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 Post subject: ati radeon 9000 all in wonder + zalman nb32j = a long story
PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 3:04 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 03, 2003 12:51 pm
Posts: 83
Location: germany
what i have got here is a complicated story which involves two radeon all in wonders, couple of pcs, one zalman nb32j, hours of troubleshooting and one rain dance.

warning this is a long post. i tried to put in much detail and background info which i though relevant. please read carefully and torough. i put a short summary at the bottom for the lazy readers. but you really should read the details to get a real idea of the problem.

first let me give you an introduction to get to my main question, which is more spcr related.

1. i have an ati radeon 9700 all in wonder. everything working fine (tv tuner and all), but very loud.
2. the user doesn't play games so doesn't need all that 9700 power. idea: get a 9000 aiw and mod passive.
3. got a radeon 9000 aiw. quick test to see wether it's working, put in pc, monitor shows image -> card is working
4. ripped of heatsink fan. slap on zalman nb32j. put in pc, monitor shows image -> card is still working
5. did happy camper rain dance

now to the (spcr related) problem:
the radeon 9000 aiw is in the pc. the tv cable is plugged in the card. when i turn the pc on, the tv image (the real tv) will get noise and other artifacts (not audible noise but noise on the image like little white dots and warping lines scrolling up and down). turn the pc off and the noise on the tv is gone. this wasn't so with the 9700 aiw.

a little background information on my tv cable setup
i have one tv cable jack in the wall. from there the cable is split to the tv (the real tv), the tv tuner (ati radeon aiw), and to some radios in other rooms. the tv and the radeon 9700 aiw got crystal clear images and the radios got crisp sound. no noise, no buzz.

and the question:
is it possible that the zalman nb32j is disturbing the tv tuner on the 9000 aiw and causes the tv tuner to give noise feedback to the cable?

i have read once in spcr that someone put an zalman zm80a on a radeon 9700 aiw and it allegedly worked fine. i thought when a zm80a doesn't disturb the tv tuner noise how can a tiny nb32j?

this concludes my spcr related question thank you for reading so far :)
----
now follows another problem which is a bit more puzzling and abysmal (you have been warned). it is (i hope) unrelated to the noise problem.

guess i'll start with another intro which is now a little broader in scope

in chronological order (the time elapsed between each step is irregular)
1. radeon 9700 aiw working fine, but loud
2. bought radeon 9000 aiw (just bought, not installed, it was sitting idle in a corner in my room)
3. the ati mmc suddenly refused to show tv image or record from tv tuner. it only offered s-video and composite as input. it was acting as if the card got no tv tuner (this is still with the 9700)
> assumption: drivers are fubar
4. lots of driver reinstalls, different driver versions from the cd and from ati homepage, all to no avail. the ati mmc (multimedia center) software in all versions refuses to recognize the tv tuner.
> assumption: windows is fubar (with different drivers and stuff)
5. format harddisk, install windows 2000 with service pack 4 and directx 9. then install newest drivers downloaded from ati homepage. nothing, mmc still refuses to recognize the tv tuner.
> note: the card is properly recognized as an all in wonder, tv tuner and lots of other stuffs are properly recognized and drivered. the hardware manager showed no exclamation marks.
> assumption: the tv tuner is somehow damaged although the card is still working fine?
6. frustated
7. put in radeon 9000 aiw (already with passive mod). fresh windows install, install ati drivers, aaannd ... nothing!!! still no tv tuner!
> assumption: the tv tuner is somehow damaged although the card is still working fine? on both cards?? at the same time????
> note: it _IS_ possible that _I_ damaged the 9000 aiw while doing the passive mod. but it would have too much a coincidence that the 9700 got the exact same symptoms at the same time.
> note: it is also possible that the tv tuner on the 9000 was DOA already since i never tested the tv tuner before i did the mod, i thought when the pc boots up and monitor shows image the card is working fine.
8. confused. prayers and oblation to some random spirits.
> assumption: the pc suddenly doesn't like the radeon aiws somehow.
9. put the radeon 9000 aiw in another pc, fresh windows install, fresh driver install, and... still no tv tuner. i tried several different combinations and order of install of the drivers. nothing. i couldn't test the 9700 aiw on this pc because the mainboard refused to boot with the 9700.

i am now completely stumped. i have two ati radeon all in wonders on two different pcs with several drivers but all refuse to recognize the tv tuner. err... help?

