Sony Vaio & PCI Graphics Card

Sony Viao PCV-RX405
September 11, 2007 at 04:54:44
Specs: Windows XP, A64 x2 4200/1GB DDR400

Hi,

I am trying to fix a computer that has a bit of a problem with the Graphics card. The computer is a Sony Viao PCV-RX405 and the graphics card is an Nvidia Geforce 4 MX460 (Sony).

When i boot the into windows normally I got lots of blue lines going vertically across the screen. But if I boot into safe mode then this doesn't happen. This tells me that it is a driver issue. So i re-installed the driver but that has made no difference.

In order to solve this i thought I would put in my PCI graphics card that i have for emergencies, but for some reason that won't initialise on boot. If i put the old AGP card back in it initialises fine. I know the PCI card works as it is a relatively new card that I have used in many other machines. Is there something specific to the viao that prevents it from using a PCI graphics card?

Does anyone know what might be going on with the AGP card displaying blue lines or why the PCI card won't initialise?

Thank you

LJR


See More: Sony Vaio & PCI Graphics Card

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#1
September 11, 2007 at 07:27:27

Go into the BIOS & change the "initial display" from AGP to PCI


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#2
September 11, 2007 at 08:33:53

Does the mboard have onboard video as well?
If it does, I have found that if such a mboard has a dedicated AGP slot, if there is no AGP card in the slot, the onboard video sometimes will not be disabled automatically when a PCI video card is installed, and the two will both compete for resources and clash and you either get a scrambled display or no display at all from the PCI video card.
In any case, if you do have onboard video, not all video cards, especially older ones, will work properly when the mboard has onboard video that can't be disabled via a jumper on the mboard (almost all mboards don't have such a jumper) - they have to be designed to co-exist with or tolerate there being onboard video.

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#3
September 11, 2007 at 10:06:48

vertical thin coloured lines on screen usually indicates faulty graphics card (hardware, not drivers). If reseating the graphics card (which you have done) does not fix the lines then as far as I know from expereince it is scrap.
Safe mode is not using the full capabilities of the card (it is like running an engine on idle/tickover instead of revving it) so not all defects show up.

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Related Solutions

#4
September 12, 2007 at 06:49:37

Hi,

Thanks for the replies.

I replaced the AGP card with another one that i know works, a Geforce 4 Ti4200 and now the monitor won't even initialise, the same as with the PCI card, nothing.

Is it something with Vaio's that make them particularly picky about what you put in them. That's 2 cards, one PCI & one AGP that i know work perfectly in other machines that don't display anything. Its really confusing?

Thanks again

LJR


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#5
September 12, 2007 at 08:14:26

The same thing applies to AGP cards:
"In any case, if you do have onboard video, not all video cards, especially older ones, will work properly when the mboard has onboard video that can't be disabled via a jumper on the mboard (almost all mboards don't have such a jumper) - they have to be designed to co-exist with or tolerate there being onboard video."

If you also have onboard video,


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#6
September 12, 2007 at 08:52:35

Hi,

My fault, it works now with the new agp card.

When i switched the computer on, the monitor was in standby and wasn't initialising. I turned the monitor completely off then switched the computer on and then swithced the monitor on and it initialised properly. I don't know why it worked this way, maybe the monitor is a bit duff.

Thanks for your help.

LJR


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#7
September 12, 2007 at 09:07:58

It probably has nothing to do with the monitor, but it's a good practice to have your monitor on for at least a few seconds BEFORE you turn on the computer - some video hardware won't detect the monitor properly if that's not the case.
You must have the drivers for your main mboard chipset installed in order for it's ACPI support and Standby/Shutdown/Hibernate to work properly. You must install them whenever you install Windows from scratch, after Setup has finished.

2000 or XP will usually produce a display in Windows even if the initialize xxx video first in the bios is set wrong. If you have an AGP card, if the setting is set to PCI in the bios, the card will be in PCI mode in Windows and will not have it's better AGP capabilities.
In Win 95 thru 98SE, and probably ME, if the initialize xxx video first in the bios is set wrong for an AGP card you get no display once Windows starts to load.


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#8
September 13, 2007 at 05:32:21

Hello again,

I am really confused now.

