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Old Mar 30, 2004, 11:20 PM   #1
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pmossop
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Unhappy 3D graphics problem - ATI Radeon Mobility 9000

Hi there,

I am having problems with my Sony VAIO ATI Raedon 9000 Mobility video card.
The 2D graphics (Windows) is working fine but every 3D game that I start up gives me corrupted textures (triangles shooting across the screen) and is un-playable.
This issue started to occur a couple of days ago on-and-off, and now it happens everytime.

I have attached DirectX info below - all Direct3D and DirectDraw tests in DxDiag were successful.

Some screen shots of 3D games (you will need to copy and paste these links, as tripod is screwed):
C&C Generals: http://pdmossop.tripod.com/c_generals_graphics.jpg
Amercias Army: http://pdmossop.tripod.com/americas_army_graphics.jpg
Battlefield 1942: http://pdmossop.tripod.com/1942_graphics.jpg

I have installed the latest Sony VAIO drivers (v. 6.14.0010.6382) for my card, with no success. I have also tried the Omegadrivers... still no success.
I have purged my system as the FAQ forum suggests, and now with the latest driver the situation has not improved. In other forums, users have suggested that this may be caused by dust or overheating...

I would like any suggestions on what diagnostics that I could use to find the problem... Any help will be most appreciated.

Thanks,
Phil

------------------
System Information
------------------
Operating System: Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 1 (2600.xpsp2.030422-1633)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: Sony Corporation
System Model: PCG-GRV670(UC)
BIOS: PhoenixBIOS 4.0 Release 6.0.
Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.60GHz
Memory: 510MB RAM
Page File: 126MB used, 1122MB available
Windows Dir: C:\WINDOWS
DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0b (4.09.0000.0902)
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
DxDiag Version: 5.03.0001.0902 32bit Unicode

---------------
Display Devices
---------------
Card name: MOBILITY RADEON 9000
Manufacturer: ATI Technologies Inc.
Chip type: MOBILITY RADEON 9000 AGP (0x4C66)
DAC type: Internal DAC(350MHz)
Device Key: Enum\PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_4C66&SUBSYS_813C104D&REV_01
Display Memory: 64.0 MB
Current Mode: 1280 x 1024 (32 bit) (60Hz)
Monitor: Digital Flat Panel (1280x1024)
Monitor Max Res:
Driver Name: ati2dvag.dll
Driver Version: 6.14.0010.6382 (English)
DDI Version: 9 (or higher)
Driver Attributes: Final Retail
Driver Date/Size: 7/30/2003 21:03:54, 366080 bytes
WHQL Logo'd: n/a
WHQL Date Stamp: n/a
VDD: n/a
Mini VDD: ati2mtag.sys
Mini VDD Date: 7/30/2003 21:03:22, 600576 bytes
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Old Mar 31, 2004, 02:35 AM   #2
wonc
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Default Sony service

Dear friend,
Have you contact with Sony's service representative? I think that might help you about this problem.
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Old Mar 31, 2004, 08:26 AM   #3
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Default

I have emailed them, and they came back with some instructions on how to upgrade from XP Home to XP Professional (the Sony way), as they must of seen from my email that I was now on XP Pro and the VAIO came with XP Home... so useless as tits on a bull...

I have dealt with Sony before... couple months back I was getting a similar, more serious problem where the graphics totally died, including inside Windows. I sent it back to Sony for repairs and they apparently replaced the motherboard.

I am hoping to not have to go through that fiasco again (and hoping that it is not the same hardware failing) so I am trying everything else before resorting to contacting Sony.
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Old Apr 18, 2004, 08:18 PM   #4
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Default Same problem exactly!

I am having the same exact problem for the second time!

They replaced the main board the first time. I am about to send it in for the second time.

When it works, it works great! But, this is becoming a pain. I will be out of warranty by the end of the summer. I am very frustrated by it.

Good luck with it. I have found no way to remedy the problem, but I think it might be heat related. My laptop was shutting down with heat problems just before the problem arose for the second time.

I sure hope Sony takes care of this.

Intoxicus
gianyoli at c o m c a s t . n e t
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Old Apr 19, 2004, 07:50 AM   #5
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Smile

Update to my problem:

I got a response in another forum from a guy that was getting the same problem, to make a long story short it appears the GRV670 is a dust magnet, and it can be fixed relatively easy.

The forum post can be found here: http://forums.techguy.org/showthread.php?t=215657

Good luck
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Old Apr 21, 2004, 11:30 AM   #6
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Default Doesn't work...

I went through that right after your post. It didn't change a thing for me.

I had to send it off anyway. (presently awaiting its return )

I am begining to believe that it is somewhat related, but I think that it's possible the video chipset or video memory is going bad from the excessive heat caused by a heavily clogged ventilation system. My Vaio GRV680 was shutting down because of excessive temperature. I fixed it by blowing out all the dust. It stopped shutting down, but started having video problems shortly thereafter. I have purchased a Targus chill pad ( w/ the fans and powered by USB). Hopefully, this will help out, too. Also, I will begin regularly cleaning out the excessive dust.

