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rye

Desperate for help with LP nF4 SLI-DR

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Hello, all! I've been lurking for a couple of weeks now, trying to gain as much knowledge from all of you as I can. It's clear to me that there are a lot of good people here with much greater understanding of tweaking mobos than I have. You've taught me a lot without even knowing it. Thanks! ;-)

 

Anyway, I've been trying for two weeks to get my new system to work. It's built from the pile of parts listed below in my signature. If there's anything important that I've left out, please feel free to point it out to me and I'll fill in the blanks. From day one, it's been giving me nothing but random BSoDs; mostly IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL and PRN_LIST_CORRUPT, but a few others here and there. I have yet to install WXP SP2 without it either locking up or giving a BSoD. Things get worse from there if I don't start over.

 

I started with a different set of RAM. It was Corsair TWINX 2048-3200PT. Whenever I ran memtest-86 v3.2 against it I'd get lots of #8 errors when I had the RAM in dual-channel (slots 2 & 4), but the sticks would test fine individually. I was trying both BIOS memory defaults as well as specifically setting 3-3-3-8. I emailed DFI support who told me that there was no doubt I had bad RAM. He suggested the RAM I have now. I see that the HCL here at dfi-street lists my current RAM as something that should work.

 

I continued to have memtest errors with this RAM until I tried using settings from another thread that came from mucker HERE (Thanks, mucker!), except I upped the RAM voltage to 2.9. Suddenly I could run memtest #8 for 45 passes with no errors and all night (30 passes or so) running all tests with no errors. This, I figured, was a sign that my problems were behind me. However, I was wrong.

 

I have all 4 raptors setup in a RAID 1+0 array on the SiS 3114 controller. I load the 2 nvidia drivers and the SiS driver during XP setup, but so far XP locks up or crashes every time (of three tries) at some random point during install.

 

I'm getting very frustrated and starting to feel like sending the whole pile back to Newegg, but first I'm hoping someone here can help me figure out what I'm doing wrong. I'm very tech literate, but this is my first foray into the hardcore tweaking arena. Any pointers will be greatly appreciated!

 

Thanks in advance for your help!

 

-Rye

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I would try mucker's settings but little loose like tcl=2.5 Trcd=4 Tras=8 Trp=4

and Tref = auto (3/10 bios)

 

Also if above dont work I should try a install without RAID arrays to isolate the problem. (sorry i have no idea about RAID).

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I have no idea about raid either....did you install the IDE drivers off the CD? make sure you dont install those cuz they have been known to have problems...again sorry if this does not apply to raid

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I would try mucker's settings but little loose like tcl=2.5 Trcd=4 Tras=8 Trp=4

and Tref = auto (3/10 bios)

 

Also if above dont work I should try a install without RAID arrays to isolate the problem. (sorry i have no idea about RAID).

Thanks for the reply, FutureDFI!

 

I've tried to follow your advice and discovered some new information. Here's what I've done.

 

I fired up the box this morning and went to change the settings you suggested. When I hit DEL to enter the BIOS, all I got was a flashing cursor at the top left of the screen and it was locked up. I hard rebooted and it happened again. 5 retries later I got into the BIOS and made the changes. tcl was already at 2.5, trcd went from 3 to 4, tras was already at 8, trp went from 3 to 4 and tref went from 3072 to auto. I ran 3 passes of memtest on test #8 and one full pass of all tests with no errors.

 

After hitting ESC to exit memtest and reboot, afer the reboot the BIOS stopped and said that my bootlist had changed and I'd better check it out. I found that one of the two Plextor drives had disappeared (the secondary master). I told it to auto scan and it picked it up. I saved/exited and on reboot it told me the same thing again, except this time everything looked okay. I exited and it booted fine this time (to CD so I could reinstall XP).

 

I tried reinstalling XP at this point (hit F6 to load drivers - select the two nvidia drivers and one SiS driver for XP from the floppy that came with the mobo). After it copied all files and rebooted to continue the installation, it brought up the WXP screeen for a second and then gave a BSoD of IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL.

 

At that point I hard rebooted, went back into the BIOS and changed the SiS SATA from RAID to just SATA. I hoped to try a XP install without RAID. However, this time I got as far as booting to CD, XP setup flashes "setup is inspecting your computer's hardware configuration" for a second and then it locks up tight. I've tried this three times with exactly the same results.

 

So, I moved the drives from SATA5-8 to SATA1-4, enabled 1-4 in the BIOS and disabled the SiS altogether. I installed XP again with no RAID setup and only loaded the two required nvidia drivers during setup after hitting F6. This time it went as far as rebooting after copying files and got into "installing devices" before it dropped a BSoD as PFN_LIST_CORRUPT.

