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Old 07-22-2005, 04:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default VisionTek Ti4600

Hey guys, judging by the forums, there's really no chance of getting my Ti4600 replaced that I bought about three-four years ago from the apparently now non-existent VisionTek company, so here's my story:

One night, while happily playing CS:S I get the the one centimeter blocks all over my screen that eventually even farther detiriorated into a mostly white screen with plenty of thin colored lines. After a reboot, my card made it all the way to the WindowsXP log in screen before doing it again. Well, heat was probably the problem, so I just turned it off, cracked open the case and pointed my airconditioning at it. I let it be for probably 1-2 hours before I tried again, only to have the same problem occur even sooner in the boot process. So I guessed that my HSF was dying removed my stock HSF finding the silcon paste baked hard inbetween. I used mineral spirits and even a razor blade to get it all off and replaced it with some generic crap that came with my uber-l33t ThermalTake CPU Heatsink-Fan. I noticed that the cheap plastic springloaded bolts that attached my stock HSF to my GPU were now a bit loose, but I felt that I had re-attached it fairly snuggly. Booted up, no luck, still seemed to "work" but still artifacts all over the place (I think that's what they're called, "artifacts"?). So, I ordered the snazzy Zalman VF-700 Cu (with ArcticSilver 5) and installed it today (didn't install the Ramsinks, because they seemed like a one time deal, and my Ti shouldn't need them anyways). The first boot up got as far as the Windows loading screen before it locked up. Subsequent boot ups failed more quickly. I have some ultra-old/lame AGP cards that I tried just to make sure it was a graphics card problem. One worked (well, it got to the bios screen then froze). Second boot with that card I got two beeps and then what sounds like three rapid ones for a POST. From past experience this means that either my RAM, CPU, or AGP card is missing. Tried the next card, same deal. I remembered that I had expiremented with OverClocking in the past, but I always left my PCI, AGP, and DDR slots alone, only playing with my CPU. I thought maybe I was sending too much juice to my AGP slot on accident, so I reset my CMOS: no fix. So, I've narrowed it down to three possibilities: (1) My three year-old generic PSU just ain't got it and is fubaring my voltage. (2) My AGP slot is ruined. (3) All three of my AGP cards are now junk (not so sad about the old two, but my Ti4600 was $350 when I bought it and still ran HL2 at 50 fps. Professional e-bay sellers want $225 for one even 3 years out of their prime.) If anyone knows exactly what is wrong, let me know. If it happens to be problem number three, what's a good card to replace it with (preferably around $150).


AMD Athlon XP 3000+ (Barton Core 400mhz FSB)*
Soyo KT 400 Dragon Motherboard (max 333mhz FSB)*
512 MB Ram (Generic)
80 GB 7,200 rpm HDD (Seagate)
128 MB Geforce 4 Ti 4600 AGP 4x (VisionTek)
Soundblaster Audigy 2 ZS
52x-32x-52x CD-RW (Toshiba)
16x DVD (Toshiba)
FDD drive (?)
350 Watt PSU (hec)


*I could never get a stable connection between my new processor and my Soyo MoBo. I could only run the processor at 266Mhz FSB without doing some funky overclocking that became unstable over 280-somethingMhz. Wouldn't have made the mistake of ordering that CPU if I hadn't thought the "400" on my MoBo was for CPU FSB and not PC3200 ddr ram.
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Old 07-22-2005, 06:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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no no no it could be simply that u need a reformat which i think is what it is cause the fact that none of ur cards worked. reformat and see what happens should do the trick
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Old 07-23-2005, 01:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Ummm, no...

Dude, that's impossibe, my bios logo screen is messed up, it's not a software problem. Things like crashing in the middle of CS:S aren't caused by software. It's gotta be hardware, definitely not drivers because it crashes and locks up before drivers even have a chance to load.
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Old 07-23-2005, 02:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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well the same thing happened to me i couldnt even get past my bios reformated and worked fine. what could it be????? since all ur cards didnt work?? u gotta narrow it down and i did a pretty good job of that now there are 2 things possible right now its ur mobo or 3 cards just didnt work its gotta be ur disk try a reformat
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Old 07-23-2005, 02:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I checked the Soyo website, and one of their knowlegde base articles had the following:

4. Try replace the ram module or if you have more than one pc of ram, install one for now to find out if one of them may be defective.

Is this a feasible problem? Because my RAM is entirely no-name and I wouldn't be surprised if that is the problem. Especially since I've had it for atleast 3 years with no kind of cooling specifically for it. It seems a bit wierd that this would cause video related problems, but then again, I'm rather new to hardware troubleshooting. I could definitely see it getting a bit toasty running Doom 3, Half-Life 2, and FarCry. Has anyone ever had this kind of trouble from RAM DIMMs going out?

The guy from VisionTek says that it could be the motherboard, but tomorrow I'll have a chance to get my Ti 4600 plugged into another PC, so we can knockout even more. I'll take my HDD too, and reformat if my card really is dead. Is there any reasoning behind your reformatting theory? Or could it have just been been coincidental? Because in all honesty, the two seem pretty unrelated if you're not even having your HDD spin up before you get problems... But like I said, I am pretty new to this hardware troubleshooting stuff.
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Old 07-23-2005, 02:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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don't be surprised if your video card got a bit too toasty. heat would definatly cause something like that. and even though you put a fancy heatsink on it, the damage from the overheating will ruin a card forever and ever. GeForce 6600GT's are well under $150 on newegg right now, so I reccomend buyign one of those if you want to keep playing CS:S

sorry, it sucks when things break.
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Old 07-23-2005, 02:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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cant hurt to try but i highly doubt thats the problem. u can try and try and try to search for a solution but im tellin u u should try a reformat ur gonna be looking for a while.
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Old 07-23-2005, 02:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If my card really is toast, it doesn't seem like I would get any good screens at all, even if they are circumstantial and intermittent. I know it's a possibility, but I'm definitely keeping my fingers crossed. That card was a beast, man.
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Old 07-23-2005, 03:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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man but if u get any picture at all in the bios u should be ok then u can throught it on ur windows install man im telling u if u see anything befor u get to windows 95% sure ur card is fine man try a reformat and seee for good at least get ur windows xp disc and see if u get to the windows xp console thing where irs all blue and stuff that will let u know bout u r card for sure if u dont see the blue screen than try another card and see if u can get ur hands on a pci slot
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Intel p4 HT 3.0GHz
1 16x Toshiba dvd burner
2 sticks of corsair ddr2 533mhz 512mb
GeForce Fx 6600GT
Asus P5LD2
HD AUDIO
480W thermaltake
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