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Mystery Problem

By RCman · 25 replies
Jul 22, 2004
  1. First off let me thank anyone who helps ahead of time, because this is stumping me. :)
    Before I Start here is what I’m running:

    Windows XP Pro SP1
    Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe
    AMD 3200+ (400mhz) CPU
    Corsair Value Select PC3200 Ram 1GB (2x512mb)
    550watt Power Supply
    Lite-on 52x32x52x Burner and Lite-on 16x DVD
    Sapphire ATI Radeon 9600 256mb
    Maxtor 6Y080P0 80GB 8mb buffer

    OK here’s the problem, I will be in almost any program and the computer will randomly reboot, this happens while running Ad-Aware, Norton, Gaming… anything. I’ve tried different Power supplies, still occurs. However I replaced the Ram with some Kingston PC2700 I have 2x512mb, which meant I had to run the processor at 333mhz giving me an effective and expensive 2500+ :( , but everything worked smoothly. So I put back my Corsair PC3200 RAM and I can run it up to set the mobo to 190mhz (380 effective) and everything runs fine as well... no problems, but as soon as I go past that… I lose my stability. However, I have been running this system for over two months now at the 400mhz speed with never any problems, until last week, when i started having these problems. I’ve tried increasing CPU voltages and DDR voltages, no help. Anyone have any ideas what would cause this sudden change? Should I change anything? Is it defiantly my RAM or could it be something else?

    PS: I’m running it fine at 380*11 now giving me 2090mhz, but I went all out to get the 3200= to run it at the 400*11 and get 2200… so this bothers me :)

  2. RCman

    RCman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Here are some more detailed specs on my RAM (off of newegg.com):
    Corsair Value Select (Dual Pack) 184 Pin 1G(512MBx2) DDR PC-3200
    Speed: DDR400(PC3200)
    Type: 184 Pin DDR SDRAM
    Error Checking: Non-ECC
    Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
    Cas Latency: 2.5
    Support Voltage: 2.5V
    Bandwidth: 3.2GB/s
    Organization: two 64M x 64 -Bit

    Any Suggestions on timings?
  3. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    It started restarting after a few months?

    It might be worth a shot to remove your heatsink and fan and make sure it is properly dusted off. This dust settling can increase thermal temperature greatly. Especially nicer heatsinks which often have closer together fins. Dust can really clog up the airflow in these.

    That should be about the only thing that would change over time, except the software or faulty hardware.
  4. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    Are you running the stock HSF or another? If stock, are you using the thermal pad that came with it or another thermal material?
  5. RCman

    RCman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    I''m running a Thermaltake Silent Boost Heatsink/Fan, and everything is sweaky clean inside.. no dust. CPU temps are running at about 44C-50C all the time.

    I did some research on the Corsairs page and they suggest that I Flash the Bios to new version 1011, I currently have 1008. I'm going to try that today when i get home, mabye that wil help solve the problem, and mabye I've just been lucky for the last two months... We'll see...

    Any suggestions on timings for the Ram?

  6. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Well, the higher the timings are, the most stable it should be. You'll just need to experiment and see where the sweet spot is.

    If it worked before though....

    If you are conerned about your system's stability, maybe try running it at stock speed again with default memory timings. If it still restarts, you know you have another problem on your hands.
  7. Strakian

    Strakian TS Rookie Posts: 136

    I've only experienced this with overheating problems personally... If it happens on a timed basis I would add some more fans, system temperature can have an effect on everything.

    If from boot up until the shutdown/restart it's always the same interval of time, such as 30 minutes, 45 minutes, etc give or take 5 minutes, it's gotta be an overheating problem... but like all problems being diagnosed over the internet, it's difficult to know without actually seeing the machine...
  8. RCman

    RCman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Strakian I don't think it is an overheating problem... the CPU is always in the 44-50C range, I've got a Antec 120mm intake, Antec 80mm side intake, Exhaust blower and 2 80mm rear fans... plus the room is air conditioned year round at 68-70F. :)

    Rick Any suggestions on lower timings? The default is at 2.5-3-3-8 .

    I didn't have time to flash bios to the new 1011 version yet.. but I will and let you guys know.

  9. SOB

    SOB Banned Posts: 119

    well, i'd check your motherboard revision and update that first. don't go flashing the bios of anything yet. the memory is fine and bios settings also may be the culprit. value select will not let you go into any aggressive timings. so run it straight, or should i say optimal.
  10. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    2.5 / 3 / 3 / 8 sounds right for that particular memory. You can probably change at least your CAS timing (2.5) to 3.0, which may help you stability wise. It will lower performance though, although it probably won't be noticeable at all.
  11. deglio

    deglio TS Rookie

    Hi all,

    my reply is not intended, sadly, for helping, rather to confirm that I experience the same problem as RCman.

    Roughly my configuration is:

    Windows XP Pro SP1
    Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe
    AMD 2500+ (333mhz) CPU
    TwinMOS PC3200 Ram 1GB (2x512mb)
    350watt Power Supply
    2xEIDE HDs
    1 SATA HD

    The problem only shows up with windows (also experienced with windows 2000 before) not with linux (Fedora Core 2)
    (I have a dual OS system) so I was wondering if it's a windows-dependent issue rather than software-related problem.

    Any suggestion, also for me, is most welcome.

    Thanks in advance,
  12. RCman

    RCman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Alright... I updated Bios to Rev 1011, but still cannot get it to run sable above 190Mhz (380Mhz effective).... I'm still stumped...

    Also rasing the CAS from 2.5 to 3.0 does not help either...

    So I'm running at 2.5 3 3 8 and 190mhz ....
    Any sugestions?

