Here's a little update for you.... I completely trashed the whole partition, and created a new one, and now Windows is running fine on the default drivers. I don't believe it's a hardware malfunction, else I wouldn't even be here typing to you right now.
HOWEVER, when I update the drivers via Windows Update, I get the same problem. It seems the problem begins when any DirectX functions on the card are used, and it's not related in any way to the ATI drivers. I get the same from my other card. The good news is I'm able to get exact error messages now. One of the following will happen:
1. Windows will bluescreen with a STOP 0x9F (DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE) or a STOP 0x21 (QUOTA_UNDERFLOW)
I did searches on both of these errors, and these seem to be rather generic messages. One seems to indicate that the driver is in an inconsistent or invalid power state (seemed to me to point to an ACPI-related issue, but I turned off ACPI-related functions in the BIOS, and have gotten the same thing), the other indicates that quota charges have been mishandled by returning more quota to a particular block than was previously charged (whatever the flying heck that means - wish Microsoft would print these KB's in English rather than Gibberish, which makes this all the more frustrating!)
2. Windows will get past the login screen, then fail to initialize my display altogether when it comes time to load the desktop. (The screen will turn completely black, and the blue light on my monitor will turn yellow to indicate that it's not receiving a signal.)
3. The PC will shut itself off altogether without displaying an error - almost as if the video card has overheated, but every time I check both the CPU cooler (I'm using stock cooling because I don't overclock) and the back of the video card, and neither of them feel hot at all.... in fact, when the problem first started, I checked the temp sensors in my BIOS, and it reported a CPU temperature of 31 Celsius, and GPU Monitor always reported a GPU temperature of between 28 and 37 Celsius, depending on load, which according to my research, is outside any danger zones. As I said in my first post, I was using the ATI driver version 13.2 at the time, since as I'm sure you're aware, the latest drivers won't support an old video card.
I've also updated the title of my thread accordingly.
01:49 PM by