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Computer Specs:


Asus A7N8X-Delxe

Athlon 2100 (not sure on the 2100....)

430 W Power Supply

1 Gig Crucial RAM

FX5900XT w/ 128 MB RAM Video Card

80 Gig Western Digital HD

Windows XP Home w/ SP 1


If I missed any system specs, let me know. Here's my story:


Once upon a time (1.5 months ago) I had a 5700 Ultra Video Card and 500 MB of RAM in this machine. I was getting BSOD with various Page Fault and Not less then errors while playing Mechwarrior, Battlefield Vietnam, or Call of Duty.


Doing some research, all signs pointed me to either faulty system memory or video memory.


I ran memtest86 and got no errors. Then I ran Prime95 and got errors right off the bat that pointed me to bad RAM. So, seeing as I was in need for a RAM upgrade anyways, I bought the Crucial Gig of RAM and swapped them out and also did a complete new re-format and installation of XP.


A day or two later, again, more BSOD. To check for Video Card problems, I changed out to an old Ti4200(?) I had and lo and behold had no problems. Thinking I'd narrowed down the problem as being a faulty video card, I bought a new 5900XT to "upgrade" from the 4200.


Once putting the 5900XT in, it ran OK for a few days and then again, I started getting random crashes and BSOD....all with varying error messages, no consistency. When I got a hard lock with no errors, I checked the system log file and found I was getting W32 Time errors.


Figuring I malfed up the driver install, I went to do a complete format and reinstall yesterday morning.


Now is where it gets REALLY weird: I couldn't get the danged thing to format. I would get BSOD during format with no "true" error defined OR it would complete the format all the way to 100%, I would here the CD drive wind as if starting the windows install, but no windows install....it would just hang indefinitely @ 100% format.


Cranked it up one more time and reformatted and left the house for errands. Came back and windows was installing, asking for my CD Key, etc.


Windows loaded....then I started by installing my Mobo drivers. Reboot. Downloaded nVidia Video Card drivers. Half-way through the video card install the computer hung up.


Restarted and installed Vcard drivers. Reboot. Navigating through windows I had an error screen pop up saying that the computer had a problem and was re-starting in 60 seconds or something like that. I couldn't write the error message down fast enough.


Computer shuts off, I start it back up again and immediately get this same "shutting down" error.


&*@#$ it. I go to reformat AGAIN and I'm back to not being able to get past the format. So, I know the RAM is OK and the Video Card is OK so I try a different spare hard drive and it still won't get past the format screen and install windows.


I think I have ruled out:



Video Card

Hard Drive


Have not ruled out:


Motherboard (It's the only thing I don't have a spare of....)


Thoughts? Suggestions? Help?!?!?!?!????

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Sounds like you got hit with the Blaster Worm... when it says it's shutting down in 60 sec go to command prompt and type


shutdown -a


click OK


go here http://housecall.trendmicro.com/ and scan for viruses... I think that may be it


I don't know the cause of the BSOD, but the shutdown would seem likely from a completly unpatched system (fresh format)....

Edited by Dignan

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How did you rule out the harddrive? I didn't see where you did much in the way of hdd diagnosis, but that's what I was thinking when you ruled out the video card and RAM. What type of controller does that motherboard have? If you have both a standard IDE controller, and an IDE RAID controller, you might want to try switching those around. Otherwise, check the temp you're getting in the case, Asus has some tools you can load into windows (if you can get windows running) that interfaces with their motherboard and will give you temps and fan speeds. This might be a good indicator to a fan not working right, or temp's just getting high.


Oh, Western Digital has pretty good diagnostic software you can load from a DOS boot disk, you might want to download that and give it a try.


Good luck!



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What brand powersupply do you have? If it is a generic powersupply then it most likely isn't supplying the full 430 watts that it is supposed to. If I remember correctly the FX cards use a lot more power than the GF4 cards. Since you aren't having any problems when you have the GF4 installed, your powersupply could be supplying just enough power to operate without problems but your psu isn't supplying enough power to handle the FX card without problems.