I bought a brand new Sapphire ATI Radeon 9550 256Mb AGP graphics card and put it in the computer. But it won't POST, so i put the old faulty card back in and it had no problems. So i put the new card in again and still it won't POST. I thought the new card must be faulty so i put it in another machine and it POST'ed first time with no problems. What is going on here?

There is no onboard video to contend with or an option in the BIOS to switch between AGP and PCI, it doesn't like the PCI card i put in, it doesn't like the first AGP Ti4200 i tested it with, but then it did all of a sudden, and now it doesn't like the AGP 9550 I bought, but they all work perfectly in other machines.

Is it possible for Sony to have made it so that only Sony parts can be used in there machines? As i said, the old faulty AGP card works perfectly apart from the blue lines down the screen.

Any ideas as I am really confused about this now?

Again, thanks for all your help :)

LJR


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#9
September 13, 2007 at 13:25:57

"Is it possible for Sony to have made it so that only Sony parts can be used in there machines? "

No, not in recent times.
Brand name systems builders of desktop systems almost always don't make their own mboards - they are supplied to them by major brand name mboard makers and often the only difference is just that the bios is a Sony version.
In fact you can often find the actual mboard makers model, and sometimes the maker, printed on the mboard in plain sight, often between the slots.
Look for that and tell us if you find anything.

"I bought a brand new Sapphire ATI Radeon 9550 256Mb AGP graphics card and put it in the computer. But it won't POST..."

If the AGP slot in the mboard is 4X/8X or 8X compatible ONLY, a card that has 2X/4X/8X capability may work, or it may not, despite the fact you may have no problem physically installing it in the AGP slot, depending on which main chipset you have. Cards with ATI chipsets almost always have a physical universal slot configuration on the contact edge that fits in universal AGP slots and in certain other slot types.
With certain chipsets using a 2X/4X/8X card in the 4X/8X slot will result in a card that won't work, and doing that can damage both the AGP card and the circuits connected to the mboard AGP slot.
The ATI 9550 chipset on the card is 2X/4X/8X compatible. Sapphire was poor information on their web site about their cards and all it may say is it's 8X or 4X/8X capable, but I know from previous research the 9550 chipset is 2X/4X/8X compatible.
Whether it is actually wired to contacts on the card edge that are for 2X is up to the clone card maker, but usually they do wire up everything.
It works in the other computer because that other computer's main chipset doesn't have a problem with a 2X/4X/8X compatible card and the AGP slot's circuits.

"...it doesn't like the first AGP Ti4200 i tested it with..."

Maybe for the same reason.


"There is no onboard video to contend with..."

So that's not the cause of the problem with the PCI card.

"...or an option in the BIOS to switch between AGP and PCI,"

When you don't have onboard video sometimes that option isn't in the bios - it's supposed to be detected automatically.
When you do have onboard video on more recent mboards, the onboard video may be AGP too, and/or you may have a different setting such as onboard video/video card in a slot, or similar.

There's also the possibilty very recent mboard chipsets may not support PCI video cards at all - I know some won't work with older than XP or 2000 operating systems.

Since the AGP card that does work in Safe mode okay, but has lines in normal mode, it could be the AGP circuits on the mboard were damaged by the same event that damaged the card.


You could try:
See response 2 in this - try cleaning the contacts on the ram modules, and making sure the modules are properly seated:
http://www.computing.net/hardware/w...
While the the AC power is still removed to the system, using the same cleaning method to also:
- clean the contacts in the AGP slot.
- clean the contacts on the AGP cards, and any other cards.

- load bios defaults in your bios Setup, especially after you have flashed the bios, to make sure the information and settings the cmos is correct



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#10
September 14, 2007 at 02:50:32

Hi,

I checked the motherboard model and it is an ASUS V7N266-VX and it supports AGP 4x cards only. So if I get a 4x card then it should work.

I have managed to get the Ti4200 working on every boot but now windows doesn't like it. I get the BSOD saying there has been an error with file nv4disp.dll.

I uninstalled the nvidia drivers in safe mode and rebooted the machine. I then installed the drivers again (not in safe mode), driver version 93.71 and rebooted and i ended up with the same problem.

