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jo blo

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  1. jo blo

    Computer turns off

    The shutdowns could be temp related, driver related, or something else. The fact that it's not booting up now might be because you have all four sticks of ram plugged in after a reboot. Absolutely, on my ultra-d, I need to have only 1 stick of ram in after a clear or it won't post. Pull all but one stick, power on and go into bios, load optimized defaults, power down, reboot and reconfigure the bios. Make sure the PSU is switched off or unplugged when you're pulling stuff out or putting it in. Once you get your machine running, if it's still shutting down, swap in the old cpu (power off at the psu first), clear cmos while you're doing it, load optimized defaults in bios after first POST. I wouldn't put all the ram back in until you've got it stable with you're new cpu, because you might be clearing the cmos a lot and you don't want to have to take out all but one each time. I'd say it's too early to start blaming any of the components as having failed. Do you have a buzzer or diagnostic LEDs on your board? Learn their codes and post what they're doing. Or are you able to power up now? Now you're saying your PC is laggy after gaming...
  2. Any theories or experience with the following would be helpful: I just put together my 2nd build ever (first was a DFI Ultra D that this forum helped me make work), an asus A8N-VM CSM based HTPC. For the processor, I used a two year old Athlon 64 3500+ that was first in my main rig for a year, then replaced and stuck in a box (full specs for this new system at the end of this article). I got it all wired up and bolted down by Tuesday night. By Wednesday night she was up and singing. By Thursday night, dead dead dead. Here's what happened: When I powered it on after work on Thurs, there was a continuous high pitched tone from around the CPU fan, and when I put my finger on the fan and stopped it, the tone disappeared. Nothing came up on the screen, and she didn't boot. Powered down, powered back on. The tone came back, then went away, and the system began to boot, and made it to the Windows green progress bar screen. Here the whine came back sporadically. When it did, the progress bar would freeze. When the tone went away, the progress bar would resume. Then blam, system is off. Nothing on screen, no fans moving, but the LED on the board is on (there's only one LED on this board, showing that the PSU is delivering power). I power it up again. Same behavior during the windows progress screen, but this time it makes it all the way into the OS. There is nothing out of the ordinary in the system log. I start messing around, and after about 10 minutes, WHAMMO, system down. No warning, no tone this time, just system off. It has not even booted to bios since. When I power it on, all systems get juice, the fans spin up, the drives chatter for a sec, but nothing ever comes up on the monitor (the monitor remains in suspend). I cleared the bios short, I cleared the bios long (24 hrs) with the battery removed, I took out a stick of ram, and I plugged in a different power supply, still no joy. I unplugged everything from the board but the keyboard and monitor, no improvement. Different monitor, no improvement. I actually ended up with two boards for this build, one refurbished and one retail. This was with the refurbished board, and that was the first suspect. I replaced it with the brand new board, still no luck. I pulled a stick of known good RAM out of my main system, that I'm now typing on, and tried it in each of the four slots, with a bios clear in between each, she just stayed dead. So, trying it with a different PSU, different MOBO, different RAM, two different monitors (one DVI, one VGA) does not help. The only thing that remains the same is the CPU, so I'm hoping that's it, except the way if failed has me spooked. That tone suggests to me a failing power component, or something being driven in an unnatural way, like all of a sudden there was a lot of interference or harmonics on the voltage rails or something. PSU #1 was the one that came with the Ahanix case. They make some good PSU's, so I didn't feel bad about using this one, but maybe it got rabies and killed board #1, then killed board #2 as soon as I plugged it in (I tried board #2 with both PSUs). Is that possible? Or is this really just a clear case of a bad CPU? I never overclocked it, never dropped it, and in storage it was in it's original AMD package. I did bend a couple pins when I removed it from the main machine, but I bent them back nicely so that it just slipped in the socket. It's just that in spite of the evidence, I trust the CPU more than I trust some of the other parts. And what the hell was making the fan make that noise? The board does not come with a buzzer or diagnostic LEDs, and I only plugged a speaker in after the thing died, and it never beeped on any subsequent power-up. Here's the original setup: ASUS A8N-VM CSM nVidia 6150 mATX motherboard, refurbished AMD 3500+ (single core), used 1 year, stored 1 year Zalman CNPS8000 CPU heatsink Crucial value ram 2x512, also used 1 year, stored 1 year Seagate 7200.8 300GB parallel IDE HD Pioneer 112D DVD burner Ahanix MCE301 case with Ahanix 350 PSU Ahanix/iMon VFD front panel display, powered with a floppy connector an plugged into a USB header on the MOBO Here are the replacements: New A8N-VM CSM motherboard 2 year old, 1 year stored Seasonic S12-430 PSU Geil 1GB stick of RAM from main system Stock Heatsink/fan
  3. jo blo

