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System device failure

Posted on 2003-03-28
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Last Modified: 2013-11-08
Hi.
I have a PIII 866 with 512MB SD133 RAM and a Geforce 2 MX 200.

Recently I started getting these system device failure error messages. I can't be more specific at the moment, but I will post the message here next time I recieve it.

It normally happens when I launch a game (Not during actual gameplay, but during the load up screen).
It sometimes locks up for about 10 seconds, then the resolution will switch to 640x480 and 256 colours. It will give me the device failure error message and I will have to reboot to get my resoltuion back (changing it through windows does nothing until the PC is rebooted)

Anyway, I have Sisoft sandra and I ran the memory burn in test for 150 loop (about 2.5 hours) last night and it had to problems. I am not sure what is causing this. It never used to happen and now it is occuring quite often. Because it switches the resolution it sounds like a video card issue, but I am not 100% sure.
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Question by:blackdan
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18 Comments
 
LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:CrazyOne
ID: 8228149
There may be updates of the vidoe drivers. You might see it that helps. If you know the make and model of the video card post it here.
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Author Comment

by:blackdan
ID: 8228165
By the way, I meant to say that there was no problems with the ram after the butn in test.


About the video card drivers it isn't really a logical solution. It is good to update the video drivers regularly but when I had no problem with these drivers for all this time why now, would I have a problem if it was related to the drivers.
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Author Comment

by:blackdan
ID: 8228174
not my day today is it? I meant BURN IN TEST. You know what I mean anyway. :-)
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LVL 5

Accepted Solution

by:
rrhunt28 earned 480 total points
ID: 8228299
I would run through the list first, start with video card drivers, then chipset drivers, then motherboard drivers.  And if you have to bios.  See if that helps.  It does sound like it is a video problem, however that does not really mean it is the video card, but more than likely it is.  But before you spend money on a card, update everythign to rule that out.
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Expert Comment

by:Cookie_man_OCNZ
ID: 8228403
what game is this?
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:wokboy
ID: 8228444
Maybe reinstalling directX will help. Does it only happen on a particular game? or all games? or randmonly with any application?
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Author Comment

by:blackdan
ID: 8228956
Like I said it doesn't just happen with games, but mostly.

Does it matter what game it is. Just rememeber this, I never used to have problems until recently so therefore it is unrelated to the games.

I shouldn't have really posted this question. I get a huge list of things I can try which I already know of. I was hoping for something specific but I suppose it is just messing around trying drivers and patches, etc.

I will post to get the question closed if there are no objections.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:jwitt98
ID: 8229516
That's the troubleshooting process my friend.  By the way, here is another to add to the list.  Use msconfig to disable all startup programs.  If you have installed any new software before this started, it may have left something running in the background which is causing problems
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:wokboy
ID: 8229575
Just so you know, we all probably thought it was possibly game/video/driver related because you said this in your question.

"It normally happens when I launch a game (Not during actual gameplay, but during the load up screen)...."

Thing to remember about these kinds of forums is , you are infinitely more familiar with problem than we are, we know this, but all we have to go on is your question and the context of it. If things are unclear we tend to ask questions to try an eliminate things. We aren't here deliberately trying to mess you around.


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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:rjhawkin
ID: 8230021
The fact that you get an error message, then the screen resolution and colors drop the the absolute minimums would lead me to believe that it is not the system ram (which I think you tested) that is the problem. I would bet on the video memory, which unless your using onboard video is completely seperate.

I would suggest replacing the video card and I bet the probelm will go away. Another solution could be the fan on the video card if there is one has stopped working and the card is overheating. Clean out the system with compresed air *** NOT A VACUME *** out doors, and see if that helps.

Computers are effective removers of dust from the room.
Also make sure that the system is geting good ventilation with the exaust fan in the supply not pushing warm air to the back of a wooden box.

HTH
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Author Comment

by:blackdan
ID: 8230216
the Geforce 2 MX 200 don't really need fans, and I have never used one.

I have been using it for a long time without a fan and it has probably had enough. I was going to get a new video card sooner or later anyway.

On a seperate note, when I was using the Docmemory simmtester I found that the Burn in test ran fine, but whenever I moved the mouse it would lock up and I would have to restart it.  I tried this many times and it only happened when I moved the mouse. Does anyone know why this could be.

THanks.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:rjhawkin
ID: 8231662
well I haven't seen that paticular card so I wasn't sure if it had a fan or not.

As for why a program crashes when you move the mouse, I'd guess there is a conflict with the mouse driver. Maybe a problem with the program or the operating system your running it under.

It seems your having more problems than just a problem with the video card. Things almost never break alone on a PC. RRHUNT28's advice to make sure that all of the various bios', and drivers are updated is a good one. Also if you have only recently had the problem then ANY software installed could cause problems. *rap in the system tray is a prime suspect ALWAYS.

Welcome to the joys of windows.
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Author Comment

by:blackdan
ID: 8233499
I have tried the new nvidia drivers. I also installed DirectX 9 and it seems ok so far.

I will see how it goes.
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:CrazyOne
ID: 8234064
Odd it seems I was the frist one to mention updating the video drivers. :>)
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:adam8
ID: 8237732
I actually meant to accept the first comment that mentioned drivers. I suppose I was in a hurry and accepted the wrong comment. Post it in the community support if you would like it fixed up.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:rrhunt28
ID: 8239508
Not that I really care about the points, however I personally feel the chipset drivers maybe more to blaim.
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Expert Comment

by:kungfool
ID: 8245019
it hasn't been doing it recently, I installed the via 4 in 1 drivers, the new detonator drivers and the directx 9 so I am not sure which one fixed it up.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:rrhunt28
ID: 8249201
As long as it is fixed that is the important thing. LOL
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