Showing posts with label Windows. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Windows. Show all posts

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Problems with NVIDIA GT220 and Windows 7 64-bit

Sorry about the extremely narrow focus of this post, but I wanted to make sure that anyone out there suffering from the same problems as mine knows that they're not alone.

I recently built a computer from parts (more on that another time – I'm not sure how many people would be interested in the details) to use as my primary development machine.  The last time I built a machine was in 1999 or 2000.  A lot has changed in the past ten years.  Fortunately, the assembly/setup process went relatively smoothly, except for problems with one part.  I bought the ASUS-branded version of the NVIDIA GT220 (ENGT220) graphics card from NewEgg.  I'd happily link to their product listing, but that would be rather silly, given that I can't currently recommend it as a purchase.  The card slid nicely into the PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot and my DVI cable attached happily to the appropriate port (this version of the card comes with D-SUB/VGA, DVI, and HDMI ports).  However, when it came time to install Windows 7 64-bit, the problems began.

At first, it was recognized as merely a generic video card – no big surprise, still a bit of a disappointment for a mainstream card that is by no means on the bleeding edge.  My next idea was to download drivers from ASUS's website.  I installed the newest version and rebooted.  Up came the the login screen at full resolution and I thought I was done.  Unfortunately, after I logged in, my screen went totally blank/black.  After much experimenting and many installs/uninstalls, I managed to get the card to work with a slightly older version of the drivers provided by ASUS.  The story would end there, but sadly the problem returned shortly after.  This time, I first did a search on Google for gt220 screen blank, which revealed that others were having similar problems, and not just with the ASUS version.  After reading a blog post and some forum questions and trying several other driver versions, I finally found something promising.  A user on the NVIDIA forums complained that his DVI port had stopped working.  Inspired by that, I tried connecting my monitor via the D-SUB/VGA port instead of DVI.  That worked!  Since then, I've been running for two weeks without a problem.  I can't say I find the solution very satisfying, but at least it worked.

By the way, I'd love to get feedback from other GT220 owners as to whether the solution I described (or something different) works for you.  Please let me know in the comments.

Update (Dec. 10, 2010): I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I finally gave up and bought a new graphics card with an ATI Radeon HD 5570.  I'd link to the actual card, but I got a great deal on it because it was just about to be discontinued.  So far, it's been great.  It's slightly faster than my GT220 card, consumes less power, has a quieter fan, and (best of all) works on both the D-SUB and DVI ports.  Good luck to everyone who sticks with their GT220!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sizer - nice little window sizing tool

I was just looking at the blog of Jeff Winkler, another member of the Boston Java Meetup and saw his entry, "Fix Offscreen Windows Easily with Sizer". Using a screencast, he describes a cool little app called Sizer, which allows you to set the exact size of an application window on a Windows machine (looks like it doesn't support Vista yet), but also helps you make lost/off-screen windows visible again. It comes with three preset window sizes (640x480, 800x600, and 1024x768), but you can easily add your own by right-clicking on Sizer's System Tray icon and choosing "Configure Sizer...". I've added a few which subtract the approximate height of the taskbar (30 pixels on my machine) so that I can see what an app would look like at other standard monitor sizes. I like my widescreen monitor, but I know not everyone has one. I hope you find it useful.