    Random Crashes

    So I finally dropped the RAID array (breaking it in the F10 RAID setup, writing 0's to drives) and installed Windows onto one of the drives. My problems returned within 2 days, before I had installed hardly any software, and before I had installed Nvidia IDE drivers (I then installed the Nvidia IDE drivers, and the problem remained unchanged). I'm now getting copious disk errors in event viewer. I doubt the underlying errors are different than before. I didn't see anything showing up in the event viewer I'm guessing because they were masked by the RAID controller and not communicated to the OS. Thing is, both before and now, WD diagnostics (DOS based) do not uncover any drive errors even with the extensive, 1 hour test on either drive. Nonetheless, It looks like I'm dealing with a failing mainboard or drive, not drivers, PSU, RAM, and most likely not CPU. I'll be starting my own thread on this. This is my first build, and I'm starting to appreciate that the price of entry for building your own system is having duplicate parts on hand, or buying them as needed, in order to solve problems by process of elimination with known good parts. I've been dealing with this issue for many months, the frustration and lost time has been a classy lady, and in retrospect I should have started buying new stuff after a week or two, not a month or two in between each. Or I need to befriend some gamers. ApolloX, good luck with your gear, you might consider dropping $50 on a cheap card to see if it's the hardware that's the problem, or borrow one if you can.
  4. jo blo

    Random Crashes

    Re: memory timings, if that was it, we should get errors in Memtest, right? I've run memtest overnight and window memory tester for hours with two different sets of ram, and I've had no errors. I ran 2X Prime95 overnight with no cpu errors. I put a Fluke multimeter on my power supply and measured all rails at poweron, startup, heavy load, idle, and shutdown, and all was rock solid. Then I bought a new power supply anyway, because I didn't have the "official" 480W+. Still have the problem. Just happened to me tonight, the second time since the new PSU. This time it nuked Windows. I had nothing open except two Windows explorer windows of folders of digital images. In one of them I was looking at the pics in filmstrip mode. I was rotating a pics one by one as needed as I went through the images. Then it gets slow. Other applications respond fine while I wait for the hourglass. I close them. Finally finishes. Rotate another, hourglass, seconds later no mouse response. Frozen. There was nothing else running. No audio, no downloads that I know of (maybe win update or something similar, wasn't monitoring it). Upon reboot machine gets stuck at Windows scrolling green bar bootup screen with no HD activity. Reboot, NVRaid shows ERROR. Reboot again, Nvraid showing healthy but have to set Nvraid as boot disk in BIOS, reboot again. Stuck at bootup screen again with no HD activity. Try to boot in safe mode, it freezes at the first screen where the screen is full of file paths of dll's and things. Looks like I'll be reinstalling Windows for the 15th time. Before the crash, there was something screwy with discrepencies between folders that were showing in the folder tree on the left and what was showing in the main window. Usually this refreshes when you navigate somewhere else and come back, but this time it wasn't. I was also getting file not found errors with images I was trying to move from the main explorer window, that I was seeing in filmstrip mode right in front of me. I messed around with it for a while, closed and reopened explorer or something and got around it. But wierd. That and the one time raid status ERROR has made the Nvidia IDE controller/drivers a prime suspect in my mind. I know they're WHQL, and I thought that was the end of the story, but I know of Nvidia's poor IDE driver stability in the past. A guy in this thread bluntly says to just get rid of the Nvidia IDE drivers to make a similar problem go away: http://www.diy-street.com/forum/showthread.php?t=72266 ApolloX, how did you determine that nv4_disp.dll is the culprit? So did you try using different video drivers to see if your problem went away? Are you using the nvidia IDE drivers? Since you're not using raid, it would be easy for you just uninstall them to see if you're problem went away. I still need data off a different partion of the RAID array, so the next windows install still needs to be on the existing array, so I won't be running without the nvidia ide drivers soon. Hopefully within a week though. After the 16th install of Windows. A guy here http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?threadid=72895 had a similar problem whenever winamp was installed. Not running, just installed. Turned out it was crappy drivers for his VIA chipset motherboard. That's the only thread anywhere where someone conclusively solved this problem. Try a google search for "Windows lockup freeze". A bunch of people crying for help mostly, but evidently it is a problem that's been around. I think I read somewhere on the forums that a guy solved a similar problem by unplugging case fans and his DVD drive. Not exactly a solution, really.
  5. jo blo