When i looked in device manager it says the card is an Nvidia Ti4200 with 8x AGP. I think as its and 8x card and its installing an 8x driver but the port is 4x then it is having problems. Is there a 4x driver or way of limiting it to 4x? (the windows driver has no problems but then graphics are choppy)

Thanks

LJR


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#11
September 14, 2007 at 03:07:55

I looked at the spec of the ATI 9550 and it appears the card is 8x only. If i bought a card that is compatible with all 3 like this one http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/87... then it should work and it shouldn't have a problem with the drivers as it is an ATI card and completely different drivers to nvidia?

The Nvidia test card i used is an Abit Siluro Geforece4 Ti4200 128Mb OTES 8x. It does have 2x/4x/8x support but the drivers don't work. So an ATI card should sort this out? I was also thinking, will an older version of the drivers work?

Thanks

LJR


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#12
September 14, 2007 at 07:48:12

Usually you can use 4X or 4X/8X cards in mboards with 4X only slots. Take a look at the manual for the ASUS V7N266-VX. It may or may not have info about that, if 8X was available when the manual or the mbioard model was made.
If you aren't sure whether a card chipset is 2X capable because the info might have been be omitted, look at the maker of the chipset's information about that same chipset or their cards with the same chipset
I don't know much about NVidia video chipsets - most of my cards have or have had ATI chipsets - but I have noticed there seems to be more problems with NVidia drivers than with ATI ones. ATI tends to fix problems with their drivers in a relatively short time, and most clone card makers use ATI supplied drivers for recent cards (that wasn't always the case in the past). I haven't had a problem with them in a long time, but it's important to follow the directions on the ATI website if you update drivers (including un-install the previous ones first).
If you didn't un-install previous drivers before installed newer ones that can cause problems with any video card - the display drivers should be in safe VGA mode (no adapter specified in Display - Settings) or a basic VGA mode before you install drivers.
If you have problems with video drivers, if you press F8 while booting and select Enable VGA mode instead of Safe mode, your computer starts up normally except it is limited to a basic VGA mode. You can un-install the problem drivers properly AND install new ones or re-install them in that Enable VGA mode.
Also look for directions wherever you got the drivers. If you have the CD it came with, try the drivers on that if you haven't already.
Also, commonly un-installs of video (and printer) drivers often don't actually un-install everything they installed - they just do enough to disable the active drivers from being used. If you install drivers for a differnt chipset maker's video card after that you have no problems, but if you install drivers for the same maker's chipsets after that, even if it's not the same chipset, you may still have driver files that have the same filename as in the new drivers, and the new driver install may not remove a file of the same name that is older or newer, and you will have problems.
Because of that there are often instructions for how to manually remove all possibly interfering files for that chipset maker's chipsets, or sometimes there are special cleanup utilities you can download and use that will do that for you.

"I get the BSOD saying there has been an error with file nv4disp.dll."

Search on the web and/or the NVidia web site using the exact message or several words in in it (try using " at either end for the whole nessage or or on groups of words) -you may find t-shooting information.

"I think as its and 8x card and its installing an 8x driver but the port is 4x then it is having problems. Is there a 4x driver or way of limiting it to 4x?"

There's usually no way of determining if the driver problem you are having is in any way related to that. You could look at the nv4disp.dll 's Properties but it probably won't help.
The mboard AGP slot and it's circuits automatically limits the video to 4X.

As I have already said Sapphire, as does many other clone card makers, has poor information on their web site.
Here's an example of another 9550 card that does show that chipset is 1X/2X/4X/8X capable :
http://www.apollovga.com/ATI%20Rade...

The same goes for ads for cards. They may not have all the info. If you aren't sure whether a card chipset is 2X capable because the info might have been omitted, look at the maker of the chipset's information about that same chipset or their cards with the same chipset.

"The Nvidia test card i used is an Abit Siluro Geforece4 Ti4200 128Mb OTES 8x. It does have 2x/4x/8x support"

If your problem is caused by your mboard chipset being intolerant of 2X video chipset capabilty and wiring, no card with 2X support will work properly, and the Radeon 7000 card you pointed to will not work either - it works in MOST mboards, as do MOST other ATI chipset cards or other cards with 2X/4X or 2X/4X/8X capability, but there are main chipsets that won't tolerate 2X capability being there at all.
For an ATI chipset based card, I believe 9600 or higher chipsets have no 2X support.
Check that out on the ATI/AMD website tp make sure.
I haven't heard of a problem of any 4X/8X card having any problem with a 4X only AGP slot, but a 8X only card might (again, most cards specified as 8X are actually 4X/8X when you check out their true specs).


