Koljarn vs. the Computer

My occasional crashes have continued, even after upgrading to Windows 2007.

As a matter off act, they got worse – far worse – after updating the video drivers last week.

Calling it a simple crash is probably not accurate enough.  What happens is that the screen gets covered with scattered multi-colored artifacts, the whole system locks up, and the speakers buzz.  For the longest time,  I was sure that this was caused by a software conflict between Ventrilo and LotRO, because these crashes started to happen when I began to use those two applications at the same time.  It appears that I may have been mistaken….

Last week, after I upgraded that drivers for my 280 GTX video card, I could not play LotRO for more than five minutes without the entire system locking up.  After patching LotRO to Siege of Mirkwood (see my next post for the details of that joyful experience), my computer would lock up the instant you hit the character creation screen – which is the first 3-d accelerated screen in the game.  Additionally, using any of the Windows 2007 “Aero” desktop profiles would lock the computer immediately upon login.  Each of these lockups was accompanied by the aforementioned multi-colored artifacting.

I was finally able to get my computer limping along by uninstalling all nVidia software and allowing Windows 2007 to install its own version of the driver.  Yes, it is out of date, but it works – for now.  Finally able to tinker a little bit with the machine, I did some searching for other people who had the same problem, and I came across this post:

http://tagn.wordpress.com/2008/04/06/my-lotro-video-crash/

This looks suspiciously like my screen upon a crash.  Actually, it looks almost exactly like mine.  To say that I’m irritated with nVidia and their cards is an understatement – this is not the first time I’ve had issues with nVidia cards.  My card is, of course, no longer covered by warranty, and even if it was, I do not think I would take another 280 GTX.  The card is too large, it’s a power hog, and I don’t think it was worth the money.

So, it’s time to do some research for a new card in the $100-150 range.  In the past, I refused to even think about an ATI card.  That time is past.

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