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Freezing / Black out / "Out of Range" issues

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Ankh, May 28, 2008.

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  1. Ankh

    Ankh Thread Starter

    May 28, 2008
    Hey everyone!

    I've been all over the net but I can't seem to find an answer to the issue that I am having. Please excuse the long post but I want to be as thorough as possible. First my system specs:

    Windows XP Pro
    1.25 Gigs of RAM
    Pentium 3 (I think) at 2.66
    50 Gig Hard Drive
    Radeon 9250 video card

    I purchased and installed the Radeon 9250 over a year ago and have never had a problem with it. Then, a few weeks ago, I purchased World Of Warcraft for my son and installed in on my computer. I did not meet the recommended system requirements (it wanted 512 RAM and I only had 256), but the game worked anyway (although slowly at times). I purchased a 1 Gig RAM DIMM and installed it. Then the problems started.

    My computer started freezing up at random intervals. Typically it will freeze for about 10-15 seconds, then it will go black for about 5-6 seconds, and then it will fix itself. Other times it goes black and then reboots the computer. Still other times it gives an “Out of Range” message which sometimes fixes itself and sometimes requires a reboot. This tends to happen most when playing games or surfing the internet, but it happens at completely randomly.

    I thought maybe there was an issue with the RAM so I tried different configurations (including the original one without the new RAM), but the problem continued. I then tried using the uninstall tool provided by ATI and tried to reinstall the drivers. That didn’t fix anything. One fix suggested I override the refresh rate using “dxdiag.” I did that and set it to 60. Now WoW won’t work because it says I don’t have a good display device. I undid the override but WoW keeps giving me the same message (but I seem to have far fewer blackouts).

    WoW support said it wasn’t the RAM, but the video card. ATI was completely worthless and didn’t seem to have the first clue about how their cards work or what Windows was (I’m exaggerating, but they were pretty clueless).

    I suppose overheating might be the problem, but that seems unlikely as I’ve had the card for a long time, played a lot of games on it, and never had this issue. Further, I’ve reverted back to the original configuration (256 RAM) and the problem persisted. I’ve tried vacuuming but that didn’t change anything.

    I’ve used a free “driver cleaner” (I don’t remember which one) to clean up all of the ATI drivers after using the uninstall tool provided by ATI. That didn’t do any good either.

    I’m not a computer guru AT ALL, but this seems like it should be a simple setting in the computer that is out of whack since I installed the new RAM. That seemed to be the trigger for the problems (but reversing it does not reverse the programs).

    I guess that’s about it. I could really use some suggestions of what I should try next. I’m really at a loss and I’m not sure how to continue to try and fix the problem.

    Thanks in advance for any assistance that you can provide.

  2. managed

    managed Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

    May 24, 2003
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