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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    I thought I was a Windows expert, but I have been stumped. One of my home computers has XP Media Center on it. The video card is an ATI x300 series on PCI-e. OS is fully patched and SP3 (32bit). It has been working fine for years (Pentium D processor). Now things have started to go bad. About 4 months ago, the system started locking up when 3-D screen savers were used. The problem does not occur if a simple 2D screen saver is used. I upgraded the ATI driver from an older 8.6 to a more recent 9.6 version, and it seemed to fix. Then within the last month, after the last set of Windows Patches, the system locks up more regularly, when movies are viewed. Lock ups are always the same, where the screen will start to get digital garbage on icons and graphics, and then fully go dark with a hard lock of the system. Only a power cycle will restore it. XP finds no errors on reboot, and there is nothing in the logs (hard lock). Removing the video drivers, and reinstalling (even latest) have no effect. So, I figure it is hardware. However, this system also has Vista installed on a second drive. In Vista, there are no errors, and I can watch 2 or 3 movies (different players) at the same time, with no problem. Ergo, it must be software. My wife is the primary user of this machine, and does not like Vista or Win7, so I want to avoid moving up if I can. Another alternative is to get a newer graphics card, that is XP - 7 compatible; but this will cause me to use my 3rd Vista install due to hardware change.

    Like I said, this is a tough one...

  2. #2
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    The easiest is to run Vista. You just have to persuade "she who must be obeyed" that Vista is better than lock-ups.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I'm wondering if perhaps the hdd is having some problems in the partition containing XP. I would suspect the XP partition is original and the Vista partition is dual booted at a later date. I have also seen very strange problems related to Bios battery getting low, and power supply problems. The Bios battery is a quick, easy fix. Checking power supply voltages involves a 3rd party app such as this. I am not sure if an updated app is available but someone should know.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Actually, on this test, I found video garbage occurring in Vista. So, it has to be hardware. Opened the box, and found it encrusted in dust. Video card was not dirty, but processor and power supply had an obstructive amount of dust. I only had it opened up 6 months ago. Cleaned it out, and reseated the card. So far so good. No signs of recurrence yet.

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tumble Weed View Post
    Actually, on this test, I found video garbage occurring in Vista. So, it has to be hardware. Opened the box, and found it encrusted in dust. Video card was not dirty, but processor and power supply had an obstructive amount of dust. I only had it opened up 6 months ago. Cleaned it out, and reseated the card. So far so good. No signs of recurrence yet.
    You know I was thinking perhaps a heat problem, but had some cerebral flatulence and forgot to mention it. Glad you found it to be the case. These inexpensive or no cost fixes are always best. A blocked PS or CPU fan can cause overheating that could definitely change PS voltages to a point to cause strange problems, and the fix is much less expensive than a new PS.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

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