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Graphics corruption during CoH...advice?
Old
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recrooks
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Videocard: Nvidia FX 5950 U 256MB
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Default Graphics corruption during CoH...advice? - 10-04-2004, 03:36 | posts: 9

I've put my system specs in my profile, so that should help. I'm running a FX 5950 Ultra 256MB with the latest drivers from NVidia (61.77), though I've tried several releases prior. The problem is as follows:

During the game (sometimes), the screen becomes corrupted with 100's of little green dots (some are roughly a pixel in size, others are larger (rectangular, and always larger in the vertical), though still "small". They always form a pattern of sorts, like a checkerboard effect with lots of little dots forming the checkerboards. Now, it gets weird. Sometimes, they appear and then disappear seconds to minutes later, and never return. Sometimes, they appear, get worse, and then crash City of Heroes (CoH). Sometimes, they appear and cause the blue screen of death. Sometimes, they never appear at all. If I get the corruption, it usually occurs fairly quickly after starting the game, but not 100% of the time.

I've reported this problem as a bug, but I've never received feedback from them. I don't have another Nvidia card to try, and I don't want to put in my ATI since it won't help me isolate the problem if it's driver related. I just downloaded the 66.81 drivers from 3D Guru a minute ago, and will try them out. I'm scared because the more I read (from Nvidia's site, and others), the more it seems to be telling me the card is going bad. I just don't believe this because it ONLY happens in CoH. Until yesterday, once CoH died (either on it's own, or by me killing the process after a game lockup), everything was fine. Today, though, the corruption "spilled" over to Windows, with about 10 "dots" remaining on the task bar at the bottom. If I moused over them or caused the screen to refresh, they disappeared and never returned.

I'd appreciate any help anyone can offer. I'll try and post a screen capture later, since you have to see it to really understand what I'm talking about. Also, if I get another blue screen, I'll write down the error code.

- RC

PS: One last thing I remembered. Once the corruption occurs and the game dies (and autosubmits an error report), if I try and restart the game, it says my video card doesn't support several OpenGL features, which it really does. I'm not sure if the game is failing to detect something, the card is really going out, or something else is occurring. I hope this helps someone. :-)

PPS: Two last things...and I love the edit feature! First, this only started within the last month, and has slowly become "worse". It was bad initially, then it seemed to stop, and now it's back with a fury. Finally, I am running DX 9c and SP2. I was running SP2 RC2 for awhile, and it never happened. I think it started before SP2, but I can't truly remember. I know it didn't happen immediately after SP2... Thanks again!!!

Last edited by recrooks; 10-04-2004 at 03:39.
   
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Denial
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Default 10-04-2004, 04:56 | posts: 7,125 | Location: Above Earth in a Big Rocket Ship

acctually i want you to try the ATI card, my friend has the same problem with a FX5950 i think it might acctually be game related, not sure.
   
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recrooks
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Default 10-04-2004, 07:17 | posts: 9

I'll try the ATI card for you. :-) The reason I didn't want to is that it won't really tell me anything. If it works, it could be the 5950, or the Nvidia drivers, or CoH issues with Nvidia. If it fails (and the same thing happens), it could be CoH or my motherboard. I guess failing might help, but it won't make me feel any better! ;-)

One final note. I tried the newest drivers from Guru3D (the 66.81, I believe). The first time I started the game, it really messed up after about 1 minute. The layers of the game started turning on and off rapidly (about 1 second intervals), then Windows (Visual C++) debugger gave me an error (first time this has ever happened!) and CoH shut down. Windows was normal, so I turned on CoH again without a reboot. I then played for a few hours without problems. It flashed a few times, but quickly returned to normal. After logging from the game, my Windows screen was missing every icon from the desktop and quick launch bar. All the text is there, but no icons. A refresh fails to work. Honestly, the only time I've seen this happen is with XP SP2 RC2, when the final SP2 started trying to install it's "pre-install" software. Hmmm, could it be Microsoft after all? I still don't believe so.

- RC

PS: Pictures coming soon, if it starts to lock up again...

PPS: Thanks for the info about the 5950 failure! It makes me feel better knowning that I'm not alone. I'll head over to Nvidia and CoH to see what havok I can start...

Last edited by recrooks; 10-04-2004 at 07:21.
   
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Chrishk
 
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Default 10-04-2004, 07:23 | posts: n/a

Man that must be infuriating!! 'specially on a MMORPG

I'l wait for ur post 'bout the ATI card - This is one uber wierd problem.

