Radeon X800 Pro causing random restarts (and headaches)

By Jims ยท 37 replies
Dec 18, 2005
  1. It was last night that I first noticed a problem. I was playing Warcraft (world of) and my computer suddenly rebooted, my current system has never had any such problems so I discarded it as a freak one-off occurance. Thirty minutes later the same thing happened, it was at this point I went to bed, slightly worried about the health of my computer (I even turned it off!).

    Today I booted up my machine and noticed it faultered and failed to boot, rebooting itself once or twice before finally settling down and completing the boot sequence. Rather haphazardly I loaded up Warcraft... it seemed to be OK, and everything was running smoothly for about 30 minutes, but then came the familar sound of my monitor pinging off and back on, it had restarted again.

    It should be noted none of these restarts were preceeded by any blue screens of death or other error messages of any kind (and I have the automatically reboot on system failure option turned off). It was because of this I think I began to fear the worst; some kind of hardware malfunction, and because this problem seemed to be exclusively associated with the running of computer games I feared for my graphics card.

    It was at this point I decided to check the cooling fan on the card for dust or any obstructions that could be causing the card to overheat. I noticed that the card itself was quite hot, but I was unsure how to view the temperature exactly (I think most of the new cards come with thermometers...?).

    I left the computer turned off for ~2 hours till everything had cooled down. I booted it back up and attempted to play Warcraft, it got to the loading screen, fully loaded the game and just as it was about to display the graphics it rebooted. When it had finished booting up (again) I tried to play Half-life 2 (another game I have had no trouble playing in the past), it got to the loading screen, loaded for a few seconds and then exited to my desktop (but did not reboot this time).

    Still rather confused I downloaded the latest drivers (catalyst) from the ATI site. The drivers would begin to install and the ATI logo would appear in full screen before my machine would reboot. I decided to follow this guide: http://www.tweakguides.com/ATICAT_4.html to avoid experiencing any problems replacing the old drivers with new drivers which I had read about before. No luck. Exactly the same thing happened; the install would begin and the ATI logo would appear and the machine would instantly reboot.

    At this point I am pretty much out of ideas as to what the problem is exactly or how to solve it. Any help/wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

    The card in question is a Radeon X800 Pro made by Sapphire.
    I have a 1.85 gigahertz AMD Athlon XP processor.
    My motherboard is and Nvidia Nforce 2 made by Epox.
    I am running Windows XP Professional.
  2. swker98

    swker98 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,077

    my brother had a similer problem with his ati readion 9600pro, when he plaed battled field 2 it rebotted,

    have you tried the ati Omega driveres loceated at www.omegadrivers.net, whitch is just a thoguht, when you reboot you get no "Device Faluere Error" sounds strange , try the omega drivers as they seme stabler then the catilist IMO

    good luck with your problem
  3. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 478

    If that don't help, cheak your voltages. Your power supply may be failing.
  4. Jims

    Jims TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for your suggestion swker but exactly the same thing happened when I attempted to install the omega drivers, I think as soon as the software engages the card it prompts the system to restart.

    How would I go about checking the voltages?
  5. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 478

  6. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Nah, I don't think its a problem with ur PSU. It seems u have overclocked ur CPU in the BIOS. I think removing that setting should help. Also, try removing the onboard sound card if u have standalone one and set ur refresh rate to 60Hz. Hope this helps :grinthumb
  7. Jims

    Jims TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Every day it seems to get worse. Last night I checked the voltages and they did all seem to be in order (if I read them correctly). Today I turned it on and it didn't get past the boot sequence, restarting before even beginning to load windows.

    I decided to check the BIOS like Rage suggested (it was the only thing I could do as the computer wouldn't boot) and I changed a few settings in there and it managed to boot.

    The settings I changed were ones that I had set myself about a month ago to increase graphical performance. My FSB frequency was set to 166 (This was the factory setting) and the multiplying thing was set to 12.5 (this is what I had previously changed), I was told this was a safe setting for my spec. However setting the multiplyer to 11 today allowed me to finish the boot sequence, so perhaps it is related to the overclocking of my CPU?

    Of course after about 5 minutes of my computer being on it rebooted itself as soon as I began a process (extracting the catalyst drivers). Eek. The saga continues.
  8. bEDwEtTeR

    bEDwEtTeR TS Rookie Posts: 16

    Your using a ATI vid card on a NVIDIA based mobo could that be the problem?
  9. swker98

    swker98 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,077

    i dont think that is the problem, as i have a ati x800gt om my nvidia nfource 4 board

    as everyone said check the voltage and see what is is and then post back,

    Also you cannot rule out a defective card, if no suggetions work send it back for another
  10. Jims

    Jims TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I can't get it to boot at the moment, is there a method of checking the volts in the BIOS?
  11. Jims

    Jims TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ah I found them.
    I have a limited understanding but they seem to be in order?
  12. beerabuser30

    beerabuser30 TS Enthusiast Posts: 200

    I have an ATI card on an Nvidia motherboard as well. I would definitely check the card on a friends system to see if it is defective.
  13. swker98

    swker98 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,077

    i agree test it on a firends system, if it reacts the same send it for a replacment
  14. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 478

    The voltages may drop under load. Your video card is a high power user too.
  15. LesterofPups

    LesterofPups TS Rookie Posts: 20

    check CPU temps while you're at it. If turning down the multiplier allowed you to boot, cpu may have been running hot.

    If so, you may want to look into applying / reapplying some arctic silver. or using a better heatsink/fan.

  16. swker98

    swker98 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,077

    Also post your make and model of your power supply along with wattage and rails
  17. Jims

    Jims TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I think changing the FSB settings in the BIOS and it booting was just a coincidence as it hasn't worked since that brief moment under any settings, a red herring as it were.

    Info on the PSU:
    Tagan 380w
    Model number: TG380-U01
    +3.3v, +5v, +12v, -5v and -12v

    Interestingly when I was down there getting this info I noticed a quiet clicking/ticking sound coming from the PSU, is this something to be worried about or is it common for these things to make strange noises when they are not in use?
  18. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    That noise is probably coming from the capacitors. Maybe they're dirty or something. But the crackle is surely coming from the capacitors.
  19. swker98

    swker98 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,077

    ok it looks asif your powersupply is a bit low for that card and may cause the problem, the only way to know for shore is to test it in a firends mechine, also is this card new, ifso what did u upgrade from
  20. Jims

    Jims TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The card is new (4-5 months) as is the motherboard and PSU. Everything had been running smoothly until the other day.

    I will test it in a friend's machine, it seems to be the only surefire way to get to the bottom of this. If the card functions I guess I can assume it is the PSU though.

    Thanks for your help!
  21. swker98

    swker98 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,077

    oh i was under the impretion it was brand new like 1week,

    have you installed any new sofware or hardware right before this happioned

    also have you tried the drivers that came with the card
  22. Jims

    Jims TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No hardware. The only software I can remember is Irfanview, but that was about a week beforehand.

    I hadn't tried those drivers, but as it is the machine won't boot so I don't think I will get a chance.
  23. swker98

    swker98 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,077

    what does it do that it doesnt boot
  24. Jims

    Jims TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It begins to boot, the usual stuff about memory and hard drives detected etc. then the screen goes black as it moves onto the next stage which is usually when the XP display shows up, but it doesn't make it and instead makes a sound as if it just restarted (monitor pings off and back on) and returns to the beginning of the boot sequence, ad infinitum.
  25. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 478

    Can't be the driver, thay are loaded after the splash screen.

    I'm thinking PSU.
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