Nvidia GeForce FX 5200 problems maybe

By Sallysara
Jul 4, 2005
  1. Hi,

    I am going crazy. All of a sudden my screen will flash black for several minutes then go totally black, and I have to reboot. This mainly happens when I try to play a video or Everquest. Seems like the system can't handle heavy visuals for some reason.

    I have a Dell Dimension DM 4600, Intel Pentium 4cpu, Windows XP, NVidia GeForce FX 5200.

    I have spent days talking to Dell Techs, but the guys in India really haven't a clue. I have reset my computer to a prior date, uninstalled NVidia drivers and reinstalled from original disk, etc. and nothing helps.

    Any ideas?
  2. gamingguy27

    gamingguy27 TS Enthusiast Posts: 168

    Power Saving

    I have heard that turning power saving functions off can stop random black screens. This is how to do it:

    *Right click the desktop and click "properties"

    *Then click the tab at the top labelled "screen saver"

    *Then click the "power" button at the bottom of the page

    *Then try altering any of the tabs from there, the one i believe is causing the problem is the "turn off monitor", tab

    P.S= some FX cards have a power saving function that acctually turns off the graphics card, post back for more help
  3. Sallysara

    Sallysara TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks Gamingguy, but that didn't seem to make a difference.

    Once the black screen flashes on and off (in no set pattern), the screen eventually goes black. This happens when there is a log going on (video, a game, etc.).

    When I turn the computer off then on, sometimes I get a blue screen saying that NV4_disp is the problem.

    One Dell guy said something that sounded like another program was trying to use the same drivers, but I have not loaded anything new (and McAfee and Microsoft AntiSpyware have found nothing suspcious).

    I have spent hours deleting GForce drivers, reinstalling GForce drivers, reloading earlier configurations, etc., and nothing is helping.

    This computer worked great for months, then all of a sudden this disaster.

  4. jt713

    jt713 TS Rookie

    The Dimension 4600 for example if you look at the specs is so underpowered it is really sad. It can handle 8x agp video... 4gb of ram... and a P4 on the Mobo, but Dell gives it a 250watt PSU out the door. Pathetic.

    You can have a great one here if you up the PSU and video.


    I have a friend with a 2350 from dell. It only has a 200 watt power supply. If everything is fine until the machine heats up the it may be the PSU.

    You need a minimum of 250 watts on the specs for a geforce 4000 and up. I had the 5200 pci in a compaq with 250 watt power supply and it would still flake out by rebooting once in a while.

    Everything you put in your machine uses watts up. If you have alot of stuff in it even 250 may not be enough.

    Compusa has a 400 watt power supply for $10 with a $30 rebate. $40-$30=$10. A good upgrade for the 2350 because that P4 1.8 is way underpowered and very upgradable.

    Component Wattage Required:

    Motherboard 15-30
    Low-End CPU 20-50
    Mid To High-End CPU 40-100
    RAM 7 per 128MB
    PCI Add-In Card 5
    Low To Mid-Range Graphics 20-60
    High-End Graphics 60-100
    IDE Hard Drive 10-30
    Optical Drives 10-25

    Let me know if this solves the problem. If everything is fine and then after sometime it goes bad that doesn't sound like a software problem. It is a PSU/heat problem I think, but I am not much of a tech.
  5. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 171

    Check the temps on your nvidia utility. If the temp is 60c-65c or below you're OK. Ideally you'd want cooler temps but these are usable. If the temps are ok then try this:
    1. Go to and download DrivercleanerPRO. It is a small, free utility that cleans out all the leftovers you have when you change Nvidia drivers. Read the short instructions and run it after you remove the Nview driver (don't run it yet).
    2. Make sure you have downloaded a display driver that you are sure will work with your 5200. Theoretically the latest driver works with all card but use one that ran solid for a long time on your machine.
    3. Go to Windows add/remove programs and remove the Nvidia display driver. Your system will reboot. After the reboot turn off the PC
    4. Remove and inspect the 5200. Reinstall it and make sure it is well seated.
    5. Restart the PC and then run drivercleanerpro. Clean a couple of times then run the cab cleaner under tools. Your display shouldn't be flickering or going black now as there are no drivers, except the basic MS VGA driver, installed. If it is then you may have a bigger problem than corrupted files.
    6. Install the trusted driver and reboot.

