Ok, where to begin....
I thought it would be fun to get a new video card to play some 3d games and import video and tv shows.
I shopped around and got a brand new ati all-in-wonder radeon 9600. Well, I got the video card, read the instruction manual, followed it step by step, and got slammed with a brick wall. Here's what happened:
step 1) check in device manager for the existing agp controller, (found VIA CPU to AGP Controller) I uninstalled it. done, no errors
step 2) download new driver set: (via_hyperion 4 in 1_v453v.zip from www.viaarena.com
step 3) installed driver set. still no errors
step 4) checked in add/remove programs list for existing VGA driver, found it ok (s3ProSavage DDR), removed it, no errors.
step 5) I looked around for a way to "turn off" the VGA funtionality that's built into my mother board, but couldn't find anything helpful, I did find a reference on a webpage that stated something to the effect that the motherboard will sense the new AGP video card and disable the integrated video.
step 6) Powered off computer and installed new ati video card, then I connected the monitor to the VGA-1 output plug of the new card.
step 7) Turned on the computer with visions of the newest 3d games racing through my mind... all I got was some beeps and a blank (black) screen.
step 8) I wasn't sure what to do, and I had read about the mysterious GART driver that could cause a black screen, so I turned off the computer at the power button, opened it up and yanked (it was a very gentle yank) the ati video card out of the motherboard.
step 9) After plugging the monitor cable back into the integrated VGA port, I turned on the computer and was met with a mixture of problems.
If I remember correctly, the first round of errors I got said "FDC error or failure, press F1 to continue" When pressing F1, the system was still frozen, I had to power off at the switch. I got online with my trusty G4 powerbook and rooted around on the web for what the error meant, I found out it referred to the floppy drive or controller. So I unplugged the floppy drive from the board and disabled it from the motherboard. I still got the same error the next few times I booted, then it went away and I got a new blue screen error stating that my motherboard wasn't "acpi compliant"... that puzzled me a bit. I tried changing the acpi settings in the bios (there are only two settings to pick from), neither one appeared to fix things. I tried safe mode and last known good configuration, I even tried booting from a WinPE boot disk, and still got the same blue screen acpi stop error. I unplugged every single thing from my motherboard (I had several pci cards installed). The only thing I left installed was the IDE 0 HDD, the monitor, and the mouse and keyboard. I booted it and still got the blue screen acpi error. Now this is where it really gets weird (and frustrating), almost at random, I flip the power on and it boots into windows. So I breath a sigh of relief that I didn't roast my system completely. I plugged my peripherals back in one at a time and reinstalled the drivers for the built in vga and it seems to work fine now.
Believe it or not, I went through the entire ordeal a second time to try and figure it out (because I thought to myself "it couldn't be that hard and I work for Microsoft doing tech support, I ought to be able to fix this"). Well, obviously, I'm not that smart and not that good at fixing things. :-) I've depended on this website as a source many many times so I know my money is well placed. Please post what suggestions and experiences you have that might help me out.
My main questions are these:
1) Can I make this combination of motherboard/chipset and video card work? (I'd prefer to make it work with my current motherboard because I'm short on money after buying the video card)
2) Would it be better for me to just buy a newer motherboard that is more compatible? and if so, how do I know if the new motherboard is truly compatible? (Because according to the manufacturers the one I have now should be working but it is not.)
And 3) Did I buy a junky video card that will be a headache no matter what motherboard I use? (If so, please help me find a comparable one that will work better.)
BTW this is the first time I've posted a question here as a registered-paying user and I'm not sure how all the points work, so if you have suggestions about that, I'd appreciate it as well.
Here is some more info that might help:
windows xp HE sp1
AMD Athlon XP 1700+
512 MB RAM (480MB after the integrated Video steals some)
the motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-7VKML with VIA Km266 chipset
I've had this system for about 18 months and it's always worked well for me, until now. :-)