Hello all,

Well, I've had similar problems like this in the past, but now this is the worst. It started with The Sims 2. It played fine for a while, but then it started to get holes in the pixels, and after about 15 minutes, the game would freeze up and I'd have to hold in the power button to shut off the PC. I tried both my CD Burner and DVD Drive to play this, both with same results.
Then I got Chessmaster, and it works fine for about 15 minutes, then freezes up the PC.
I was originally thinking something along the lines of bad DVD/CD Rom Drives, or perhaps cables not connected right, but yesterday I ran an old screen saver that worked just fine about a year ago. This isn't like a major high end graphics screen saver, but it's still pretty cool.
So, I play this screen saver that worked fine last year, but now when it runs, it locks up and freezes my PC just like my games in my DVD/CD Rom drives do.
I'm thinking now it's probably a Video Card problem? Could it be I need to replace my vid card? I've tried reinstalling drivers, this doesn't do anything. Also, I haven't reformatted in about 2 years now (I know, it's overdue), could this possibly have anything to do with it? Everything else works fine, it's just anything to do with games or high-end video seems to lock me up.
I regularly scan with spybot/adaware and other anti-trojan and anti-virus things, so I don't think that's the issue.

Any help would be great!

Microsoft Windows XP Pro
Service Pack 1
AMD Athlon XP 2400+
1.99 GHz
512 MB RAM
Nvidia GeForce 5600

Your system/graphics card might be overheating. Overheating can cause the array of symptoms that you've seen. If you don't have any means of tracking your temperatures, you can try SpeedFan. If you find out your system temps, post them here.

It's also possible that you just have some crap junking up your system. You can use the link at the bottom of my sig to clean up your system. After you get your system cleaned up, you will probably want to upgrade to SP2. If you don't want to go through all of that, you might just want to backup what you want, format, and reinstall. It's unfortunate, but there are times when Windows just needs to be reinstalled.