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Negative Sun
03-28-2008, 07:08 PM
For ages now, I've had this weird thing going on with my PC/Monitor...

At any given time, while surfing and listening to music and such, my screen will freeze, go black and then go back to normal...the whole process takes about a second or two, but you can imagine it's highly annoying.

It's not the monitor, cause I've just swapped it and it still does the same thing. It's not my GPU cause it did it with my old one as well. So I'm wondering what else it could be? Is it the RAM maybe?

Another couple of bits, it never occurs when I'm playing games or watching movies...

Here's my kit:
- OS: WinXP
- CPU: Athlon Xp 2600 @ 1.9Ghz
- RAM: 768Mb DDR
- GPU: GeForce 6800 128Mb
- PSU: 300W Generic
- Mobo: MSI MS-7021
- HDD: Maxtor 123Gb / Quantum 6Gb

Ray Jones
03-28-2008, 07:27 PM
- OS: WinXPWell, my guess is that seems to be the problem here. :PP

:)

Have you tried to disable any screensavers and Windows power management? Check ACPI, DPMS, or AGP related BIOS thingers as well. Maybe there're any power management or timing settings going yeehaar. Try the Windows standard VGA driver too.


If that doesn't help, well. HM.


- OS: WinXPXDD

Astrotoy7
03-29-2008, 12:19 AM
EDIT >> negsun, check its not a dust or card seating issue first!! (see below)

XDD

Gosh, I hope you arent that thorough with your employers IT queries!

Good ole Ray, using a help query for an anti MS rant ;) Im sure there are many XP users whom have never had this problem(I definitely havent)

why cant it be mainboard/driver problem, or even RAM as negsun suggested.


It seems there's some process/clash happening that might be causing this effect with a certain apect of a multitasking that negsun is doing....

unless negsun has tried linux/vista on the same board and not replicated the issue, a differential diagnosis based on surmise is a bit premature

>> @negsun, is it only when playing music with other tasks?? or only while surfing??

some queries that can point us in the right direction:
*has it ever happened playing music and not surfing eg. working on a document/imaging proggie only?
*has it ever happened while surfing only and multitasking other than playing music. eg, surfing and tinkering away on a doc or image in the background.
*Also, if it does happen just when surfing, is it on a particular type of site?? eg.flash/java based
*does it happen with IE and FF(or any other browser)
*does it happen with a different media player?
*Have you updated your mainboards BIOS/drivers to the most recent versions possible? >>check MSI's site Also, depending on what audio/Lan you have, you may be better off going to the manucturers site directly, eg. Realtek, as the MBoard sites aresnt as diligent with updating driver links, exp with XP kit/variants

MSI MS-7021 has two variants >> KT6V-LSR (http://www.msicomputer.com/product/p_spec.asp?model=KT6V-LSR&class=mb) and the KT4A-V (http://www.msicomputer.com/product/p_spec.asp?model=KT4A-V&class=mb) >>use a proggie like everest (http://www.lavalys.com/) or pcwizard 2008 (http://www.cpuid.com/pcwizard.php) to determine which you have, unless you can see it on the pcb ;)

MSI have a 'live update' (http://global.msi.com.tw/index.php?func=downloadindex)driver update service you may want to try or the good ole manual way >> see same page and select details of chipset/socket type you have to get you where you want. *Make sure* you select the correct chipset!!

>> with audio though, double check the device manufacturers site/google for latest version available and check against what you have. eg. the KT6VLSR uses Realtek ALC655 codec


when I'm playing games

Try the Windows standard VGA driver too

now there are two sentences that don't fit together :D

WDDM for gaming! Poor nvidia R&D.. doing all that work for nuthin!

perhaps try an older or a newer driver version >> have you updated these drivers recently, and was there a time when you didnt have this issue? G3D has put up 174.74 (http://downloads.guru3d.com/ForceWare-174.74-XP-(32-bit)-download-1890.html) for XP x86.

