Rebooting during 3D application (Radeon 9800 Pro with nForce2 chipset mobo)

By satchmo ยท 44 replies
Mar 7, 2005
  1. This seems to be a common problem, as I have read many other threads addressing the same issue. I have tried all the suggestions from other posts, but my problem persists.

    I just built my new PC two weeks ago, and everything seems to be running smoothly...until I loaded the first game: Far Cry.

    The game installed without a glitch, but soon after I start playing it, the screen would black out for fraction of a second, then turn blue for about 250 ms, and then the system reboots. This happens everytime I play Far Cry, but the rebooting occurs at different parts of the game (but I never get too far). It usually happens about 1 to 5 minutes into the game.

    The rebooting also occurs with my 3D OpenGL screensaver (Helios), but never with any other program. The browser (FireFox) never triggers the reboot, and neither do Paint Shop Pro or any other 2D graphics program.

    From what I've read so far, some people who had the problem found a resolution by updating the motherboard driver and the graphics card driver (which I have done already). Some people suspect it's a power issue, but I have plenty of juice from my PSU.

    Here is a complete spec list:

    ASUS nForce2 A7N8X-E Deluxe motherboard
    Athlon XP 3200+ Barton
    ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128 MB 8X AGP
    Antec PSU with 430 W
    Kingston PC3200 DDR (512 MB)x2
    Seagate SATA HDD 200 GB
    Windows XP Professional Edition (with SP1)

    Resolution attempted so far:

    1. All fans are working properly (chassisx2, PSUx2, CPU, graphics card)
    2. CPU with thermal paste properly applied and without overclocking
    3. Motherboard drivers updated, including nVidia nForce2 chipset driver for GART (AGP card)
    4. ATI Radeon driver updated to the latest

    I greatly appreciate any suggestions and ideas to try. Thanks in advance.
  2. fishhookz

    fishhookz TS Rookie Posts: 79

    Did you plug a molex power connector in the 9800? I think there's a connector on the card.

    Is the ATI driver official or overclocked one?

    What's the cooling of the 9800?

    Did you turn off fast-write and set the aperture to 128mb in BIOS?
  3. satchmo

    satchmo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 83

    The power connecter is hooked up to the Radeon card, and all the fans (including the one on the graphics card) are working. I didn't overclock anything.

    I've alread tried it with AGP x8 turned off and fastwrite turned off. I'll change the aperture size just for kicks, but I doubt that it'll solve the problem.

    Thanks for the suggestions, nevertheless.
  4. BlackEye

    BlackEye TS Rookie

    Heat Issue

    I have a very similar setup: Except Intel

    Asus P4800 PERL MOBO
    PIV 3.2 ghz
    120 Seagate SATA drive
    Asus ATI 9800 PRO 256mb Video
    Kingston Ram PC3200 X2 "Matched"

    Anyway, mine did that on FarCry as well as Doom 3 on the higher levels.

    I started monitoring my case temp and when I was in full song for hours my PC was hitting 118 degrees in the case. I added another case fan in back (3) case fans now + Video Fans, and it seems to decrease the frequency. Temperatures dropped inside by about 5-10 degrees now. Geez I need A/C for my PC. :)
  5. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Install CPUIdle to knock another 10 deg. C off your temperature.
  6. satchmo

    satchmo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 83

    I doubt it's a heat issue, because the problem can happen just minutes after I turn my computer on. The reboot would happen just a few minutes into the game, and when I monitored my CPU temp, it's below 45 Celsius.

    I have a AeroCool case, which has two massive (and quite noisy) fans in front and on the side. It's a very well ventilated case, and my PC isn't stuffed in a corner with no ventilation either. In fact, I elevated the base of the chassis so the bottom ventilation holes can cool the system also.

    I also called ASUS tech support this morning, and they were completely stumped. Even the L2 technician was clueless. Eventually, they blamed it on the PSU, and told me to get another PSU. I am not going to do that, because I know I have a brand new PSU with 430 W of power that works just fine.

    All that trouble...still rebooting. By the way, I've tried changing the graphics aperture size to 128 MB on the BIOS, but no avail. I have given up.