PS
*What server you Heroing on ?*
   
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CoH support initiated
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recrooks
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Default CoH support initiated - 10-04-2004, 21:48 | posts: 9

Ok, I'm holding off temporarily with the ATI card swap. I submitted yet another problem report, and this time they elevated it up the chain. I've submitted my DXDiag test results (with everything passing), and they told me to remove the drivers, use Driver Cleaner, and reinstall the drivers. Right before they suggested this, I had, in fact, done that. I uninstalled my NVidia drivers, rebooted into safe mode, then initiated a CAB Cleaner run on my drivers.cab, sp1.cab, and sp2.cab files. When they finished, I ran Driver Cleaner for the NVidia. I then rebooted, installed 68.81 drivers from Guru3D, and kicked off the game. I played for several hours without any problem showing up...until my final mission before lunch. Inside those awful caves fighting CoT, I was about to rescue the Fortune Teller when it hit again. Within 2 seconds, the screen corrupted and locked up the game. My Microsoft Visual C++ debugger then reported that CoH had caused an error (yeah, BIG help there!). I clicked Ok, manually killed the CoH service, and immediately relaunched CoH. It started with no problems (or errors saying my card doesn't support several OpenGL calls). I finished the mission, got my badge, and logged so I could update my report on the problem. They haven't replied yet, and I've jumped on for 10-15 minutes again without any problems. I think that I'm seeing the debugger catch the error because CoH is having fits with something, thus causing the video corruption and subsequent lock-ups. I'll let you know what they say, and then I'll use my ATI card and post the results. Thanks!

- RC

PS: I'm on Infinity! :-)
   
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And the bug continues...
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recrooks
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Default And the bug continues... - 10-05-2004, 01:42 | posts: 9

Ok, the technical support staff is still trying things. The latest gaming earned me yet another hard crash. Here's the message:

Microsoft Visual C++ Runtime Library

Runtime Error!

Program E:\Program Files\City of Heroes\CityofHeroes.exe

abnormal program termination

Ok, that's about as useful to me as having my CPU crash. I'll keep looking into this. Since I never saw this bug prior to installing the ForceWare 66.81 drivers, I might uninstall them and try the original NVidia 61.72 drivers on their website. Of course, if I do this, I will use DriverClean and make sure everything is ok. Off to read the NVidia driver forum now!

- RC
   
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Default 10-05-2004, 04:42 | posts: n/a

I'm stumped - but I hope u get that puppy up & running
Keep posting the results of their tech support advice - always wondered about the efficiency of support I mean out of 170K odd active acc's they must have some uber problems an if they dont get solved right away.......

Ps. "Playing for several hours before lunch" he? - Lucky bastard!

Ps Ps - I'm on Infinity 2
   
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Answers???
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recrooks
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Default Answers??? - 10-06-2004, 08:12 | posts: 9

Ok, tech support finally gave me something to chew on. I submitted an EVEREST system report of my computer at their request. I reset my drivers to the 61.77 version of Detonator drivers on the NVidia website. I sent them a picture of the corruption (though it was minor corruption that "quickly" disappeared without a lockup). They replied back the following:

"Thank you for sending us the Everest report. The problem you are describing actually sounds similar to a known issue that can occur with either the AGP speed being set too high or with the video RAM overheating. If your video card is overclocked at all, I would highly recommend turning it back down to the default clock rate. Also try checking the properties of your video card and change the AGP Speed setting from 8x to 4x. If the option to do so is not in the properties, then you may need to do this through the BIOS. Also make sure you disable Fast Writes if at all possible. If you are still experiencing problems after this then please let us know."

I do not overclock my card, and the temperature reading (via the properties window for the card) shows it to be well under the "danger zone" (typically runs 40-43 degrees, with the danger level at 140 degrees). My computer setup is in a self-A/Ced room set to 70, and it stays very cool. That, and I have 5 cooling fans running, plus the 5950 fan and the processor fan. My processor rarely gets over 110 degrees after major computing for the entire day.

Ok, now the fun part. My AGP port can not be changed in the BIOS or anything I can find using NVidia settings. The Fast Write can't be disabled any way that I have found, either. I've seen a website that talked about registry editing to disable fast write, and I searched through it for a AGPFW string that seems to be associated with the Fast Write setting...but found none.

Any ideas on how to change my AGP port speed? I have an Intel D875PBZ with Intel's P27 BIOS. I have that 5950 Ultra. But...and this is the "good news", I played CoH for a few hours tonight and never once saw the corruption! Ah, the power of unexplainable success!

EDIT: I just found and installed PowerStrip, which can set both the Fast Write and AGP bus speed in my NVidia card bios. I haven't changed anything yet, but I'll try various options as lock-ups occur and let everyone know. Thanks for your patience!

Last edited by recrooks; 10-06-2004 at 19:57.
   
