TechSpot

Possible motherboard problem?

By xxdeliverance
Apr 16, 2007
  1. Hey everyone, this is my first post here. I've been building systems for years but I've finally come across a problem that has me stumped!

    This is a computer I've assembled out of some spare parts I had just pulled from a perfectly stable P4 2.2GHz system and some brand new ones:

    PC Chips P23G motherboard
    Intel Pentium D 915 (2.8GHz)
    ATi Radeon 9500 PRO AGP 8X
    Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum
    TDK DVDRW 16X
    1x 1GB Kingston DDR2-533
    Ultra V Series 500W ATX power supply
    WD 80GB PATA hard drive
    Seagate 250GB PATA hard drive
    Windows Vista Home Premium


    The mobo, processor, memory and power supply are all brand new.

    Here's my problem: I've been using this box for about a week now. I decided to give it a shot with some games: C&C Generals, CS: Source and LOTR: Battle for Middle-earth, to be exact. I can load all these games up and play for a little while, but after 15-30 minutes I'll get a BSOD or just a plain lockup. It also happens when attempting to watch DVD movies on this box.

    There is no overclocking on this system whatsoever. I even tried underclocking my RAM to 400MHz and my Radeon to 200MHz but that did not work.

    First of all, I tried reinstalling all of my drivers, and I stepped down to Catalyst 7.2 from 7.3 as I noticed a lot of people had BSOD issues with the 7.3 drivers. No success. Tried re-formatting with XP to no avail. Ran memtest overnight and tried Vista again, absolutely nothing. Replaced power supply with a brand new $75 unit, no dice. Tried switching to onboard sound and video -- still nothing.

    I decided I'd install Sensorsview because the mobo and CPU were the only things I hadn't checked. CPU temperature is at a cool 27 degrees, so that's not the problem.

    The problem is that my voltages are being reported as dangerously low. +3.3v reads about 1.89v, +5v is fine at 5.1v, and +12v is fluctuating from 6.8v (!) all the way up to 13.9v.

    I tried two other PSUs and got similar results. I'm thinking this is a motherboard issue, as it's a cheapo model. Can anyone back me up on this and perhaps recommend a somewhat decent LGA 775 board that supports both DDR2 and AGP?

    thanks in advance!
     
  2. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 25,948   +19

    Hello and welcome to Techspot.

    I think you`re probably correct in thinking it`s a mobo problem.

    Check the boards caps and look for any that are bulging or leaking. See HERE for futher info.

    Regards Howard :wave: :wave:
     
  3. xxdeliverance

    xxdeliverance TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I just did a thorough inspection of the board and all the caps seem to be in good shape... same for the sound and graphics boards. I know how bad a leaking cap is as I'm a guitar player and I had to take a $600 amp to a technician to fix one. That was a $100 repair...

    Thinking about RMAing this board and swapping it out for an ASRock 775Dual-VSTA. I built a similar system about a month ago with that board for my cousin and he hasn't had a problem with it. This system is going to be for my sister, though, and she needs it by the end of the week for school!
     
  4. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 25,948   +19

    Just on the off chance it`s a driver/software problem, go and read this thread HERE and post 5 or 6 of your latest minidumps.

    Regards Howard :)
     
  5. dannymichel

    dannymichel TS Rookie

    Where are the low voltages being reported?
    I have the same MOBO and I'm having some real issues with it?
    Where can I test for low Voltages.
    The reason I ask is because for some reason I get BSODs on Vista Home Premium if I set my DRAM Frequency to Auto; I have to set it to 266MHZ.
     
  6. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    Are you mixing different speeds of RAM? Also, I think it is a mobo problem, since some (as you put it, el cheapo) mobos cannot regulate the supply of power from the PSU's +12V rail(s) to the processor, so voltage fluctuations on that rail can cause damage to your PSU and CPU, besides the motherboard itself.
     