    Random Crashes

    Hmmm, I was trolling for a solution to a similar problem I've been having for months. I've reinstalled to OS probably 10 times. Back at the beginning, I made several changes to my system almost simultaneously: New CPU (from 3500+ single core), new pair of WD drives in RAID-0, two new PCI cards (one now not installed), and updated BIOS. About a month ago I upgraded the RAM from 2x512 Crucial, and that hasn't improved anything. The differences are that for me I only heard beeps at the beginning, months ago, and don't anymore, and mine never goes to a black screen. It just freezes permanently on the Windows screen. The striking similarity is that it's not at all clear if it's hardware or software. Like you, it is not load dependent, I've passed memtest and 2X Prime95 overnight. It doesn't seem to be caused by any specific program. In a common scenario, I open a bunch of tabs in IE or Firefox (it's oddly, definitely worse when these are Anandtech), moments later the tabs stop updating, but the progress gizmos keep spinning, and then after several seconds the mouse pointer freezes. The progress thingies can keep spinning forever though. The mouse pointer is pretty low level, but I have never heard before of a windows crash that doesn't result in a blue screen or reboot. There are no entries in the system log. I upgraded my power supply several weeks ago from a 430W Seasonic, and it had been stable until last night. I thought I had solved the problem, but it froze (application, then mouse) when I cancelled an operation in DVD decrypter. The elapsed time counter in the application window went for about half an hour before freezing. This is damn frustrating. This is my first build and I wish I had bought a Dell instead. It has turned into a huge time and money sink. It's demoralizing. I was going to disable the RAID and boot from a single drive, but I see that that's not your problem. Next I think I'm going to downgrade the BIOS, and if that fails, revert to the old single core CPU. It has been a problem both with and without all the AMD/MS Dual core updates. Anyone? A way to nail down a hardware vs. software issue would be momentus.
  6. jo blo

    Dead or dying NF4-D?

    I've been messing around with my Ultra-D for over a year, and one of the most baffling things about it is that the stability of the bios seems to be not just state dependent but time and history dependent after any changes. Try Ex-Roadie's super special bios clear: http://www.dfi-street.com/forum/showpost.p...04&postcount=24 Not having the power fully off and the capacitors fully drained before you started unplugging for the initial move or plugging back in on the other end can and does cause voltage spikes in certain components. Besides confusing the bios this can actually damage stuff. You didn't mention moving to CMOS clear jumper to the clear position - are you assuming that we assumed that you knew to do it or didn't you do it? It helps to be very detailed. The other thing to check is that there is one an only one standoff on the MOBO tray for each of the holes in the mobo. A preinstalled standoff in a position where there isn't a hole on the board can short traces on the back of the board to ground. This is known to cause problems for people that don't check it.
  7. Merry Christmas to me!. Thanks Happy and KTL. Just jumped on the buy train. I've been close for a couple weeks to getting one of these. The deal and rebate here, and now the lack of 520s, made this an easy choice. I love easy choices. Glad I slacked on this one. Too bad I slacked on getting a 2GB DDR kit.
  8. jo blo

