Windows XP Crashes with My Nvidia Geforce Mx 400 Video Card?, Part 2

Dennis Faas's picture

Lately I've been getting a lot of emails from folks who are in the same predicament as I am: Windows XP crashes when an Nvidia video driver is installed.

MSI (MicroStar, Incorporated) is the company that manufactured my particular video card; Nvidia makes the graphic chip (GPU, or Graphics Processing Unit) present on the card which allows me to play 3D games. I'm using the video card in combination with a Tyan Tiger MP2460 multiprocessor motherboard (AMD 760MP chipset).

In the past, I've tried to get my Ge-Force MX-400 video card to work with Windows XP using many suggested methods, including:

  • Didn't work: Install AGP drivers for my motherboard, then install the latest Nvidia drivers.  
  • Didn't help: Install Nvidia driver, and keep monitor refresh rate at 60 Hz. The 60 Hz refresh rate was mainly an issue with games and Windows XP -- but I believe this problem has been resolved with Direct-X 9.  
  • Didn't work: Uninstall the Microsoft driver, then install the Nvidia driver "clean". Not possible. The Microsoft Driver reinstalls itself as soon as Windows reboots and there does not appear to be any way to stop this from happening.  
  • Didn't work: Delete the video driver while in Safe Mode, then reinstall after reboot. The MS Windows driver reinstalls itself upon reboot (same as above).  
  • Not applicable: Disable Video Shadowing in the motherboard CMOS utility. I don't have this option in my CMOS.  
  • Didn't help: Disable Windows XP Interface -> use Windows classic interface. I read this on, but it didn't do anything for me.  
  • Didn't help: Install Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1). SP1 fixed a few security and stability issues, but sure didn't help stabilize my video card.  
  • Didn't work: Use older versions / Newer versions of the Nvidia drivers. Regardless of what driver I use (I've tested them all) -- they all do the same: crash, crash, and crash some more.

Long story short

I've tried just about everything there is to try. No matter what it is I do, my system always locks up, crashes, or reboots itself spontaneously usually within minutes of having installed a Nvidia video driver on my Windows XP machine.

The fact is: only the Microsoft Driver which came with Windows XP will work with my video card, but I can't use the TV OUT option. Since I can't use the TV OUT option, I can't watch movies from my DVD drive (inside my machine). The funny thing is that I don't even play games on this machine.

Some things that I will try in the very near future, include: a) install Direct-X 9, and once I'm satisfied it's stable; b) install the latest Nvidia release; c) if none of that works, I'll try disabling the Graphics Hardware Accelerator in my video device Settings. That's something I haven't tried yet.

I decided to install DX9 today.

I grabbed the SDK (System Developer Kit) version of Direct-X 9: it's a whopping 227 megabyte download! I heard that DX9 has some major core fixes to the way it handles video, so I'm going to run it for a while without installing a new Nvidia driver -- just to see if my system is stable. I'll post my results in an upcoming newsletter (next week) after I'm satisfied that my machine won't crash with DX9 installed.

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