were affected by cheap crap chinese garbage syndrome. :-)
posted by shepd at 8:51 AM on December 9, 2003

i'd search around for any info about fully removing ATI drivers from your system. Sometimes, even if you run the uninstaller, it still leaves unused components on the system that can conflict with newer drivers. This will especially happen if you installed the newer drivers on top of the old ones without removing them first.
posted by Hackworth at 9:04 AM on December 9, 2003

And speaking of newer drivers, don't EVER touch the horrible CD that came with your video card. Ever. As soon as you open the box, snap the CD in half and play boomerang with it. Then stomp up and down on the little chards, which you may then wish to sweep up and put into a flaming oil drum of some kind that can then be used to sink the ashes into the sea. Non-reference drivers are always, always, always dangerously bad.

Instead, go download the detonator driver.

Additionally I'm not sure why you would be using an "ATI telvision viewer" when you no longer have an ATI card installed. That sounds like a recipe for trouble. I'd put the kaibosh on that posthaste, as just about every piece of software ATI touches turns to crud.

Also, there's no such thing as a 64MG video card. You probably mean 64MB. MB = megabytes, whereas MG = mega-something-you-just-made-up. You're pretty safe just using the M, though.
posted by majick at 9:45 AM on December 9, 2003

I reinstalled the ATI viewer when WinDVR went all funky, to figure out if it was the software or the card being all funky- it's gone now, because the software sucked to begin with and I didn't even use it with the ATI card. :) I will go fetch the detonator driver and see if that helps, though- I know I originally installed off the disk, but I can't remember if I went to fetch the new drivers afterwards or not. Thank you all for the tips in re the motherboard, and removing the old drivers. and as for the 64/32 yadda yadda... I just typed what was on the box. *grin* I can put them in but I don't remmeber the numbers so well.
posted by headspace at 11:17 AM on December 9, 2003

I can second what majick said about the detonator drivers. We have a couple of these cards at work and use them to clone displays onto TV screens for sports coaching purposes. I had an absolute nightmare trying to get them to work properly and, according to the local distributor, there is some semi-secret anti-piracy code somewhere in the software that comes on the CD to try and stop people using the system to set up multi-screen displays to use for public broadcasts (sounds strange, I know). Removing all the software that came with the card, uninstalling the drivers, then actually booting the machine without the card in, followed by re-inserting the card and using the latest detonator drivers solved the problem, but you have to be careful - changing certain display settings can screw things up again for some strange reason.
posted by dg at 2:49 PM on December 9, 2003

I've got an even older PC (PII 400) with a gForce 2 GTS card, and it's still chugging along very well indeed, except on the newest games.

Your ATI-specific software is the problem, certainly. Which is just to repeat what others have said.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:40 PM on December 9, 2003

Thank you guys so much! I'm still working on killing that flicker, but shedding all remains of the ATI software has vastly improved the general broadcast quality and screencapping quality. Thank you!!
posted by headspace at 4:52 PM on December 12, 2003

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