PC-DL Deluxe and System Instability

By Acidis
Nov 9, 2003
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  1. I just upgraded my motherboard to Asus PC-DL Deluxe board. IT has 2 2.8GHz Xeons and 2 1GB 2700 memory modules set up for dual channel operation. However, I am having very strange and seemingly random problems running Windows XP.

    Here is the problem. I can load Windows XP without any problems and I can run applications. However, sooner or later things start going wrong. Applications that have never crashed before like Internet Explorer start crashing and I get random "blue screens." The STOP screens are never the same. They either do not specify which driver caused the problem or they specify seemingly random drivers at fault. Anyting from video driver to ntfs.sys to yet more driver names.

    The blue screens seem to happen more often when I run games. A game that utilizes DirectX 8 to be more exact.

    My Windows XP is up to date. I have downloaded and installed all patches. I have installed all the latest BIOS and driver updates I could find.

    Well, basically, I don't know where to start trying to figure out what the problem is.

    I have a suspicion it has something to do with memory or maybe overheating since the problems are so random.

    Please help. Let me know what information I need to provide to try to solve this problem.

    One thing that cought my eye, that I am not sure if it's normal is that during boot up the BIOS displays 4 lines describing CPUs. This is of course a dual CPU system. Why does it display 4 lines of CPUs and why does Windows XP think I have 4 CPUs? Does it have something to do with Hyper-threading?
  2. Acidis

    Acidis Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Here is some information about the memory I have, taken directly fromt he site where I purchased it:

    SAMSUNG 1024MB TRUE PC2700 333Mhz Non-ECC 64x64

    Specifications: SAMSUNG 1024MB True 333Mhz PC2700, 184pin DIMM, Non-ECC 64x64, 2.5V, SSTL-2 I/O Interface, CAS Latency 2.5, SPD Support. Higher performance over mainstream PC100 or PC133 memory. Up to 2.7 GB/sec of peak bandwidth using PC2700 DIMMs (with DDR333 memory chips). JEDEC Standard. DIMM Lead pitch: 1.27 mm. Support for Memory Chip Stacking.
  3. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff Newcomer, in training Posts: 8,165

    Are you running XP-Home or XP-Pro? The Home-version does not support dual processors.
  4. Acidis

    Acidis Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    I am running XP Pro.

    I am starting to believe it maybe related to the game itself. Although, it's very strange it could cause such wide variety of STOP messages but the STOP messages happen only when I play the game.

    I checked my CPU tempratures right after a STOP and they seem low. 37C and 38C.

    Next step, I guess, is to try using only 1 memory module.
  5. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff Newcomer, in training Posts: 8,165

    Because of HyperThreading, some softwares think you have 4 CPU's, that is normal.
    Did you check the temperature of your memory-modules? And is it ECC or non-ECC?

    The Xenon is supposedly top-dog for games, compare this:
    http://www.ecomcity.com/xenon.htm

    Afraid I have no further suggestions for now, except upgrading to DirectX 9.0b (from the M$ website)
  6. Acidis

    Acidis Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Off-topic: Xenon? Is that something new or simply misspelled Xeon?

    Some more news on my battle with the problems.

    I was able to stop that particular game's crashes by disabling a few on-board devices. Now is the time to start re-enabling them one at a time to see which starts causing that particular problem.

    Off-topic: What is the deal with IRQ sharing? a lot of people are saying IRQ sharing is often the culprit in the crashes of games because they utilize heavily video, sound and networking. Is there any truth in it or is it simply an urban legend? And if it is the case, can't someone come up with a way to override ACPI settings to force manual IRQ assignments?

    However, I am still experiencing the STOPs. What's bad is that they don't seem to be consistant. I get STOPs a lot while playing one of the games. I get STOP less frequently while playing another game and I even managed to get STOP while simply using Internet Explorer. So, I still need to figure out what the culprit is for the STOP messages.

    I know it is not related to hyper-threading though as STOPs continued when I disabled it.

    Right now, all on-board USB and on-board LAN are disabled.

    Well, time for more troubleshooting...
  7. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff Newcomer, in training Posts: 8,165

    Xenon was a typo, should be Xeon.

    I assume you have checked your PC for virus-infections and spyware. If not, get hold of lavasoft's Adaware and Spybot S&D.
    Install them, check for their latest updates and run the progs.
    The free AVG from grisoft is a reliable anti-virus pgm.

    My suggestion: before you start gaming, press ctrl/alt/del to go into task manager. Shut down all programs that are not necessary, especially AntiVirus and firewall stuff.

    When you next get a STOP error, write down the number and check in Google for that particular error, or better:

    Search the Microsoft Knowledge Base for “Windows XP Professional” and the number associated with the stop error you received. For example, if the message “Stop: 0x0000000A” appears, search for “0x0000000A.”

    Following is an example of what MS shows for error 7:
    http://support.microsoft.com/defaul...port/kb/articles/q137/5/39.asp&NoWebContent=1

    As for IRQ-sharing: this happens a lot when your PC is in ACPI-mode. Modern mobo's provide you with extra IRQ's in ACPI-mode.
    To check in your PC, right-click "My Computer" on the desktop, click on Manage/System Information/Hardware Resources.
    There you find a.o. Conflicts/Sharing and IRQs.
    Any problems there?

    To test your memory, goto www.memtest86.com and download their memory-tester. Let it run overnight to see if anything comes up.

    If you mention the problematic games by name, maybe someone who also plays that game might have a solution.