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recrooks
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Default 10-09-2004, 16:28 | posts: 9

Ok, everything ran great until yesterday. Once it started going south, I tried running the card at 8x with Fast Write disabled, at 4x with FW enabled, and at 4x with FW disabled (the recommended setting by Tech Support). All three modes eventually corrupted to the point of either a crash or a manual kill being required. I've just submitted my findings to Tech Support and I'll wait patiently for an answer. I also received a nv_disp.dll error (page_fault_in_nonpaged_area) once, so it just might be NVidia's problem. Who knows right now. I'll post my pictures later (if I can) in case anyone wants to see the "green dots of death". Enjoy!

- RC

PS: I'll probably reinstall the latest Forceware drivers today, after cleaning up the old ones.
   
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Still going...
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recrooks
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Default Still going... - 10-10-2004, 00:43 | posts: 9

Ok, here's the latest. Tech Support said "turn all your settings to the minimum and, assuming everything works fine, slowly increase them". My reply was swift, stating "I've done this already, and have done this for over a month to no avail".

Part II - I just purchased an ATI X800 Pro (yeah, I'll sacrifice those extra 4 pipelines) and played CoH for several hours. Everything ran smoothly, and I even turned my options back up to the default settings (except shadows - don't care for them and they eat space). Now, the game looks and plays very well (again). I'll keep the X800 in unless Tech Support wants me to run new tests. It's a sad answer to this problem, but I'll take anything I can get to minimize the headaches. I'm sure my teammates will appreciate it also!

More as I find out...

- RC
   
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Chrishk
 
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Default 10-11-2004, 09:23 | posts: n/a

Well, good to hear your back up at least
   
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Wmc90
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Default 10-11-2004, 09:37 | posts: 490 | Location: Australia NSW Sydney

hmm is there any settings for AGP voltage in your CMOS?

oh and i recomend you flash that x800pro to a xt, 4 extra pipelines never hurt anyone... unless of course it cant handle the higher clock speeds
   
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recrooks
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Videocard: Nvidia FX 5950 U 256MB
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Default 10-11-2004, 14:59 | posts: 9

As the world turns...

Ok, NCSoft just elevated this problem to tier 3 status, which means the developers are working with me. I'm going to remove the ATI card and put that 5950 back in...until I start crying at game crashes. I'm going to install the ForceWare 65.73 drivers, as per their request, and see what happens.

Ok, on to the questions:

CMOS settings don't allow changes to my AGP voltage. I'll look again, but the only AGP setting I can change is the memory, which is currently set to 256 MB.

ATI X800 - flash it how? I've read that you have to do some hardware changes to open up those extra 4 pipes. Is there a software solution that does this? I'd be very interested in turning my X800 Pro into an X800 XT.

- RC

PS: Thanks for the "glad your back up" comment. I'm glad I'm stable...or was, until I put that card back in.
   
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Chrishk
 
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Default 10-12-2004, 04:27 | posts: n/a

Quote:
Originally posted by Firefox_1
I love google. Try this, the links all work. It's the whole thing.

quote from AnandTech:

Unlike most x800 pro, Sapphire and other VIVO x800 pro cards, do not come with the pipelines laser cut, only disabled. All 16 pipelines are there with 4 disabled, to enable these pipelines to 16 allows better performance.

with x800pro bios @ 16 pipelines = +1000 over stock x800 pro in 3DMark
with x800XT bios @ 16 pipelines = +2000 over stock x800 pro in 3DMark

Before Proceeding
Make sure you have 1.6ns Samsung GRam.
This guide absolutely works, don't forget to underclock your XT to about 20Mhz lower than stock XT settings, it will run a lot more stable.
Also after the flash if your display does not post then remove the svideo cable from your video card if there is 1 plugged in, and reboot and it will post - i had the same problem. Running perfectly - it never goes above 52 C

Here a Link to ATi Tool with which you can check your pipelines and clock - http://atitool.ocfaq.com/

Heres a screenshot and proof it works

http://ottomans.home.comcast.net/mod.bmp

ATI RADEON X800 Pro VIVO > X800 XT

BIOS FLASH GUIDE

************************************************** ************************************************** ********

Equipment & files required

2 x floppy discs

DrDos boot disk creator: HERE
http://paddy007uk.freeservers.com/VGAbios/drdflash.exe
FlashROM 2.37 + floppy creator: HERE
http://paddy007uk.freeservers....Flasher+Floppy2.37.exe
Gigabyte Flash utility & X800 XT BIOS: HERE
http://paddy007uk.freeservers.com/VG...0&at_a_time=50
Retail ATI X800 XT BIOS: HERE
http://paddy007uk.freeservers.com/VGAbios/X800XT.bin

**BEFORE FLASHING THE BIOS, MAKE SURE YOU MAKE A BACKUP OF YOUR OLD ONE**


************************************************** ************************************************** *******


To back up your BIOS: (Floppy 'A')

(a) Create a bootable floppy disc with flashrom on it by double clicking the Flasher+Floppy2.37.exe.

