About five days after installing a video capture card, my system has started locking up every hour or so. After a reboot, Windows says that my ATI Radeon 9800 failed. Once I pull the video capture card out, my system works fine again. The capture card also seems to run flawlessly in a different system.

Could this be a heat problem? My computer isn’t hot enough to fry an egg on, but you could probably incubate one in there. Or does it sound more like a power supply problem? How would I even figure that out?

It is at least somewhat likely that it is a power supply problem, but figuring out exactly what it is might not always be possible. I tried to help a friend with a 9800SE that often crashed. We suspected a power supply problem, but even though the card worked in another system, it would not work in his machine with the same power supply. In that case it might have been a software related problem, it’s possible that the 9800 can’t handle unstable Windows installations.

You can check heat problems by using an open case with external fans blowing in, and just make sure that temperatures seem reasonable. If you don’t want to swap power supplies I suppose you can try to unplug as much as possible, and then make sure that the graphics card has its own power line.

Also, check your graphic card settings as well as the BIOS setup if Fastwrite is enabled. If that’s the case, disable it (both, in the software and in the BIOS). Got myself a Radeon 9500Pro last year and my system locked up frequently. Disabling Fastwrite helped it.


Things it could be or you should do:

Power Supply too weak
Shared IRQ (try a different slot for the capture card)
Turn off VPU recover
Turn off fast writes
Turn down AGP speed to 4x if it was at 8x (essentially no speed difference)

– Xaroc

I think it’s more likely that this is an incompatability issue between the video and the capture card. The system where the capture card works has a different brand video, yes?

Does the video you’re having problems with have its own capture feature? You might try disabling it, if it does. Make sure the two cards are not sharing an IRQ.

I have also noticed that some motherboards just do not deal well with various part combinations. I had a board based on the VIA chipset that was a real PIA to get various parts to work together. One of my NICs just refused to work in it, offering random lockups that were frustrating to troubleshoot. I swapped for a different NIC and everything worked fine.