  7. xxdeliverance

    xxdeliverance TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I tested for voltages using the BIOS and a motherboard monitoring software called SensorsView (and also SpeedFan) and I also used a voltmeter to test the PSU.

    There's only one stick of RAM in there that I know is good. Ran memtest on two different boards for around 6 hours each with no errors.

    Swapped the board out today for a higher-end MSI and I'm having the same issues, but I'm getting proper voltage readings. I've run stress tests like Prime95 on the CPU and memory and all is fine. I've taken every last thing out of the equation by using onboard video/sound and using XP but it still keeps coming up.

    I am THIS close from throwing this system out the window and buying her a Mac.
     
  8. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    Maybe you need a new good-quality PSU? It's possible that the new one is crappy too.
     
  9. xxdeliverance

    xxdeliverance TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I paid $70 for it and I tested it with a voltmeter. Everyone I've been talking to locally is stumped.
     
  10. dannymichel

    dannymichel TS Rookie

    I hope you get help too.
    Because if you do, I do.
     
  11. dannymichel

    dannymichel TS Rookie

    I set my timings as follows:
    Code:
    DRAM CAS Latency: 3
    DRAM Bank Interleave: 4-way
    Precharge to Active: 3
    Active to Precharge: 9
    Active to CMD: 3
    REF to ACT/REF to REF: 21
    ACT (0) to ACT (1): 2
    Read to Precharge: 3
    Write to Read CMD: 4
    Write Recovery Time
    I wanted to set my DRAM Frequency to 200MHZ how it should be, but what's weird is that when I run tests with Everest using the DRAM Frequency: 200MHZ setting it shows me that I'm running at
    Code:
    Memory Bus	120.0 MHz
    DRAM:FSB Ratio	3:5
    When I go back into the BIOS and set DRAM Frequency to 333MHZ I get what it should be...
    Code:
    Memory Bus	200.0 MHz
    DRAM:FSB Ratio	1:1
    Here is the whole Everest test
    Code:
    Field	Value
    CPU Properties	
    CPU Type	DualCore Intel Pentium D 930
    CPU Alias	Presler
    CPU Stepping	C1
    Engineering Sample	No
    CPUID CPU Name	Intel(R) Pentium(R) D CPU 3.00GHz
    CPUID Revision	00000F64h
    	
    CPU Speed	
    CPU Clock	2999.8 MHz  (original: 3000 MHz)
    CPU Multiplier	15.0x
    CPU FSB	200.0 MHz  (original: 200 MHz)
    Memory Bus	200.0 MHz
    DRAM:FSB Ratio	1:1
    	
    CPU Cache	
    L1 Trace Cache	12K Instructions per core
    L1 Data Cache	16 KB per core
    L2 Cache	2 MB per core  (On-Die, ECC, ATC, Full-Speed)
    	
    Motherboard Properties	
    Motherboard ID	63-0100-001131-00101111-011507-P4M800+$P23G_RELEASE 01/15/2007
    Motherboard Name	PCChips P23G  (3 PCI, 1 AGP, 1 CNR, 2 DDR DIMM, 2 DDR2 DIMM, Audio, Video, LAN)
    	
    Chipset Properties	
    Motherboard Chipset	VIA P4M800 Pro
    Memory Timings	3-3-3-9  (CL-RCD-RP-RAS)
    Command Rate (CR)	2T
    	
    SPD Memory Modules	
    DIMM2: Kingston	1 GB DDR2-533 DDR2 SDRAM  (5-4-4-12 @ 266 MHz)  (4-4-4-12 @ 266 MHz)  (3-3-3-9 @ 200 MHz)
    	
    BIOS Properties	
    System BIOS Date	01/15/07
    Video BIOS Date	11/25/06
    DMI BIOS Version	080012
    	
    Graphics Processor Properties	
    Video Adapter	ATI Radeon X1650 Pro (RV530)
    GPU Code Name	RV530  (AGP 8x 1002 / 71C6, Rev 00)
    GPU Clock	594 MHz  (original: 600 MHz)
    Memory Clock	396 MHz  (original: 400 MHz)
    
    My main concern here is over-clocking. I REALLY don't want to over-clock because I hardly ever turn off my computer and I would like to keep all my hardware running well for a while to come. Is there ANY way for me to REALLY test to see what I'm running at? I mean, do you guys think I'm safe anyway?
     
