Spectacular Video Card Crash

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KazzTawdal

Spectacular Video Card Crash

Postby KazzTawdal » Sat Sep 30, 2006 2:13 am

My lord, are these forums slow.

Anyway.

I have a rather spectacular crash going on.

About 5-10 minutes into gameplay (all of which seems perfectly normal), everything on screen goes insane. It starts with a few slight glitches (both inside and outside the Defcon window) that look like this:

Image

Then, within seconds, it turns into this:

Image

And about a split second after this, the system reboots itself.

The only reason that it didn't this time is that I had my fingers poised over Alt-F4. Closing Defcon before it crashes fixes the entire system.

I've got a 2.8 GHz Pentium 4, 512 mb of RAM, and an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro with 256mb video RAM.

Any other 2D or 3D game I play, including Half-Life 2, runs like a top. For some reason, my system chokes and dies on Defcon.

I was having a heat problem earlier in the day, which caused my system to crash when I ran dxdiag tests, but once I let my computer cool down and cleaned the dust out, all the tests ran smoothly.

I've reinstalled Defcon. I've tried fullscreen mode and windowed mode. I've tried different detail and resolution settings. I've tried having no other programs running. I've updated my ATI video driver (Catalyst, ati2dvag.dll, version 6.14.0010.6635), I've updated DirectX, I've run dxdiag countless times and it always works, I've taken out and put back in the video card twice, I've let the computer rest for hours in case it was tired and needed a nap (note that the computer was off for about 8 hours before I turned it on for Defcon's release), and frankly, I am at a loss as to what to do.

This is the only game that my video card has a problem with. Do other people's ATI Radeons run the game? I assume so. I'd be very surprised if nobody had a Radeon 9000 Series during beta testing.

I have no idea what the problem is. But at the moment, my game is unplayable. Please help.
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Re: Spectacular Video Card Crash

Postby Steven » Sat Sep 30, 2006 2:55 am

KazzTawdal wrote:My lord, are these forums slow.

They weren't until Defcon's release! ;)

KazzTawdal wrote:Anyway.

I have a rather spectacular crash going on.

About 5-10 minutes into gameplay (all of which seems perfectly normal), everything on screen goes insane. It starts with a few slight glitches (both inside and outside the Defcon window) that look like this:

| image |

Then, within seconds, it turns into this:

| image |

And about a split second after this, the system reboots itself.

The only reason that it didn't this time is that I had my fingers poised over Alt-F4. Closing Defcon before it crashes fixes the entire system.

I've got a 2.8 GHz Pentium 4, 512 mb of RAM, and an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro with 256mb video RAM.

Any other 2D or 3D game I play, including Half-Life 2, runs like a top. For some reason, my system chokes and dies on Defcon.

I was having a heat problem earlier in the day, which caused my system to crash when I ran dxdiag tests, but once I let my computer cool down and cleaned the dust out, all the tests ran smoothly.

I've reinstalled Defcon. I've tried fullscreen mode and windowed mode. I've tried different detail and resolution settings. I've tried having no other programs running. I've updated my ATI video driver (Catalyst, ati2dvag.dll, version 6.14.0010.6635), I've updated DirectX, I've run dxdiag countless times and it always works, I've taken out and put back in the video card twice, I've let the computer rest for hours in case it was tired and needed a nap (note that the computer was off for about 8 hours before I turned it on for Defcon's release), and frankly, I am at a loss as to what to do.

This is the only game that my video card has a problem with. Do other people's ATI Radeons run the game? I assume so. I'd be very surprised if nobody had a Radeon 9000 Series during beta testing.

I have no idea what the problem is. But at the moment, my game is unplayable. Please help.

To me, this sounds like a hosed Windows install. Why? Because your problem is otherwise inexplicable. Such is the problem with Windows, unfortunately. I am not going to say you should format your machine, because that would be drastic, and probably unnecessary.

Another possibility is overheating, but other than that...

You do seem to know your stuff and you seem to have tried all the usual troubleshooting tactics. The best I can recommend is one-on-one troubleshooting. And I don't believe that I'm currently allowed to do so, unless the directors give me permission to leave my Linux Defcon development realm and try my hand at something like this.
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Postby NeoThermic » Sat Sep 30, 2006 3:06 am

I run with a 9600 Pro, and never saw this kind of issue. Are you perchance overclocking anything? Could the graphics card be overheating? What does windows say about forcing the reboot?

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Postby Kazz » Sat Sep 30, 2006 3:15 am

I can't imagine that Defcon is making the graphics card overheat. Effect-heavy FPSes like Half-Life 2 and VRAM-hogs like Civilization 4 never crashed my computer, but Defcon does.

I'm not overclocking anything.

Windows XP doesn't say anything about the reboot. The graphics slowly glitch up, then the lines start appearing and multiplying until the screen fills up, and then the screen goes black and the system reboots. No error message, no BSOD, no anything.

I would completely believe that my Windows XP install is somehow boned. I'm not against doing a reinstall.

Hell, I'd piss on a spark plug if I thought it'd do any good!
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Postby NeoThermic » Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:03 am

Kazz wrote:Hell, I'd piss on a spark plug if I thought it'd do any good!


From experence, never piss on anything that is carrying electricity ;)

Kazz wrote:I can't imagine that Defcon is making the graphics card overheat. Effect-heavy FPSes like Half-Life 2 and VRAM-hogs like Civilization 4 never crashed my computer, but Defcon does.