I REALLY REALLY REALLY hope this will avoid another video failure. I am pretty angry with Sony about this. I love the product, and I love that they fix it all pretty fast, but I HATE that it fails in the first place.

I am also extremely glad to know that I am not alone. I thought it was just me, at first.
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Old Apr 22, 2004, 08:03 AM   #7
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Default

I am in the exact same boat as you, I love the product, and the service turn around is good, but I really hope it does not happen again (mainly because my warranty will run out soon, and it is a pain in the butt).

Did you send it in to the San Diego service center? if so, then they will have two notebooks in with the same problem, because mine is there now and is in service. Surely they will wake up and smell the coffee, and try to get to the bottom of this problem. I requested that the technician give me a call before investigation so I can tell him about all this...

Good luck with it, I hope the problem doesn't occur again for either of our notebooks
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Old Apr 22, 2004, 08:06 AM   #8
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Default

Oh, another thing I forgot to mention, it may be a good idea to cover the back vent with some filter (panty-hose has been suggested ) to minimise the dust exposure.
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Old Aug 2, 2004, 09:22 AM   #9
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Exclamation

The problem is the directx 9b. I had the same problem with the 3d games. Triangles coming from the center of the screen and eventually freezing the whole pc. I have the Acer travelmate 803 lci with a Radeon mobility 9000 64 MB card.
I recovered the whole Windows installation from the Acer cd and installed the directx 9 version. Everything was ok. Then i installed directx 9b and , behold , the problem came back. Try this and see what will happen.
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Old Aug 2, 2004, 09:53 AM   #10
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Default

keltis, did you already try with dx9c (available here)
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Old Aug 3, 2004, 02:44 AM   #11
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Default

keltis, it is possible that the DirectX 9b is a part of the problem, since I sent my computer back to Sony and they replaced the hardware (motherboard with all chips), but the problem disappeared even though DirectX 9b was still installed - I have had no problems since...

So I do not think that it is entirely a software issue (for me anyway). Tell us how the DirectX 9c installation goes.
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Old Feb 14, 2005, 06:53 AM   #12
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Default Similar problem different solution

Hi

I have had the same problem for several months. I tried to take the laptop apart and clean the fan as suggested. It had no effect at all.

I few days ago I accedidently stumpled upon a solution that works on my system.

I have described the whole incident in my blog.
2005-02-14
2005-01-15
2005-01-12
2005-01-09

In short here is the procedure - let me know it works for you:

  1. Unplug the power supply cable
  2. Start the game
  3. Switch back to Windows
  4. Insert the power supply cable
  5. Switch back to the game again
Best regards
Michael
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Old Mar 20, 2005, 10:34 PM   #13
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Default

Hello,

Unfortunately, there is no easy solution for this video distortion problem. The chip needs to be removed from the board, reballed and re-mounted. We've performed this repair on several GRV models in the past year and a half. Dust collection and excessive heat conditions are a key player in this problem.

Please see: http://www.aqstech.com/vaio2.html

Let me know if you're out of warranty, we can offer a solution for much less then a replacement motherboard or laptop.

Thanks,

Joe K

[email protected]

Last edited by SMTRework : Jun 29, 2005 at 10:32 PM.
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Old Apr 1, 2005, 04:12 AM   #14
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Default

hummm sonys ****** cooling...

no suprise...

Although... ive seen simular isssues with certain driver sets on my v505dc1p...

Currently i use the 4.5 baced omegas right now, great drivers realy... the 5.1 baced ones however, ran like... ewww.... however the 4.5 baced omegas are running better than should be possible... i can run ff11 with almost all of the "64mb vid ram" only functions on... with a silly little 9200m 32mb... so... *Grin*

SMTRework... your a little outa nowhere... Interesting though ive been trying to find directions to open my v505dc1p fully up (How many hidden sqrews and clips can sony put in this thing jeeeze) not to mention am trying to troubleshoot a sqrewed pc card slot... Havent herd of the issue before, but im off warentee and didnt have trouble repairing my toshiba 1695cdt(although that thing was... easy to open...) multiple times(it had... issues... from being jarred about its entire life by... well me but yah)

Think we could talk sometime?

Erm anyway to those of you whos thread i just highjacked, sorry *wink*

Such issues happening with the default drivers is a bad sign... usualy hardware... If you tried the latest drivers however and then it started...(those damned 5.1s for instance) often its just a poor match... Try something of a differant age(5.2+, 5.1, 4.12-4.10,4.9-4.7,4.6-4.4 i think... i like the 4.5 baced personaly... best preformance for my chip.)

