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Problem installing a new video card

Guest Ed Guest

Hi all,

I just got a new LCD monitor because the old CRT was dying-- the screen was flickering, and yellow on one edge. So I sprung for a new 19" Viewsonic-- very nice.

The thing is, I wanted to upgrade the video card from the old GeForce 3 with 64 Mb, but didn't want to spend a lot on that because I plan to replace the entire computer next year when FSX comes out. No point in replacing the computer now, because it would be obsolete by the time FSX comes out, right? And I wanted a card with DVI, to work with the new monitor.

So I got a Geforce 6600 256Mb AGP4X/8X, thinking that would be a decent upgrade from the old card, but something my old mobo and power supply could handle.

I am running Windows XP SP2. The mobo is an Asus A7V266, with an AGP4X slot-- my understanding is that an AGP 8X card should work in an older slot. My BIOS is not the very latest, but it is the latest that actually works with the mobo-- I tried all of them that Asus offers, and this seems to be the one that works.

The power supply is 375 W, and the card recommends a >300 W supply, so I thought I was okay there. This card does not have a power connection.

When I installed it and rebooted, Windows detects the card, recognizes it as a GeForce 6600, and runs the Hardware Installation wizard. It goes through that, and finds the drivers, but it can't install them. I get a message that the installation failed because of Invalid Data Files.

I tried every different way I know of installing the drivers, and every version of the drivers I could find, both from Nvidia and Aopen, the board manufacturer. I tried it in Safe Mode, with the virus scanner turned off, from the CD and from the hard drive. I uninstalled all the old drivers first.

I tried Aopen's tech support, but they were pretty worthless. The same goes for their web page. Finally, I pulled the card out an sent it back to the company I bought it from.

I'm concerned that when I get the new one, it won't work either. Is there some spec that I overlooked that might keep this thing from installing? If I can't get the replacement card to work, I'm going to have to select a different model, and I need to know what I'm doing wrong.

Thanks in advance,

Ed

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

It seems like a good card (for the money) but I'm amazed that it doesn't connect to the p/s and it has a fan.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/CustRatingReview.asp?Item=N82E16814130260

Note the date.
http://www.nvidia.com/object/IO_14976.html

See if this helps.
http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic50804.html

Did you clean out your old drivers and delete your old card in the device manager first.
http://www.drivercleaner.net/professional.html

Don't use the latest drivers with an older card, either use the ones that came with it or something below 74.??, I don't use NVIDIA.

Radar

Guest Ed Guest

RadarMan,

Well, when I googled for information about this problem, several other people commented that the designers should have added a power supply connection, as well. The consensus is that it draws too much power to get it through the AGP port.

I was kind of concerned about whether my PS was up to the task, anyhow. It's rated at 375 W, but recently I've read that some power supplies are overrated, and can only meet their specs under very controlled conditions (like at low temperatures) if they meet them at all.

Thanks for your help,

Ed

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Ed,
I hate to see you spend the money for a new p/s (Antec) unless you are going to build a new machine than get a 650w minimum and transfer it later.
Most of the stock ones are overrated, you have to get a top name to be sure that it's what it says it is.

If you are worried about the card overheating get a PCI fan and put it next to the card, I did that and my card is connected to a low watt p/s (stock Gateway).

Radar

Guest Ed Guest

RadarMan,

I may very well build the next computer, so I could reuse the power supply.

When I get the replacement card from Newegg, I'll see whether or not it works and then decide what to do next.

At the moment, I have another problem. I was flying in FS09 this afternoon and the power in the whole house blinked on and off a couple of times. The computer crashed, of course. Ever since then, FS09 won't start. Mad Fortunately, I just found your helpful post about how to uninstall and reinstall FS9.1! Laughing

I may just do a restore from backup, first. I just did a full system backup last week, before installing the new video card.

Thanks,

Ed

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Ed,

There are quite a few new backup systems available now that seem to be gaining popularity, you could always look into those.
http://www.buffalotech.com/products/product-detail.php?productid=77&categoryid=17

http://www.maxtor.com/portal/site/Maxtor/menuitem.6adb6b8313633595062e6be791346068/?channelpath=/en_us/Products/External%20Hard%20Drives/OneTouch%20Family

Or of course the old and reliable standby. Look on the left, you can configure it to your specs. About $99.
http://www.apc.com/products/category.cfm?id=13&subid=5

Radar

Guest Ed Guest

Radarman,

Well, I got lucky. I had set a System Restore point last week, right before installed the new video card. I restored that, and everything is back to normal. I didn't even need to use the backup. System Restore is one of nicer features of WinXP, I think.