At a guess, it sounds like OpenGL issues. The aformentioned games do not use OpenGL, but defcon does.


Kazz wrote:I would completely believe that my Windows XP install is somehow boned. I'm not against doing a reinstall.


If it isn't too painfull to do one, can you try and report back any success?

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Postby Kazz » Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:36 am

NeoThermic wrote:
Kazz wrote:I can't imagine that Defcon is making the graphics card overheat. Effect-heavy FPSes like Half-Life 2 and VRAM-hogs like Civilization 4 never crashed my computer, but Defcon does.


At a guess, it sounds like OpenGL issues. The aformentioned games do not use OpenGL, but defcon does.


You got it. Brilliant.

I just downloaded an OpenGL benchmark program and, after letting it run for several minutes, it started giving the same exact effect that Defcon did. The animations were messing up, the monitor was printing bizarre colored lines in random spots... exact same symptoms. Fantastic. Excellent suggestion, thank you very much.

Now. What do I do to make OpenGL work on my machine?
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Postby Steven » Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:37 am

I vote corrupt graphics drivers or mauled windows install.
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Postby rastamahata » Sat Sep 30, 2006 5:07 am

update your graphic drivers OR
revert to the last revision of the previous version of your graphic drivers, as in the most stable ones of the previous version.
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Postby Kazz » Sat Sep 30, 2006 6:41 am

I uninstalled and reinstalled my graphics drivers again, but it didn't help.

I'll have to find my Windows XP CDs if I'm going to do a reinstall.

Is there any other way to get OpenGL to work that doesn't involve reinstalling XP?
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Postby Steven » Sat Sep 30, 2006 7:10 am

Considering I've never seen OpenGL do that, we're in no-man's-land. Reformatting (not just repairing/reinstalling) is probably your best bet. Be sure to back stuff up.
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Postby Kazz » Sat Sep 30, 2006 8:03 am

Sigh...

Good thing I finally got around to installing that CD burner.

And this hard drive was really getting too cluttered anyhow.

I just wish there was another way.

(by the by, in the time between my last post and this one, I have tried all sorts of gymnastics with drivers, and absolutely nothing came of any of it.)
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Postby Kazz » Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:02 am

I'm about at the end of my rope here.

I formatted my hard drive, deleting everything. I reinstalled Windows XP. Everything I had is gone, everything on my HD is fresh and new.

The game still does the exact same thing.

The only conclusion I can reach is that my ATI Radeon 9800 Pro itself is somehow damaged and will not run OpenGL. It can't be corrupted drivers or anything like that because absolutely nothing remains of my old HD.

So now I need to replace my video card, even though it runs absolutely everything else flawlessly.

I'm just absolutely floored that reinstalling XP did not work. I just lost about 70 gigs of stuff for no reason.
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Postby Steven » Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:28 am

There was always the chance that could happen. I'd be interested in helping you fix the problem one on one, because it sounds like a rather serious (if isolated) problem.

Contact me via private message with your IM information (I use Skype, MSN, AIM, Yahoo, ICQ), and I'll take a look at your machine remotely if you have the time and are willing to let me do so.
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Postby Mizer » Sun Oct 01, 2006 2:45 am

If you have a specific issue like this, it is really not a good idea to do a reinstall. You would have been better off concentrating on what you knew, that there was a problem with OpenGL and your graphics card. If using a driver cleaner and trying first an old version of the ATI drivers, then cleaning and using a new version didn't work, then it's a fair bet that the card has had it. However it might be worth looking and seeing if your motherboard has any problems with 9800 pros, or opengl.

Ultimately the best thing you could do is to either try your card in someone else's computer, or try their card in your computer. With my experience of graphics cards dying I would suggest that the RAM has become faulty, or perhaps always been faulty and has only now been exposed by OpenGL. I can't see it being a software issue, as as you've said, you've got a fresh install.

Overall, not too hopeful. What you could try is opening up your case and trying to get some extra airflow over your card to see whether something is causing it to overheat.
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Postby Steven » Sun Oct 01, 2006 3:05 am

Mizer wrote:If you have a specific issue like this, it is really not a good idea to do a reinstall. You would have been better off concentrating on what you knew, that there was a problem with OpenGL and your graphics card. If using a driver cleaner and trying first an old version of the ATI drivers, then cleaning and using a new version didn't work, then it's a fair bet that the card has had it. However it might be worth looking and seeing if your motherboard has any problems with 9800 pros, or opengl.

Ultimately the best thing you could do is to either try your card in someone else's computer, or try their card in your computer. With my experience of graphics cards dying I would suggest that the RAM has become faulty, or perhaps always been faulty and has only now been exposed by OpenGL. I can't see it being a software issue, as as you've said, you've got a fresh install.

Overall, not too hopeful. What you could try is opening up your case and trying to get some extra airflow over your card to see whether something is causing it to overheat.

Moreover, what does matter is that we've eliminated several other possible problems: other software interfering, corrupt windows installation, etc. A full reformat is drastic, I agree. I didn't initially recommend it either, but now we can be sure his problem is not related to several other possible problems.

The remaining possibilities are few, including defective hardware. This can be determined whenever he communicates with me (at which point I will help troubleshoot thoroughly).

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