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Like Neb said, If your power supply is not giving you enough voltage that could be a big contributor to these problems. Those new nVidias drain so much freakin power it's ridiculous. Also it could be something physically wrong on your board, maybe nothing but an unlucky circuitry spot on the board or something. Your video and RAM should be ok. If all else fails, like ben said, it could also be a hard drive issue, make sure you run a diagnostic.


Also with your reformatting - I have found it to be so much more stable to do things like this right after a reformat:


Install at least these first 2 in SAFE MODE to ensure your OS is rock solid

1) Service Pack 1 or 2 before any drivers

2) Motherboard Drivers

3) All your other drivers

4) Windows Updates


Good luck Bro!

Edited by IUMaestro

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Thanks for all the input guys. Much appreciated. I posted the exact same question to ASUS's help center and this is the response I got from them:


Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your support of our products!

The problem you are reporting is a stability issue and is usually caused by either the memory, power supply or the CPU running too hot. Please check with the memory maker to see if the module you are using has been tested or certified with the chipset on your motherboard. Also, check that your power supply can supply enough power for your system configuration and that your CPU's heatsink and fan are properly installed.

First, please check that your CPU is not overheating. You can check this in the BIOS setup, under Power, then Hardware Monitor. If the CPU is overheating, please check that your heatsink and fan are properly installed and that you are using exactly one heat transfer agent between the CPU and heatsink (ex. Artic Silver). Make sure that the heatsink compound is applied ONLY to the CPU die and that it is NOT shorting any surface mount components on top of the CPU or contacting the CPU's pins.

Please check http://www.asus.com/support/cpusupport/cpusupport.aspx to verify that your board will properly support the CPU that you have. This link will list the minimum BIOS and PCB version that you must have to PROPERLY support your CPU.


Please ask the memory manufacturer the following questions:

Have you done any certification testing with this memory module and our MB (motherboard) or any MB using the same chipset at the density you are trying to use (ex. 3*512MB DIMMS totaling 1.5GB of memory)?

If the answer is no and they just build to a certain specification/standard, then who's specification/standard do they use and how do they validate their design? If they just build the memory and do not validate it how do they know it will perform?

When we design our MB we follow the chipset makers spec. with regards to memory.

We do validate the memory IC maker's reference designs with our MB to make sure they are up to spec. and if we need to add support for Higher density IC.

Most memory module makers do not follow the IC maker's reference designs so they can use whom ever IC's on their memory Module. There is nothing wrong with this, but the problem is if they deviate from the IC makers reference designs and or even if they use the IC makers reference they should do some level of validation to insure quality.

We are one of the largest MB makers so one would think that if you were making a product you would test your product with the most popular associated products.

Here is a list of memory manufacturers that use our MB's as well as others to do this type of testing and also will post a guarantee that their memory will work in our MB's as well as others. Please check the following websites for compatibility:





Also, here are some setup tips that may help you to set up the system.

Please start by clearing the system c-mos memory following the procedure in your manual. Make sure the power AND the battery on the motherboard is removed before shorting the CLR RTC solder points or jumper pins.

You may need to refer to the "Interrupt Request Table" in your manual and arrange your PCI add-in cards so they do not cause interrupt conflicts. Some devices just do not get along with each other. You may also remove your PCI cards to see if this corrects the problem. If it does, add the cards back one by one to see which card is causing the problem. Anytime you add, move, or remove a PCI card, please enter BIOS setup and set the option "Reset Configuration Data" to "Yes" if your BIOS has this option. This will force the BIOS to reassign resources to your PnP devices.

Next, enter Bios Setup and load setup defaults.

Under Boot, if needed, please set the BOOT order. Then set "Reset Configuration Data" To "YES". Any other changes you need to make for your specific system configuration please do so at this time.

Next, exit "Saving Changes" and this should correct the issue.

Also for Windows 9X or ME, they have some issues with CPU speeds greater than 2.1 GHz (see MS Q312108) or memory above 512 MB total system memory (see MS Q253912). These O.S. cannot cache the memory properly. If your CPU is greater than 2.1 GHz, you will need to contact Microsoft Product Support Services to obtain a patch to correct this issue.

