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I think I might know why system crashes, help?

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I think, after years of various computer issues, I am on to something with my recent computer problems:

 

A brief history here: Over the last two and a half years I have lived through hardware hell. Due to the sheer number of parts that I have gone through and changed out, mostly due to bad parts/failed parts and some for upgrades, I have never had a stable system, overclocked, normally clocked, or underclocked. I could list the two motherboards, the two RAM products, the three power supplies, the 2 hard drives, the optical drive, the 2 sound cards, the 2 video cards, and my Mac failure, (and even more), along with a bad CPU, but I am there now, seemingly with good parts, or so I thought...

 

Then I still kept gettinig BSODs, and after yet another fresh OS install (OMG, the dozens upon dozens of times over the months I have done fresh installs! (No, I cannot afford a good backup solution ATM, I am quite poor, I mean POOR, it has taken everything I have to build this system that is already quite outdated.) After the latest fresh install, less BSODs but now hangs or sudden crashes to POST...

 

Well, I may finally be on to something with the problems in my latest iteration of my system:

 

First, the list of my hardware:

 

DFI LP UT nF4 SLI DR (that replaced an ASUS A8V Deluxe that turned out to test fine by Antec)

 

AMD Athy 64 4800+ s939 Toledo (3rd processor, started with a good 3200 that I couldn't tell was good, then the bad 4800 that couldn't overclock even 4% and was unstable, now the new one is amazing, it will overclock like an Opty!)

 

Team Xtreme Cronus Micron 5B-f DDR-500 2x2GB paired RAM sticks, used to have a questionable pair of OCZ sticks that gave errors in memtest86+

 

Creative Labs Audigy 2 ZS Platinum (I added the front bay box and made it platinum), the previous unit was an Audigy NX that gave me nothing but misery and that Creative had the audacity to refuse to honor the warranty on!

 

ASUS and NEC burners that are good, replaced a bad Lite On, both the ASUS and NEC are WAY downrev, too, BTW, I need an upgrade, but I also need money, so...

 

Brand new Seagate drives: 750 Gig 7200.10 & 500 Gig 7200.10 ES, replaced a couple bad drives, one a WD PATA 250 gig that died JUST as it went out of warranty! Also currently using an Excelstor 80 gig, all current drives are SATA, the sea's are SATAII.

 

Still using an very old but good quality CRT that is starting to get dim.

 

Samsung 2010 Laser Printer.

 

HP 7260 color printer with card reader.

 

Logitech G15, original model.

 

MS Mouse, Wireless Intellimouse Explorer 2.0 Leather from LONG AGO.

 

MS VX-3000 Webcam.

 

Magic Jack VOIP stick.

 

Saitek Cybrog GOLD USB joystick.

 

Logitech Game pad, the original fancier one with the six, not four, chicklet buttons, is wireless.

 

That pretty much sums it up. An old, downrev system that, even IF it is old, I treasure. Sure, I'd love to buy all new stuff, but I am disabled and cannot work and don't even have enough money to eat meat at every meal. Beans and rice for supper here often enough...

 

Ok, so here is what my most recent discovery SEEMS TO REVEAL:

 

This motherboard has two network controllers, gigabit, one is a Marvell and the other the nVidia built in to the MCP. I need and use both: One is needed for my own DSL Modem/router, a Westell 327W on Bellsouth DSL on my personal internet account. The other Network interface is needed for access to my roomate's boxes via my older, and very old Linksys router connected to his single port Westell 6100 (IIRC) modem router (which has been set to NOT run as a router, BTW, so as to allow the Linksys BEFSR41 to work, which is a Rev. 2 IIRC).

 

I normally leave the network controller attached to the Linksys and HIS network disabled because otherwise while I am running torrents, it loads down HIS, not MINE accounts. This happens EVEN THOUGH I *HAVE* set the controller for MY network as the priority controller.

 

Well, here is what I think I have discovered, with all that information out of the way: I always assumed that using the nVidia network controller on board, rather than the Marvell on board, was more desireable (just had it in my head, that's all) so I have always used the nVidia one for my priority, personal, network, such as my torrents and webaccess, and left the Marvell off unless I was accessing his network in order to move files between us.

 

Well:

 

I have tried so many things and now, finally, seem to be on to something, just maybe (but I can't be certain yet since it's only been a little over a day and a half):

 

My on board nVidia Network Controller is somehow buggy OR the drivers for it are, because ever since suspecting something, I swapped the two NICs so that the Marvell was used for MY OWN Network and I haven't turned on the nVidia one to access his network for over a day and a half.

 

So some guys in another forum have told me that they also, indeed, on other, newer motherboards, have discovered that THEIR nVidia on board NICs were indeed also giving THEM misery.

 

So I have to wonder, I have used 2 different iterations of drivers for my nVidia based mainboard, one old old one and the other is the latest. I long ago discovered that using the nVidia firewall crap caused horrible issues, and remembering that is what made me suspicious here.

 

So:

 

How many of you think that it is indeed likely that the nVidia NIC is a culprit? Or how many of you think nVidia just can't make good drivers? How many of you think I should try yet a different iteration of the drivers?

 

Also, is it indeed true that the nVidia Network controllers are traditionally problematic?

 

If you were me, would you have DFI replace this board (and what are the chances they even still have one?)

 

Much thanks!