I don't really need an external drive for backups, I have an extra 80 Gb drive in the case that I use for nothing else but backups. And I actually have a UPS, but I don't use it-- it takes up too much space under my desk-- I'd have to sit with my feet on the UPS for it to fit!!

But thanks for all your help,

Ed

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Ed,
Glad to hear that it all worked out.
Let us know how the new card is after you install it.

Radar

Guest Ed Guest

RadarMan wrote:

Ed,
Glad to hear that it all worked out.
Let us know how the new card is after you install it.

Radar

Hmm, this is getting annoying.

I got the new card, put it in, and it doesn't work. I still get the "invalid files" when I try to install the drivers.

What I've learned so far:

There is a Microsoft Knowledge Base file about this; if you have previously loaded a Leadtek Geforce T200 driver (which I have) it makes changes to the registry that will prevent you from loading other drivers in the future. Thanks a lot, Leadtek.

But, Microsoft offers a file called "Pnpreg.exe" that is suppose to fix it. Except, in my case it doesn't.

I've learned that I need to enable permissions in the registry before attempting to load drivers, except that I never see the entries the TechSpot says I should see.

I've learned that I have to disable the Virus scanner before attempting to load a driver. And I've run the Driver Cleaner program (many times). And I always go into safe mode before doing any of the above, so that no other drivers conflict.

None of the above help, but it makes me feel like I'm doing something productive. Rolling Eyes

The only thing I haven't tried yet is that somewhere I read that I need to run "Regedit32" instead "Regedit" to diddle with my permissions.

Thank god for System Restore, or I'd be in big trouble.

Gee, I love computers. For what I've spent on computer upgrades in the past ten years so that I can play FS09, I could have taken flight lessons and flown a real airplane. Wink

Ed

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Download http://regvac.com/fregvac.htm it's good for 30 days then you have to buy it, if you want.
The nice feature of it is that it has a novice mode so it's safe to run.

Try it and see if it'll help to get rid of that entry.
The only other solution, a clean install of Windows.

Radar

Guest Ed Guest

Radarman,

No, wait, cancel the suicide, I got the piece of &*!!@#%#@ to load its drivers.

Turns out that the Microsoft download was what I needed; I just wasn't using it right. I thought the command was "pnpreg.exe -1" or "pnpreg.exe -I." Turns out the correct command was "pnpreg.exe -l" as in lower case L. Stupid non-serif fonts.

So thank you RadarMan, for leading me to the TechSpot site, because that's where I found the answer.

Thanks again. You are a computer god. Laughing

See if I ever buy anything from Leadtek again, though. Mad

Ed

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Ed,
That's fantastic news. I know how confusing some of these companies can make a simple procedure into a complex one.

I hope you are happy with the results, time will tell over the next few days.

Radar

Guest Ed Guest

Radarman,

I've spent a few hours flying with the new card and monitor, and in general I'm pleased. It's not a huge, overwhelming improvement over the old card, but then again it is the same old computer.

The monitor is great: big and bright, higher resolution, very consistent out to the edges of the picture. There are a few dead pixels, four that I've found so far, but since Newegg's policy is 8 dead pixels to return a monitor, I'm not going to send it back. I probably won't even notice them after a while.

The new card does allow me to run FS09 at the monitor's native resolution, 1280X1024 at 75 Hz, which the old card could never do. I've been spending some time tweaking the settings, trying to get the best display with the best frame rates. It will run pretty consistently at 25 FPS, and maybe dip to 20 for a second when I change the view.

The only distracting thing is if I'm flying over water, when I look straight down (num pad 5) it takes a few seconds for all the "squares" of the water to fill in. Looking to the sides, I see a little bit of that, but not as bad as looking straight down. It's better if I turn the water effect down to zero, but then of course then the water looks like crap.

I've tried a few different drivers, from nVidia and Aopen, and so far the one that came on the CD with the card works best. The nVidia driver was much newer, but it gave me a straight video artifact: it looked like I was surround by a great wall, from the horizon up to about 10,000 feet.

And I'm running with AA and AF set to 4, and still have serious jaggies on curved surfaces. Well, maybe when I get a new computer I can get rid of that.

But over all, it is better than the old set-up. The new monitor was the main thing, the card was just gravy.

Ed

Guest Ed Guest

I meant to say a "strange" artifact, not a "straight" artifact. Rolling Eyes

Ed

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Ed,
The settings sound ok, just be sure that AA isn't checked in the settings of the sim, just in the cards control panel.

Those FPS readings are pretty good, I wouldn't complain.
If you want a little more turn down the traffic, shadows and clouds.

Radar

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