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Thread: Crazy Graphics Card Issues - Resolution

  1. #1
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    Default Crazy Graphics Card Issues - Resolution

    Before I even go through the issue I am having, want to relate that the first Virge DX Card I mention here was installed on this same PC for a while with a Voodoo1. I had removed it and the Voodoo to put the Voodoo in another machine.

    I have two 4 MB Cardex S3 Virge DX cards. Both are doing the same thing on my Penium 166 PC running Windows 95 OSR2. Initially I went to reinstall the S3 Card in my existing Windows build (that had the S3 and Voodoo in it before they were removed and an ATI Rage II+ DVD was installed), installed the same drivers I had used previously. Upon reboot the PC logged into Windows and the card seemed fine. After moving around a little bit at 1024x768 (the same resolution I had this card at when it was paired with the Voodoo) the computer locks up / freezes. Subsequent reboots and Windows locks immediately as its about to prompt for Network Login. I removed and re-added the drivers, tried other drivers, no luck.

    I completely rebuilt and reinstalled Windows to the same hardware / motherboard / HDD (CF Card in an IDE Adapter) / etc. and the same issue happened once I installed the S3 Drivers. I removed the card and drivers and reinstalled with a second S3 Virge DX Cardex card with 4 MB memory and the same damn thing happened again.

    I had added a CT1740 SB 16 ISA Card with a Waveblaster attachment to the PC when I was reinstalling the S3 Card at the start of this, but even removing the SB Card from Windows, shutting it down, pulling the card out and booting Windows up again sees the same issues.

    I can boot into Safe Mode with no issues each time with the S3 card installed and with or without the SB Card. That is how I was able to completely remove the SB Card and test without it thinking it was an issue, but it didnt seem to make a difference...

    Anyone have any ideas what the F&&K is going on here? A complete reinstall didnt help! I did have the SB card in the machine during the Windows OS install, but never installed any drivers or setup files for it as I wanted to do that once the S3 Card was done. Windows did install some SB stuff when it saw the card on the first and second card installs, but I went into Safe Mode both times and removed it all, shut down the PC and then pulled the SB Card out as well as removing the S3 Card from Device Manager again. Booted back up and as soon as the S3 Drivers are installed (various versions) the system wants to reboot. You login and it will lock within 30 seconds of moving around and any reboots afterward lock at the start of the Network Login prompt. So to me, that took the SB card out of the equation. Maybe I am wrong?

    Also..

    Its happening on two Virge DX 4 MB Cards, Virge 325 Card and a Trio64V+ with 4 MB in it.....

    When this card was in the system with a Voodoo1 it was fine at 1024x768 at 16-Bit Colors

    Now it will go to 1024x768 with 256 Colors for a while, then freeze, but wont go to anything with 16-Bit Colors....800x600 with 256 colors seems fine.....its the same across the board for the other cards..

    Have tried about 5 different driver packages for the VIrge DX as well as Cardex's actual drivers for the card....
    "In Life, The Days Are Long But The Years Are Short..."

  2. #2
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    These things can be so thorny. Have you tried putting the Rage Pro back in to see if the same issues (or other weird behaviors) occur? Are these cards PCI or AGP, and which type is the motherboard (if it has AGP) set to initialize first? I would be tempted to reset the motherboard's CMOS in anycase.

    Edit: I just saw your want-ad for a motherboard. I am still curious about the ATi card, but I'm sure you have tried resetting CMOS already.
    Last edited by fatwizard; December 4th, 2017 at 07:52 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fatwizard View Post
    These things can be so thorny. Have you tried putting the Rage Pro back in to see if the same issues (or other weird behaviors) occur? Are these cards PCI or AGP, and which type is the motherboard (if it has AGP) set to initialize first? I would be tempted to reset the motherboard's CMOS in anycase.
    What I would do for openers is temporarily install a basic VGA card and remove all of the previous drivers. You'll want to ensure that the resolution is rolled back too, then see if you can get a good boot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smack2k View Post
    I completely rebuilt and reinstalled Windows to the same hardware / motherboard / HDD (CF Card in an IDE Adapter) / etc. and the same issue happened once I installed the S3 Drivers. I removed the card and drivers and reinstalled with a second S3 Virge DX Cardex card with 4 MB memory and the same damn thing happened again.
    I was thinking this measure would accomplish a clean driver install.

  5. #5

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    I had a similar problem back in the day with a Riva TNT card. Would run fine the basic VGA driver or in safe mode, crash once the driver was installed. Turned out to be an IRQ conflict with my IDE controller.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fatwizard View Post
    These things can be so thorny. Have you tried putting the Rage Pro back in to see if the same issues (or other weird behaviors) occur? Are these cards PCI or AGP, and which type is the motherboard (if it has AGP) set to initialize first? I would be tempted to reset the motherboard's CMOS in anycase.

    Edit: I just saw your want-ad for a motherboard. I am still curious about the ATi card, but I'm sure you have tried resetting CMOS already.
    Actually, I have not resets the CMOS...been so frustrated with the drivers and trying multiple cards and other fixes that the idea escaped me!!

    I can toss the ATI Card back in as well and see what it does....in terms of drivers though, I completely removed all the S3 Drivers added, rebooted and didnt install any drivers when WIndows loaded. System is fine, I can do whatever I want. Reboots, software installs, etc. Add the drivers and boom, issues are back.

    If the CMOS reset works, I am gonna kick myself for being so frustrated that the idea never hit me!!
    "In Life, The Days Are Long But The Years Are Short..."

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    Have you tried another power supply, and have you checked the capacitors on the motherboard?

    I've had similar bizarre instances of random peripherals causing system instability with and without proper drivers, and after much hair pulling and swearing, it turned out to be either a bad power supply or bad capacitors on the motherboard.

    Whenever I encounter such strange issues now, I'll immediately switch to a known good power supply to rule that out first. Pentium era boards are now 20-25 years old and capacitors drying up or going high ESR is a problem.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiGaBiTe View Post
    Have you tried another power supply, and have you checked the capacitors on the motherboard?

    I've had similar bizarre instances of random peripherals causing system instability with and without proper drivers, and after much hair pulling and swearing, it turned out to be either a bad power supply or bad capacitors on the motherboard.

    Whenever I encounter such strange issues now, I'll immediately switch to a known good power supply to rule that out first. Pentium era boards are now 20-25 years old and capacitors drying up or going high ESR is a problem.
    I concur, and I would add keyboards to that list. I have had some of the strangest symtoms that ended up being caused by a tweeky keyboard.

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    I can definately give both of those a look (caps on the board and power supply) but they seemed fine on a quick inspection...

    I know the keyboard is good as it is used on many machines when hooked up to a KVM and has caused no issues.
    "In Life, The Days Are Long But The Years Are Short..."

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smack2k View Post
    I can definately give both of those a look (caps on the board and power supply) but they seemed fine on a quick inspection...

    I know the keyboard is good as it is used on many machines when hooked up to a KVM and has caused no issues.
    Bad capacitors don't always show physical signs of failure, they can look perfectly fine, but have a number of issues.

    They could be shorted open or closed, have high ESR or gone electrically leaky where they start passing DC current. The last fault doesn't have an explicit test on a LCR meter, but you can tell if a capacitor has gone electrically leaky if you get insane capacitance values. I've had a few bad capacitors that registered sometimes 500% outside of their capacitance range.

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