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Gaming Problems - Skipping on all games

Posted on 2004-03-31
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
My computer :
2.4 Ghz AMD Athelon
64 MB GeForce 4
40 GB Free Hard Drive

Recently after downloading a windows update for my version of windows 2000, I haven't been able to play games since.  The download updated drivers which I have since reverted back to the original drivers and have had no success.  I decided to upgrade to Windows XP and after installing the new windows, I am still facing the same Problems as I had before the upgrade.

Problem:  Game loads fine, menus work great, then the game loads from the opening menu; the game appears and then a horrible skipping in the audio and video occurs making the game unplayable.  I have closed all programs, closed all processes other than ones necessary to run windows and yet the problem remains.   What would cause flawless gaming two weeks ago to unplayable gaming with a mere windows update? Any explanation would be great.  Thanks!
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Question by:goblue1229
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17 Comments
 
LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:Jerry_Pang
ID: 10728999
all games? what games?
Have you tried downloading the latest video and sound drivers?
try this one first and post back what happens.

i guessing it has somthing to do with your directx. try uprading it to directx9b.
download it from microsoft. games using directx wont run if there is sumthing wrong with the directx, some people also having difficultry installing the directx and needs to delete the directx9 manually and installing it again.

try downloading the directx9 from microsft again.

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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Andy
ID: 10729378
Firstly, never ever ever ever use any gfx or audio drivers from the windows update web site. Always get them from the manufacturers website. I did the same thing once and I could not get rid of the crappy things until I did a completely clean install. Even Driver Cleaner didn't work. That's a freeware proggie that completely removes drivers which both nVidia and ATI recomend you always do before installing the latest ones. Anyway if you just installed XP over the top of 2000 (another thing you should never do) then you'll need to start from scratch. Back up your data, wipe your hard drive and install XP from scratch. Install DX9b and all the latest drivers from the manufacturers and you should be ok. If not then you'll have to consider the possibility that it's a hardware problem.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:asmodeusnz
ID: 10729465
Definitely sounds like a problem with the "So-Called" patch you applied, which turned your PC to custard.

I would backup your data and re-install Windows 2000.
Bit drastic I know, but it looks like you've already tried to "Go back" without success.
You could also spend a lot of time trying to diagnose a fault like this.

You could rebuild Win2000 then create a Ghost Image (like I do)
That way when this happens again (and it probably will) then you can re-image your PC in 5 mins and have it back to full working order again.
There's a bit of mucking around to start with but its worth it in the long run.

Here's what You should do in more detail.

1) Back up your data. (Docs etc, not games just reload them).
2) Re-Partition Your HDD and format into 2 partitions. Give 1 Partition the name of SYSTEM and the other say IMAGE.
3) Eg: If you have a 40GB HDD then use say 36GB as your SYSTEM drive (Where you will load all your games etc) and the other 3-4GB will be your image drive where you can load the ghost image to.
If you have an 80GB drive you still only need 3-4GB to hold a Windows 2000 image or 4GB for XP.
4) Re-install Windows 2000 and the latest drivers for your Hardware, and then update ONLY the CRITICAL SECURITY patches from the Microsoft Website.
5) Using Norton Ghost 7.5 Copy Partition to Partition (C: to D:). Leave D:\ alone, its for your image only.
6) Install all your games, programs etc.
7) Now, when something goes wrong you can load d: to c: and have your system up and running again in 5 mins. Back to how it was when you imaged it.
You can do this with 2000 or XP but I would leave your system as Win2000. (But Its up to you anyway).

Any questions or queries then just sing out.

