Need for speed underground is the latest problem game. I can be in the menu's and the game goes straight back to desktop, or locks the system up or restart's my machine. The same happened with the predecessor to it, hot pursuit 2.
Medal of honour Allied assault has the same problem, although i can be playing this for a bit then it will crash. Ford Racing 2 is the other problem game, sometimes that goes straight to the desktop with no warning.
My system is a XP2600 on a ASRock board with 512mb PC3200 ram. GF 4 MX440 with 64mb DDR onboard it. using 52.16 det's and have also tried forceware 52.70's (un-official drivers by MSI) Soundblaster live graphics card. Windows XP with SP1 DirectX 9.0b all tests passed.
I used to have a digidoc installed and i was getting temperature's on the graphic' card between heatskin and chip of about 49 degree's C.
I agree with Jester2K II,and also would advise removal of dx-9b and try 9a(if you can find it)9.0(another difficult file to find)or return to dx8.1.
I have had similar probs with a few games(older,eg,CM)which only occured after install of DX-9b and freezing screen while watching TV on pc.I also had major hassles with SATA hdd,so returning to DX-8.1 wasn't a prob as I just waited until the next "repair" of XP,but there is a DX Destroyer(filename) that can allow you to remove/reinstall different versions of DX but its a good while since I d/l'ed it so not sure if its still available.
"All it is, is a ASUS board" - sorry but thats my problem EXACTLY. Built PCs with ASUS boards before at the owners insistence and always had stability problems - went to a forum once and entered the Motherboard section. 75% of the threads regarded ASUS (or ASROCK) boards and Stability. Switching to another brand usually fixed it!! Its a personal thing!