let us know how you go >> good luck

mtfbwya

stingerhs
03-29-2008, 12:41 AM
actually, i've seen a similar problem like this down at work, although this one was a bit more complicated as the monitor would work for a couple of minutes, flash off, then it would come back up, but it would only happen during 3D rendering of any kind.

what had happened in this case was that the customer had just installed a video card into his old computer for the very first time and didn't bother to clean out the AGP slot before placing the card in. as such, all the dust in the slot was causing a faulty connection in one of the pins. after a quick blast from the CO2 bottle, the computer worked just fine.

i'm not sure if that's your problem, but it could be a related problem if you have a faulty power connection between your AGP slot and the motherboard or between the slot and the card. take a good close look at it and clean it out a bit if possible.

i'm afraid i can't help much if that doesn't solve it, though. ;)

Astrotoy7
03-29-2008, 12:56 AM
what had happened in this case was that the customer had just installed a video card into his old computer for the very first time and didn't bother to clean out the AGP slot before placing the card in. as such, all the dust in the slot was causing a faulty connection in one of the pins. after a quick blast from the CO2 bottle, the computer worked just fine...

I love it when its a dust or card seating issue! Its the last thing ppl think to check, when it should be the first!! Theres another recent thread where DarthDingDong (!) had exactly such an issue...

so, negsun >> check that first!!

mtfbwya

Ray Jones
03-29-2008, 06:50 AM
Good ole Ray, using a help query for an anti MS rant ;) Im sure there are many XP users whom have never had this problem(I definitely havent)Gee, Astro. I made a *joke*. In fact, I have a similar problem at work. With SuSE Linux. So. Stop calling me anti MS. :/

why cant it be mainboard/driver problem, or even RAM as negsun suggested.Did not say otherwise. But since he had this idea on his own and is pretty tech savvy anyway, I thought suggesting other stuff would be more of interest in that case, especially since he asked for it.


now there are two sentences that don't fit together :D

WDDM for gaming! Poor nvidia R&D.. doing all that work for nuthin!:rolleyes: All I wanted is him to check if the problem occurs with the standard VGA driver (not even the nvidia on). I didn't expect him to use that for ever. The aim is to find out whether it is driver related or not. Without to fickle around with a ton of "optimised" forceware crap from guru3d.com. If at all I would rather check using nVidia WDM certified drivers from nvidia.com.

Astrotoy7
03-29-2008, 08:54 AM
hehe....as we are always in a scholarly frame of mind, perhaps the tech forum requires [/joke] tags coded into vB >>> sounds like a job for tk ;)

most G3D releases are those have been handpassed on by keen beta testers. Others are ones that get appended to new card releases, eg. the 9800GX2, and are hence WHQL. Optimised drivers are easily the lowest proportion of those released, and shouldnt be messed with if you dont know why youre using them

I know negsun is tech savvy, but he wouldnt have posted here if he wasnt looking for the opinions of his esteemed colleague :D

mtfbwya

Negative Sun
03-29-2008, 08:29 PM
>> @negsun, is it only when playing music with other tasks?? or only while surfing??
Surfing + anything else seems to be it, regardless of whether it's FF or IE I'm using.

*has it ever happened playing music and not surfing eg. working on a document/imaging proggie only?
Don't think so, but I'm not 100% sure...

*has it ever happened while surfing only and multitasking other than playing music. eg, surfing and tinkering away on a doc or image in the background.
Yeah, definitely.

*Also, if it does happen just when surfing, is it on a particular type of site?? eg.flash/java based
No, just seems to be quite random AFAIK.

*does it happen with IE and FF(or any other browser?
Both.

*does it happen with a different media player?
I only use WMP so I couldn't tell you, but since it happens with other apps too, it's a good bet it would.

*Have you updated your mainboards BIOS/drivers to the most recent versions possible?
Will try that, thanks.



I'll also try some other suggestions, like updating the GPU drivers etc., but I've done that before so I might need to crack open the case an check for dust 'n stuff as wll...Will first try and upgrade the mobo drivers though.

