Code 43 Bleg

Any recommendations?
I turned off my monitor and walked AFK. When I turned it on again, the screen was unresponsive. After a hard boot, “Windows has stopped this device because it has reported problems. (Code 43)” The device is a NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT, and I am using 32-bit Vista. Updating the video drivers did not help. I probably would have flashed the BIOS by now if the ASUS update tool was being more helpful. I should sleep before doing anything more destructive, but I am pondering whether it is more expensive to test a new video card or a new motherboard.

Alternately, what’s the current sweet spot for price/performance on video cards these days? If it is a dead video card, I will be shopping.
Or I could spend less time online. Or I could swipe my wife’s laptop.

: Zubon

We’re good with software around here, not hardware.

22 thoughts on “Code 43 Bleg”

  1. just bought a Nvidia GTS250. Its a good card for little $$.
    I am very happy with it, although i had to get a beta driver from because my TFT didn’t get a video signal with Nvidias newest driver…

  2. Code 43 usually means damage to the device. You might be able to revive it by unseating the device, clearing any fans and air vents of dust with compressed air, and reseating the device and all related power connections, followed by completely uninstalling and then reinstalling the driver, then resetting the BIOS to defaults if you’re still seeing problems. Or you might not.

    For replacements, what performance do you need? The 8800’s good for most MMORPGs at ‘normal’ (~1400×900 or less at conventional detail levels and 30-50 FPS), and the nVidia 250 or Radeon HD 4870 would be nicely priced at the ~120-160 USD range at similar to slightly better performance. But if you need to upgrade, say run Far Cry 2 or Crysis on zOMG levels, there’s some nice stuff in the 250 USD range, like the nVidia 275s or a pair of Radeon 4870s in Crossfire.

  3. I would do just the same as gattsuru suggested, you cannot do anything if the card is really defective. Compressed air cleaning might work wonders – I always visit my local jeweler for such actions. Even if he is not a friend, they are usually curious and let people do it for free.

    I suggest you run a tool to monitor HDD/CPU/GPU temperature and processor load. This can show you when things go wrong, i.e. temperature rises unexpectedly. I personally use Everest, but there are Freeware alternatives. I just like that it displays plain numbers in various colors in the task bar, gives me a feeling of control and is not too flashy. My GPU is at 53°C at the moment.

    I do not suggest buying any SLI or double-slot card monstrosity. They manage to heat up the whole system, and I see no reason to support companies that cannot code games that run well on contemporary rigs without issues. I did that in my youth, basically supported the hardware industry by paying a lot of money to run crappy game engines. :P

    I keep my fingers crossed that it was only the graphics card and that the mainboard did not get harmed, too!

  4. This is trickier than it sounds. The 8800, 9800, and 250, are all essentially the same card. Same processor and everything. However, the 260, which has an improved processor and can be found for as little as $139, requires substantially more power. Minimum of an Antec Earthwatts 500, and more likely a 600w generic. My Antec Sonata III case came with an Earthwatts, and I have researched that specific 500 watt supply can support a 260. Further, I then used a friend to guineapig it. It works.

    I will walk you through this as best I can, but I need to know your needs and wants.

  5. Added note: Some SLI options actually run slower than a single card alone.

  6. Software stuff to try.

    1. Log into Windows in SAFE MODE.
    2. Uninstall your video driver completely.
    3. Reboot into VGA mode.
    4. Install last driver you knew was working.


    Hardware stuff you an try.

    1. Reseat the card on the mobo.
    2. Try a new power cable to the card (make sure its not a power supply issue, because that will make you really sad when your new card doesn’t work either).
    2a. You may need to disconnect non-essential items and test the card again. It could be the PSU has lost its ability to supply everything with enough juice at the required levels.

  7. – Did not have compressed air on hand last night, did unseat/clean as could/reseat.
    – Did re-install drivers, have not tried safe mode.
    – Have not tried switching power cables.

    – My graphics needs are usually a few years behind the latest, and keeping an MMO running smoothly during 50+ person PvP is usually the harshest thing. The Orange Box is the other thing I have that makes any demands, although I like to retain the option to play something more strenuous. I have a 600W power supply already, so that is not a restricting factor.

    Testing things, testing things.

  8. Are all the fans on the video card spinning under power? That is my only thought but it sounds like you’ll need a new one.

    1. Tempting, nice! I have an 8800GTS right now from EVGA. I like their cards. I also almost always buy from Newegg.

    2. Sadly, sold out. Maybe it will become available soon. The next-closest item seems a little more expensive, and it is the same price with in-store pickup from a local chain.

  9. Fans spin.

    That looks like a good 260 deal. That’s about what Amazon charges for a 250. Haven’t look at prices much except to note that ordering online is definitely going to beat out in-store pickup.

    I’ll stop by a friend’s house later and see if it works in his system. If it is dead there, it is probably a dead card. And I can get compressed air for cleaning it while I’m out.

  10. The only problem with a 260 is that it is a full 10.5 card. This _is_ the newer 260 core 216, with the lower power draw and so on, so it’s a pretty cool card… for a pretty hot card.

  11. The wife unit and I had **TONS** of troubles with our 8600s. Identical cards we got for identical setups. Worked fine for about 10 months, then we’d both started to get random black screen lockups, monitor going out of sync, only way was to reboot, etc.

    Dusting, blowing, reseating only helped to expand the usable window, but didn’t solve the problem. I resorted to unscrewing/prying the big HSF setup open completely, blow it over, repaste, reseat, apply lubricant to the fan. That “solved” the problem on my wife’s (did not eliminate it, though), but really didn’t do much for me.

    No amount of driver/bios/voodoo trickery could do anything for that card and its black screening.

    Switched to an ATI 4870 as soon as I could and never looked back. It’s been working like a super champ so far, handling everything I threw at it with ease. Same price point as the 260 or cheaper. Something to consider unless you hate ATI.

  12. I never pay more than 200 dollars for a video card. I recommend just setting an arbitrary price point and then find the best card you can for that point.

  13. If you have to replace, I’ll chime in that I also recommend the EVGA GTX 260. I’ve got the stock (not overclocked, 216 core) version of the card and I’m impressed with the cooling and design of the card. It does run hot internally (can’t get away from that, it’s supposed to) but doesn’t add a lot of heat to the rest of my machine.

  14. I just bought the GTX260/216 to replace my 2 GTX8600s, one of which died (I couldn’t fit the 8600 and the 260 in the case). It’s works well but I’m no guru. $190 from But, I do have an idle GTX8600 512Mb now :-)

  15. Tested on a different computer, tested under a different operating system: still the same error code. That suggests a broken card to me. Thanks all, situation as resolved as it can be, closing the help ticket.

  16. This happened to me with my PC, reset the _motherboard_ BIOS to defaults, and it fixed the problem 100%.

    Don’t know if that will help you at all, as it seems your card may actually be bad if it didn’t work in another machine. But, for anyone else who has this problem and isn’t ready to give up, try defaulting your motherboard’s BIOS. Worked for me :)

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