(b) Restart the PC with the floppy disc inserted & boot in DOS.

(c) Once activity has ceased you will be at the A:\ prompt, type the following command line to back up your existing BIOS:

flashrom -s 0 backup.bin

You now have a file on the floppy disc named 'backup.bin' this is your original BIOS which you may require at a later date.

(d) Remove the floppy disc & reboot the PC.

************************************************** ************************************************** *******

To flash to the Gigabyte X800XT BIOS for enabling the 4 locked pipelines (Floppy 'B')

(a) Create a bootable floppy disc by double clicking the DrDos boot disc creator.

(b) Unzip the Gigabyte Flash utility & X800 XT BIOS, then place the files on the floppy disc.

(c) Restart the PC with the floppy disc inserted & boot in DOS.

(d) Once activity has ceased you will be at the A:\ prompt, type the following command line to flash the BIOS:

GVF11 -p -f A:\r80x256v.f1

(e) Remove the floppy disc & reboot the PC.

************************************************** ************************************************** *******

To flash to the ATI Retail X800 XT BIOS, for improved over clock (Floppy 'A')

(a) Insert floppy disc 'A' into into the floppy drive (leaving existing files in tact).

(b) Place the downloaded Retail ATI X800 XT BIOS ( X800XT.bin ) on to the floppy.

(c) Restart the PC with the floppy disc inserted & boot in DOS.

(d) Once activity has ceased you will be at the A:\ prompt, type the following command line to flash the BIOS:

flashrom -p -f 0 X800XT.bin

(e) Remove the floppy disc & reboot the PC.

************************************************** ************************************************** ******

I recommend you retain the 2 floppy discs for future use.

If you have followed the instructions carefully you should have a fully fledged ATI Radeon X800 XT 520mhz core / 560mhz memory.

Due to the heat generated by the additional 4 pipelines your maximum core over clock is likely to be reduced by on average 20mhz
Helpful post Firefox
   
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recrooks
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Default 10-13-2004, 03:05 | posts: 9

Chrishk, Thanks! I'll try this later tonight.

On to the continuing saga of the NV 5950 Ultra...

I really abused my 5950 yesterday playing CoH off and on all day (you have to love holidays). During the entire day, I never saw any corruption during CoH. Twice, though, as soon as CoH closed down (during a normal exit of the game), my Windows screen corrupted and created a hard lock-up. The first time, everything looked great upon exiting. I hit CTRL-ALT-DEL to check my memory usage (I look for memory leaks, etc.). Once I did that, those little green dots that I thought only happened in OpenGL appeared. My refresh went to pot, causing major video corruption and requiring a hard reboot of my system. Once I did that, my bios screen (pre-windows) showed corruption. Then, the Windows start-up screen showed corruption (little white horizontal lines jumping up and down). Then, the main windows screen froze...but then fixed itself within seconds. I was daring, and retried CoH. It ran fine, even after several exits and restarts, all without rebooting. Then, after several times of this, I had a repeat of the corrupted Windows screen upon exiting. I'm starting to think something in that 5950 is going out-possibly memory? I left my computer up last night, and after getting home from work, found my monitor in power-saving mode (normal). My computer refused to become active, thus requiring another hard reboot. When it started up again, the Windows start-up screen had those white lines again, but Windows looked normal. Seconds later, when I hit that darn Start button, everything went haywire again. I hard rebooted, had corruption in the Windows start-up screen, had a "nice looking" Windows screen, and everything is running properly now. Ok, I'm really confused. Drivers? Memory? I can't see CoH distorting my bios screen at all. I'd think AGP port (and therefore motherboard), but I saw nothing with my ATI card the other day, not even a flash. Any ideas, those of you reading this thread??? I'll also send this post to NCSoft Tech Support for their thoughts. I'd almost start to think my memory is overheating, but my VPU stays at 42-43 degrees, well below the 140 degree warning level. I'm really stumped now...
   
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Chrishk
 
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Default 10-13-2004, 04:39 | posts: n/a

Considering you had no problems with the alternate card and that youve seen video corruption on your POST I reckon you could logically start assuming a hard error on your card
   
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desta
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Default 10-18-2004, 00:56 | posts: 1

I have this same prob with my leadtek a380 ultra >5950<

the prob is with the 2d memory speed it is buged, it would take a while to explain but i dont have the time..

To fix this problem what you need to do is download nvidia coolbits, then use the nvidia driver overclocking tool to under clock the 3d<< memory to 900 then this will under clock the 2d mem that the drivers would overclock to 950 witch cause the bugs to 900 and fix the problem.. then if ur happy its fine u can start overclocking by 5 till the tool say u can go no more. the nvidia tool will not let you overclock to the point wher you wiull cause damage ..

Last edited by desta; 10-18-2004 at 00:59.
   
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