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System Hang - TWINX2048-3200C2 - A8N-SLI Deluxe


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System Specs:

 

Motherboard: Asus A8N-SLI

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3500+

RAM: TWINX2048-3200C2 (2 modules) - CAS 2.5-3-3-6

OS: Windows XP SP2

Video: Asus EN6600 GT (x2 SLI)

No overclock of any components

 

Issue:

My system will randomly hang at times. No logged errors, no blue screens. Just a complete freeze in time. I can get the same result outside the OS (booting from a bootable CD-ROM). Only solution is to hold the power button to reset.

 

The freeze seems to happen mostly when the system is idle or under low load (web browsing, etc.) It has never hung while playing EQ2 but did hang once after about about 5 hours of prime95.

 

The only way I can be sure to repeat the problem is to run Futuremark's PCMark04. Specifically, it will hang every time during the RAM test called "RAW BLOCK WRITE - 8MB". It does not hang during the CPU, video, etc. parts of the test. The system does not hang during the 3DMark05 test either.

 

I'm running MEMTEST86 as I write this. So far no errors, but I will report after several cycles.

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Things to try : Make sure that DDR voltage is set at 2.7v instead of the defaults 2.6v. If you get errors with Memtest86 then try your modules one at a time with Memtest86 to make sure none is failing. Also, if you can try other memory in your motherboard it may be helpfull as well...

 

At any rate please post back your results!

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PSU - PCP&C 510 SLI

Motherboard: A8N-SLI DELUXE (I previously left out the DELUXE info)

 

 

So I got more information:

 

1. The PCMark04 will freeze the system during ANY of the RAM writing tests. It is OK for all the other tests.

 

2. The DDR voltage is 2.7v

 

3. The MEMTEST86 (v. 1.51) will fail if I select the following: Configure --> Memory Sizing --> BIOS -ALL. I'm not sure what the means, but it launches a big list of RED failure and the system freezes (becomes completely unresponsive just like it does in the OS).

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I have the same motherboard and PSU as you do. A few questions:

1. Which version of the bios? (Version 1007 is the lattest officially supported release; I'm using 1006; versions earlier than 1006 where not always stable depending on which hardware a system had. If you loaded it off the motherboard cd it's probably version 1004 or earlier)

The link to an updated bios is:

 

http://usa.asus.com/support/download/item.aspx?ModelName=A8N-SLI%20Deluxe&Type=All

 

2. Which nvidia chipsett drivers are you using? (version 6.39 is stable) available here:

 

http://www.nvidia.com/object/nforce_nf4_winxp_6.39

 

If your using versions earlier than these the crashes and hangs are more than likely caused by these earlier versions. You didn't mention whether both sticks passed the standard Memtest86. The /bios version of the test is for much older motherboards than yours is. I'll check back in. Good luck.

 

ps: a valuable link for this motherboard:

 

http://hardwareanalysis.com/content/topic/38623/

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Firmware revision is 1007 (problem existed on older revisions too).

Chipset driver is version 6.39

 

I am still able to 100% reproduce the issue with PCMark04 running the memory test. MEMTEST86 does not fail unless I use the previously mentioned settings.

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  • Corsair Employees

With those settings it will fail memtest, please read the F.A.Q over at http://www.x86-secret.com in their forum I think that will help you understand what you are doing when you select that option and why its failing. You should just use the default tests and test the modules one at a time. And from what you have posted it sounds like the memory will pass memtest this way. If so then the problem is most likely not with the memory. Typically failing memory will cause an error and Windows and Windows will normally recover it self with an error message or BSOD. Locking up or hard locking the system is usually caused from a driver or program trying to access a resource that is not available.

And this may help you as well "What is memtest86+, what do I use it for?"

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Firmware revision is 1007 (problem existed on older revisions too).

Chipset driver is version 6.39

 

I am still able to 100% reproduce the issue with PCMark04 running the memory test. MEMTEST86 does not fail unless I use the previously mentioned settings.

Allright. If the ram passed the standard Memtest86 tests then I'd be 99.99% sure it's not the ram. The versions of bios and chipset drivers are up to date, so that's probably not it. PSU is extremely unlikely, the 510sli kicks ***. More questions:

 

1. Is Cool&Quiet disabled in the bios? [should be disabled; AMD's Cool&Quit doesn't funtion correctly with this motherboard, when it kicks in during low usage/demand intervals it can lock your computer solid.]

 

2. What hard drive(s) do you have and did you format it/them using Xp or the hard drive manufacturer's utility? [should use hard drive manufacturer's utility; Xp doesn't do it correctly on some of the newer SATA drives, causing the the type of problems you're seeing, i.e drivers occasionally not able to get data off the drive(s) causing a lockup. ]

 

3. Which controller is/are the drive(s) hooked up to? RAID?

 

4. What other hardware is hooked up?

 

5. What firewall and anti-virus and/or other programs are running in the background?

 

6. What temperatures are you seeing for cpu and motherboard?

 

I'll be back.

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Garvin,

 

1. Is Cool&Quiet disabled in the bios?

YES

2. What hard drive(s) do you have...

WD RAPTOR 74GB. And I let XP format it.

 

3. Which controller is/are the drive(s) hooked up to? RAID?

SATA-1

 

4. What other hardware is hooked up?

Just the Asus 6600GT SLI

 

5. What firewall and anti-virus and/or other programs are running in the background?

No firewall, no antivirus. I have a hardware firewall with gateway antivirus. I plan to install Symantec 2005 but haven't yet because of these issues.

