View Full Version : System Went South...Gleaning Wisdom

12-27-02, 11:27 AM
Two weeks ago my system started crashing frequently. It will either lock hard (no I/O recognized, must hold power button in to restart system) or blue screen with various driver erros or page faults. Prior to that the system crashed...er...well, never. The system is about 9 months old. Here's the specs

Athlon XP 1800+ w/ Alpha 8045 and 68cfm Delta
Abit KR7A-133
2 X 256MB PC2100 Crucial
Creative Soundblaster Live! 5.1 X-Gamer
VisionTek GeForce 4 Ti4200 128MB
Antec Case and PSU (350w)
LiteOn 16X DVD
Windows XP Professional

Previously I ran this system moderately overclocked (143mhz FSB/1.645ghz) and the memory at pseudo-agressive timings. I also ran the video card at 290/500.

First thing I did was set everything to fail-safe BIOS settings (stock speeds on everything).

No improvement.

So, I thought it was audio problems because it always seemed to crash "on a note" so-to-speak.

I downloaded the latest Live! drivers and installed them.
No improvement.

Sometimes it dies after an hour of play, sometimes after 4 minutes. And it's not always during games, Borland's JBuilder 7 died on me as well.

I decided to look into memory. I downloaded the memtest-86 version 3 ISO image and burned it to a CD (on another machine). It's bootable and just starts running the memory tests on boot up. Sure enough, on test 5 it throws a bunch of errors. So I remove one stick and test again. Test 5 throws same errors. Ah-ha! Found the bad stick...or so I thought. Replaced it with the other stick. Test 5 throws same errors...hmmmm...bad DIMM slot? Different slot...same errors. Just for giggles, I tested my other machine (Duron 1.0ghz with 2 sticks Crucial PC2100 memory). No errors after looping 5 times.

I guess my next step is to test the known good memory from my Duron system in my primary workstation.

Any guesses on what would be causing this? Bad L1/L2 cache in my CPU? Bad memory controller in my Northbridge?

12-27-02, 11:48 AM
Good site for this mb:

Why is my system unstable?

RM. Andersson
12-28-02, 02:38 PM
There are known problems with that MoBo and memory. Alot of users are having the same problem you have.


"Josh sent me an email about RAM problems with Abit's KR7A-R. In short, users are finding that, while running at 133 MHz, they get memory errors; it appears that it shows up as system instability and while running Memtest86. His take on the problem:

I have come to believe this problem is due to the 4 DIMM slots and their timing algorithms (Abit is the only board I know of that has 4 DIMMS on a KT266A, and also the only board with this problem on the KT266A chipsetš). "


12-29-02, 07:03 PM
Hmmm...yes, it could very well be memory slot positioning. Right now I have only one stick of memory in and my results...no crashes for two days including about 7 hours of Age of Mythology (which was crashing regulary before). It's weird though...nothing changed for 9 months and now I get the instabilities. Wear and tear I guess.

Thanks for the help guys!

01-01-03, 01:39 PM
Just another follow up. I put some different memory back into slot 1 and slot 2 and instantly starting getting bsod's. Moved memory from slot 1 to slot 3...BINGO. Not a single crash in over 10 hours of use (games, browsing, java, etc.) Apparently my DIMM slot 1 is gone. :( Risks of overclocking I suppose...or maybe not.

Back up to 1645 mhz and everything seems fine. Thanks for the help guys!

RM. Andersson
01-01-03, 02:03 PM
Good that it´s working!
My brother also use that MoBo. We got bluescreens all the time with memory in slot 1 and 2. When we changed to 1+3 it was stable.
I think it also depends on the memory and on combinations of memory people might use.

Good luck!