New System Unstable, Dodgy BIOS Settings?

By goondog79
Jun 21, 2005
  1. Hi guys,

    I've just built my second computer after a 3 year break, and this one is more a hollowing out of the old shell and putting in all new components.

    Anyway, this new set up is pretty unstable. Freezes and restarts occur when I'm pushing the machine with a few programs running, often ones that use a lot of disk access.

    My new PC spec is:

    Mobo: Abit KD7-A SoA KT400A DDR
    RAM: 2x 512M DDR PC3200 (PC400) Memory
    HDs: 200GB Seagate 8M/7200 ATA100 (and old 40 gig as slave)

    and I figured the problems would probably be coming from dodgy BIOS settings. So here's what I've got:

    CPU Operating Speed 2800+(333)
    x-CPU FSB Clock 166
    x-Ratio (FSB:AGP:pCI) 5:2:1
    x-Multiplier Factor x12

    DRAM Clock 166MHz
    DRAM Timing Selectable by SPD

    When I put the DRAM Clock on SPD, it shows up on boot-up as running at 400 which I've read is incompatible with my Sempron processor. That's why I set it to 166, so it shows up as 333, but that hasn't solved my problems.

    Could these problems be Hard Drive related? Basically I put my new hard drive as the master drive (with all correct jumpers etc) and just slapped the old one with XP still on it as slave. Here's a weird quirky thing which may be totally unrelated: I've since deleted the windows directory from my slave HD but the strange thing is that I get the impression that it tries to boot from that drive from time to time and it just stops on a black screen saying that <windows>/"some important file" is missing ... i'm pretty sure that is because it's trying to boot from my old drive, why?

    This is all getting stupidly confusing I'm sure. I hope I'm not wasting all your time, but I have looked around and tried for a couple of weeks to solve this on my own before harassing you guys.

    Any suggestions or bolts from the blue warmly accepted.


    James (UK) puke:
  2. derrycraig

    derrycraig TS Rookie Posts: 47

    400MHz RAM compatable with the AMD 2800 SEMPRON?? I dont know its just a suggestion
  3. goondog79

    goondog79 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    well i bought the cpu/mobo/ram in a package deal from so I really doubt they wouldn't be compatible, but cheers for the suggestion. J. puke:
  4. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    You could try powering the mobo up outside of the case to check its not shotring anywhere. If you do, place it on top of the antistatic bag it came in.
  5. goondog79

    goondog79 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks, I might try that. Though I'd like to check other avenues first if possible. Does anyone know if my BIOS settings look ok?

    CPU Operating Speed 2800+(333)
    x-CPU FSB Clock 166
    x-Ratio (FSB:AGP:pCI) 5:2:1
    x-Multiplier Factor x12

    DRAM Clock 166MHz
    DRAM Timing Selectable by SPD
  6. Jamezz98

    Jamezz98 TS Rookie

    Personally i would use the jumper on the mobo to reset the bios then use default values.

    The default speed for the AMD 2800+ is 2083Mhz which is about 166 x 12.5. The core voltage should be about 1.65v.

    Reset your bios then setup the above settings. If you find you system is unstable try upping the core voltage 1 notch until you find stabilty.

    Make sure your cooling on your CPU is good and monitor your temps.

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