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Topic Title: Your opinion sought on my problems
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Created On: 07/18/2006 06:14 AM
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 07/18/2006 06:14 AM
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details
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Good Morning and thanks for reading.

I have an issue with a self build PC that I completed recently. I would welcome opinions on whether the CPU can really be at fault for the failure or if you think I have been given the run around by the mobo manufacturer.

Spec is Athlon 64 X2 4400+, Gigabyte K8N Pro SLi, Antec P180 case and TruePower II 550W PSU, 3 x Samsung 1Gb DDR 400Mhz memory, 300Gb SATA II Maxtor DiamondMax +10, 7900GTX 512 Club 3d card, Creative Xfi, optical and floppy / 7 in 1 card reader. System is connected via Monster Power hub for protection.

I am an IT Consultant and have undertaken a self build before with no issues. The system itself was put together on the 18 / 19th May and performed superbly from day one. I checked CPU temp and general running every day for 2 weeks and did two 24hr soak tests, nothing went wrong. Average CPU temp after running HL2 was 32 C, peak during gaming, downloading and virus scan was 37 C. The mobo is on the recco list, I used the AMD heatsink, had 2 other fans in the main case, 2 fans on PSU case itself and one other in lower section of case to cool hdd and PSU.

38 days later I trun on the PC, screen comes up with initial POST and hangs after reporting the CPU. No error beeps from board, no response to keyboard, nothing. The start up routine doesn't change if I remove all RAM, no beeps still. I initially suspected the hdd but after mounting it elsewhere (and doing an RMA with Maxtor) found it to be fine. I then turned to the mobo and, after chatting to hardware repair colleagues at work and with Gigabyte's technical guys, placed an RMA on the mobo.

I have learnt today that they can find no fault with the board and are sending it back to me. I am left with the CPU as the culprit (aren't I ??) and am struggling to accept this. The system was stable and performing brilliantly, no blue screens, no hangs, smooth gaming, fast performance. Can the CPU really be at fault? The troubleshooting checks on this website (and others I searched upon) always talk off a drop in performance or unusual activity, not just work one day, refuse to boot the next?!

The mobo is on its way back to me. I will connect it all back up and re-examine the setup. I know for a fact that some text appeared on the initial boot screen after it reported the CPU as found (the word PATCH and some numbers after it from memory) so that may shed further light I guess.

So, anyone seen anything like this before and care to share the wealth a little? I am grateful for any replies and opinions, especially things I may have missed (hey, I work in IT, sell IT, configure IT but I am still a noob at some things - posting on forums for one!! or things I could try. Failing that, what is the RMA procedure like with AMD??

Thanks for your time and help.



 07/18/2006 04:35 PM
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zeppelinrox
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well you can't do anything until the board gets back.

unless you can simply have the cpu tested at a local pc place?

yeah... try that.. i suspect that the cpu is fine though

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 07/18/2006 05:09 PM
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Aznloki999
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Have you run a test on the memory itself? If not and you can manage to get it to boot I'd grab this http://www.memtest86.com/ and run that. Or If you have another machine use that machine to test the ram.
 07/19/2006 11:41 AM
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sammydad1a
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Hi,

I am inclined to vote for a flaked out power supply. People assume all too often that they are fine, when all it takes is some capacitor inside the thing going out of spec to bring down a pc, or lead to a no post....

let us know how it works out for you.

-------------------------
Dave
=====================================================================
Asus A8N32-SLi Deluxe, Athlon 64 X2 4400+, XFX 7800GT 256MB PCIe, 2 x 1GB Corsair PC3200C2, XP Pro w/sp2, 2 x 250 GB WD SE 16MB SATA-II, 16X DVD Burner +/- DL
 07/20/2006 07:44 AM
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details
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Thanks for the suggestions thus far. I am still waiting for the board to get back from Gigabyte before I do the tests suggested.
I may have an option to test the RAM prior to that, will post what I find. As for the PSU I will have to swap this into another PC to test it, I don't have a spare 550W unit knocking about!

Thanks for the help.
 07/20/2006 09:36 AM
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Cr@zY_UKRaiNiaN
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when u get ur board back, plug one piece at a time
it could be even ur CD/DVD drive...check them as well

as guys said, run memtest...I had a wierd problem (3 Gigs=2X512 and 2X1G all dual chan)
all 4 chips run fine with memtest (but all games and IE crash)
2X512 show 29 errors @900+ MBs
one at a time...no errors...so I RMAd all 4 chips

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Yeah, we call it HUMAN NATURE.
 07/21/2006 09:02 AM
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Afternoon.

So, I get the mobo back today, I set this up on its box on top of anti static mat, install CPU, install heatsink (which took me ages, I didn't think the thermal grease would be that difficult to work with), install 1Gb of memory, graphics card, mouse & keyboard and the power connectors off the case and fire it up.

Lo and behold, it works!

Ok, Windows doesn't boot (blue screens) and I cannot get into safe mode but it flippin works.

Now I am confused.

I am leaving it running for now, want to check the CPU temp in the BIOS to be sure it doesn't get too high (and indicate I did a crap job of the grease) and then I can see about remounting everything.

Will try to reinstall Windows on my spare RMA'd hdd and then see if I can get data off my old one. Do a rebuild and see how it goes. I will memtest my chips once I have a working PC to put them into.

Thanks for your help and advice.
 07/23/2006 02:01 PM
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MGrant
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sounds like a harddrive error.

I was wondering if you were aware of the problem concerning the NForce4 chipset and the Maxtor Diamondmax 10 and Diamondmax 11 series HDDs and if the Maxtor driver patch might fix the problem.

Also, if you have 3x1Gig memory dimms, that requires that you run them in single channel mode. any problems there?

-------------------------
Asus A8N SLI Deluxe
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ OC'd to 2.7GHZ
2xCorsair Twinx2048-4000PT @ 270MHz
2 x BFG 7800GTX256OC
Water cooled: CPU, GPU's, 3 BRM's, SB chip
 07/26/2006 10:08 AM
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Problem found.

My Mitsumi, 7 in 1 card reader and floppy drive. Basically, if the USB element is hooked up to the board, regardless of USB connector used, it prevents the POST reading the memory and stalls the boot.

How very odd.

I will RMA the drive (out of stock everywhere I look) in the near future. For the mo, I am busy rebuilding from scratch.

CPU temp has stabilised at 33 C again (phew, I can use thermal grease then).

In reply to your queries Mgrant - No problems in single channel mode, I am using Samsung chips (on the recco list from AMD and Gigabyte) and they seem very stable. I will run memtest on them fully once the PC is back to rude health and will post my findings. I have not had any errors with the hdd, I was aware of the possible problem but after reading around the subject, unless you get an issue your shouldn't apply the patch (or so I read). I will look at that again tonight, thanks for the reminder.

So, salutary lesson in fault finding for me. Thanks if you contributed.
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