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Graphical Conundrum

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  • Graphical Conundrum

    2-3 years ago i built my computer for under $1,000 dollars off of new egg, its getting old and i'm having trouble. Tis the first time i've actually had to ask for helpzors :P

    Processor: Intel Pentium 4, 3.00 GHz with HT (Hyper-Threading)
    Vid Card: Radeon 9800 - AGP 8X - 128 MB memory size - catalyst 7.9
    RAM: 1.5 gigs (1, 1gig strip and 2 512s)
    Sound: On Motherboard

    Now, the problem. in making my comp i sacrificed a little graphical power due to $, and now i have issues. I get a blue screen of death trying to play infernal since i've updated my drivers, and i can't play other steam games i use to play (beyond Mods). My blue screen of death is caused by a ATI driver, ATi3duag.dll . At first i tried to uninstall and reinstall my ATI drivers, when i went to install them from uninstalling it made it thou most of it then said there were old vers of the drivers on the system that needed to be removed thou i thought i had got them all, thus i am unsure if i should try again.

    I tried reinstalling steam too, no effect. Its starting to frustrate me.

    So it may be time for an upgrade, if i do thou i'm gonna try overhauling my system, possibly going Nvida, new motherboard for PCI card, possibly keeping my processer or getting a new one i'm not sure, or ram. So on and so forth.

    I was just wondering if anyone knew what i'm doing wrong or how to fix a wacky ATI card and drivers, if i should downgrade, blah blah. So people, any ideas? :(

  • #2
    Re: Graphical Conundrum

    Did you remove the DAO as well as Catalyst drivers as outlined at

    I wasn't clear on if you had gone back to an older version of the ATI drivers, or you were "reinstalling" the latest drivers.

    Here are some good generic checklist items from AMD/ATI too (apologies for the length, no way I could discern to link the javascript output):

    Crashing and Lockups

    Based on our experience, lockups and hangs issues are usually due to improper system configuration, driver issues, faulty hardware, or a known issue between a given application, driver and hardware in use.

    There are several things you can check:
    Please keep in mind that you may have already done some of the following suggestions and you DO NOT need to try each one.

    1. Please check with your motherboard or PC manufacturer to ensure that you have the latest Chipset driver.

    2. Please check with your motherboard or PC manufacturer to ensure that you have the latest Bios flash.

    3. Ensure that you have installed any patches or updates for the game or application. You will find these on the developer’s website.

    4. Ensure that the latest DirectX version is correctly installed and functioning. For Microsoft’s instructions visit: To access the DirectX Diagnostic Utility do the following:

    * Click Start > Choose Run > type “dxdiag” (without quotes) > Press OK

    Ensure all three (3) DirectX features are enabled:
    From the Display tab, under DirectX Features, ensure that each feature (DirectDraw Acceleration, Direct3D Acceleration, and AGP Acceleration) are enabled.
    Ensure that under Notes it states, “No Problem(s) Detected”.

    Verify that all DirectX files are installed:
    From the DirectX Files tab.
    Ensure that under Notes it states, “No Problem(s) Detected”.
    Try to force a different refresh rate:

    From the More Help tab, click Override.
    Enter an override value that is compatible with both your video card and your monitor.
    Click OK, and then Exit.
    5. Ensure your power supply has the required wattage output for the video card.

    6. For AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) cards ensure:

    Ensure that Fastwrite is disabled in BIOS, and in the SMARTGART section of ATI’s Catalyst Control Center
    Try adjusting the AGP speed from (8X to 4X) (4X to 2X) or vise versa.
    Increase the AGP Aperture in the BIOS. We recommend a 128MB minimum.
    Disable any Shadowing settings in the BIOS.
    Disable any Cache Video BIOS settings in the BIOS.
    7. Ensure that hardware acceleration set to full under the Troubleshoot tab in Display Properties, under advanced

    8. Try turning off write combining in the display properties under advanced then the ATI Troubleshoot tab

    9. Ensure that you have adequate Power

    300 watts for ATI Radeon™ 9700, ATI Radeon™ 9800, ATI Radeon™ X300, ATI Radeon™ X600 and ATI Radeon™ X700.
    350 watts for ATI Radeon™ X800, ATI Radeon™ X850, ATI Radeon™ X1300, and ATI Radeon™ X1600.
    ATI Radeon™ X1800, ATI Radeon™ X1900, ATI Radeon™ X1950 require special power supply:
    450 Watt capacity with 30A on a +/- 12 volt rail (connection) for single graphics configuration.
    550 Watt capacity with 38A on a +/- 12 volt rail (connection) for dual graphics configuration for Crossfire (for a list of certified power supplies click here).
    10. Ensure that your computer case has good air circulation.