     
  12. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    Maybe it's Vista then? I didn't find anything else different or odd about your system/problem.
     
  13. xxdeliverance

    xxdeliverance TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It was XP doing this as well.

    I am in the process of running chkdsk with another XP install and it's been correcting errors for the past hour on both hard drives. HOPEFULLY this solves the problem!
     
  14. xxdeliverance

    xxdeliverance TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Tried repartitioning and reformatting both HD's. the 80GB drive gets stuck in a boot loop with XP and Vista but the 250GB drive loads Vista fine. Problem is, I try to download drivers for everything and they're all saying that they're corrupted when I try to run them.
     
  15. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    Did you try re-installing the OSes? Also, have you tried running ScanDisk on them?
     
  16. xxdeliverance

    xxdeliverance TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I've got Vista installed on the 250GB and XP on the 80, currently. I'm typing this from Vista's safe mode with networking which is working fine. I ran scandisk, chkdisk and everything. The CPU, memory, hard drives, video card, sound card and DVD drives have been tested and 100% work on a known working system. If I can't figure this out in 24 hours, the parts are going on eBay.
     
  17. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    Have your tried running it on onboard video or using another video card?
     
  18. xxdeliverance

    xxdeliverance TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The video card and sound card are out of there until I figure this out. I ran SFC on both OSes and they both said they found corrupt system files but could not repair them. I'm installing from legit media, could this be a problem with my optical drive?
     
  19. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    I don't think so, because any errors due to the optical drive would show up very clearly during the install process. The problem seems to be one of your HDDs or maybe their cables. Try replacing both first.
     
  20. xxdeliverance

    xxdeliverance TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I replaced the memory with a fresh new stick of Kingston DDR2/533 earlier today which got rid of BSODs but it gave me a 0xC0000005 error upon installing Vista and a boot loop with XP. Tried three different HDDs, four different optical drive and at least eight different IDE cables. The IDE cables got rid of the 0xC0000005 error but the computer rebooted itself shortly after the point where that would occur. I also tried reseating the processor and applying a fresh layer of Arctic Silver but that did not work. I'm currently running it with the integrated sound and graphics. I've tried everything.
     
  21. xxdeliverance

    xxdeliverance TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Update: I managed to get both OSes to install again with no problems by disabling the IDE prefetch cache in the BIOS, but everything I download is corrupted and I'm getting random BSODs again. So basically I'm back to square one.
     
  22. xxdeliverance

    xxdeliverance TS Rookie Topic Starter

    holy hell, I think I may have fixed it!

    I slowed the DRDY timing in the BIOS and ran SFC which detected some errors and fixed them with a reboot. Been running Prime95 ever since with no BSODs, lockups or restarts. I'll post again if anything arises. Thank you all for your help!
     
  23. xxdeliverance

    xxdeliverance TS Rookie Topic Starter

    bah, Prime95 reported a hardware error about 45 minutes into the test and now it won't test longer than a minute without reporting a hardware error.

    Now I'm getting IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL and the like on a barebones install. Just CPU, motherboard and hard drive.

    I know the memory, motherboard, graphics card, sound card, hard drive, optical drives and power supply to be good. Now all I can think of is the CPU, but the temperatures have always been fine and there's no sign of any damage to it.

    I installed it into the old PCChips motherboard and it's working like a charm, though.

    The new board is an MSI PM8PM-V. I've read that it does not support the Pentium D 915, is that true?
     
  24. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    You can make sure by checking out the mobo's CPU support list on MSI's website.
     
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