Direct 3D device lost problem

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TomD22

Thread Starter
Joined
Sep 20, 2005
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45
Hi all

Lately i've been having problems with some computer games. Some work fine, and reliably, but several others have all been exhibiting the same problem.

Specifically, when i try to run one, at some point (typically the menu screen) my screen will blank briefly, and then the game will be minimised to the desktop. If i try to maximise it again, the same thing will happen. The rest of the computer's functions seem to keep working fine while this is happening.

GuildWars runs fine. The Call of Duty 2 demo sometimes runs, sometimes does this. Rome Total War, Serious Sam 2 demo, Black and White 2, and FarCry, all always have this problem.

I also tried running a benchmark program called 3DMark05. It did the same thing (screen briefly blanking) when i tried to run the test, and then gave me an error message. It says the Direct3D device is lost. I hope that this message will be the clue to what's wrong. . I'll link to imagshack with a screenshot. But what it says is: "Direct3DDevice9::presentFailed: Device lost (D3DERR_DEVICELOST)"

error message: http://img302.imageshack.us/img302/...arkerror0ju.jpg

So, i ran dxdiag. No problems with any of the tests.

I should note that all of these games used to run OK on this computer. I can't pin down any one time or thing i might have done to cause the problem, but it's been this way for 2 months at least.

Like i said, some games (such as Guild Wars) work absolutely reliably, and with no performance issues, even though this game is as demanding as the others (ish).

I have the latest drivers for my graphics card, and the system temps seem OK. I've taken the computer completely apart a couple of times to check for problems, to no avail.

I have 2 screens - a 19" TFT at 1280x1024, and an old 17" CRT at 1024x768.

So, does anyone have any ideas what might be causing this or any other tests i can do?

Thanks for any help.

AMD 64 Venice 3000+
1024MB Corsair DDR
N-Force 4 mobo (can't remember the exact name)
ATI Radeon X800XL 256 g-card
Creative Audigy 4 sound card
350W Antec SmartPower 2 PSU
optical drives etc etc

WinXp SP2
Latest Catylyst drivers (haven't needed to update yet, no changes since i bought the graphics card)
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2002
Messages
5,577
Hmm....in looking at your system specs, I see one possible weak point, the 350w power supply. Granted, it's an Antec, so the quality is there, but I don't really know if 350w is enough for a 64-bit CPU, an x800XL, and other stuff as well. That Direct3D error can be caused by power management problems, so it sounds like a possible candidate to me.

Try unplugging anything you don't need from your computer - run with one hard drive, one CD drive, and unplug any lights you have on. You can unplug case fans as well (NOT fans that are on heatsinks though), as long as you leave the case open and give it proper ventilation. If it helps at all, then that's probably it. That's just what popped out right away for me.
 

TomD22

Thread Starter
Joined
Sep 20, 2005
Messages
45
Yeah, PSU is what people on another forum suggested too.

The thing is, this antec is a new PSU - i bought it to replace an unknown-brand 400W PSU which people (on yet another different forum. although these ppl i trust, they've helped me a lot building this comp) told me before might be causing this problem. They reckoned at the time 350W should be OK, but maybe it isn't.

I was linked to a couple of sites to add up what i draw, and reckoned that even on max theoretical load with every component drawing i would still have ~40-50W spare.

As for unplugging things...i only have 1 HDD 1 DVD drive and no extra case fans (cooling hasn't seemed to be a problem, my CPU and HDD temps are fine. So i can't really run any lower-powered that i am atm.

Is there any chance my graphics card could be overheating? The PCI-E slot on the mobo is positioned in such a way that the graphics card board is right at the bottom of the case, and upside down, which might mean it's fan isn't clearing air quite as well as it might do. Problems still happen with the case open, though, and i wouldn't have thought the card really had time to get very hot before the problem occurs anyway.

I used ATI tool, not to overclock but just to run it's artifact test. Left it going for a good while, and no problems at all. That's s'posed to stress the card as much as possible, so seeing as it was fine, i'm now beginning to think it's not hardware at all.

Any ideas what could be the problem on the software side? I already got rid of, then reinstalled, my catalyst drivers. Dxdiag said no probs. Is there any way i can test opengl?

Thanks
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2002
Messages
5,577
Do you have the latest drivers for the motherboard? And might as well do Windows updates as well, just make sure everything is completely updated.
 
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