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Old 03-17-07, 09:25 PM   #1
Redeemed
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Default I'm at my wits end!!!! Please help!!!

Okay, since I've gotten my new rig I've been having nothing but problems. Here are my specs:

AMD Opteron185
ASUS A8N32 SLi Dlx
2GB DDR500 G.Skill ram
2x eVGA 8800GTSs (640MB versions)
Silverstone Zeus 850watt PSU

The first problem was heat. I have the Thermaltake Big Typhoon 120mm cooler. It is pure copper (except for the fins, they are aluminum), has six copper heatpipes, and a 120mm fan. It is by far more than sufficient to cool this CPU. At the time I only had crappy silicone based thermal grease to use. In short, my temps were unbelievably high. The CPU idled at 50*C and during load would get scary close to 60*C. Far too hot.

So, I pulled that cooler off and put the stock cooler on (yes, I cleaned the proc extremely well before installing the stock cooler). Then I flashed the BIOS on the mobo to the latest version. After all that, according to CoreTemp my temps were more realistic. Idle my proc was low 30's (coolest core) to mid 40's under extreme load (again coolest core). The "hottest" core was never more than 5*C hotter than the coolest core. So I know that this stock cooler is not better than that Thermaltake cooler of mine- as such I'm guessing that it is a combination of things causing such high temps with that Thermaltake cooler:

I'm guessing that silicone thermal grease was a major culprit, and that the BIOS was also reading the temps wrong as well (is that possible?).

Anyhow, with the temps finally under control (so it seems), I didn't really bother with the Thermaltake cooler. I do intend to lap that Thermaltake cooler and I have also purchase some AS5 as well. Just have not installed it yet.

Now what it is doing is randomly shutting off. It has absolutely no bearing on the load of the system it seems- unless the rig is not being used then there is no problem.

I could be playing a game (anygame) and the rig will suddenly just shut itself off. And it isn't consistent either- some times it is only after five minutes of gameplay, other times it is only after a few hours of gameplay. But it doesn't just do this with gaming- I could be in Windows Media Player trying to listen to a song and it'll just shut itself off, or I could be browsing the web and it'd just shut it self off. I'm so pissed I want to bash the rig to a million pieces. I've put so much time and money into this thing and no matter what, it does not work.

So, naturally, I suspected that maybe the ram was bad. Well, last ran Memtest86 last night while I was asleep. 13 passes with 0 errors. So I guess that eliminates the RAM.

Now, before you guys mention the video cards here's another twist:

Before this setup I was using an EPoX 8NPA SLi with a s754 3400. Both of these cards ran absolutely fine with that setup. I didn't have temperature issues nor did the rig randomly shut itself off. Even when using that old s754 3400 I was still gaming at either 1600x1200 or 1920x1440 (depending on whether the game supported 1920x1440, if it did not then I used 1600x1200) with 16xAA, 16xAF, vsync+tb, and all in-game options maxed. Never had an issued with my previous setup. Performance was great. Couldn't oc the proc at all, but the system was stable and ran fine. Now these are the same two video cards from that previous setup, I see no reason why they could have suddenly "gone bad".

One other thing I should mention:

Originally I was using 2GB of Patriot eXtremel Performance DDR500 ram in this current system of mine. It ran fine except for the high temps. Never had an issue with the computer randomly shutting off. Then, after I got that temperature issue under control I was curious just how much RAM Windows would recognize with my setup (thanks to all those threads about 4GB in XP vs. Vista ). I have the rig I built for my GF here as she has no where to put it in her place yet. It had 2GB of G.Skill DDR500 ram in it. So I put those two sticks in my rig for the total of 4GB of ram (the 2GB Patriot eXtreme performance DDR500 ram and the 2GB G.Skill DDR500 ram). The timings are the same for both kits, and I had it running in dual channel. THIS is when the shut downs would happen. The computer would never shut itself off when I was using the Patriot memory, it ran fine. But as soon as I put the G.Skill RAM in is when the system started shutting itself off.

So, I tried to take the G.Skill ram out and just leave the Patriot memory in, and the system wouldn't boot. I put the G.Skill ram in and took the Patriot RAM out and the system would boot. I tried the Patriot RAM in different slots and then each stick individually and the system still would not boot. Yet it would boot with the G.Skill ram. So, I put the Patriot ram in my mom's computer, and it boots just fine (thought the ram is running at 333MHz DDR as that is the highest her mobo will handle).

So I'm ready to go postal and kill any and everything that moves.

Please, if you have any suggestions I am all ears. I'm ready to send this mobo back if necessary, and even the proc- but I'm hoping I don't have to. I'm gonna' try that Patriot ram one more time to see if it will work. Here's the last tid-bit about my computer:

About 45 minutes ago it shut itself off, I was browsing the forums here- nothing more- when it shut itself off. So, I let it set for 10 seconds while I took deep breaths () then I powered it on again. It came up with a bad CMOS checksum error and was searching for the original bios in either the floppy drive or CD-ROM drive. Fortunately ASUS is kind enough to put a copy of the original BIOS on the driver CD. So after I put the driver CD in it found the BIOS without a problem and apparently flashed the BIOS without issue. I turned the computer off (once the BIOS flash had completed) and then back on- and it wouldn't boot! Got no splash screen, no nothing. It was stuck on stupid as far as I'm concerned.

