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Unstable XP, please help (Asus A8N SLi?)

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Triggaaar, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    I built a new machine a couple of months ago, and have never got it stable. Last week I started from scratch, and installed XP Home, with SP1 included. I updated it via MS Update Page, up to the latest SP2. The 2 symptoms I had been noticing are:
    1) Internet Explorer will regularly freeze (many times per day)
    2) The whole OS will freeze, a few times a week

    Having re-installed the whole OS, I am still getting problem 1, but it is too early to see if I am getting problem 2 (I've actually just gone back to an image of SP1, to see if the problem was caused by a later install).

    I have loaded such a small amount of software on the PC, that I am wondering if my motherboard drivers or bios need updating. The MB drivers that came on the disk said Beta, so I didn't fancy loading them. I have downloaded Chipset_WINXP32_V665, and A8NSSD014, but not installed either on my current set-up (had tried the chipset before, and it didn't help). I understand that updating the Bios can be risky, so I don't want to do that unless I need to.

    PC:
    AMD 64 3500
    2 Gig Corsair Mem (I ran memtest for 24 hours 2 months ago before installing anything)
    Asus A8N SLi Delux
    2 * Seagate Barracuda SATA HD
    NEC DVD 3540
    Gigabyte GeForce 6600GT (silent)
    Netgear Router

    Software loaded
    XP SP2
    Microsoft Outlook 2002
    AVG Free
    Teamspeak
    IL2 FB/PF (game)

    Any ideas?

    Many thanks
     
  2. iZombine

    iZombine
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    Hello Triggaaar,

    Have you updated the motherboard bios yet?

    As the ones that came with my Asus motherboard kept on causing it to freeze and when I tried to do a reinstall of XP it kept on freezing.
     
  3. Dillz

    Dillz
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    You have my sympathy. Random freezes are a pig to isolate.

    In my own expererience random system hangs tend to be down to a memory issue or an overheating issue. In my own case it was the copper fins of the CPU cooler that were blocked with dust!
     
  4. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    I have not updated the Bios. What did you do to fix your problem, did you update the bios? If so, could you tell me which update to use, and how to do it :) Thanks

    My machine is full of dust, but I do have the temperature monitor that came with the motherboard, which shows all temperatures are fairly low.
     
  5. iZombine

    iZombine
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    Hi,

    yes I updated the bios.

    Download the update tool found here: http://support.asus.com/download/download.aspx?SLanguage=en-us

    It's the second one down.

    Then download the bios here: http://support.asus.com/download/download.aspx?SLanguage=en-us

    It's the second one down.

    Then you might have to reboot, if so then do. Then open the update tool and select update from file and select the bios that you downloaded. Then it will probably say reboot, so do. Then the bios will be updated.

    Then fingers crossed that's it! :)
     
  6. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    The 2 links you've given are the same.

    Are you using the same motherboard as me? From that site, it recommends a different Bios for my motherboard (A8N SLi Delux = Bios 1014 or Beta 1015.

    EDIT - Ah, the address remains the same regardless of which page you are on, hence those links are the same.
    I assume you have the same Bios update I've downloaded (1014) - I just need to find the tool for doing the update.
     
  7. iZombine

    iZombine
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    That's weird, I thought it would show which bit I clicked on.

    Yes use the beta or the 1014 but I would use the 1014 for now. You can download the update tool from the Utilities sections.


    yes I have the Asus A8N SLi delux.
     
  8. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Sorry to be simple here, but I can't find utilities - EDIT - ignore that - it was well hidden, but I've found it.

    Now to completely kill my machine.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  9. dejongj

    dejongj
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    Dust is definitely not good and even if the temeratures are low it may stop your machine from working. Did with my laptop.

    You haven't stated your PSU...Remember that incorrect voltage is a 'killer'. I couldn't believe the test results of some PSU's that I've seen and many are just not delivering what it says on the tin......

    I'd do the basics first before starting to look to 'upgrade' to beta driveres...
     
  10. iZombine

    iZombine
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  11. SiMoof

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    Random freezes can be caused by anything... I had random freezes and after hoovering the inside to remove dust & reconfiguring the power cables so that my graphic's card was running off a completely independant set of cables from the PSU had none since. Oh and a bit of advice on BIOS updating... if it looks like something did not quuite work, never ever ever ever turn off and reboot to hope for the best... Use the asus update to locate the correct updated bios for you. Let it find the right version. If having problems connecting to the server try the german one. The US and Taiwan servers tend to be overloaded.
    BTW, does anyone know how to fix a corrupt bios on a ASUS P4C800-E Delux mobo?
     
  12. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Thanks guys
    1) PSU - I'm using a 600W Enermax Noisetaker, which has seperate 12v rails, and according to reviews, plenty of power. I will be taking the machine apart to fit a new cooler at some point, and when I do I'll check the power cables, but I think that's all good.
    2) I have updated the Bios to the latest Asus non beta (1014).

    The machine hasn't completely crashed yet, but I can crash internet explorer on demand.

    I'll run memtest again in case anything's gone wrong there.

    Can I assume all the Microsoft Updates should be ok, even when they're installing things for office 2003, which I don't have?
     
  13. MikeK

    MikeK
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    As you have two memory DIMMs (presumably running in dual-channel mode), you can isolate if it's likely to be a memory problem by removing one of the DIMMs and switching to single channel mode.

    If you hit the problem, remove the DIMM from the machine and replace it with the the one you removed earlier (mark in some way them to make identification certain)

    If you still hit the problem, then the problem is either

    a) A problem which affects both DIMMs in the same way (unlikely unless it's a design/incompatibilty issue - if you suspect this, try another type of DIMM from ASUS HCL - a bog standard 256MB will do. The other thing which could affect this, is cocking up the memory timings in bios - but I assume you've checked all that against the recommended Corsair settings for your DIMM types)

    b) Not the memory.


    Unfortunately, you are probably down to Process of Elimination fault finding now!
     
  14. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Thanks - I'm going to run memtest again now, and if that doesn't find anything, I may try your suggestion. Will it auto switch to single channle mode if I just remove one of the DIMMs?
     
  15. MikeK

    MikeK
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    Yes - but read the manual as there will probably be one of the slots designated for a single DIMM installation!


    I have heard of instances before BTW, where neither DIMM is faulty, but the memory voltage drive is weak on the board - it's fine with one DIMM, but struggles with two (though this would seem unlikely on a motherboard designed to take 4 DIMMs and supporting dual channel mode)
     
  16. rdhir

    rdhir
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    The single dual thing is worth a go, but its rare on Asus boards as that's what corsair use to test against.

    Doesn't generally matter which slot, and it won't blow up anything if you get it wrong, the machine just won't boot.

    Cheers

    Rajiv
     

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