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#13
September 14, 2007 at 09:07:34

Hi, thanks for the reply.

The specs of the 9550 on the sapphire website say it is 8x/4x compatible. If the card is 4x capable and the slot is 4x why won't the PC produce a POST beep, initialise the display and boot the computer, but the 2 Nvidia cards will POST, initialise and boot even though the ATI card is fine and works in other computers that have full 8x capability?

I based my decision on the Radeon 7000 on the fact that the ti4200 is 2x/4x/8x compatible and so is that one. This way I can use the ATI drivers and not have to worry about the Nvidia drivers.

If all else fails i can try to get hold of an old MX 460 or similar card.

Thank you

LJR


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#14
September 14, 2007 at 09:42:04

"The specs of the 9550 on the sapphire website say it is 8x/4x compatible."

As I have said several times the Sapphire site has poor information on their web site.

The truth is it's chipset is 1X/2X/4X/8X capable, and it's probably wired up for all of those.
You can find out for sure if you install it on an older mboard with only 2X or 2X/4X support.

"If the card is 4x capable and the slot is 4x why won't the PC produce a POST beep, initialise the display and boot the computer, but the 2 Nvidia cards will POST, initialise and boot even though the ATI card is fine and works in other computers that have full 8x capability?"

As I have said I know little about NVidia cards and their chipsets. What different chipsets with 2X capability do on mboards with 4X or 4X/8X slots that have whatever main chipset probably varies - some may work or partially work, some may not even post.

As I have already explained copiously whether a card with 2X capabilty will work in a mboard depends on which main chipset it has, and ATI cards with that work in MOST, but not all, mboards.

I suspect you probably need to get a card that definately has no 2X support - according to the info on the maker of the chipset's web site! The 7000 chipset one is probably not the card for you. Check out the ATI 9600 and higher chipsets and ATI cards with those chipsets, on the ATI web site - they will probably work fine if they definately don't support 2X. Checking out the chipset's capabilities is more reliable. Most ATI cards are wired up to support all the AGP modes the chipset supports, but there are exceptions. On the other hand, if you buy an ATI brand card rather than a clone, if it's detailed specs say a particular card doesn't support 2X then you can be pretty sure it's not wired up to support it - you can't be sure iof that when you buy a clone makers card with the same chipset - I have found they are often wired for all the modes whether the info on their web site says so or not. You can find out for sure if you install it on an older mboard with only 2X or 2X/4X support.


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#15
September 25, 2007 at 02:58:19

Hi,

I just thought I would let you know that the Radeon 7000 worked perfectly as I had hoped.

Thanks for all your help :)

LJR


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#16
September 25, 2007 at 05:52:57

Thanks for the update.

I looked at the user manual - generic, useless for info about this topic - and specs - very limited - for your model.
Since it came with a AMD Athlon XP 2400+ it is a Socket A mboard and probably has a chipset that supports a 1X/2X/4X (not 8X) AGP slot. Sony didn't make the mboard - it was supplied to them by a major mboard maker and had a Sony bios version slapped on it. If you need more info about the mboard, the actual manufactuer's model, maybe the maker, is probably printed in larger characters on the surface of the mboard, often between the slots.

The nVidia GeForce4 MX 460 is
AGP 8X/4X compliant, but it is probably running at 4X on this mboard. It was an good performing expensive card when it first came out (2002).

I looked up the 9550 on the ATI site and looked at the specs for the Sapphire 9550 - they say 4X/8X compliant in both cases.

A Radeon 7000 chipset is 2X/4X compliant, and cannot support 8X. So since the card works, obviously this mboard chipset is not one that can't tolerate a card with 2X capable chipset and 2X wired up.

I have no idea why the Sapphire 9550 doesn't work on this mboard - it should, unless the bios Setup was set to 2X mode, which would work with the 7000 chipset but not with the 9550 chipset.


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