    AMD Dual Core Optimizer Version 1.1.1 Released

    Not sure of what's being said elsewhere, but after reading the descriptions from AMD and MS, they seem to do different things. The AMD DC optimizer periodically (not every clock tick but much less than a second) synchronizes the time stamp between the two cores, so that when one is throttled down, and both are being used to put video on the screen (for instance), the video doesn't get out of whack. The MS fix allows the OS to see the workload across all cores, and not inadvertently calculate and command a lower power state to the CPU due to seeing one of the cores having a light workload (even though the other may be getting slammed). [not sure of the following, some reading between the lines here:] This can be caused when a thread that the kernel is monitoring migrates from one core to another. The workload on the watched core is lighter (but on the whole CPU is unchanged), so a lower power (slower) state is applied to the CPU. I just reinstalled my OS. Before I had the AMD optimizer and AMD processor driver. This time I used those along with the MS hotfix, and my system is noticeably faster. At first I thought my reinstalls were failing prematurely because they were over so fast. I'm still using optimizer v1.0.0
  9. Thanks. A short but high potency post. I was just searching for "Nvidia IDE problems" due to some low level issues I'm having with my system. Now I can disregard this as a source of error and move on.
  10. jo blo

    Have You Seen This?

    The Nvidia "controller" controlls both of the IDE channels and the 4 SATA ports that it is responsible for. I believe all of this is in the single "chipset" chip with the little whining fan on it. This chip also incorporates the northbridge and southbridge functions. The SATA drives can be run in both standard and RAID by the Nvidia controller. To get the drives to be RAID, you have to enable RAID in bios, designate which drives you want to be part of the RAID array, then enter the RAID bios, distinct from the DFI bios (F10 I believe, at startup, instead of DEL), and configure the array. This may not be news to you, but if you have not done this, then the drives are not in a RAID array. Once they're in a RAID array, they no longer appear in the list of dives in the Basic screen in Bios. If the Plextor is detected correctly in the bios, and opens and closes fine when you're in bios, then you probably have a configuration issue and not a bad drive. Make sure the jumpers on the back are in the right spots, and make sure that in the bios the access mode for both IDE channels are set to auto and everything is enabled. Also check the same thing in device manager (by way of looking at the IDE controller, not the drives themselves). Windows and/or the bios can downgrade the transfer mode and the drives will behave oddly.
  11. I know I have a supply that does not meet the official 480W requirement, but I have always fealt that the 430W that I have is enough for my setup, especially since it is a high quality unit. But there always is that question in my mind, and someone usually brings it up when I post with a problem. I did the following measurements, and I'm curious to know if the results can be taken to mean that yes, this PSU is adequate (for my setup), it's not cutting it, or if there's more to it and no conclusions can be drawn. Measurements taken with a Fluke meter, case on its side with side panel open, only 1 stick of ram (due to a now-resolved problem). 3.3V rail Post: 3.265 - 3.267 (1% max error) Boot: 3.263 - 3.266 (1% max error) Win Startup: 3.264 - 3.267 (1% max error) Idle: 3.265 - 3.266 (1% max error) Load* : 3.264 - 3.265 (1% max error) Shutdown: 3.266 - 3.266 (1% max error) 5V rail Post: 5.064 - 5.079 (1% max error) Boot: 5.062 - 5.065 (1% max error) Win Startup: 5.057 - 5.053 (1% max error) Idle: 5.061 - 5.067 (1% max error) Idle after stress test: 5.073 - 5.074 (1%) Load*: 5.062 - 5.071 (1% max error) Shutdown: 5.062 - 5.072 (1% max error) 12V rail Post: 11.99 - 12.01 (0.1% max error) Boot: 12.02 - 12.03 (0.2% max error) Win Startup: 11.99 - 12.05 (0.4% max error) Idle: 11.98 - 12.04 (0.3% max error) Load**: 11.99 - 12.01 (0.1% max error) Shutdown: 12.00 - 12.03 (0.2% max error) * load for 3.3V test was two instances of Prime95 ** for the 5V and 12V rail test, I noticed that voltage fluctuated with HD access, so I threw in a HD component -- in addition to running two instances of prime95, I simultaneously started a 68GB copy of media files (10KB - 3GB each) from the RAID 0 array to the IDE HD, which took about half an hour to complete. Somewhere in the middle of this, I repeatedly opened both optical drives, put a disc in each, closed them at the same time, let the discs spin up, then ejected them. After these measurements, I put the other stick of RAM in, closed the case, and ran Prime95 for 19 hours. At the end of that, the readings were 3.3v: 3.26V 5V: 5.07V 12V: 11.99V (CPU @ 48deg, PWM @ 62deg, Chipset @ 44deg) What do you all think? It seems stable to me. Do you ever have to worry about wall voltage fluctuating? I'm in an appartment with old 2-pole outlets (no ground) and glass fuses in the fuse panel.
  12. OK, so if anyone finds this and wonders, I ran the Western Digital DOS based diagnostic, booted from CD, first with then without the RAID array enabled in BIOS and both times it ran without problems, and both times it detected no errors. I enabled the array again and it booted up without incident. I ran a Windows based disk scan on the array and everything checks out. Might have been a different story had the diagnostic found an error and repaired it. Drives are WD2500KS-00MJB0. Yes, I did back up my data.
  13. Has anyone tried disabling an array in bios and running the manufacturer's checkup utility, and been able to reenable the array to healthy status after?
  14. jo blo

