Hardware problem, could anyone help?

By Theo343
Oct 20, 2005
  1. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Interresting indeed.
    Well did you get your new RAM? I hope you got a matched pair, suited to your motherboard and of higher quality.

    Did you fix the floppy? If the light stays on all the time it means your ribbon cable is backwards.

    Download Seatools I think it is, from Seagate's web site. They will have diagnostics and burn-in tests and so forth to test your drive fully.

    Since you've loaded and reloaded drivers a thousand times, would you be willing to reload it once more?

    Once you get good RAM, and get your HDD tested (and replaced if bad), you may want to reload again. I've had cases where Windows was installed with malfunctioning RAM installed, and Windows would NOT work right (with new RAM) until a reload. Somehow the data corruption during XP load just stuck with it.

    Get your floppy working, and USE it to load the SATA driver during XP install (by pressing F6 at the start of XP install). NOTE: be sure to load the SATA driver, and NOT a RAID driver, if you are just using one HDD.

    When Windows is reloading, assuming NO problems during install. Install your drivers in this order: (do not do windows updates or anything else, I like this order)

    1) Core motherboard drivers first. Meaning your nForce2 set, either from DFI OR Nvidia, shouldn't matter, get latest one and install all parts of it.

    2) Other motherboard drivers not part of nForce. Which is usually the SATA/RAID driver, perhaps a gigabit NIC if it has one.

    3) Video drivers. At this point it should be just fine for you to go to Nvidia and get the latest driver. Don't even install drivers off the CDs, just go to the web sites. Unless you need the NIC driver off CD.

    4) Check Device Manager that everything is loaded properly, no exclamation points or red "X" etc... If you have an "unknown" or unloaded RAID driver, you can just leave it, since you aren't on RAID. As long as the SATA driver is loaded.

    5) If drivers check out, do your Windows updates. Then finish whatever else from here on.

    Note it is perfectly safe to load your initial nForce chipset drivers off the mobo CD, but you may want to get the latest version later.

    This is fairly standard loading procedure and should not give you issues. If it does give you issues, we may still be looking at hardware problems.
    I have a sneaking feeling that loading XP, with faulty RAM, on to possibly faulty hard drive, without using proper SATA driver support; mixed with loading and reloading drivers a hundred times, amist enumerous crashes and BSODs; has created a monster.

    I would like to see you replace your RAM and HDD if needed, and reload once more.

    Good Luck (and double-check your CPU and RAM is compatible with that mobo)
  2. Theo343

    Theo343 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    - The floppy had a dummy cable which you are unable to connect the wrong way. To be sure i found a cable without the plastic knot and mounted it the other way but same problem. I ended up with exchanging it later to a USB floppy cause i didnt want the hassle with return papers for a tiny floppy station.

    I guess it was the floppy controller or the floppy drive itself that had a problem. But to cut around the problem i got a USB floppy instead.

    - I havent gotten new RAM yet since it takes some time to get the reseller to check it out and process it. I also have no other RAM to use while i sende this kit so i had to pick a time where i could be without the computer.

    This Kingston HyperX ive got with 2-2-2-5 latency should be very high quality , but regardless it seems to be faulty.

    - Im gonna run the Seagate tool test with the stick that tested ok and see what happens. And then again with the new RAM

    - The CPU worked fine on the MB thats at DFI for repairs(7 months process). I also asked the reseller on the progress on my MB thats on repair since this motherboard doesnt "recognize" this XP-M but it has no problem operating it as its got the correct vcore values and MP/FSB in Bios.

    But one question. This MB has a built in S-ATA controller on the Nforce2 MCP-S. And the cd that followed only had a S-ATA Raid and a IDE driver. What driver should i use during F6? The nlite CD i ended up with used the IDE if im not wrong. And in XP Device Manager it shows no MS IDE drivers and no SCSI(S-ATA) drivers.
  3. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    I couldn't say for sure about your mobo and the SATA driver. I just know that I've built a couple PCs with MSI MBs and when loading drivers, the included driver floppy gave me multiple choices of driver. And if I choose the RAID driver, setup wouldn't even work. Because I'm not using RAID.
    And then last night I built another PC and is SATA and not RAID, and in this box it won't even LET me load the RAID driver, it says if I load the RAID driver, then all my "non RAID" hard drives will be invalid. So the RAID driver sits in device manager as unknown device because MSI doesn't let me load it.

    The other aspect about your floppy is that when doing the F6 thing, it only looks for a driver on the root of floppy A:. I'm not sure if XP setup would recognize and read a driver from a USB floppy.
    Being that your SATA controller is not a dedicated chip but part of the MCP IDE controller, I would say perhaps use the IDE driver and not RAID.
  4. Theo343

    Theo343 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    checked disk.

    Thanks for response.

    I downloaded the latest seatools that boots from a cd. I ran all tests except the full test first. The results were mixed, i werent able to save to a floppy since my USB floppy seemed to not be recognized. The S-ATA controller was identified as "unknown controller". Ill go trough som of the data from the tests here.

    * Unknown controller
    - NTFS C: failed
    - NTFS d: failed

    * Other Seagate drives (same as above)
    - A physical error has been detected

    I also ran 2% of the "full surface scan" and before i stopped it, it found one bad sector 6320773

    Afterwards i ran a full CKDSK with /F /X and /R. But saddly the chkdsk doesnt log its results in eventlog so im not able to see the results. Any other log for this since you got the /L for log parameter?

    Im gonna run a complete "full surface scan" with Seatools CD now and check what it says.

    What i wounder about is why the S-ATA is identified as "unknown controller" in Seatools, and if it might be that the HDD is ok but the controllers is faulty? How do i know?
  5. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Seatools lists it as unknown probably just because it can't read the BIOS of it, or perhaps doesn't have the model in its own database. That shouldn't be a problem. It's the same as when Windows doesn't have a driver for a device and calls it "unknown device".

    However, since seatools found physical errors and and bad sectors, that is a problem. Because one bad turn deserves another, and the drive may just get worse and worse as time goes on. Seagate will replace it due to the results of their program test.
  6. Theo343

    Theo343 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Full test

    I ran the full test aswell and it gave no other new information except the same bad sector. I will replace the HDD and RAM and see how the system behaves.

    Im afraid i have some more issues with the MB since the floppy didnt work at all and since i got som strange BSODS and freezes now. But im wondering how to diagnose these possible faults?
  7. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Unfortuneitaly I don't know of any decent motherboard testing programs, I use Micro2000 but that is expensive. You could take a look at the utilities on the Ultimate Boot CD:

    Despite if your floppy cable has a key, at least double check that pin-1 connects to the red wire on both ends of the cable, and if you can, try another floppy drive.
  8. Theo343

    Theo343 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    What about these voltages.

    These values are taken from Everest Home Edition. Im especially interested in the -12v and -5v. Why these values? Are they correct? Im using a very high quality Tagan 480w PSU.

    +3.3 V 3.36 V
    +5 V 5.13 V
    +12 V 12.28 V
    -12 V -6.44 V
    -5 V 0.48 V
  9. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Hard to say, I don't know if those lines are even used much in today's PCs. I know the -5 is rarely used. Not sure about the 12.
    But compare those values with those printed on your PS and see. Or try to find out if your mobo or parts use those lines.
  10. Theo343

    Theo343 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Whats your values on -12 and -5?
  11. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    I went to check everest on the PC I'm currently at. I don't even HAVE a -12 and -5 line listed!
    But even my other voltages, some were dipping a little below, but this PC runs just fine.
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