    I hooked up my old PC (Celeron 1.1 GHz with ancient Radeon 9200 and only 512 MB of PC330) and use it for gaming instead. The new computer will just have to function as a glorified type writer.
  7. PreservedSwine

    PreservedSwine TS Rookie Posts: 325

    Turn off FAST WRITES
    Turn AGP down to 4X
    Set voltage to AGP slot to 1.6v
  8. tbrunt3

    tbrunt3 TS Rookie Posts: 313

    Did you turn off your VPU in the ATI control panel? And running the games same res. as your desktop? Vpu will kick on if run games at different res. and will kick you to desktop try this .

    Let us know
  9. satchmo

    satchmo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 83

    Tried all those

    I tried all the suggestions already, and nothing worked.

    I changed the BIOS settings this morning, including turning off fast write, rolling back to AGP 4x, and modified the aperture size to 128 MB. I didn't change the voltage for the AGP, but I am reluctant to do so because it might shorten the lifespan of the card.

    The game is set to run at the same resolution as Windows XP already, so there is no resolution switching when the game is loaded.

    I know this is a very common problem, since I found tons of people complaining about this same issue when I googled. But so far, only some people got lucky by simply upgrading their motherboard chipset drivers. Most people are stuck with the problem and just have to give up gaming on their machine.

    What irony! :blackeye:
  10. satchmo

    satchmo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 83


    Even though I am still stuck with the problem, I do want to thank everyone at TechSpot for contributing their ideas. I do appreciate all the help. :rolleyes:
  11. PreservedSwine

    PreservedSwine TS Rookie Posts: 325

    Satchmo, I commend you for questioning the voltage reccomendation. Usually, I limit my responses to the "less is more" variety, but I also want to assure you the reccomendation will have no bearing on the life of your card or mobo. The R9700 used 1.5v
    The R9800 is a power hungry little animal, using 1.6v of AGP power. Some mobo's will not recognize, or supply the reccomended 1.6v of power, instead sending 1.5v. Setting it manually to 1.6v is setting it to the default voltage.

    There are a few more things you can try that will have virtually no impact on performance, might be worth a shot if you're still having issues...
    In your ATI control panel, under the troublshooting tab, is an option labled "enable write combing"
    Uncheck it.

    As tbrunt mentioned, while VPU recover will usually stop your rig from re-booting if you have a problem, but can also cause your rig to freak out when you woudn't have noticed anything try disabling it if you haven't already....
  12. satchmo

    satchmo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 83

    I'll try those

    Thanks, PreservedSwine.

    How do you know those tech specs about the 9800 Pro so well? Even on the Radeon manual, the voltage requirement is 1.5 V. I am in no way doubting what you're recommending, but I am just impressed that you know so much.

    What you're saying really makes sense, and I typically don't make a change or try things unless it makes logical sense. I'll definitely try that. Too bad I will be stuck at work until 10 pm again. It's one of those 14-hour work day for me today.

    If the voltage setting change doesn't work, I'll uncheck the write combing from the ATI control panel. And if that fails, I'll try changing the VPU recover option.

    I guess all hope is not lost yet. It ain't over until the motherboard blows up. :giddy:
  13. satchmo

    satchmo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 83

    Rolling back Catalyst

    I also read that some people had solved the problem by rolling back the ATI driver to Catalyst 3.4. I haven't tried that yet, but it sounds like something worth trying (no formatting or swapping hardware involved).

    I found this thread to be extremely relevant and helpful. However, it's very long (going back to 2003). I am still reading it. If anyone is interested, here is the link to it:

    And interestingly, some people solved the problem by addressing an IRQ conflict. Simple as that! It's worth a try also.
  14. satchmo

    satchmo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 83

    A possible software solution?

    This is what I read from a thread, and it could be a problem with the Radeon card after all...


    try this:
    install directx 9.0 (not 9a nor 9b)
    run standard catalysts 3.5
    set fastwrites off on the smartgart

    everything will work fine (it works on my 9600pro and on my friend's 9800xt)

    if i install dx9a or 9b, i get usual crashes
    if i use different catalysts i get crashes
    if i set fastwrites on, i get crashes

    it seems a lot of people is having problems with those cards, but no one is bothering doing what i say ... at least giving it a try... i tried everything to fix my problems, and this is the only way to fix them complitely (no crahes, every games works fine and fast)
  15. satchmo

    satchmo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 83

  16. satchmo

    satchmo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 83

    Still not working

    Well, I tried all the potential solutions this morning, and the game still isn't running. But instead of having the blank blue screen (with no message) and rebooting, the game just freezes. I guess that's somewhat more graceful, but then I was forced to do a hard reboot everytime. Ctrl-Alt-Del doesn't do it, and I couldn't get to the Windows Task Manager.