Astrotoy7
03-30-2008, 09:46 AM
good luck negsun, let is know how you fare. In the meantime, Ray and I will arm-wrestle!

mtfbwya

Negative Sun
03-30-2008, 10:34 AM
Updated the mobo drivers, sound drivers and flashed the BIOS from 1.3 to 2.0 (first time ever doing that, lolz)

So far I've been trying to put some strain on my PC by doing some heavy encoding, using FF and IE, do some image editing and playing some tunes...So far, I haven't had my screen blanking out yet :) *touches wood*

I have to commend MSI's Live Update thing cause it was an easy way to flash my BIOS, even though I probably would have managed to do it manually, it saved me a lot of hassle I'm sure...Even offered to make a rescue floppy disk lolz, which I did, My A drive was like "wtf? I'm still being used!"

Thanks for the tips, I should've thought of that myself, I dunno why I never got round to updating the BIOS sooner.

I'll update to the new ForceWare drivers as well probably, just to be sure... :)

Astrotoy7
04-01-2008, 04:54 PM
I have to commend MSI's Live Update thing cause it was an easy way to flash my BIOS, even though I probably would have managed to do it manually, it saved me a lot of hassle I'm sure...Even offered to make a rescue floppy disk lolz, which I did, My A drive was like "wtf? I'm still being used!"

Thanks for the tips, I should've thought of that myself, I dunno why I never got round to updating the BIOS sooner.

I'll update to the new ForceWare drivers as well probably, just to be sure... :)

Its great that manufacturers are making BIOS updates more user friendly. Shuttle, for all their design savvy, still require you to go pure old school and use winflash, even on one of the ultra souped-up quad optimised mainboards! sheesh!

best get the 169.xx WHQLs from nvidia.com(aka the horses mouth). I dont want to give Uncle Ray a "I told you so" opportunity ;)

hope it pans out well. Often solutions are pretty straightforward, its *our own minds* that get frazzled more than the actual circuits are :)

mtfbwya

Ray Jones
04-02-2008, 08:12 AM
So effectively you did three things at once, which is *BAD* because now we don't know what the problem was, motherboard drivers, sound drivers, or BIOS version.

My bet is flashing the BIOS caused a "reset to default" to the BIOS settings, and it was none of the three things.

In other words - from behind through the chest into the eye. ;DDD

Astrotoy7
04-02-2008, 09:35 AM
we don't know what the problem was

My bet is ...

Ray, no point in speculating, it is done! Im sure he was aware of the value of a gradated update process as far as a differential diagnostic indicator. ie. "one step at a time, see if it works"

For all we know it could have been the dusting and reseating! As a general rule though, updating all your drivers isnt an entirely horrible idea!

My bet is..... well, I'd rather bet on sports or the ponies actually :D

hope it works out well negsun ;)

mtfbwya

Negative Sun
04-02-2008, 11:43 AM
Well I didn't dust and reseat, but it's been annoying me for too long and I didn't have the patience to just wait n see what could be the exact cause of it...Next time I'll just make sure all my drivers are up to date so I won't even get it in the first place.

Ray Jones
04-02-2008, 11:53 AM
As a general rule though, updating all your drivers isnt an entirely horrible idea!It *is* a horrible idea when there's no need to do such thing and you do it for nothing but the version numbers. Especially when you're not "tech-savvy" and don't know how to fix things.


However, some of these things were obviously necessary for Neg's machine to be able to handle the massive amount of porn downloads work he forcing it to do. ^^

Well I didn't dust and reseat, but it's been annoying me for too long and I didn't have the patience to just wait n see what could be the exact cause of it...Next time I'll just make sure all my drivers are up to date so I won't even get it in the first place.I know that kind of behaviour you were experiencing, and most of the time it was some powersave (BIOS or Mobo driver related) setting going the wrong way. It sends the PC to sleep just to wake it up again immediately, because ooops there's actually someone working. :)

Negative Sun
04-02-2008, 12:09 PM
It *is* a horrible idea when there's no need to do such thing and you do it for nothing but the version numbers. Especially when you're not "tech-savvy" and don't know how to fix things.
Well I should have updated the drivers anyways, so it's a bonus that it fixed my problem as well...There was really no excuse for me having outdated drivers as the last drivers for my mobo/BIOS/sound were released in 2004 lolz

Cheers for clearing that up Ray, it sounds like you're spot on with that, I'm just glad it's gone.

