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Is my GeForce 7300LE sick?

Discussion in 'Nvidia' started by zulu, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. zulu

    zulu Guest

    The symptoms....

    When I right click the Desktop and select *Properties* I get no tabs at all,
    just the *Themes*

    Scrolling, vertically _and_ horizontally is not smooth, but rather in jumps,
    with the screen
    refreshing to the new position, a bit up or down (or left or right) of the
    previous screen. It
    looks like waves moving until it settles down again (hard to describe).

    The theme is set to 1280x768 to suit the widescreen TV I use for a monitor
    (26 inch Samsung),
    but the picture is now stretched horizontally, so it looks like 4:3 on a 6x9

    Movies are jerky, looks like low frame rate.

    Despite uninstalling and reinstalling the card, and (re) updating the
    drivers, Device
    manager shows an exclamation mark to indicate a problem.

    Computer is a 4 year old Dell Desktop, an XPS9150 running Windows XP
    Service Pack 2 (SP3 will not install, but that's another problem...)

    Processor is 3.20 gigahertz Intel Pentium D 16 kilobyte primary memory cache
    2048 kilobyte
    secondary memory cache 64-bit ready Multi-core (2 total) Not hyper-threaded.

    My feeling is that the 7300LE card is defunct, but how cam I be _sure_
    before I rush out to
    buy a new one?

    zulu, Jul 5, 2010
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  2. zulu

    Paul Guest

    Is your System Restore function working ? Can you return the OS to a previous
    time point, where the display subsystem is working ?

    I've had a problem similar to yours, and in my case, all video acceleration
    features on my old ATI card, ceased to function. If caused painfully slow updates
    to things like video playback, graphics and the like. And if you dragged a window,
    it would repaint over and over again, a frame at a time. I used System Restore,
    to return to an earlier point in time, where my display driver was still working.

    Before using System Restore, you should be aware of how it works. It should
    really only be enabled on the C: partition. It doesn't snapshot things
    in the "My Documents" hierarchy, so in theory, won't delete any user data
    files in "My Documents". If you created a separate directory somewhere on C:,
    outside of My Documents, System Restore could track those changes. Then,
    using a restore point, would result in user data being removed. You can
    undo a restore point, at least under some conditions. (It could be, if
    you use System Restore in Safe Mode, you might not be able to undo it again.
    To get the full feature set, you should use it in Normal Mode.)
    If there is a danger of user data being removed, you should transfer
    the user data to a backup disk first, before using System Restore. If
    all your data is in the My Documents structure, then you shouldn't have to
    worry about it.

    So there are some caveats about System Restore. It isn't an "all purpose
    hammer", but should be used with discretion. If you had only made one driver
    change, there is a "rollback" option in Device Manager, but you can only
    roll back the driver one level. Once a person has been doing a lot of
    experimenting, generally by that time, the rollback option isn't of much

    This is also a good time, to point out the value of backups, including
    your entire C:. I don't do this religiously, but I have a few images
    I've collected of my C:, and I'd probably lose a month's worth of changes,
    if I had to use one of my backups. I make backups, but not that regularly.
    Still, any backup, is better than nothing. Especially if you manage
    to get acceleration working on your video card again.

    In my case, the acceleration slider was in the "full" position, and
    yet acceleration wasn't working. There is an example of that slider, here.


    Paul, Jul 6, 2010
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  3. zulu

    zulu Guest

    Hi Paul...
    I <stupidly> forgot to include the important fact that the problem started
    with my _attempt_ to restore the computer from *Dell as shipped condition*
    using the copy <sic> of XP supplied with the computer. I had to (twice)
    abort this as it kept telling me it couldn't find files.
    It did, however wipe all the Winnows Restore Points.

    I need to install XP afresh but only have the Dell disc...


    Now what???
    zulu, Jul 6, 2010
  4. zulu

    Paul Guest

    Dell has two possible mechanisms (at least), for restoring your PC.
    There is a partition on the hard drive, where if you press a particular
    function key at startup, will cause a "factory wipe" to take place,
    and you're returned to the "sealed state" as if the computer had
    just come out of the box from the factory.

    The machine may also offer the ability to burn a recovery CD. (Such
    a CD does the same thing as the recovery partition would - wipe.)
    That uses the software stored in the recovery partition. Usually,
    you're limited to burning one copy. If you wanted multiple copies,
    you'd either read and store the CD as an ISO9660 file, for usage
    later. Or simply copy the CD with your CD burning software. But
    making the ISO9660 is safer, because you can avoid bad media issues
    by doing that. (I bought some CDRW discs years ago, and they all
    died pretty soon after purchase. Even if I made several copies
    of my media, I still wouldn't have one good copy to lay my hands on.
    That is why the CD contents should be stored in some other manner for
    safe keeping.)

    If you kept a backup copy of the *entire* hard drive, copying all
    three partitions on there, then one of those partitions would have
    your WinXP software in it. It's a good idea to backup the hard drive
    occasionally, in case of hard drive failure. If the hard drive fails,
    and you didn't burn a recovery CD, the hard drive backup copies will
    save the day.


    You have a sticker on the machine, with a license key. You could
    use that key, with a regular WinXP installer CD.

    Your machine comes with effectively two license keys. When you use
    your Dell restore capability, the Windows in that case, uses some
    kind of volume licensed key. That is a different value of key, from
    the one printed on the label adhered to the machine.

    You could go shopping for a restore CD for your particular model
    of Dell. If Dell no longer carries it, then you'd look to a third
    party who continues to sell such CDs. The software on the CD is
    branded to the hardware, so if you were to, say, replace the motherboard
    with something completely unrelated to Dell, then the software
    should not install.

    But the sticker on your machine, should have a second license key. To use
    it, the trick would be, figuring out what kind of WinXP CD to use,
    as there is more than one SKU.

    The information at the bottom of this article, shows how the CD
    determines what type it is. The "setupp.ini" has that info. Then,
    you'd need to know what kind of key is on the label adhered to the
    machine. I presume it would be OEM, but don't know for sure.


    The thing is, with a Dell, the Windows on there is an OEM branded
    product, and with any OEM thing, the company selling it (Dell),
    provides the support. That is how the product is made cheaper,
    for them to sell. If you had a Microsoft retail product, the
    couple of support incidents that might come with that, have
    a value to the customer. So they charge more for the full retail
    version. When Dell sells an OEM version, they buy the license key
    from Microsoft for $50 or so. And then Dell is supposed to provide
    support (answer your WinXP questions).

    Microsoft will answer activation questions. For example, if you
    use a regular WinXP CD of some sort, use the license key from the
    sticker on the machine, then attempt to activate your new install
    and it fails, Microsoft will answer activation questions. In some
    cases, they'll exchange some long strings of digits with you,
    in order to get your new install activated. But in terms
    of providing you with an install CD, that would be up to
    Dell in this case.

    The Goodells.net site, has some information on how Dell stuff is set
    up. Depending on what has happened to your machine (i.e. you replaced
    the hard drive), you might get the info you need, from an article here.


    If you have the original hard drive still in the computer, and haven't
    wiped the partition structure, chances are good you'll be able to recovery
    without outside help. Some people get into a frenzy, and just blow
    away the contents of the drive, without making any backup copies of the
    software Dell put on there, and being in a rush at a time like that,
    is a mistake. You can see from some of the info in the Goodells site,
    there are things on there you should keep for later.

    I'm not an "IT guy", and this is just stuff I've read.

    Good luck,
    Paul, Jul 6, 2010
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