Having video problems please help

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by dandxg, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. My computer is freezing up and causing me to reboot in the middle of trades, not good :mad: When the market is moving fast I have 5 charts open in Sierra Chart, IB, 2 Ninja Domes, and Skype running. It sound like alot, but I almost never hit 100% on CPU, even when I do it doesn't freeze/lock up then. It seems to have something do with fast moving markets on the charts and dome movement.

    I have done a number of things to rectify the situation so I am looking for input. I disabled onboard video, reinstalled video drivers from Matrox GMS 200 Quad card. I have a 1 year old Dimension 4700 with 3.2 GHZ HT and 1.5 gig of ram with 160 HD. I have a fast cable connection, no problems there. I have 3 different mfgs LCD 19" monitors. I have tried changing video settings, except screen resolution which I am using native.

    It seems to happen when I move the cross hair around sometimes to fast. Sometimes, when not even moving global crosshair in Sierra Charts I get price changing and flickering back and forth between the charts I have up even though it should only show the one I have the crosshair pointed in,hmm? I have received error message go to Matrox website, but reinstalling the drivers did nothing.

    Your help and feedback is greatly appreciated. :)

  2. beatpoet


    Need more info to troubleshoot:

    1. Operating system: Win XP? Which service-pack?

    2. Does the problem occur when all of the programs are running? Try to run one program at a time and see if you get the same freeze-up.

    3. What other programs are running? Try hitting CTRL-ALT-DEL once and look at the processes. If you can't make head-or-tails of it, list the programs at your task bar (such as the icons next to the clock).

    4. Just looking at your hardware list, your components are fine. Some lock-ups can occur with a bad set of memory chips (try replacing it, and make sure you use the same brand, type and size for the memory). If you've recently upgraded the memory, there might be a conflict if you've put in more memory, but it didn't match up with what you have (or the chips were bad to begin with). If you've upgraded recently, tell me exactly what was upgraded and how (if it's from Dell, list it as so).

    5. Be careful with this tip: If using WinXP, you can use a previous restore point (if this is enabled). Make sure the restore point was a time when all of the programs were installed and running perfectly. If you do restore, please make a new restore point today, with notations as "4-27-06 testing previous RP".

    I'd check hardware components first, then software. Some programs will clash and interrupt one another. Load one program at a time, use it intesively, then load the next, etc. Do so until you hit the freeze point.

  3. Thanks, I was losing faith that anyone would reply.

    I am running XP PRO SP2. I have an aftermarket memory but from a very good company, seriously I have never had a problem with the memory, no beeps or anything like that. 512 came from Dell, 1 gig from third party, no problems since installing.

    The problem happens in a fast moving market. Should I consider turning of hyper-threading? I left 8 charts and ninja with 2 domes, and IB on came back 1 hour later frozen/locked up. The faster the market moves the more prone to flicker all screens at once. For some reason using the cross hair in Ninja Trader charts really causes all screen to flicker. Now I use Sierra Charts with IB and Ninja for trading platform.

    I did deactivate auto updates from microsoft, and I have alot of anti-spyware programs running, so I will start shutting them down as you suggested. I use this computer for everything, I realize that's not optimal though.

    Thanks again for your advice,

  4. beatpoet


    Try to use a dedicated trading computer. The less "junk", the better the trades and analysis.

    There are a few things you can try out before sending in reinforcements, which I recommend in this order:

    -Backup all of your data. Essential things are My Documents, your IE or Firefox bookmarks, datas from any trade/chart/statistical software, etc. Nobody can know what will happen when troubleshooting.

    -As for the memory, using two mis-matched memory chips might cause problems. This is based on my experience in building high-end gaming rigs (I used to own a chain of gaming LAN centers). I would do this: remove the Dell memory (512) and move the 1GB to the memory slot 0 (the primary slot). Try running all of the programs again and try to recreate the problem. Do it vice-versa (remove the 1GB and just run off of the 512MB) and see if it does the same. Also, can you provide the memory info (brand and type)?

    -Matrox might have newer driver sets available online. Try updating it. As time goes on, new graphics card drivers can run better than the stock drivers from the CD.

    -For the Dell 4700-specific updates, go to dell.com and look up for any Dell-approved updates. A newer BIOS might be needed, or updates to the Intel-chipset motherboard for better optimization. I would recommend updating everything else first BEFORE the BIOS. If you screw up the BIOS update (though I know Dell offers a fairly safe and simple Windows-based BIOS update software), it can make your computer unbootable. This is not to deter you from updating the BIOS, but do read the directions carefully.

    -HyperThreading is a funny technology. It tries to multiply the speed of data-transfer and processing, but sometimes can overlap and cause an error. This is a rare phenomenon, but does happen. First, try to update the Intel chipset (Intel 915G Express) from Dell and check the problems. If that doesn't help, turn off ALL non-essential software (especially those anti-spyware and anti-vir softwares, since they are actually running in background and can cause active memory fluctuations). Test the computer again by running all your trading and chart apps. Turn off HT, and rerun.

    Good luck and keep me posted

  5. GS19


    Is there a free memory test program available to test memory. Would be nice to chech once in a while as i have had memory go bad on certain bits. TIA
  6. Beatpoet,

    Thanks so much for your help. Since removing and installing new Matrox drivers for XP yesterday and get rid of auto updates for windows things seem much better, CPU is almost at 0% usage even with charts. I am looking at BIOS upgrade from Dell, will do after market hours.
  7. beatpoet


    Glad to hear it, Dan.

    To keep your PC in perfect shape, here are a few good links that all net-traders should keep in their bookmarks:

    Utilities (mix of free and sharewares):


    Freeware (my fave, since my money is better spent on the market!):


    I cannot say which are the best utilities, but from my past experience...

    All-in-one Windows/PC diagnostic:
    SiSoft Sandra

    Memory diagnostic:

    CD/DVD backup:
    Nero Burning Rom

    Mozilla Firefox

    Benchmark (to determine speed, reliability and show off my geekness):
    3DMark 05 & 06

    I do not recommend nor endorse any and all products/sites listed here. Use at your discretion. That's my $.02 disclaimer. :)

    BTW, funny stuff to check out (after the market closes and we're done counting our wins/losses):


  8. Thanks beatpoet for the links I will check them out.