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new AGP card causing weird problem.

#1
I recently obtained a Geforce2 MX400 AGP card to replace my old Voodoo Banshee PCI card. I thought I would test it out in Win98 before installing into WinXP.

Got the new card installed okay and running with the latest nVidia drivers but my PC started behaving very strangely. The power to the floppy drive unit became somehow disconnected and the drive would not work. In fact, as far as the rest of the PC is concerned, the floppy drive did not exist!

At first I thought the floppy drive was defective so I tried another one but the problem remained. Then I found myself locked out of Windows. I restarted the machine in safe mode and found the MX400 listed as a standard VGA card. I tried to reinstall the nVidia drivers but was told that there was no MX400 card present!

After removing the MX400 AGP card and reinstalling the old Voodoo Banshee PCI card the floppy drive immediately started to work again and everything else was okay.

It left me wondering if the PSU is defective. Could the use of a faster AGP card that presumably draws more power be causing this problem?

(I am using a Gigabyte GA-7ixe4 M/B with 1 AGP (2x) slot, 5 PCI slots, 2 ISA slots and AMD 751/756 chipset)

Thanks, Alan
 

Alex_is_Axel

.:: FTPAlex ::.
#2
I have a Geforce 2 MX400 and i havent recived any problems like that. I have an AGP 4X and im thinking that the Geforce 2 MX runs on a AGP 4x but im not 100% sure on that.

Have you tried reformatting your comp to see if there was any driver glitches with the card? It could be worth a try although im not really sure whatelse the problem could be. There arnt any other graphix cards enabled on the board are there that could be interfearing?

Hope i have been a little of some help

Sincerly Alex:)

P.S Welcome to the Nvidia Family :)
 
R

rettahc

Guest
#4
what kind. and size is your power supply?
I used to have a Gforce2 mx 400 never had a problem and that was with a generic 300w power supply.
 
#5
If the PSU is too weak the floppy won't be the first thing to go. I really don't think it's a PSU problem.

But I can't think of anything else either... ;)
 
#6
Thanks for the responses.

Before installing the MX400 I took the precaution of cloning my system to another drive so it was easy to reinstate it to exactly how it was before the problem arose. As there was the chance of a bad driver installation I reinstalled the nVidia driver software from scratch but it did not solve the problem.

The PSU is 300W and powers a 900MHz Athlon, 2 x 7200rpm IDE HD's, a few small fans, CDRW, DVD-ROM, modem, soundcard, TV card, USB card and Video card. I could be wrong but I would have thought there would be enough power for this combination?

I checked the documentation of both the MX400 and my M/B. The MX400 is a 2x/4x card and the M/B supports 2x AGP so it looks to be compatible.

I also checked the IRQ/DMA setup and there appears to be no clashes of any significance. The video card is sharing the same IRQ as the USB card and I did try to rearrange the PCI cards
to get the video card on it's own interrupt. This proved to be impossible and the video card always ends up sharing with something.

Any other ideas? (or I may be forced to leave the nVidia family!)

Cheers, Alan
 
#7
300W PSU is enough.
IRQ sharing shouldn't be a problem.
Have you turned off "AGP Fast Writes" in BIOS if there is such an option?
 
#8
I cannot find any reference to AGP Fast Writes in the BIOS. The only thing is "Graphics Aperture Size" which is 64MB by default. I tried increasing this to 128MB but it made no difference.

There is an option to boot the PC using either an AGP or PCI card but beyond that nothing specifically related to AGP other than the graphics aperture size. It got me thinking that whilst the Motherboard (according to the manual) is supposed to be 1x/2x AGP the 2x option does not appear to be specifically selectable. Would it be chosen automatically if a 2x AGP card is plugged in?

With SDRAM set to auto-configure there are some selectable options which are as follows :

DRAM integrity mode : Disabled
Memory Hole : Disabled
DRAM Burst Refresh : Enabled
Graphics Aperture Size : 64 MB

Video Shadowing is turned off to all addresses (C000-DC00) by default. (optimised BIOS settings chosen)

I don't think the system is overheating as the CPU usually operates across the range 34C-39C.

Do you think there is a problem with the AGP slot on the M/B?

Regards,
Alan
 

Gus K

NTFS abuser
#9
I restarted the machine in safe mode and found the MX400 listed as a standard VGA
Is it poperly shown in normal mode?

Well one thing to check is the possibility that the card is bad, it should be properly recognized.

Try installing in another rig and see how it does.
 
#10
After plugging in the MX400 it came up as a standard VGA card. I then "installed" the nVidia detonator drivers from the CD that came with the card and whilst this seemed to work (eventually) the card still came up as a standard VGA adaptor! The installation off the CD was easily the worst/hardest I have ever come across with any video card.

I then downloaded the latest nVidia drivers from their web site and they installed with no problem. At this stage the MX400 was finally recognised by Windows. But as I mentioned in the original post the floppy drive went offline with no power.

I don't think the card is bad because it was working okay in my friend's PC apart from occasionally locking up under heavy graphics load when processing digital video. For everything else it was fine. (His case is badly ventilated and he only has just about enough CPU and memory capacity for digital video so the lockups were not necessarily the fault of the MX400)

Regards,
Alan
 
E

Emeritus

Guest
#11
One thing to check, is make sure you have the newest mb chipset drivers, and also check for any BIOS updates. If possible just try a different PS all together.
 
#12
I installed the latest drivers for the M/B chipset and also flash upgraded the M/B BIOS to the latest one available. This was all done sometime before installing the MX400 card so it seems that the problem is either a faulty PSU or maybe some problem with the AGP slot.

I suppose it could be a BIOS related problem in as much as the speed of the AGP slot is not manually selectable, even though the M/B is supposed to support AGP 2x.

I'm doubtful that it is a PSU problem because I have been running the system for about 12 months with no power-related problems until I changed the video card. A 300W PSU should be able to cope with what I have in the PC including an AGP card.

Regards,
Alan
 

Gus K

NTFS abuser
#13
Hey Allen,

Don't be so quick to assume all is well with the PS. Not all 300w PS's are created equal, and you do have a fairly loaded system.

All the card makers these days talk of proper PS's, as does AMD. There are many 300w that don't make the cut at AMD. When trouble shooting it's best not to take anything for granted. It seems the next step would be to try another PS. Buy one locally that you can return if un-needed.
 

egghead

Double O Egghead
#14
Gus K is right on this one

i have a dozen computers

i put a geforce gts in one and i couldnt get the drivers to work

32bit mode was impossible

after messing around i got it to work

after messing with pulling out the other cards etc

the cd's wouldnt get detected in the bios

i changed the 300 watt ps with a 250 watt model and the compter booted and detected everything with no problems


this is a major cause of headaches for pc users

its worse if you run the power hungry via boards

cheers
egghead
 
#15
Thanks for the information guys.

I am hoping to acquire the temporary use of another AGP card (Voodoo 3/3000) that is known to be working properly in another system. This should tell me if the problem is the video card or the PSU.

I was looking at replacement PSU prices today and it seems I have two options. Go for a cheaper unit or buy a more expensive "heavy duty" one. The cheaper units are available at 300W, 400W and 450W. The 400W unit costs the UK equivalent of about $30.

The heavy duty range starts at around $60 for a 350W "silent" PSU with gold plated connectors. The 400W unit jumps to about $80 so they are not cheap. Not sure what they mean by silent as I have never heard a silent PSU before!

If I have to go to a new PSU what do you recommend?

Thanks, Alan
 

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