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Problems with GeForce4 440 go in Dell C800 laptop

Guest StarMan

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Guest StarMan

I put a GeForce4 go in my Dell C800 laptop. (It's going to go in a C840 laptop but I'm still getting parts to rebuild it)

Anyway - I'm running win2k. I tried downloading the Nvidia drivers but they wouldn't load at all. I tried getitng Dell drivers but while they would SUPPOSEDLY load, they would fail to show as installed upon reboot.

OK... so I was suggested to try 44.68 drivers with a modified .INF file. I had PARTIAL success but the system crawled.

Let me describe:

The good news: This time they loaded and worked. When I re-booted, my card was listed as the GeForce4 go 440. I was able to get my desired resolutions. Sounds good, right? But wait...

The BAD news: The system was slow. REALLY slow. I'm talking about comparing it to when I once tried to load Windows95 on a 386 with 8MB slow! Clicking on a menu item took between 10 sec to over a minute for anything to appear. Right-clicking the screen to make adjustments also took 10-30 seconds (when nothing else was going on). In addition to the slowness, there seemed to be NO controls to manage my external monitor with my laptop's monitor (I've always had these dual controls).

The extreme slowness was NOT only at hi-res. In fact, just after loading the driver while at 640x480x16, it was just as slow. Bumping it to 1680x1050x32bit didn't slow it down any. In fact I had to reboot and use "vga mode" in the boot menu to be able to write this reply. In "VGA mode", performance is normal again.

I have to presume something is hokey with the driver - but I don't know what would be SO extreme.

I will add it took over 5 minutes to shut the machine down and it took over 5 minutes just to see the IE window first start to appear when I tried to browse.

Any idea WHY things would work SOOOO poorly?

Are there any BETTER drivers available?

I also am curious where I could find the latest BIOS updates for the GeForce4. They supposedly have some on the Dell site but they require downloading to a FLOPPY (I don't even know where I put my floppy drive after rearranging my office), plus I don't know how recent they are.

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OK, I believe I might know the problem!

(BTW - I'm the OP, but I am now registered. I had to take a different name because the previous one was taken).

I believe the GeForce4 card is *BAD*.

There are two reasons to believe this:

1. The laptop screen connector seems to be bad. I noticed when starting the laptop that the laptop screen flashed a gray bar (I've been using a C/Port II for this with external LCD). When I tried disconnecting the external monitor I got a 1/2 gray screen with green lines. I tried re-seating the connector without much luck. Just the gray bar. I took the GeForce2 32MB I had for another laptop and connectred that - the laptop screen worked FINE! So... unless the screen connection is FUNDAMENTALLY different with the GeForce4 from the GeForce2, the card has a problem. I didn't see any bent connections though.

2. When I booted up with the GF2, the slowdown problem DID NOT EXIST. Everything is working quite quickly, even at my 1680x1050 true color rez. I'm usuing the same 44.68 drivers as before.

Anyway... I will assume the card is bad UNLESS someone here can suggest a reason it's NOT.

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Figured I'd ask again if the more graphics-card savvy here agree that my GF4 was a bum card... :)

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