Astrotoy7
04-02-2008, 12:48 PM
It *is* a horrible idea when there's no need to do such thing and you do it for nothing but the version numbers. Especially when you're not "tech-savvy" and don't know how to fix things....

Im sure we all agree negsun is tech savvy !! :)

I dread to think that manufacturers are releasing driver upgrades without any actual bugfixes and just like to deliver a placebo by changing version numbers :p

If someone is in the practice of using graphics and audio(!!!), and using newer applications, codecs, filters which affect this, then it is a decent strategy to upgrade, after you read the release notes of course ;)

So I guess your XP PC is pre SP1 and running DX7 Ray ? :lol:

mtfbwya

Ray Jones
04-02-2008, 03:28 PM
Actually the Windows part of my notebook has not been used for like 6 months, but it's MCE2005 with all security patches applied until that time and latest DirectX 9.

Note there's a difference between closing security holes, installing latest codecs, or DirectX to be able to play whatever game, and updating drivers for hardware that is performing flawlessly.

Astrotoy7
04-03-2008, 05:32 AM
Note there's a difference between closing security holes, installing latest codecs, or DirectX to be able to play whatever game, and updating drivers for hardware that is performing flawlessly.

oh cmon Ray, gfx chipset, discrete graphics, on board audio rely on DirectX and codecs to function(eg.Realtek audio codecs built into driver suite, nvidia purevideo mpeg2/h265 AVC support built into mainboards and discrete cards alike.

performing flawlessly

If this was the case, we wouldnt be here :D

mtfbwya

Ray Jones
04-03-2008, 06:22 AM
DirectX and codecs are not hardware drivers. They are hardware independent. To provide hardware and driver independence is why they exists in the first place. The fact that codecs come bundled with drivers doesn't change that.

Astrotoy7
04-04-2008, 12:08 PM
DirectX and codecs are not hardware drivers.They are hardware independent...To provide hardware and driver independence is why they exists in the first place

lolz....We all know codecs and drivers are 1s and 0s, and hardware is silicon, copper and gadgetry. We also know that most kit doesnt have its drivers hard wired into them > so in that sense they are independent, but from a functional point of view?

I'd say its more of an interdependence ;)

You simply cant get some bits of hardware to register their existence until you have installed a very specific bit of code for it(bundled driver/codec, hotfix, whatever). There is often no range nor variation in what you can do to enumerate a device or function....

not being able to function without something else controlling your actions is hardly independent!!

Also, certain DirectX and codec configurations themselves can only work under certain hardware conditions. eg, DX10 apps needs DX10 kit. H264/MPEG2 offloading performed in nvidia Purevideo can only be done with Purevideo compliant kit.

The question is though, how much of this is relevant to negsuns original help query :D !!!

mtfbwya

Ray Jones
04-04-2008, 04:57 PM
I'm afraid you got me wrong, Astro. :/

Drivers are hardware dependent, as they know how to talk "their" specific bit of hardware on one end, and some common language on the other end. DirectX again translates that "common driver language" into an API interfacing with the programs, thus it is hardware independent. That way you can implement new functions for newer hardware and their drivers while keeping the old stuff working, hardware and application-wise. You can also enhance existent or add new functionality for existent hardware and drivers.

Codecs are basically independent to anything, because they provide nothing but information on how to encode or decode whatever data into/from a certain format, hence codec.

To put it into an analogy, a taxi would be the hardware device and its controls represent the device driver, the taxi driver is DirectX, and his brain is the codec knowing how to read the road signs and traffic lights. You are the program that just needs to say "airport please".

;~~~