  13. RCman

    RCman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Still stumped... :(


  14. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    Random rebooting of XP on Nforce2 based boards is a common problem particularly with those who are overclocking. and using PC3200 ram.

    some people have solved the problem by resetting the default settings in the bios. and some have found that simply unchecking the "restart automatically" in system properties under startup and recovery stopped the rebooting.
  15. RCman

    RCman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Ya.. I know that.. but the thing is that I am NOT overclocking I am underclocking in order for it to run stable. :rolleyes: Also about 35% of the time the computer reboots, the other 65% I just lose everything and the computer shuts down, however the system power LED and the motherboard stay powered on.

    Thanks for the input,
    Bill :grinthumb
  16. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    one thing I forgot to ask. has this been doing this since you built the system or did it just start happening?

    if it has been happening from the get go then it may be a defective board.

    if it just started happening has any new software been added? partucularly were the Nforce2 mobo drivers updated?

    I know that the Nforce2 mobo drivers have caused some people alot of grief and many recommend uninstalling them and letting windows install generic drivers in their place.
  17. RCman

    RCman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    It just started occuring about a month ago (two months after system up and running.) However I have not installed or updated and drivers or software that would/may cause this problem. Alothough I have never started using memory intensive programs until about a month ago as well.

    I think the problem is most likely my RAM I have heard of many other people with Corsair RAM problems with the A7N8X-E Deluxe Motherboard and perticularly the AMD Barton 3200+, where the motherboard and the ram do not like running together at 200mhz speeds. Anyone have any sugestions on timings for my ram? I've tried acouple different setups, but I'm not that fimilar with ram timings. The defalt ram timings for my Corsair Value Select Ram are 2.5,3,3,8. Can anyone help with my ram timings?

  18. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    most of the cases I have seen where people were having problems like yours they were running PC3200 ram and usually it was corsair and some Twinmos
  19. RCman

    RCman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    I am running Cosair PC3200 (1gb of it 2x512mb)... :)
  20. fhol

    fhol TS Rookie

    RCman.. I hope that you are still following this thread. I'm a year late but...anyways; I'm having the exact same problem! Using the same mobo and processor but kingston valueram memory PC3200 mem. Can't get my system to run stable above 192 MHz FSB! Prime95 (torture test) and Memtest 3.2 will report errors after ½ hour or less. I've tried a new PSU (Antec truepower 550W), other memory sticks, all BIOS versions up to 1013 and even another mobo of the same kind and also another brand of mobo with same chipset. This other mobo let me raise northbridge voltage. Still same problem. Had these Apacer PC3200 first and sent them back because I thought they were faulty but the same prob occured with the kingston sticks. Also tried high-end Corsair sticks with the renowned BH-5 chips and that did in fact work! After a short glance at Asus site I found out that there are very few memory sticks certified for this mobo. BH-5 included tho. Wish I had looked it up before the purchase. :(

    So...how should we interpret this? Since I feel like I have tried everything including raising voltages here and there, there can be two causes for this. The nForce2-chipset seems to like high-end memory sticks only, OR, my CPU is faulty but that I do not believe because I can overclock it a lot with multipliers (and it runs stable) if I just lower the FSB to 192 MHz or below.

    These are the BIOS-settings i use now to squeeze out the most of my system without it getting unstable.

    CPU Ext. Freq. 192 MHz
    CPU Multiple 11x
    System perf. User def.
    Mem Freq. 100%
    Mem Timings 6 3 3 2T
    Vcore Auto (1.650V)
    DDR Voltage 2.6

    I could even lower the memory timings!
    But if I raise the frequency more... we all know what happens. Even with awful mem timings. Unstable.

    IF anyone finds a cure for this, please post a reply! Really want to be able run my comp at stock speed.
  21. RCman

    RCman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Wow, I just got an email notification on this thread. Sorry fhol I didn't find a cure to the problem, I got sick of it and parted it out on eBay and bought a new system. Sorry I can't be of any help.
  22. Secondgunman

    Secondgunman TS Rookie Posts: 91

    I have...

    I have benched my system at all the cast timing and only get anbout a 0 - 2% Diffrence in preformance so I keep my cast timings high as that way I know my computer is running well. If I were him that is what I would do, if he is into overclocking I would just buy a faster CPU.
  23. Secondgunman

    Secondgunman TS Rookie Posts: 91


    Disregard then... maybe for next time.
  24. fhol

    fhol TS Rookie

    I've been wanting to do the same for quite some time now but since I like to solve problems I refuse to give up! I'm infact working as a computer engineer, fixing, Acer, HP and Dell computers fulltime. Desktop systems and laptops. Bla bla ;)

    A few days ago, I did some research in memory timings and found out that some boards "like" certain timings better than, on paper, a faster timing. So this is an update. After many many hours of benchmarking, stability testing, these timings and freqencies i'm about to post are, I think, the best for this Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe board, with value PC3200 mem sticks, if you can't get it to run stable at stock speed and timings.

    Freq. 192 MHz
    FSB:DRAM ratio 1:1

    CAS Latency 2.0
    RAS to CAS delay 3.0
    RAS Precharge 2.0
    Cycle Time (Tras) 11 (yes eleven!)
  25. fhol

    fhol TS Rookie

    0 to 2% only? Did you benchmark your entire system then or did you just benchmark the memory?

    You can never be sure about stability unless you've tested it with a bunch of torture test tools. I like Prime95 (the BEST), and Memtest. Try those! They will give you a failure notification if something is bad/unstable. If not, try adjusting your settings to gain performance and find the fastest possible settings for your computer. The perf. sweetspot! Fast AND stable we want it. :)

    And as said before in this post thread, I did of course try to run it at stock frequencies and timings first. Thats in fact the whole point, because it ain't stable at stock settings. Even if I set slow/failsafe mem timings at stock frequencies, its still unstable.
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