    I tried setting the AGP voltage to 1.6 V, and then to 1.7 V, but the game still freezes. I tried rolling back the Catalyst driver to version 3.4 (from year 2003), but same thing happens. I doubled checked any IRQ conflicts, but there isn't any conflict with the Radeon card.

    The next thing I can try is disabling some of the on-board devices, but I need the audio because I don't have a separate sound card.

    And for some reason, after all these failures, I doubt that's going to help...No more 3D games for me. :hotouch:
  17. tbrunt3

    tbrunt3 TS Rookie Posts: 313

    This is a very odd problem you are having that is usually a good card as well as your motherboard and your CPU dont give up yet on 3d games there has to be something we are missing or you are missing? Follow this suggestion in order..

    One download a new catalysts drivers.. (anything but the 5.0 series) there for the higher end cards

    Remove old catalysts in add and remove programs ATI drivers are very picky had all have to be removed you cannot write over them.. This program here will help
    it is called nasty file remover get it here. run this to remover all your ATI drivers

    Go to registery and remove them too

    Remove the ATI folder from drive "C"

    Reboot computer it will find new hardware cancle it point to new drivers ti install..

    Let us know sounds to me the driver you have now has a problem..
  18. satchmo

    satchmo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 83


    I am glad that someone from techspot refuses to give up on me, even after I've given up myself.

    I'll definitely try that, but I won't keep my hopes up anymore. After all the failed attempts and frustrations, I am pretty skeptical that any solution will ever solve my problem.

    Should I leave fast write off for the AGP BIOS setting?
  19. tbrunt3

    tbrunt3 TS Rookie Posts: 313

    leave fast write off for right now...I would also go as far as a reinstall of the mobo drivers too.. And remember uncheck VPU box..
  20. satchmo

    satchmo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 83

    Messed up

    Great! After messing around with the settings, now my PC just reboots randomly all the time, even when I am just surfing the web or doing any mundane stuff. I've turned my non-gaming machine into a big expensive paper weight now.

    I've rolled back the settings using system restore from win xp and I am done messing with it. At least right now I can use it to surf the net. I don't want to turn it into trash.
  21. satchmo

    satchmo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 83


    I think I might have pissed off the graphics card when I changed the AGP voltage setting. Even after I used System Restore for Windows XP, the computer still rebooted while I was *typing*. Now I can't even use it as a word processor!

    So I've changed the voltage setting back to 1.5 V for AGP from the BIOS. I am not going to change another thing ever again. I don't need another paper weight.
  22. satchmo

    satchmo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 83

    notepad machine

    I just re-checked all the fans with a flashlight, and I can confirm that everything (including the Radeon fan) is working properly.

    I reset the AGP voltage back to 1.5 V on the BIOS (the default), and things have been okay so far. I've been surfing for ten minutes, and nothing crashed (yet).

    At this point, I am not asking for a mean gaming machine anymore. All I want is a computer that can run notepad without crashing.

    That's not asking too much for an Athlon XP with 1 GB of memory, isn't it?
  23. shadow_29

    shadow_29 TS Rookie Posts: 211

    hey satchmo,just read your post.its sad to see someone giving up on a rig with a 9800 and a gig of here are my 2 cents for you-first of all you might want to try 1X/2x speed in bios,turn fast write said you have a 450 w psu,which one??having a high rated psu doesnt ensure a good power supply its brands/qualty is also very important.while i am not asking you to go out and spend a wad of cash on a beefy new psu it should be worth a look.also are you sure there is no memory leak or problem,which brand of ram do you have and also what are your fsb and ram bus speeds running at??you do have the updated gart drivers,do you??

    does your mobo have a bios update from the manufacturers or something.well if all else fails i thnk you need to get your mobo/graphic card checked.isolate the problem to one of these and then get it looked at by the tech support.

    good luck
  24. tbrunt3

    tbrunt3 TS Rookie Posts: 313

    Really dont what else to say ? Execpt take it to a local shop if you have followed all the instructions exactally there should really be no problem what so ever are you 100% positive you have the motherboard drivers in??
  25. PreservedSwine

    PreservedSwine TS Rookie Posts: 325

    If you're at the point of giving up- might as well wipe the hard drive and do a complete fresh install. Save or back-up your vital programs, and re-format that hard-drive. This will cure vurtually any stobboen software glitch in your system. Good luck- you deserve it :knock:
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