Here are some links for common memory related problems:

Err Msg: "Out of Memory" Error Messages with Large Amounts of RAM Installed


Err Msg: Windows Protection Error in NDIS with a CPU That Is Faster Than 2.1 GHz


Err Msg: While Initializing Device NTKERN: Windows Protection...


Err Msg: Insufficient Memory to Initialize Windows


Computer May Reboot Continuously with More Than 1.5 GB of RAM


Computer Speed and Performance May Decrease


Err Msg: Not Enough Extended Memory Available to Run Windows


Troubleshooting Stop 0x24 or NTFS_FILE_SYSTEM Error Messages




Make sure you have a FRESH install of your OS on THIS motherboard and that the drive was partitioned and formatted on this motherboard. Make sure that you install the most recent drivers in the following order:

1) Chipset/Motherboard drivers (Example, VIA 4 in 1's for VIA chipsets, Intel INF and Application Accelerator for Intel chipsets, Etc.) Do this BEFORE loading any other driver!

2) Latest version of Direct X.

3) Latest Video Card drivers.

4) SCSI/ATA drivers

5) Lan/NIC drivers

6) Modem drivers, then any other drivers

7) Finally, install sound card drivers last.


Also, please check to make sure your power supply can supply enough power to your system.

If the CPU is below 700 MHz, the power supply we suggest as follows:

300 Watts with +5 Volt @ 25 amps, +12 Volt @ 10 amps, and +3.3 Volt @ 14 amps.

If the CPU speed is above 700MHz, the power supply we suggest as follows:

350 Watt with +5V @ 30 amps, +12V @ 12 amps, and +3.3V @ 22 amps.

For Dual Intel MB, Min. P.S. should be:

350 Watt with +5V @ 35 amps, +12V @ 15 amps, and +3.3V @ 22 amps.

For Dual AMD MB, Min. P.S. should be:

400 Watt with +5V @ 38 amps, +12V @ 15 amps, and +3.3V @ 20 amps.

Please note that these are only suggestions and the actual size of the power supply may be higher than we suggest. Also, depending on the config of your system, you may need more power than listed above. For example, running multiple hard drives, CR-Rom drives or other accessories may increase the power requirements of your system!


If that still doesn't work, then please check that the MB is not picking up EMI interference or improperly grounding against the case. Please remove the MB from the case and set it up DIRECTLY on the cardboard box it came in or some other non-static, non-conductive surface like a telephone book. Connect up everything to the MB and see if the problem persists. If this corrects the problem, you will need to electrically isolate the MB from the case. You will need to use electrical tape over the brass stand-offs that support the MB to the case and use the red paper washers between the screw heads and the MB. The red paper washers should have came with your case hardware or they can be purchased at Radio Shack or a computer store. Also double check that a motherboard standoff is NOT placed in a spot where the motherboard is not designed to be grounded, as some cases will have different standoff locations to accommodate different styled of motherboards. Also check that there are no other metal objects that could contact the motherboard or any other electrical device attached to the system, such as a metal burr, loose screw, metal rod, or any other object that could cause a short.


Please call 502-995-0883 if you need further assistance.


Sooo.....I threw the 4200 Video Card in the machine and cleared the CMOS as they suggested. Ran the format from the XP disc and.....voila, XP installed.


I'm a little blown away by how clearing the CMOS worked, but I'll take it gladly.


So far, I've installed all drivers, Firewall, Virus Scan, and the XP updates.


My plan for the time being is to get all my software back on and running and make sure that XP is rock solid for a couple of weeks before I go and put my FX5900XT card in.


I have an Antec power supply, so I don't doubt that it is capable of delivering the full 430 W, but you all have a valid point with the amount of power the newer nVidia cards demand. This kinda leads me to believe that my power source MAY be a little flakey and need to be replaced.....but, that's much cheaper then replacing the mobo. :O


As for temperature:


What are the recommended temperature readings for the CPU and mobo? I am installing the ASUS Probe prgram tonight and would like to hear your recommendations for what I should be looking for.


Thanks again :D

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