6. What temperatures are you seeing for cpu and motherboard?

temps hang around 30 to 35 for CPU and MB. Get as high as 42 with prime95 running.

 

I do not believe this is a memory issue. The WD drive diags are failing leading me to believe this is a hard drive issue. The types of errors make it eligable for RMA with Western Digital so I have done that. I will format the replacement drive with any WD provided utilities next time.

 

Thanks to all for the help. I will keep you posted.

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  • Corsair Employees
Please do, but when you format the Drive with the WD utilities, let it clear the drive and then let windows do the DOS format. And unless you have WinXP with SP2 included you should not make the boot drive digger than 64 Gig.
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Re Gavins comment about "Raptors"

 

"

I'm not Raptor conversant, so to speak, so it would be best to follow Ram Guy's advice in the previous post.

"

 

You have to load up the SII drivers when starting the install of Windows XP (by presseing F6 if memory serves me correctly). If you dont have the drivers you can download from the WD website under the downloads for the Raptor discs at "http://support.wdc.com/download/index.asp?cxml=n&pid=1" under the heading "SIIG Serial ATA Controller Card Driver". The disc creator file is "Siig-sata-win.zip" which will create the required floppy for the drivers.

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Tooorisky,

This threads getting a little confusing,

so would the correct order of actions be:

 

1. Format a floppy disk with the system disk option checked and save the Western Digital Utility to clear the Raptors on it.

 

2. Download the Siig-sata-win.zip file and unpack it, then use it to create the Western Digital driver floppy.

 

2 Clear the Raptor with the Western Digital utility first as Ram Guy states.

 

3. Start the install of Xp and allow Xp to format the drive.

 

4. When Xp asks if you have any third party drivers insert the Western Digital driver floppy and press F6 (F6 is correct).

 

5. Allow Xp to finish loading then install the chipsett drivers, video drivers, ect.

 

 

PS to Punchinello: Another possibility for the problems your seeing that I forgot about is some people, myself included, have had problems with the Xp/sp2 installation if more than one stick of ram is installed on this motherboard operating in dual channel. Some had the install freeze when sp2 starts loading and some others with no sp2 freeze had Xp act odd after the installation. Probably be best to install Xp with one stick, then add the second stick after the install. Myself, I had the sp2 freeze; others had widely divergent sets of random problems. I reinstalled Xp/sp2 with the one stick; loaded the chipset drivers, invidea utilities and video card drivers/directx9.0b; shut down the computer, then added the rest of the ram. Xp had no problem with the dual channel setup after the install/shutdown/install the rest of the ram/restart.

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Excellent news everyone. I RMA'd my motherboard (A8N-SLI Deluxe) and just got done putting in the replacement.

 

I no longer have any system freezes or crashes when running PCMARK04 or the Western Digital drive diags. The random system freezes are gone as well. The system is now rock solid.

 

Thanks to everyone for the advice as I struggled thourgh this one.

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Tooorisky,

This threads getting a little confusing,

so would the correct order of actions be:

 

1. Format a floppy disk with the system disk option checked and save the Western Digital Utility to clear the Raptors on it.

 

 

No need to do 1. as the utility creates the floppy with the correct system files. All the other steps OK but as you progress in the install XP gives you the option to reformat/re-partition the Raptor as required, after that sit back and wait for around 35mins (not forgetting the software engineers often tell lies)

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No problem Ram Guy, though I wasn't much use with the board fritzed as it apparently was, wouldn't be the first asus-sli board with problems, the price you pay for cutting edge.

 

Good info on the raptor too, was thinking about getting one down the road sometime, thanks all.

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Man... I just want to cry. Things have gone bad again. Even with the new motherboard the system is constaintly hanging. Sometimes during boot, sometimes when doing nothing. Same as before.

 

I have a new hard drive now and am trying to reinstall Windows XP fresh. It even hangs during the installation.

 

Also, should this thing be able to run on one stick of memory? I was trying to use Garvin's bit of advice regarding doing the installation with one stick. If I pull out the second stick it makes a repeated long beap and won't go to POST screen. I tried both sticks in various slots with the same result.

 

Any more ideas?

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Are you telling me this system should not hang at POST when only one stick is inserted? This is certainly odd behavior then.

 

If it is a memory controller how do you explain that it happened on the old A8N-SLI and the new replacement one I installed?

 

By the way, the new hard drive is in with a clean install of Windows XP. Latest bios and drivers for everything... and it still hangs like described in first post.

 

I wish I had the money to burn to buy some new RAM to see if that is the issue.

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The memory controller is on your AMD microprocessor not the motherboard. It will work with one stick of ram in the B1 slot, third slot furthest from the cpu. I'd recheck to see if the ram stick is all the way down in its slot, these slots seem to require more push than most motherboards I've seen, check to see if the side clips are all the way snapped into the side notches of the ram. When you wired up the case switches to the motherboard did you follow the pin diagram illustration or the color code description beneath the diagram in the motherboard manual. The pin diagram is different from what is actually on the motherboard; you need to follow the color coded description not the pin diagram or you could be one pin off. I'll check back.
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  • Corsair Employees

Well I have no problem replacing the memory, but what you have posted might suggest some other problem.

 

Please follow the link in my signature “I think I have a bad part!” and we will be happy to replace them or it!

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