Cheers
Rodger



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Author Comment

by:goblue1229
ID: 10748528
I formatted my hard drives, re-installed windows, al my drivers, and there is still a problem just with my gaming.  I went to the BIOS set up and restored the factory defaults and I am still having a problem.  At this point, it has to be a hardware problem, but what hardware problem could it be?  How could it be working great and then change so that games are unplayable.  Could I have burnt out my GeForce 4?  
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Andy
ID: 10749264
It's possible. Take the case off, switch on and see if the fan on the GFX card is working. If you can borrow another GFX card off a friend, try that instead and if it still gives you problems you can eliminate the card as a possibility. The only way to really identify what hardware if any is causing the problems is (if you can) change each component one at a time.
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LVL 6

Accepted Solution

by:
asmodeusnz earned 500 total points
ID: 10753886
If you've re-installed windows then Yes, its highly likely your graphics card is faulty, only packing up when under strain.
By playing games you put the MAX amount of strain of your video card.

Replace it and test with a new one.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:Jerry_Pang
ID: 10754258
i had the same problem before on some of the games. fix the problem when i downloaded the latest video card driver.
Yes, it is most like that the video card is faulty but i will try the latest videocard driver first just to make sure.
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Author Comment

by:goblue1229
ID: 10754616
I downloaded the most recent drivers from NVIDIA.  Still not working.  Games like Medal of Honor, Nascar 2003. and Jedi Outcast stilll won't work.  Games still load to menu fine, audio is fine, but when it comes to the actual game play it feezes up and skips to the point where it is unplayable.  I did notice the last time when I hit CTL + ALT + DEL that the CPU usage was topping out at 98 and 99 on the game.  Could that mean it is over clocking trying to make up for the graphics card?  I checked the fan, everything looks fine.  Computer is running great other than gaming.  I can max out at 32 bit color with no problems.  I have a hard time believing it is the graphics card.  I thought for w hile it could be audio, but that seems ok too.  I am at a loss and am afraid of blowing cash on a new card when this one is barely over a year old.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:asmodeusnz
ID: 10754670
If the game is freezing then its most likely to be your video card.

How soon does it freeze when you are playing a game?? Minutes? Seconds? Rough idea thanks.......
You said you did a FRESH install....... Did you fdisk first (Delete and Recereate your partition)? before formatting?
Also What operating system are you using after formatting and fdisking your PC? 2000 or XP?
How much RAM does your PC have?

Another test you could try to determine if your video card is playing up, is loading Windows Explorer, try moving some files around etc. Load MS-Word or Excel, type a letter, try using the computer other than playing games and see if it freezes.
Leave it on all night and see if it hasn't frozen overnight.
If it does, then its your video card, if not then I would try and borrow one first (local friendly PC shop maybe).
Or you could buy one, test it and see if that resolves the problem.
If it freezes as well, then take the card back for a refund.

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Author Comment

by:goblue1229
ID: 10754775
i did fdisk and backed up everything.  The games freeze within seconds.  
I am using XP.  Just instaalled it last week. The gaming issues were occuring before that install however.
I have 512 MB of RAM

I will try some of the tests to see if it is the card.  What kind of stores will let you buy and return it used?
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:asmodeusnz
ID: 10754831
>I will try some of the tests to see if it is the card.  What kind of stores will let you buy and return it used?
Everyone here in NZ anyway......
You obviously have different laws in ???
Over here you have a 7 day right of return, no questions asked.
Its called the consumer guarantees Act.
If it doesn't work, you can take it back for a full refund.
Also if you change your mind you can take it back and exchange it or get a full refund.
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Author Comment

by:goblue1229
ID: 10759702
I opened a bunch of programs and though it didn't freeze, I noticed some jumping on the screen and the edges we starting to become unstable.  At this point, I am guessing it is the video card though I can't believe that a 18 month old video card could flop out.  PNY Verto 64MB GeForce 4.  I guess I won't be going the PNY route again!

I am going to try and find a video card to try and see if that is the problem.  If it isn't, then if could be ram (though I think it is fine) or the CPU.  ( AMD Athelon 2600+ Barton Core 333Mhz)

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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:asmodeusnz
ID: 10761566
I thought it might be your video card :)
Yeah, they don't make them to last very long these days unfortunately.
No profit in manufacturing a video card that lasts you for longer than a few years. :(
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:asmodeusnz
ID: 10973711
Putting my hand up for the points.
This is most likely to be a problem with the video card as I suggested.
Video cards don't last forever and can die "just like that".........................
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