 

BTW, I am keeping my MCP cooler with an Evercool VC-RE with AS5, but had this problem before changing from the stock cooler. The Evercool only drops temps, even though it is lapped, about, oh, 5 degrees... Current MCP temps are about 46 degrees with it overvolted ONLY one step (the problem was there with it not overvolted, that's why I increased the Vs)

 

Opinions? Advice? Discuss?

 

Thanks!

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There is an issue with the nvidia NIC but only when the Network access manager software is installed. (firewall).

 

I have used a few different nvidia chipsets and none have had issues with the NIC/drivers.

 

I take it you never install the nvidia firewall software?

Driver package 6.66 worked well. (but do not install the firewall or IDE drivers)

http://www.nvidia.com/object/nforce_nf4_wi...2_amd_6.66.html

 

DFI would probably no longer have the board and even if they did, if they cannot produce the fault that you are experiencing it will be sent back to you.

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i have experienced problems with DFI's onboard NIC's dating back to the NFII daze....i simply refuse to live in fear they are going to screw up outta nowhere, so............

 

added a PCI NIC. the biggest bummer with these boards is the lack of PCI slots, it is pathetic....I am forced to use the onboard sound, gots both PCI slots populated, one with a parallel port card, the other the previously mentioned NIC, my Audigy waits on my workbench, sad......

 

you may have to add a NIC if you have an available slot..

 

BTW, nary a NIC problem since installing the PCI NIC....about $10...

 

laterzzz....

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Thanks for your input guys. I hope more people respond here as well.

 

Yes, I did not install that stuff. In the beginning I did and had nothing but troubles, and then I read somewhere, perhaps here, that that stuff was bad. Nope, only the driver itself.

 

I'll try that driver.

 

I suppose I need to use a driver cleaner first, right? And, what driver cleaners do you guys recommend, BTW?

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http://www.diy-street.com/forum/showthread.php?t=79596

 

thats a sticky in the apps section, I've never used it but others have. I've used drivercleaner pro, just google it. Either one is supposed to be run in safe mode AFAIK.

 

I've read many people having probs with the nvidia even though it should be better since its built in. I just use dsl nothing fancy so i've never had any issues at all.

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Well, I am now almost certain it is the bad nVidia NI (network interface), because I am not failing in any way while using the Marvell instead.

 

But I am in a tough quandry: I believe that the Marvell NI is a separate chip, but that the nVidia NI that is bad is INTEGRATED into the MCP Chipset chip. So what's to say that more of that MCP won't fail in the coming weeks?

 

I am really torn. I don't even know if DFI would even replace this, even if they DO have some of these boards left, what if they tested it and insisted it was fine...

 

I don't know what to do.

 

I am also upset that so few people are commenting and discussing this thread. Where are all the DFI devotees? Why are you all so quiet?

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When DFI split from the forum they all left, you can find some here.

http://csd.dficlub.org/forum/index.php

 

Is your board still under warranty?

If so send it back and see what happens or before you do, to confirm your results let someone else (a friend?) use your board for a bit and see if he gets the same results.

 

Anything is possible, even if there is an IRQ problem it may appear to act faulty.

The nf4 boards also never worked well with creative sound cards, some users reported bluescreens/stability problems. This is due to the nf4 chipset and how its PCI BUS was developed by nvidia.

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I am really torn. I don't even know if DFI would even replace this, even if they DO have some of these boards left, what if they tested it and insisted it was fine...

 

I don't know what to do.

 

I am also upset that so few people are commenting and discussing this thread. Where are all the DFI devotees? Why are you all so quiet?

 

If you really like the board, and the only problem is the nVidia NIC, you might consider just installing a PCI Network Card. Decent ones start at around $10 bucks, and you can get really great ones in the $25 - $35 range.

 

Here is one I've used many times. It's a great card.

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16833106121

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"I am also upset that so few people are commenting and discussing this thread. Where are all the DFI devotees? Why are you all so quiet?"

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

many have moved on to Intel core duo or AM2 offerings, and prolly don't even visit here anymore, the DFI board that you/i/many use has been out of production for awhile, good DDR is getting harder and harder to find, 939 processors are out of production.

 

still, i find running my opty 165 @3gig to be more than adequate with the Gskill HZ stuffs pumping along @273.3mhz, so i am sticking with this setup for awhile longer, the MB has been a dream, except for the NIC thang....

 

it can do anything the new stuffs can do, albeit just slightly slower, but not by much...

 

laterzzzz............

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Thanks guys. I am pretty confident now that it is the nVidia NI. It hasn't crashed/BSODs/Froze at all while using the Marvell NI, for something like 3 or 4 days.

 

I'd home someone else use it, but I am isolated, I don't have any friends here except roomate, as I am in a town of 300 in the middle of nowhere, and we are almost the only guys that know anything about computers at all. It's only meth, crack, and drug addicts, old people, and poor people around here, folks here don't even know what things are, like they don't know what the Hubble Telescope is, or what hard drives are, LOL.

 

I'll call DFI and see what they say. Kind of hard talking to them though, most of the folks over there aren't good English speakers, though they are nice at least.

 

Thanks guys, Yeah, you're right, they've all moved on to Intel 775 stuff now...

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There isn't ANYTHING wrong with installing a PCI network card, and in fact some of the better ones will offer fairly significant performance increases over the onboard NIC. They have offloading capabilities, and the card is dedicated to handling your network traffic without interfering with the other duties of your chipset.

 

It goes back to what I posted earlier, if everything else on your board is top snippity snop, you have the choice of using the Marvell or going with a PCI NIC.

 

If it were my rig I'd choose option two.

 

Good luck and keep us posted.

 

Cheers.

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