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Moody Laptop


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Hey! I have a few issues with my computer, often with regards to specific games. Now I just spoke to my customer "service" and they are saying it's all the games' fault, so I wanted to ask you guys.

 

1: Civilization IV

Having a real hard time reading the DVD. Last install I had to open and close the CD drawer about 30 times until (and don't ask me why it suddenly worked) the DVD read and I could install. Then after about 10 attempts at installing (which really is a prob with the game and not my computer), it installed properly. Finally the game did not start without a no-DVD crack (but then proceeded to work perfectly).

So... Lies the problem with my DVD drive, or with the Civilization IV DVD itself? I know others have this problem, but my DVD drive has never been quite right either. Theories are welcome.

 

2: The Sims 2

The other day I was playing peacefully and minding my own business, all was running well, went to get some lunch, then came back to a frozen game. After a sec or two the screen turned green-black-pixely, then black, then blue with an hourglass icon for a few seconds - before returning to the game screen for anything from five to twenty seconds. Then the process repeated itself a few times before the black screen never turned blue again, but the game seemed to go on without graphics at all in the background (noises, voices etc). I shut the game down via ctrl-alt-del and found that even scrolling down an online newspaper seemed to strain the machine - but after a reboot things were back to normal.

After the problem occurred I reformatted, hoping it was not a hardware issue, but the problem remains. I also tried playing the Sims 2 with ATI drivers - this resulted in no Sims, but a driver error message (it said the driver was not responding) and black and green and all wrong, weird colours in windows even. I immediately went back to my Omega drivers. Still the problem persists and my customer "service" wants me to call EA and ask if they have a particular patch just for me. Any ideas?

 

3: Keyboard/mice

Sometimes my keyboard doesn't work. It's happened a few times after a boot - just no reaction at all, I have to reboot again to get a reaction. Also it's happened in the middle of something, and I have no idea why. Meanwhile I've been having some problems with my old mouse, it seems to be reacting slowly or not at all. Especially in Nolf, this can be very frustrating. Sometimes it works fine for hours, but sometimes it spacks up real quick (as Sascha's father's mouse and Sascha's mouse did when I visited and I had to borrow a mouse which DID work.) (All Logitech mice, if that matters) My new Microsoft mouse has not had this problem yet. Could this be a chip problem? Do the keyboard and mouse have the same chip?

 

To wrap it up, my specs:

HP Pavilion ZT3330EA

1,5 gHz Pentium processor

512 MB ram

ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 with Omega Drivers 2.6.05a and 64 MB memory

SoundMAX digital audio

Toshiba ODD-DVD SD-R6252

Windows XP Home with SP2

 

Any other info you need to say something about this, lemme know. All games, hardware and software mentioned have been updated as far as I can. I reformatted yesterday. Any thoughts on how to fix it or who to blame/hold responsible? Thanks!

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I don't know if it's a laptop or game issue, but I can tell you that Sims2 frequently screws up our computers. It's frozen up the computer countless times and sometimes after exiting it normally things didn't run correctly. Reboot always solves the problem, but it's a pain.

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Thanks for the input. The Civilization IV disc has been causing me grief since the day I got it, but considering my DVD drive has been fussy since forever I figured I'd give it some tries. Anyhow I doubt it's dirty. I might need to clean the lens on my computer though.

 

Sims 2 - powersave? Hm? Don't know what that is but if you have some ideas I'd love to hear'em Goo.

 

Indy, I have been having some trouble with this laptop indeed. Official support for my DVD drive is nowhere to be found, Toshiba or HP. The drivers for it are just not available online... Whaddaya give me for that. I'm sure they got these drives cheap. Who would you buy a laptop for gaming from, then? I'm gonna have to get a new one at some point anyhow.

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I don't know if it's a laptop or game issue, but I can tell you that Sims2 frequently screws up our computers. It's frozen up the computer countless times and sometimes after exiting it normally things didn't run correctly. Reboot always solves the problem, but it's a pain.

 

No offense, but most of the time when (modern) games crash its you computer not the game itself, look at the FEAR forum tech section for example.

 

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No offense, but most of the time when (modern) games crash its you computer not the game itself, look at the FEAR forum tech section for example.

It's the only game that gives us problems, though. We have a lot of other brand new games that run perfectly fine and don't create issues. Every Sims that we've had over the years has been a pain in the butt now and then. I'd tell you the computer specs, but I don't have a clue. That's my husband's area. lol!

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the only problem i can think of is the omega drivers. i know some people swear by them but they have been a big problem for my 9800 pro. the omega drivers are stock catalyst drivers that are are tweaked. they also overclock your ati card so that could be the problem. it's probably not wise to o/c a laptop graphics card as the usually rely on system resources.

 

you can do some inquiring at www.rage3d.com/board. this is a great place to troubleshoot your ati problems. you'll need to find out what catalyst version works best with your card.

 

good luck

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Thanks for the input. The Civilization IV disc has been causing me grief since the day I got it, but considering my DVD drive has been fussy since forever I figured I'd give it some tries. Anyhow I doubt it's dirty. I might need to clean the lens on my computer though.

 

Got any friends with an external DVD or CD drive? Hook it up and see if the problem persists.

 

 

Indy, I have been having some trouble with this laptop indeed. Official support for my DVD drive is nowhere to be found, Toshiba or HP. The drivers for it are just not available online... Whaddaya give me for that. I'm sure they got these drives cheap. Who would you buy a laptop for gaming from, then? I'm gonna have to get a new one at some point anyhow.

 

Toshiba makes a good laptop. Dell can be good. For gaming? Alienware is the best. For all around performance, my favorite brand for laptops and desktops is MPC (formerly Micron). They are a major supplier to the US Government and Military, and they're all I buy at work (I'm in charge of several networks, and about 300 PCs and laptops). Their support is fantastic! Totally US based (I know you're European, Spacko, so I don't know if that means anything to you -- we yanks have a bit of trouble dealing with thick sub-continental accents). Next-day parts and service. Pricey, though.

 

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on your DvD drive is it removable? if so remove it and make sure there is nothing on the connection side (dust etc) also use a flashlight to peek inside the socket where it goes on the laptop and see if it has anything in it. If it's not removable persay use a CD/DVD cleaning device on the drive (sometimes the laser gets dust on it etc. as well)

 

As with any gaming machine make sure the power settings are set for always on. Disable hibernation mode and screen savers etc.

 

Check all your drivers for video, sound and direct X too.

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Okay it appears it isn't my graphics card. I made a new account with a couple of tweaks as per a help website for the Sims 2 and it ran smoothly again. Plus, I installed Half-Life 2 and that suffered only small chops at 1024x768. I still wonder why it's spacking up though, but I'm patient enough to be satisfied with this.

 

Oh and all drivers/firmware/directx elements here are the latest version I can get my hands on - with the exception of the graphics drivers. With the ATI ones, Nolf froze my system altogether a few times, and when I switched to Omega I got rid of that problem. Plus, the Sims 2 still worked better with them. In conclusion I have better experience with Omega - but unfortunately the entire new line of them seems incompatible with my system. Thus I have old Omega drivers.

 

The powersave settings, I already have. On another topic, does anyone know if those cleaning discs can damage the laser/lens of my dvd drive?

 

Also, upon two reboots yesterday my keyboard didn't work. Chip problem? Grr.

 

But hey thanks for all the input! I am learning a lot from all of this and really appreciate your help.

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