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  • Community Question: What makes a good motherboard?

DC is great for bringing out instability

BobDaMenkey

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2005
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So, the rig in my signature specifically is starting to lock up on me during long bouts of crunching. Actually, just at any point as well, as it'll try and freeze back up on the desktop while I'm navigating the file system after it's happened.

It has a GeForce 4800SE instead of the 6800GT right now, as the 6800GT died, and I have yet to recieve a working replacement from Leadtek. It's got an Opteron HSF on it (The big copper 4 heatpipe deals) with AS5 applied. Temperatures peak at about 48*C according to Speedfan for the CPU, irregardless to the ambient. It will also lock up at different ambients (keeping the room at 72 vs 78, doesnt matter it'll lock all the same).

It has an Enermax Liberty 500watt PSU, that keeps a steady 11.9v on the +12 rail according to speed fan. 11.71 According to CPU-z. I'd be really supprised if that was causing the issue.

I'm thinking it's probably related to the elcheapo ECS mobo, as I have a Barton machine(The one that I keep complaining I don't have a videocard for) that would do the same thing to me, but I didn't think so much of it, because it was older hardware, and ran a bit hotter.

My other machines have never experianced any such instability. My P3 boxes running OEM HP/gateway mobos were all fine, even with passive heatsinks, and my newer Shuttle box has been perfectly stable, and my Dell 9300 laptop has never given me grief either.
 

GLeeM

Elite Member
Apr 2, 2004
7,199
128
106
If you are using the GUI client it could be a known graphics driver problem.
 

BobDaMenkey

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2005
3,057
2
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I'm running the commandline. I had the issues with the GUI a while back and made the switch.

The entire computer locks up and becomes unresponsive. The mouse won't move, and caps lock won't toggle on the keyboard.
 

BobDaMenkey

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2005
3,057
2
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Originally posted by: CupCak3
check all the capacitors on the board to make sure they're still good
Neither board that have been giving me these issues have bulged or popped caps. They're all tip top and perfectly flat.
 

BlackMountainCow

Diamond Member
May 28, 2003
5,759
0
0
Did you try the memtest86+ at boot or will it hang during that one as well --> to rule out memory as the cause?

Did you try any other bootable OS (Linux) and if they work stable --> to rule out WinXP is the trouble maker?

Do you have the posibility to check the single components in other PCs to varify they work properly?
 

BobDaMenkey

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2005
3,057
2
0
Originally posted by: natethegreat
Have you checked the system event viewer for error warnings
No, how would I do that?

I've memtested both machines before, and never had any issues with it. I'll try a live CD of linux. See if I can get it do do Folding off that. Not a grand solution, but hey.

And yes, I do have the possibility to swap pretty much every component on the rig in my sig, minus the video card. Mostly for lesser components (Sempy 3100, PC2100 DDR). I had the same mobo running a Sempron previously with the same RAM in it currently and it hadn't been an issue for folding. :confused:
 

Insidious

Diamond Member
Oct 25, 2001
7,649
0
0
Pretty tight RAM timings... might try relaxing them a little. (easy test, frequent culprit as RAM ages)

-Sid
 

natethegreat

Senior member
Dec 5, 2004
899
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right click on the my computer tab in the start menu, click the manage tab and select event viewer. you shoul have 3 options on the righthand side of your window: Application, Security, and System. Doulbe click the system folder and browse it for error entries.
 

BobDaMenkey

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2005
3,057
2
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Originally posted by: Insidious
Pretty tight RAM timings... might try relaxing them a little. (easy test, frequent culprit as RAM ages)

-Sid
They're at stock settings for this RAM. I may give that a try, but it's just finished it's second pass through Memtest without any errors being produced... And without locking up. I'm gonna let it run Memtest til it has 8 or 9 passes under without locking or producing errors. Then I'll look in windows for any error entries. Then I'll set it running Ubuntu overnight.
 

BobDaMenkey

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2005
3,057
2
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Well, after all that good fun of running memtest for 5 hours, I booted into the Ubuntu live CD, launched Firefox and it froze up. I'm gonna try relaxing the memory, and reapplying AS5 to the HSF for fun.
 

BobDaMenkey

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2005
3,057
2
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You know, I think it might have been my goof. When I was setting up my shuttle box I ended up removing the HSF a couple times to switch processors and components, and I don't think I ever reapplied AS5 properly to the Opteron HS. I unfortunately just broke the Opty HSF removing it to reapply grease, but I had a spare stock AMD one thankfully. It's currently crunching a small WU under the Ubuntu Live CD, we'll see if it crashes again. Hopefully not.
 

GLeeM

Elite Member
Apr 2, 2004
7,199
128
106
Originally posted by: BobDaMenkey
I don't think I ever reapplied AS5 properly to the Opteron HS.
Why were your reported temps so low? Seems that they should have been high.
 

BobDaMenkey

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2005
3,057
2
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Originally posted by: GLeeM
Originally posted by: BobDaMenkey
I don't think I ever reapplied AS5 properly to the Opteron HS.
Why were your reported temps so low? Seems that they should have been high.
Dunno. Speedfan never reports over 49*. It still froze up while using the stock cooler. I backed the timings off to T2 3-4-4-8, and it's been running screen savers in linux without locking for the past 10 or 15 minutes.

Looks like it's holding stable with the backed off mem timings. Thanks for all your suggestions guys.

And just as I edit that in, I hit the start menu and it freezes up again. FFS :(
 

RaySun2Be

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
16,565
4
71
could be a motherboard going out, the CPU going out, or even the hard drive. Do a check disk on the hard drive, watch for any errors. I've had some crazy stuff happen lately, PC was working fine, then slowed to a crawl and would lock up. I thought it was the main HD, but it turned out it was a second HD that I had a page file on that was going out.
 

Wolfsraider

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2002
8,305
0
76
I had a few that had hdd errors that responded the same way. run chkdsk and see if it reports any errors.

my bet is a hdd issue, temps and voltages are good and if it is the hdd trying to read a bad sector it will make the system grind to a halt, just like a bad cd or dvd.Did you use the same hdd in this machine?>
I have a Barton machine(The one that I keep complaining I don't have a videocard for) that would do the same thing to me,
Hope this helps
 

BobDaMenkey

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2005
3,057
2
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No the Barton was running on a different set of HDDs. I think the 80gb main drive that it had been using was bad though. I tried to install Linux on it in my shuttle box and it gave me a ton of disk I/O errors. And I'm not even sure how long I've had the HDD in my current rig, but it's starting to get a bit old.

I've got a ton of extra parts between all my rigs that are compatible, I'll see if I can single the problem out over the next few days. I even got my 2800+ to sit back in a socket, so I've got 3 s754 procs to test around with, 2 dual channel kits of DDR 400, 2 x 512 sticks unmatched of DDR266, and a copule small HDDs to futz with.

Thanks again guys for bouncing ideas off me :)
 

BobDaMenkey

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2005
3,057
2
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Switching components and trying both Ubuntu and my XP install have all still produced the same result: It'll freeze. Sometimes it'll last for a few minutes, sometimes a few seconds. But it's always the same result, no matter what hard drive, ram or CPU I stick in it. So I'm pointing the hammer at the ECS mobo. I'll be consulting with the motherboards forum about what the best s754 board with a PCIe slot is. I just don't have the money to be dishing out for a Core2Duo system yet :( But I can make the splurge for an X1900XT 256 I believe.
 

MDE

Lifer
Jul 17, 2003
13,197
1
81
If you just need another nForce3 board, I have both S939 and 754 boards I'm not using, send me a PM if you're interested.
 

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