    Hopefully the card is running ok. If not and the temps are 65c or below then, like I said, you have another problem. Te video card could be bad, try and test it in a known good PC. Could be RAM or a bad PSU. PM me if you need to troubleshoot further.
  6. MrHorn

    MrHorn TS Rookie

    I would like to add to this thread if that is OK as I am having the same problem yet I have a different set-up.

    I can say that I have uninstalled the drivers in may different ways, and reinstalled them. I have used many different versions of drivers and none make a difference.

    This problem happened out of no-where.

    I've had people advising me to update the BIOS (yet I am not confident enough to do this)

    If it helps in anyway, I am running AMD Athlon 2400, WinXP Home, 512RAM.
    Ummm, I think that's it.

    Here is a good description of the problem I found elsewhere:

    "I would open a window in windows and the screen would flicker. It would go black and then come back. Sounded like the monitor turned off. Not sure. Then if I browsed too much into my computer the whole thing would reboot. Sometimes right after a reboot it would reboot again. And it would give me an error message saying something's wrong with the Drivers for my vid card."

    One thing that helped me VERY slightly was changing the graphics settings to best performance (no fade on menus etc and I view Windows in old style).

    If I run the computer with no drivers installed, it works fine, the performance is just not bearable when scrolling down a page.

    Can anyone suggest/can you get universal drivers that perform better than those supplied with Windows?
  7. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 171

    What kind of video card are you using? Also, what kind of PSU (total watts and amps on the 12volt)
  8. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 171

    What kind of video card are you using? Also, what kind of PSU (total watts for the unit and the amps listed under 12volt).
  9. MrHorn

    MrHorn TS Rookie

    I am using the Nvidia GeForce FX 5200 - 400W and I think from reading the power supply it is 22A but I am unsure exactly what I should be checking.

    Now, I see your trail of thought as I think this problem started not long after I installed a new power supply.
    However, the last power supply was only 250w.

    As I only use my computer for browsing the internet, is there anything I can do to reduce the power usage?
    i.e. Unplug the floppy drive and the CD Rom.

    Is there any power settings I can tweak with?

    Thanks for getting back.
  10. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 171

    I don't think it is your PSU so I recommend that you do a barebones setup and test each component. This will read a lot harder than it actually is. The initial procedure takes only around 10-15 minutes. The follow on troubleshooting may take a lot longer though. Also, please do not skip steps. Do everything in order and as listed or your troubleshooting will be flawed.

    Caution: Please remember that turning a PC off does not mean there is no power going through it. Modern systems maintain a trickle of power to keep the standby functions running. You either have to turn off the switch on the Power Supply Unit (PSU) itself or unplug the system from the wall. Unplugging is best. If you have a LED on the mobo that is lighted all the time. make sure it is out before proceeding. Also, be aware of static. Make sure you wear and ESD strap or discharge yourself on a steel part of the case before touching anything inside.

    First, unplug the PC from the wall and then open it up. Disconnect all the drives (floppy, CDROM, DVD etc.)from the motherboard (mobo) and also disconnect your Hard Drive(s) from the mobo. Do not leave the hard drives connected. The system will boot into BIOS just fine with no hard drive attached. Unplug the power from all those drives you disconnected from the mobo. Remember to disconnect the front panel firewire and/or USB ports.

    Next, remove all the RAM, except for one stick, from the mobo. Some mobos are very picky about where the RAM needs to be placed so make sure the one stick of RAM is in the correct slot as per your manual.

    Now you are stripped down to a barebones system. The PSU, the mobo itself, 1 stick of RAM, the CPU/HSF and video card. Reset your CMOS/BIOS while the system is stripped down, unplugged and open. You do this by removing the battery and then moving a jumper near the battery around. Usually there are a set of three pins with two covered by a jumper. You move the jumper from pins 1&2 to pins 2&3 and let it set for a few minutes then reset the jumper to pins 1&2 and replace the battery. CMOS and BIOS will be back at default settings after doing this.

    Now check that everything is seated correctly, both the 4 pin and 20 or 24 pin power is connected and secure and if so then plug the PC back into the wall and make sure that any LEDs that should be lighted on the mobo are lighted. If all is still well then turn it on. Hopefully she boots right back into BIOS.