    Finally: find out, which PCI-slots share what with each other.
    Usually slots 3 and 4 share resources with sound and USB, slots 1 and 5 share USB1/USB2 and Raid, slot 2 shares with AGP etc.
    Don't know if this applies to your (pretty impressive specs) mobo.
  8. Acidis

    Acidis Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    OK, it appears one of the memory modules was responsible for the STOPs.

    I have only gotten one STOP since I removed that memory module and it may just be related to some driver problem.

    One of the games that had a lot of crashes and STOPs no longer crashes. Another game has a problem that causes it to crashe which is being worked on by the company that made it.

    Since I removed that module I only got one STOP in a few days as opposed to multiple in a day.

    I actually ran memtest but not completely. Did not have time to run it fully. The BIOS tests all ran fine.

    Interesting thing about IRQs, I currently have USB disabled and all devices have different IRQs. however, when I enable USB with its 4 ports, the USB related devices infest the IRQs of other devices. Including video and network. I don't think it will cause problems but I won't be re-enabling USB untill I have my system running stable.
  9. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff Newcomer, in training Posts: 8,165

    Try swapping the memory-modules around, resp. try 1 module at the time in each of your slots. If both on their own are fine, maybe a different slot-combination might work.
    I would still advise you to run that memtest overnight (surely you go to bed at some time...)
  10. Acidis

    Acidis Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    It was one of the memory modules that caused the problem. I've been running with one memory module for a while without crashes now.

    I tried the bad module in the same slot and the good one and was getting intermittent crashes so it's not a motherboard problem.

    While I am on the subject of memory, some advice to you. Don't ever order from DCCSALES.COM

    I sent them the defective module back with request to send me identical replacement. They tested it with 4 hours of memtest86 and said it was fine. Offered to give me refund with 15% restocking fee or send me the same module back.

    I told them to send me a replacement and not the same module. I did not hear anything from them untill I got the package form them with memory. Guess what? They sent me the same defective module. I put it in and computer started crashing intermittently.

    Stay away from that place.
  11. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff Newcomer, in training Posts: 8,165

    For normal memory there is really only 1 place: www.crucial.com

    Overclockers have their own suppliers, which cater to their specific needs.
    If you don't OC, go crucial!

    Too late now, but I am glad you got your problem located (if not yet fully solved)
  12. Acidis

    Acidis Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Hmm, crucial is very expensive. I also noticed that for PC2700 1GB memory, unbuffered, non-parity memory is $190 more expensive than Registered, ECC. Makes no sense to me. PC2100 is the other way around. As far as I know it's more expensive to make registered,ECC memory.

    Is there another good source of 1GB PC2700 memory?
  13. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff Newcomer, in training Posts: 8,165

    I don't know about USA prices, but at Newegg you can get a twinpack (2x 512MB) Corsair XMS 2700 for about $210.-

    for description see:
    http://www.corsairmemory.com/xms/xms_modules.html

    I have 2x 256MB of those in my PC and am very happy with it. I don't need more RAM with what I do.
     
  14. Acidis

    Acidis Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Thought I'd report my progress on this issue.

    On 2/28/04 I finally received a working memory module from DCCSALES.COM

    They finally broke down and sent me a Micron 1GB 2700 stick. The previous two replacement attempts with original brand (Samsung) memory resulted in memory problems.

    Now I have a Samsung and Micron 1GB sticks in my PC which does not allow me to run in dual channel mode. At least they work.

    Attempts to get them to replace the original Sumsung stick with Micron were met with silence. I will try again but my hope are low.

    Pick a decent memory reseller when getting memory.

    My system is running very well now. Although I have to keep the case open or it overheats.
  15. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    I take it you hadn't bought a Dual channel kit. I know SiS has come out with a chipset that allows you to mix Ram brands & still run them in Dual Channel mode but that does not seem to be possible on your board.

    If you're running the system in Single channel mode, you're taking away quite a lot of bandwidth from the CPUs & that must be even more noticeable in a Dual CPU configuration.

    As for the overheating issue, have you pinpointed the source ? If your case fan can be manually adjusted, try setting them at a faster ( noisier ) speed.
  16. arkarna

    arkarna Newcomer, in training

    Hi,saw these posts and i see they are alot old. But anyway, i made my Dual Xeon around 2004. I started the system with 2 processors 2.8 1gb ram, an ide hardisk and a dvd recorder. now, about 4 years later this is my spec the processors still the same, but now i have 3gb ram, 4 dvd recorders, 4 sata disks, graphic card nvidia geforce 6600gt, soundcard creative xfy fatality. My power supply is the same sense then. a 450w power supply. Suddenly, starting the computer detected the processors, ram, the 4 ide dvds, and the 2 sata harddrive (to notice that 2 harddrive are has ide, and the other two are detected with the 378 tx plus promise technology), these 2 harddrives that connect through the 378tx plus, aren't detected and displays the following message. warning: bios does not find proper hardware configuration, check your system again. and i'm forced to reboot. if i disconect the 2 ide sata that are detected those two disk are detected and system starts fine. I tryied to let just one dvd and mantain the 4 sata but it doesn't start. Now, i would like to if its possible to be the powersupply. i was in asus site and it was recommended at least a power supply with 750w. The weird stuff is that i have this system running with almost no problems since 1 year ago. Ocasionally windows xp, later vista, crashed. A friend told me that probably, i already made damage to the motherboard because of power shortage, and that i should buy another motherboard. But big problem, does anyone know someone who has this motherboard to sell? asus in portugal says it doesn't have and it will be almost impossible to get one. Maybe in second hand, but didn't find any that seemed to be in good conditions. Can you guys give me a hand figuring out the problem? thanks.
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