    Getting 2 x 1Gb OCZ to work

    Have you already read up on CMOS procedure? After loading the new CMOS did you do a long clear? Did you add the second stick with the PSU off and no lights on the board? I assume you tried powering on and off a couple times - I rarely get it to just fire up on the first go after addind a second stick. Given the problems you're having, try doing a long clear after adding the second stick (power down PSU -- no lights, add second stick, long clear, power up). Unplug everything you don't need on the first power up (usb, ethernet, etc.) If that doesn't work, search for ExRoadie's military grade CMOS clear (terms "cmos clear" by "exroadie", "military" is my usage) and do that for 24 hours. Also try powering up with just your boot HD plugged in and no other HD's or optical drives. That has made a difference for me before. It shouldn't be that way, but sometimes it is.
  15. I've been having some low level, hardware seeming freezes of Windows (got another thread going on that), and one of the suspects is the RAID boot array. One of the drives in the array has been speed downgraded by the Nvidia controller from "SATA Generation 2 - 3G" to "SATA Generation 1 - 1.5G" because of "excessive transfer errors to the device". In addition to SMART data, I think these Western Digital drives also compile some extended reliability data that can be accessed with some downloaded WD tools. Since they're in a RAID array though, I can't access this info. I tried running the tools in windows and got a BSOD, I assume on account of the drives being in RAID. Is there a way to do diagnostics on the individual drives? WD has a dos version, and theoretically I could turn off RAID in BIOS, boot to the DOS disk, and check them that way, but I'm afraid the diagnostic utility might change something on the individual disks and ruin the array. I don't want to be the first person to do this. I've reinstalled Windows too many times in the last couple months. Anyone have any good words? I found an interesting piece of information on Western Digital's site about the RAID edition of their drives vs. the desktop editions (like I'm using): the desktop editions will sometimes enter a deep diagnostic state that can last up to a couple minutes when they detect internal errors. RAID controllers only wait around about 7 seconds for individual drives to self-diagnose, and after that they're "dropped from the array". Even if one of my drives entered a "deep diagnostic" state, could that be considered normal, or a sign of something more serious? thanks, Jo
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