Here are my specs:
Pentium 4 2.26 Ghz
1GB DDR RAM
Nvidia geforce 64mb ram
Soundblaster Audigy 1
Win XP Pro SP1 with all critical updates installed
I got this alienware PC about a year ago from the factory with everything pre-installed, so I don't know what video driver was installed when I got the PC. But, a couple months ago, my windows automatic update software popped up in my system tray to tell me that new critical updates were available from microsoft. I don't see how a new video driver is a critical update (my old driver was working fine), but I went ahead and installed it as I do all critical updates from the microsoft website when they are released. I think it also installed some new software, because when I rebooted after the update, some program from Nvidia was running in my system tray, and I immediately closed it thinking that I'd check it out later. (I didn't know about the stop errors that I'd start getting soon yet.) But now I can't find that program anywhere in my list of installed programs, or in my "program files" folder on my C drive either, so I don't really know what it was.
Now, my PC is always on, and I usually reboot about once a week. But immediately after I intalled this new Nvidia video driver from microsofts website, my PC started crashing every 1 or 2 days. The dreaded blue screen appeared telling me that a stop error occured, and that I should check to see if any newly installed hardware or software is installed correctly, then reboot. It said something about memory being incorrectly allocated, and I went to google to see if I could find out more, and read something on a website about video drivers trying to access memory that isn't there anymore, or is in the wrong place, and that sometimes a computer will crash long after this error has occured, not necessarily immediately after..... I wasn't really sure what to do next, so I searched around in the windows control panel, and stumbled upon a place where I could roll back my video driver to the previous one I had installed. I gladly did this, and thought that it would solve my problems, but all that did was decrease the frequency with which my PC crashes. Now, I only get the stop error every 3 to 5 days instead of every 1 or 2. Sometimes I will return home from work to find that the stop error has occured while nobody was at the pc, and the monitor was turned off, but usually it will occur when I switch screens really fast, or close a bunch of windows quickly.
I've thought about removing the video drivers completely and re-installing the old video driver, but don't know how to do that, and I'm not sure what the old video driver is, or how to get it....
Could this problem have anything to do with the Nemo codec pack or any other video codecs that I have installed on my system? I installed the Nemo codec pack on my system many months ago, long before I read one of Chickenman's posts here on CD freaks telling people never to install that pack. I still have it installed however..... At least I did follow the advice that I should install as few of the codecs in the nemo codec pack as possible. I only installed the ones I needed.... and I also have the Divx 5.x? codec, and the Xvid video codec... not sure what else......
Can anyone give me some advice on how to fix this problem without reformating my C drive?