Hope this comes helpfull.
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And people still ignore 98% of my posts not in the mobility help section... lol!!!
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Old Jun 24, 2005, 05:28 AM   #15
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Default

Hi Intoxicus

I have had exactly the same problem. My grv680 had the mobo replaced by sony, now it is couple of months out of warranty and following heavy gaming..same graphical corruptions. I am so frustrated. have you found a solution yet? I cant seem to get the case apart to check out/clean the fan? Anyway has anyone had the mobo replaced like mine...gotten out of wrranty...and the issue has persisted? love to hear from you, any advice or help would be so welcome.

cheers
Eric
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Old Jun 25, 2005, 04:40 AM   #16
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Default

Read my post one above yers, basicaly it says, fiddle with different driver sets, some handle it better than others... tis the best you can do without repairs *Shrugs*

And btw, the sony laptop cases are f-ing hell on earth to open... so... i realy dont suggest trying that hard, but a good dry air blowing can, while the system is off, should be able to blow a fair bit of dust out.

I DID btw manage to cleanly open my sony v505dc1p up after 2 hrs of work, nearly all the way... but then, im good with my hands... and have opened a few dozen other laptops for verious reasons...(destroying, fixing, exploring, pure boredom... heh)
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Im finaly feeling like part of this community...
Im finaly fiddling with pcb design happily...
And people still ignore 98% of my posts not in the mobility help section... lol!!!
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Old Jun 28, 2005, 11:12 PM   #17
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Default

Yeah,
It seems you are on the right track. Take the computer apart and try applying some AS5 if the graphics chip uses a heatsink and fan. And use that filter idea. It seems that the chip is overheating, artifacts are often a sign of that. If it is a passive heat system, then install radlinker or ati tray, or even easier install Omega and use the overclocking tools and underclock it. Maybe I'm wrong, but I know when my Radeon 9600 overheats when the computer freezes or I start to see artifacts. Also sometimes the memory vs core speed proportion can affect performance.
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Old Jun 29, 2005, 04:43 AM   #18
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Default

Thanks guys. I just cannot get that damn case off...i fear i might crack it if i keep trying. I'll try to install the latest omega drivers for the mr9000 and radlinker. The system was reporting 32mb ram a few days ago, now its back to reporting 64! Following installation of the drivers and tweaking with speed settings (if i can - i better get the right version of the Omegas), i'm going to purchase a usb chill pad and see how that goes. Too expensive to have the card re-balled.....only to have it happen again! Thanks for your great design testing Sony! Thanks a lot : (
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Old Jul 19, 2005, 10:44 PM   #19
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Default

Yeah Sony = bad. After having owned three Vaio laptops, I will never again buy a Sony PC product. Some of their models (laptops) have very cool-looking designs, but once you get them, they're a nightmare for advanced users.

Hardware functionality (buttons, even keyboard functions, e.g. Fn key) depend on proprietary software bits that have to be running all the time. Forget about upgrading the OS -- you'll lose pretty much all of that cool hardware 'stuff' because Sony's drivers won't work (on those select models for which they actually do have an OS upgrade page where applicable). And even if you kill all of the junk that's running all the time, their machines are just plain slower than equal-spec machines from other companies.

And Sony tech support is pretty much non-existent. When you spend two hours on the phone only to be shuffled from idiot to idiot asking you "Ok, now let's first look at the green light in the front -- is it on? Are you really really sure it's on? If not, then go up a bit to the rectangular place where it says Power. Now press it." then you realize what Sony tech support is.

I actually have not seen a single Sony laptop user who's had a decently running system. Every single one has had major issues in one way or another. Besides the catchy design, there's no reason at all to buy a Sony -- because even putting aside all of the issues, their products are priced way too high.

Sorry for the rant -- slightly OT I guess.
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Old Jul 24, 2005, 05:51 AM   #20
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Default

Heh, guess im gona have to go slightly OT to respond to that too...

I own a vaio v505dcp1, and... its not THAT bad, atleast when it was released, for its price it was a decent small(12in) system. Abeit, i got it referb, and my pc card slot has since died. Other than that, and not including a cd/dvd set to format it with... its not bad... not that good... but not that bad... It certianly manages what i needed it to do, and the next computer that would have done it at the time, cost twice as much(and was a toughbook... but uh ya... heh it pwns...)

Nothing bigger than a 12in laptop from sony, have i heard anything good about.

They have spiffy 10in- models, i just needed the fully capible(abeit slow) 9200 radeon.

Oh btw, 3 months after buying it, tons of models of the same form, with x600 or 9600 mobs, poped up for the same price... -.- by much better sources... and with a dothan instead of binas(mispellt sorry cant spell at 4am) p-m...

Then again, i realy needed it at the time.
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Im finaly fiddling with pcb design happily...
And people still ignore 98% of my posts not in the mobility help section... lol!!!
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