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I have no idea about raid either....did you install the IDE drivers off the CD? make sure you dont install those cuz they have been known to have problems...again sorry if this does not apply to raid

I didn't install anything off of the CD. Im not getting that far, as XP crashes during install. The drivers I'm loading are all during the beginning of XP setup after I hit F6 to load drivers. I'm using the floppy that came with the mobo that is labelled "SATA RAID Driver Disk - nVIDIA nF4 - Silicon Image 3114 - Rev.1.0"

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Ok, I'm running a RAID 0 array with two raptors using a similar setup to yours, and I also got many IRQL_NOT LESS THAN blahblah errors.

 

Here is what I did to get my system up and running:

Updated Mobo to 3/10 BIOS

Got RAM settings rock solid

Slightly increased CPU voltage past spec (to increase stability, just by like 0.05 volts)

Downloaded the latest NVRaid drivers from DFI website, created disk with them.

Set all of the RAID settings in BIOS (enabled RAID on SATA 1 and 2, which I was using)

Installed Windows XP (hit f6 to install RAID drivers of course)

Viola!

 

Further suggestions I have, do NOT use the sil controller, stick with the NVRaid, it is faster. I tried my sil controller and it gave me twice as many problems as the NVRaid did.

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WinXP SP2
Is WinXP with SP2 on the CD or are you having to load SP2 after you get windows loaded? Would be a lot better if it were WinXP W/SP2 within the install itself.

 

it brought up the WXP screeen for a second and then gave a BSoD of IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL.
Usually memory problem.

 

I installed XP again with no RAID setup and only loaded the two required nvidia drivers during setup after hitting F6.
With NO raid setup there is no reason nOr should there be any drivers loaded at F6. That just confuses the h*ll out of windows expecting raid and having raid drivers and no raid setup.

 

Also it is more or less asking for trouble to load WinXP onto a single drive with 3 more besides the drive to which you are installing > hooked up. Windows normally says holy cow and does something stupid.

 

Again to use drives 'singlely' on the sata ports 1-4 and not using raid you do not load drivers at F6.

 

What loxguard said makes very good sense. Got RAM settings rock solid

Slightly increased CPU voltage past spec (to increase stability, just by like 0.05 volts)

 

So in closing; I never see PFN LIST or IRQ not Less or Equal > unless my setup is unstable from too much overclock, low voltages for what I am using, or mis-set timings or memory that is not liked by board or vice versa.

 

RGone...

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Thank you for your advice Loxguard & RGone! Here's what I've done this time. Sadly, still no luck.

 

I bumped up the CPU core voltage by 0.05v to 2.55v. I disconnected three of the four SATA drives and disabled ports 3/4 in the BIOS. I noticed that the BIOS kept losing my second DVD drive (the secondary master) about 1 out of 3 reboots, so I unplugged that, too.

 

It seems I was under a false impression that the nvidia drivers were required for install regardless of RAID usage. This time I didn't do any F6/driver load.

 

FYI, I'm loading WXP that comes with SP2.

 

RAM is still testing solidly via memtest.

 

So, I'm down to a fairly bare system with conservative settings and still when I install XP it gets to the install after the copy/reboot and drops a BSoD. I tried it three times this evening and it was in a different spot every time, but never too long after the copy/reboot.

 

What should I do next?

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Well, I've spent a bunch more time tweaking settings, testing RAM and reading all over the place looking for new ideas. The system is still grossly unstable. Can anyone suggest settings or suggest the best ways to attempt to isolate the problems? Thanks in advance for your help!

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Guest Booger

Hey, welcome here rye. It's cool that you haven't exploded and blamed dfi for everything wrong in your life. Keep with it and you'll end up ok-fine. On another note.....

 

I would definitely look at some different memory if you can, man.

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Thank you for the response, AG!

 

do you have access to some different memory?

I have a set of Corsair TWINX 2048-3200PT as well as the Corsair TWINXP 1024-3200XL I'm using now. I purchased the XL after emailing DFI support and having it recommended to me because I was having the same sort of problems with the PT set.

 

have you tried the 5/10 beta bios up at the top of this forum? (-2 is what i would recommend for you)

I just loaded that BIOS, cleared CMOS, loaded fail-safe defaults and ran memtest. Memtest ran through 8 passes of test #8 and 2 passes of everything with no errors. I then installed WXP w/ SP2 and it dropped a BSoD of IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL_TO during the first part of WXP install (before the reboot).

 

Is there a suggested set of BIOS settings I should use for this BIOS version and this RAM?

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