----
short summary, here are my two questions again

is it possible that the zalman nb32j is disturbing the tv tuner on the 9000 aiw and causes the tv tuner to give noise feedback to the cable?

is it possible that on two different radeon aiws (one 9000 and one 9700) the tv tuner component goes defect, with the rest of the card still working fine, with the exact same symptoms on both cards, at the same time?

well okay the second question wasn't actually asked before but it is still a valid question
the real second question would rather be: are my two aiws cursed? ^_^;

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 4:10 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2002 6:33 am
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Sorry that I can't help you with your actual issue but I'll give you mad props for your writing style, I like it. Maybe if you pass this along to your vidcards they'll start working......:)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 5:30 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 1:48 pm
Posts: 445
Location: Sydney, Australia
To me it looks like you've got 2 unrelated problems which are just a coincidence. That could be making it seem like they are the same problem when they are not.

Have you tried using ATI's latest catalyst drivers? They have just released a new version. (can't remember the number).

Incidentally, I have a AIW 9000 and will be replacing the HS with a passive one soon, so it will be interesting to see if I get any problems with the tuner (I don't use it for that much, mainly video capture).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 3:16 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 03, 2003 12:51 pm
Posts: 83
Location: germany
thanks, at least some people took their time to read my post through :`)

i'm glad to report that i have solved both problems, tv tuner is working again and noise on tv is gone.

the culprit for the tv tuner problem was directx 9.0b. apparently dx90b has a bug (or feature as microsoft likes to call them) which disables about every tv tuner there are. after i learned of this the whole thing started to make sense...

my dad (the user of the aiw) is using winxp. apparently he did (or winxp did) a windows update which installed dx90b on his machine. coule of days later the tv tuner stopped working (well it stopped working since the update but just now became apparent). now i was fighting around with the problem and, not knowing about the dx90b tv tuner bug, i installed dx90b right along with every fresh windows install. that explains why the tv tuner on both cards didn't work in just about _every_ combination i put them. hell i was starting to believe in ghosts back then, hehehe ... *shudder*

here some links for reference

the forum i found out about this dx90b bug
http://www.rage3d.com/board/
i can heartily recommend this forum to any ati aiw user and ati users in general

the dx90b bug thread in rage3d forum
http://www.rage3d.com/board/showthread. ... d=33700362

the ati infobase entry for this bug
http://www.ati.com/support/infobase/4254.html

the microsoft knowledgebase entry
http://support.microsoft.com/default.as ... us;Q825116

the microsoft hotfix download
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/deta ... laylang=en

<rant>
microsoft didn't include this hotfix in their windows update website, one must download this fix manually, and to do that one must find out that dx90b was the culprit in the first place. while ati should have put a note on their download page in big red letters notifying about this problem. instead they warn the users that directx 9.0 should be installed prior to installing the mmc (note they specifically said 9.0 not 9.0a or 9.0b hmm hmmm).
</rant>

the noise on the tv was solved quite simply but all the more mystifying.
i played around with my cable connections and noticed that different combinations provided different results in terms of noise in picture and sound quality to different devices (tv, aiw, radios). i tried around with different combinations. then, just out of a hunch, i put everything back the way it was before... lo and behold, noise gone. clear picture and sound on all devices. i can only guess that this is because of some potential build up on the ati 9000 aiw which was released while i tried the different combinations (???) ^_^;

@pangit i think the noise problem was in no way related to the zalman nb32j. when you have modded your 9000 aiw please report your results to verify this.

well thats the end of this story i'm glad it got a happy end ;)

and if you have read this far, thanks for reading!!!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 3:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 4:14 pm
Posts: 517
Location: Toronto, Canada
Thanks for the information on th bug.

I haven't bothered hooking up the TV Tuner on my AIW 9000 Pro, so haven't seen this problem yet.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:25 am 
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Patron of SPCR

Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 1:48 pm
Posts: 445
Location: Sydney, Australia
Yeah, thanks for those links. I might have to install that hotfix myself if my AIW starts playing up.

And I'm glad the noise was not related to the heatsink, I'll see what happens with mine. I'm not using a Zalman though, I have an old stock Athlon HS which is probably a bit of overkill, but with some judicious use of a hacksaw and drill I can mount it on my AIW, so I'll report back when it's done!!

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Pangit's PC silencing project "on the (not so) cheap"


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