    If you get back into BIOS you can start troubleshooting by turning the PC off and unplugging it and reconnecting peripherals one at a time. The idea here is to connect and reboot until something hangs your system up This presumably is the bad piece of gear.

    If you cant get into BIOS and have the same problem as before then you know it is either the PSU, the RAM, the CPU, the mobo itself or the video card. Change out each these until you get into BIOS. I would start at the PSU as it is usually the guilty party in a situation like this and is also easy to change in and out you are down to just 2 plugs now remember). Next up would be the video card and/or RAM and if still no luck then things get hard as you now have to consider either the CPU or the mobo.

    Good luck and happy hunting.
  11. MrHorn

    MrHorn TS Rookie

    Thank you very much for the detailed description.

    Personally, I am not confident enough to do this, but I know a man who can.

    However, I will just question one point.
    The problem I have only occurs about 30 mins to an hour of use surfing the web.

    Then, once it starts and I reboot, the time the problem occurs gradually gets quicker.

    I have been using my computer without the Cd Rom and Floppy drive connected this evening, an compared with my usual five or more reboot problems, I have only rebooted once and that time was not as bad as it normally gets.

    This indicates to me (and I admit I know very little) that this possibly could be the PSU as with less usage it "appears" to be running better?

    Do you know of any other powersaving techniques that I could perhaps try before I pull the system apart?
  12. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 171

    Not really and if you weren't using the drives at the time then you really weren't saving any power. They may be causing a system conflict, however, which is the idea behind the barebones setup.

    Have you run a spyware and virus scan using up to date programs? Download counterspy from and run it. It costs $20 a year but you can use it free for 10 days. Also run a virus scan with updated virus detection software.
  13. MrHorn

    MrHorn TS Rookie

    Lovely, I'll check that out.

    Thanks once again.
  14. Mucea

    Mucea TS Rookie

    I have the same problem on my Dell Dimension 4600, 3.06Ghz, 1Gb RAM, NVidia FX 5200.

    I disabled the turn off monitor feature but it did not help.

    I did reboot in safe, uninstalled the driver and the controling device, ran Cab Cleaner & Driver Cleaner Pro, cleared the Recycle Bin, rebooted, installed the old original drivers the card comes with and... the flickering kept on going.

    If any1 has any suggestion excepting the step by step hardware check (taking all components apart and putting them back) I will be more than happy to try it.
  15. Mucea

    Mucea TS Rookie

    One more thing: I opened the case and the graphic card is awfully hot. Is it fried? Should I replace it?

    I wonder if there is any utility that would optimize the functioning of NVidia FX series.
  16. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 171

    Open your NVIDIA utility (rclick on desktop and select display) and the select temperature settings for direct reading of your GPU temps. Since you have done the driver changes already then you can check the voltages on your PSU but the barebones check as delineated above is the basis for troubleshooting.
  17. BigD360

    BigD360 TS Rookie

    Video probs

    ok hello all i am new to this so bare with me. I am a big game player never had a problem with video before but i do now help plz. Ok first let me say i did get some help for the same prob from someone on this forum that had a dell and someone else gave a solution which was try the the display deal on desk top and go to screen saver and so on if u know what i mean. I tried it and all was off so there should be no prob but there is. But my problem only happens on 1 game no other and so i went to there tech support and reported they had a bug and they said no that its that my drivers for my video card are old there from 12/31/01. Ok so i am on the net lookin to find what to do but i am kinda lost i know a little bit but can someone plz help ty. :chef:
  18. TS Rookie Posts: 98

    what game is it? what video card do you have? what error message are you getting?
  19. Rockystone

    Rockystone TS Rookie

    I have in front of me a Dell Dimension 4600 with an Nvidia FX 5200 that causes a BSOD.
    When it does boot into XP it causes the display to flash on and off.
    After trying the suggested fixes posted here, I pulled the card out of the p.c.
    Several of the caps on the video card were blown. (the little barrels with a cross on top were bulging up like jiffy pop pan gets when you make popcorn).If the caps are not flat on top, then they are blown.
    This card does not have a cooling fan, just a heat sink, which was hot when I pulled the card out.
    At this point video card replacement is the solution.
    The Dimension 4600 also has onboard Intel graphics.
    Updating driver from device manager restored acceptable display quality.
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