ATI Radeon 9600 driver keeps crashing, what gives?

I just built a brand new system:

400 watt Zalman Power Supply
Gigabyte GA-K8NS MB
Athlon 64 3000+
1 Gig (2 x 512 MB) PC2700 DDR Ram
2 160 Gig WD HDs (hardware mirrored) (thanks EE)
1 40x Sony CD-Rom
1 Sony 16x DVD-RW +RW, etc.
AND...
an ATI Radeon 9600 made by Rosewell.

I am new to the 3D graphics cards and I'm not much of a gamer, but I wanted something decent and I've heard some good things about the 9600.  Unfortunately, every single time I use the computer the graphics driver fails and I have to reboot to get the system to run in a stable environment again.  I figure this has to be expected to some degree because there is an option in the included software system to allow the graphics driver to be reloaded without reboot on crash, but I can't imagine this should happen everytime.  I'm not even doing anything graphic intensive when it happens -- usually surfing on Firefox.  I have tried the driver in XP SP2, the one from Windows update, and the one included with the card.  Do I have a bad card?  Is there something I can do to fix this?  What other information can I give that would be of assistance?  Thank you.
griffenAsked:
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BjornEricssonCommented:
Well, first of all, check if your videocard is hot when you touch it?
If it is, this is probably a heating problem with the card and you should in that case get more sufficent cooling.

If the card is warm, but not hot you can always try and completely un-install the drivers for it and then go to the Radeon website to download the new catalyst drivers, http://www.ati.com/support/drivers/winxp/radeonwdm-xp.html?type=xp&prodType=graphic&prod=productsXPdriver&submit.x=7&submit.y=5

This is an approved driver from ATI and this should normally work better than the supplied drivers.
What I suggest that you try if this doesn't work either is to enter your system to failsafe mode (F8) and see if the problem persist there, if it does, I suggest that you check your BIOS and verify the right settings there,
Hope this helps,
/B
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rindiCommented:
I'd just check the Powersupply. What you mention often happens with bad Powersupplies. Bad memories can also do the same. You could also remove one of your RAM chips and for testing purposes only use one (if the samething happens again, replace it with the other stick).
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griffenAuthor Commented:
Thank you.  These are all good suggestions.  I will try them as soon as I get home from work.  As for the troubleshooting, can I use MemTest to check the ram instead of the removal approach?  Should get more detailed fault info, right?  Also, how do I check the PS?  I mean, the system boots, so how would I know if the PS is faulty?
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DoTheDEW335Commented:
also make sure ALL motherboard drivers are installed 1st. I remember somthing about AGP system drivers and maybe somthing else,but I can't quite remember what the other thing was.

Latest Motherboard Drivers:
http://www.giga-byte.com/Motherboard/Support/Driver/Driver_GA-K8NS.htm

Latest Bios:
http://www.giga-byte.com/Motherboard/Support/BIOS/BIOS_GA-K8NS.htm

Latest Radeon Driver:
http://www2.ati.com/drivers/wxp-w2k-ccc-8-071-041026a-018719c-english.exe

I would probably update those in that order.
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griffenAuthor Commented:
I have installed all of the drivers and the bios that I could find on the Giga-Byte site, but I don't see AGP system drivers.  I saw what you provided in the link:  Audio, chipset, lan and usb2.0 drivers.  Already grabbed the radeon driver you linked to, so I will give that a whirl when I get home.  Thank you.
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DoTheDEW335Commented:
Nor did I when I went to it. I did mean to meantion that, It should be included in the Nforce Chipset i'm guessing since it's not a seperate download. I wasn't sure with the NForce how it works. I think some others like Via use to or still do have a seprate AGP driver (could be wrong) Good luck!
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rindiCommented:
The Powersupply you probably won't be able to test directly. The best thing is to get another and replace it. PSU aren't expensive and therefore that shouldn't be too much of a problem. Because those things are so cheap the quality isn't too high, so powersupplies belong to those PC parts that break down much more often than other parts.
You could run a memtest, but i've found that those tests aren't that reliable.
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griffenAuthor Commented:
Actually, I bought a relatively top-of-the-line PS if you see the specs.  I didn't just use a random included PS and I didn't get a house brand.  I spent over $60 on the Zalman and unless I can point to that as an issue, buying a new one just in case is out of the question.
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rindiCommented:
Sorry, we don't get that brand here, so I wouldn't know this particular system. The same goes for the case.
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griffenAuthor Commented:
No need to apologize.  I actually didn't include which case (it was a decent Enermax), but I didn't realize you were commenting from elsewhere.  The beauty of the Internet, help from overseas on an issue close to home...  Thanks again for your help.  I'll keep you posted on the progress after I get to try it out tonight.
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BjornEricssonCommented:
Of course you can test a powersupply to check wether it is faulty or not.
This is done my a Multimeter (Found in most hardware stores).
Check the following link for a detailed guide on how to do it if you're not sure:
http://www.duxcw.com/dcforum/DCForumID3/447.html
/B
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griffenAuthor Commented:
Right, I knew there was a real engineering way to do it, I just meant whether there were computer-based tests I could run to check.  My MB thinks it is a healthy PS, but that is all I know.
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tmj883Commented:
Nice computer by the way...if all the above fails, don't forget to install the latest DirectX 9c, I would return the card and go the NVidia route. Not trying to start a chipset war, but some mainboards and video cards don't agree with each other. At least get a replacement while you can.
T
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griffenAuthor Commented:
Thanks tmj883, when, and if I get home tonight, I will check the DirectX drivers as well.  Though, I think Windows Update makes those available, and though I don't use Auto updates, I do have all the latest.  As I said, i'm not really a gamer (or rather, I'm an xbox devotee), so I'm sure I'd be perfectly happy with NVidia also, I just get more confused by their nomenclature.  If all else fails, I'll RMA it and see about NVidia.  Thanks again.
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griffenAuthor Commented:
1) Sorry for the delay in accepting.  I was waiting until I had spent significant time with the computer to make sure there was no repeat.

2) Despite having installed all of the latest bios, drivers, and everything else I could think of, what I needed was to actually UN-INSTALL all of the previous drivers.  This was strange to me given that the drivers I downloaded were updates to the current drivers and I used the update driver button to find and install them, but it has been working for a few weeks now without a hitch.  Thank you all for your help.
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griffenAuthor Commented:
Follow-up:  None of the above fixed the problem after all.  I may have to spend on an NVidia card and see what happens.  Oy.
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