    11. Check the system memory (RAM) for errors. A link from Microsoft will help you test your memory:

    12. If you have multiple memory sticks in your computer, swap the memory sticks or try one at a time

    13. Empty the Windows temporary folder, follow these steps:

    Click Start, click Run, type %temp% in the Open box, and then click OK.
    On the Edit menu, click Select All.
    On the File menu, click Delete.
    Click Yes when you receive the following message: Are you sure you want to send these items to the Recycle Bin?
    14. Restart your computer by using a clean boot procedure:

    Note: You may experience a temporary loss of some services functionality when you follow these steps. Restoring the settings restores the functionality, but may result in the return of the original error message or behavior.

    Click Start, and then click Run.
    Type “Msconfig” (without Quotes)
    Click On the General tab.
    Click Selective Startup.
    Under Startup tab, click to clear "Load Startup Items"
    On the Services tab, click to select the Hide All Microsoft Services check box, and then click Disable All.
    Click APPLY, and then click Restart. Test the computer
    NOTE: To return your system to a normal startup, start the MSCONFIG utility again and on the General Tab, click "Normal Startup" and apply the settings.

    15. Disable a file or service using the System Configuration Utility

    Click Start, and then click Run.
    Type “Msconfig” (without Quotes), Click OK.
    Click Selective Startup and clear the Load System Services check box.
    Click OK.
    Restart your computer, and see if the problem persists.

    16. Adjust graphics hardware acceleration:

    Click Start, point to Settings.
    Click Control Panel.
    Double-click Display.
    On the Settings tab, click Advanced.
    Click the Troubleshoot tab.
    Move the Hardware Acceleration slider two notches to the left of Full (the Disable all cursor and advanced drawing accelerations setting).
    Click OK, and then click OK again.
    Test the computer
    17. Try the video card in another computer or another video card in your Computer.

    If your video card works in another Computer, then the video card is good and you should check your computer for the cause of the issue.
    If another video card exhibits the same behavior then the video card is good and you should check your computer for the cause of the issue.
    If your video card exhibits the same behavior in another computer then the card is defective.
    If the other video card works fine in your computer, then your video card is defective
    If the card is proven to be defective then the issue that you are facing can only be resolved by a repairing your video card. Please apply for an RMA for your video card so that you can get a replacement for it.

    Please note for an RMA authorization you need to have a “Built by ATI/AMD” product bought in a Shrink-wrapped box and your product must be under warranty. If you have a “Graphics by ATI/AMD” or “Powered by ATI/AMD” product, please contact the respective manufacturer of your video card. If your video card came with your computer system please contact your respective computer manufacturer in order to get your video card replaced.

    If the card is a "Built by ATI/AMD" product you can apply for an RMA as follow:

    Read the terms and conditions
    Scroll to the end of the page, and click on "Online Returns Materials Authorization (RMA) Form".
    Fill out the form and submit it.
    Please wait for a reply containing details to the RMA and the shipping instructions.
    The response may take up to 48 hours.


    • #3
      Re: Graphical Conundrum

      All those seem more like lets take a shot in the dark to find the problem :P, I've talked to other peps too, i haven't cleaned out my comp in a while so gonna try that first.

      I went to the new drivers again, I already followed those steps but i don't have a DAO, i've looked its not there. as for bios and chipset drivers never caused me problems before, only recently did this start happening.

      Oh yea, and i did test direct 3d draw and 2d via dxdiag before posting, all green.


      • #4
        Re: Graphical Conundrum

        When all else fails, reformat.

        When that fails, sacrifice a chicken.

        When *that* fails...

        eat the chicken and buy a new computor.
        Former TGNS admin until WoW blinded me with flashy lights.


        • #5
          Re: Graphical Conundrum

          Shot in the dark is better than no shot at all. Those are just basic troubleshooting steps to narrow down the scope of the problem. I agree, they can be tedious.

          You may want to go back to the old drivers if possible. Outside of that, I'd start Googling.


          • #6
            Re: Graphical Conundrum

            I'm about to roll back to 7.0 or .1. I've gotten the blue screen a few times lately. Never happened before.


            • #7
              Re: Graphical Conundrum

              I think its the new Driectx drivers, that were updated this agust (last month) they don't seem to agree with cata 7.9 or any cata. I googled before i asked so i didn't find anything there...

              FOund flash update for my bios, thinking about updating it but actualy just thinking about upgrading to one of these.



              • #8
                Re: Graphical Conundrum

                Hmm, I'm running an ATI Fire/GL 2.0 256mb dedicated (laptop) with the most recent Catalyst drivers and I haven't had any problems with it.
                :) All but two is one!:)




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