So, right now, I'm typing all of this on my mom's computer. In the worst case scenerio I could just use my GF's computer untill I get the issues with mine sorted out. I just hope I don't have to.

So please, any suggestions or recommendations will be MORE than appreciated. Thanks so much in advance.
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Old 03-17-07, 09:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: I'm at my wits end!!!! Please help!!!

Did you clear your cmos?
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Old 03-17-07, 09:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: I'm at my wits end!!!! Please help!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rum Cooler
Did you clear your cmos?
???

When? Today after flashing back to the original BIOS? If so no. Why would I need to? Shouldn't everything be at default after flashing back to the original bios?
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Old 03-17-07, 10:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: I'm at my wits end!!!! Please help!!!

Sometimes after flashing it's good to clear cmos and then load optimized defaults.
Are you overclocking?
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Old 03-17-07, 10:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: I'm at my wits end!!!! Please help!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rum Cooler
Sometimes after flashing it's good to clear cmos and then load optimized defaults.
Are you overclocking?
Okay, to clarify the board flashed itself.

After the computer shut itself off this last time, when I turned the computer on I got a bad CMOS checksum error. The computer then proceeded to search for the bios file in order to restore the original bios. That is when I put the driver cd in (where a copy of the original BIOS is stored) and the computer proceeded to flash itself.

When it finnished it gave me a message saying that I just had to turn my computer off, and then back on and my system would work fine. Of course, when I turned it off and then back it- it now doesn't appear to boot at all. All of the fans spin, the HDD's spin up, the optical drives "spin-up", everything seems normal, except nothing is being displayed on the monitor. I'm going to try these GTSs in my GF's rig and see if maybe one of the cards or (God I hope not) both went bad.

As for clearing the CMOS. I just tried that, no go. I also pulled that Patriot RAM out of my mom's computer and tried it in mine again- still no go. I tried practically every configuration for the ram- still no go. I even tried an old 256MB stick (DDR266) and still no go. If the video cards work fine in my GF's rig, might the mobo be bad?
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Old 03-17-07, 10:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: I'm at my wits end!!!! Please help!!!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813188006

^^^ How is that motherboard compared to this ASUS one? Any idea? If need be I can send this ASUS board back to Newegg for a replacement. If the replacement still doesn't work I could go for that eVGA board (once Newegg gets 'em in stock).

Then again there is this DFI:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813136157

Wont do SLi with each PCI-e slot at x16- but I guess that isn't really critical. I only got that ASUS A8N32 SLi DLx cause I figured future titles (games) would benefit from having both PCI-e x16 slots running at x16 in SLi. Maybe they wont, I don't know.
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Old 03-17-07, 10:42 PM   #7
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Default Re: I'm at my wits end!!!! Please help!!!

It is always a good idea to clear CMOS after a flash. Check the flash instructions they should mention that. May not be your problem but it has potential.

Did you check the contact made by the core cover (imprint left by the thermal grease) on the base of the HSF? Might check the base of the HSF to insure it is true (flat) with a straight edge.
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Old 03-17-07, 10:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: I'm at my wits end!!!! Please help!!!

Have you tried each video card seperately in either slot? just to make sure it's not both cards maybe only one is bad. Also it's not good to mix ram like that. Maybe the G.Skill ram needs more volts than the Patriot ram, but any way try the cards seperately and see what happens
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Old 03-17-07, 10:54 PM   #9
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Default Re: I'm at my wits end!!!! Please help!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rytr
It is always a good idea to clear CMOS after a flash. Check the flash instructions they should mention that. May not be your problem but it has potential.

Did you check the contact made by the core cover (imprint left by the thermal grease) on the base of the HSF? Might check the base of the HSF to insure it is true (flat) with a straight edge.
Well, I tried clearing the CMOS but it still wont boot. And yes, I do have the jumper back in the right place. It just isn't showing anything on screen. The screen stays blank. I'm about to pull the proc out and re-install it. I just don't want to do that untill I have that Thermaltake heatsink lapped (hopefully will do tomorrow). GAHHH! This is so frustrating!!! LOL!

I'm gonna' try those GTS's in my lady's computer, and if it fires up I can rule out the cards being bad. BRB...
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Old 03-17-07, 10:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: I'm at my wits end!!!! Please help!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rum Cooler
Have you tried each video card seperately in either slot? just to make sure it's not both cards maybe only one is bad. Also it's not good to mix ram like that. Maybe the G.Skill ram needs more volts than the Patriot ram, but any way try the cards seperately and see what happens
I never thought about that.

Is it possible that I damaged the ram then?
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Old 03-17-07, 11:00 PM   #11
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Default Re: I'm at my wits end!!!! Please help!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rum Cooler
Have you tried each video card seperately in either slot? just to make sure it's not both cards maybe only one is bad. Also it's not good to mix ram like that. Maybe the G.Skill ram needs more volts than the Patriot ram, but any way try the cards seperately and see what happens
Oh, and I did try each GTS seperately. Still no go. Gonna' try 'em each in my lady's rig now. And I'll also try 'em seperately in her rig as well. BRB...
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Old 03-17-07, 11:00 PM   #12
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Default Re: I'm at my wits end!!!! Please help!!!

No, more than likely they were not getting enough juice

Also don't forget to check all your connection especially the 4 pin connecter on your mobo, make sure it's in good and tight
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