I'm New, and Have a flickering problem I can't seem to fix.

By oingoboingo · 4 replies
Jun 7, 2006
  1. Hello. I'm new to this board. I have a pretty mediocre knowledge of computers.. No programming or anything, but a pretty average knowledge.
    Anyway, I have a Dell Dimension 4500, and I used to use it for editing independent films. I know it's not much of a system, but it's worked in the past, and I have an extra 250gig hard drive. My problem is, for quite a while now I haven't been able to play video. Every time I try to open a video file such as an avi, mpeg, wmv, mov, etc. on windows media player, winamp, realplayer, what have you... My screen starts to flicker on and off, sometimes it will stay off for a few seconds, and come back, but unless i stop the video from playing it eventually shuts off completely. It doesn't seem that the computer is turning off, but it's like it goes into sleep mode and i can't get it back. The flickering also happens when trying to do things like view those 360 degree pictures on the internet, or even when I open up certain applications.
    The strange thing is, I can't upload video via Firewire without it freezing and flickering, but when I import a file into my video editing program (Sony Vegas), I can watch the video without that happening. So far, that's the only application i've found that I can do that in. Does anybody have any idea what this could be? Do I not have enough RAM? Is it a video card problem? motherboard? am I overheating? If anyone has any feedback, please help me out. I need to be able to upload, edit, and play video again, as I have a wedding video coming up. Thanks again.

    By the way, the video card in my system is not the original. Something messed up with the orginal, and I replaced it with a NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200. All the rest of my system specs are in my profile. Thank you anyone for any help you can provide.
  2. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Hi Oingo,
    It's possible that your chipset drivers are old and obsolete, thus having difficulties driving that FX videocard. Is this a PCI videocard given the Dell you have?

    You need to ensure your on-board/integrated video is disabled. You can often times find this as an option in your BIOS (the setup program you can enter right after the memory test and just before Windows starts to load). You can reach this by hitting F1, DEL or the key noted as you power on the computer.

    Once you're sure the integrated video is properly disabled, hit:

    And grab the Intel 845E Intel® Chipset Software Installation Utility. Install this then reboot.

    Lastly, visit your Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs and look for whatever NVidia display drivers you may have. Uninstall these and reboot. Install the latest Forceware drivers from NVidia here:

    See if this cures your problem. If not, we may need to tweak PCI latency if that is indeed a PCI videocard.

    Good luck!
  3. oingoboingo

    oingoboingo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey Sharkfood,
    Thanks for the help. So far, I've gone into BIOS, went to Advanced/Video Config/ and changed The Primary Video Adapter from AGP to PCI... Was that the right thing to do? I decided not to do the rest of the steps until I know whether I did the right thing or not. Thanks a lot for your help.
  4. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Hi oingo,
    It would depend what kind of FX 5200 you have installed.

    That system has an AGP slot and PCI slots. The FX 5200 comes in both PCI and AGP forms, so it will depend on which you purchased and installed. If you are unsure, there is a small program called CPU-Z that can identify this for you:

    The second tab in CPU-Z at the bottom should identify if it's an AGP videocard.

    The system originally came with an MX series card. Did you remove this when you installed the 5200?

    You'll need to set PCI/AGP in that BIOS Setting based on which slot you have your 5200 installed. Then perform the steps above.

    Also, one other question- the streaming media that has the issue you have described. What kind of media is it? Windows Media (wmv's), avi, mpg or all?
  5. oingoboingo

    oingoboingo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey Sharkfood.
    I became a little confused. When I used "EVEREST Home Edition", it told me that My 5200 is installed in a PCI slot. When I looked under the "Main board" tab of "CPU-Z" it said my graphic interface is AGP version 3.0. I assumed that it was refering to my onboard graphic interface... Also, when I looked it up in Device Manager, it said "PCI bus 1, device 0, function 0". Anyway, I decided to just open up the computer to find out, and the sticker on the 5200 Said AGP, So I set it to AGP in the bios. The "Graphics Aperture Size" was set at 64, and I changed it to 128... After doing that, I unistalled the drivers, and installed the new ones, following all your directions.

    It didn't work. I tried playing video, and it still flickers. I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling the drivers before, and it didn't work either. It doesn't matter what video type it is, It happens with every one; avi, mpeg, wmv, mov. If I play a Macromedia Flash file, however, it doesn't affect it.

    Another thing i've noticed...
    Sometimes, when i try to play video, before the computer freezes, the colors are all messed up on the video. Almost like it's overexposed, everything is really light.

    I should probably tell you,
    This problem first started occuring almost a year ago, It somehow went away for a while, and then came back. I even reformatted my hard drive, rebooted the entire system, swept it clean, thinking, maybe a virus, or maybe reinstalling all drivers would help, and it obviously didn't. Do you think this is a hardware problem?

    Again, thank you so much for your time.
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