Graphics Card Problem

Apparently my graphics card is acting up. Guild Wars has been crashing lately, usually when a lot of shit is happening on-screen. An error message told me that my graphics card was to blame, so I updated my card’s drivers. The driver install last night did not go successfully for some reason. It froze in the middle of the installation. Files were downloaded all right, though. I had to cancel the installation, because the thing wouldn’t finish.

This evening, the bloody computer went into this horrible restart loop and it wouldn’t let me start up normally. The sounds that the computer makes when it’s trying to start up, and can’t do it in Normal Mode, just put the fear in me.

Anyway, in Safe Mode, I uninstalled the driver, and reinstalled it. I’m no longer in Safe Mode, so that all seems okay. However the thing crashed again (randomly restarted) and I wasn’t playing a game. I had FireFox open, WinAmp was playing a song, and MSN Messenger was up with two chat windows. The computer didn’t make me go into Safe Mode after restarting, though.

Then a little while later, I decided to test my luck with Guild Wars. This time, the card just stopped responding (said the error window), though I wasn’t doing anything complex. I was just standing in Bergen Hot Springs (a town in Guild Wars) and configuring my Skills. The screen went black, though I could still hear things. I minimised the Guild Wars screen, and everything else was okay. ATI’s Catalyst Control Center automatically opened this error reporting thing, so I guess it really must be the graphics card. At least the computer didn’t fully restart.

Yargh. My computer friend said earlier that perhaps my problem might be overheating or RAM. How do I know if this card is overheating or not? I can’t very well touch it and be like, “Oh yeah. It’s too hot, all right!” And if it’s RAM? Tomorrow night I’ll have a look around the internets for information. I managed to troubleshoot a problem last summer (practically) all on my own. The aforementioned computer friend was really impressed with me, in fact. Maybe I can do this as well.

I hope I get this fixed soon, because I really want to finish the “A Very Grentchie Wintesday” quest before the Wintersday content goes away. I might just be able to do it if I have one of my friends to help me get to the Temple of Ages.

  3 comments for “Graphics Card Problem

  1. 5 January 2006 at 23:16

    Not sure on the absolute best program for monitoring internal temperatures (although it’ll often show temperature info on the BIOS screens), but for detecting memory problems, try this:

    http://www.memtest86.com/

    Worked for me when one of my memory sticks died a while ago. It’s free.

  2. 6 January 2006 at 08:14

    Might be worth borrowing a video card from someone, if you have a trustworthy friend. Does your mobo have built-in video that you could use to test if that’s the problem?

  3. 6 January 2006 at 10:12

    It sounds like your video card is overheating to me. You might need to remove the heatsink/fan off the VPU, clean it off good, then put some new thermal paste on it, then reattach the heatsink/fan. You should also check to see if the fan is working. Make sure the video card is clean and not a lot of dust all over it. If none of that helps I’d suggest upgrading your video card, sometimes that’s easier than trying to fix an older card like that.

    When applying thermal paste you should just put a small tiny drop then spread it over the chip with your finger, don’t just dump gobs on it.

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