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new machine teething problems

  • 30-08-2004 12:03am
    Registered Users Posts: 1,169 ✭✭✭

    Hey, i've just built the following pc [my first pc build in a long long time]:

    amd athlon 64 3000+
    msi k8t neo main board
    1 gig of ram
    ati radeon x800
    audigy 2 sound card
    seagate s-ata 200 gig
    western digital 80gig ide
    dvd drive
    cd burner
    floppy disk drive
    1x extracting case fan at the back [have to buy another fan to add at front as intake]
    q-tec 550w psu

    Anyway, I've installed corecenter, msi's hardware monitor -reports system temps etc. roughly half the time i boot it gives errors such as 'no hardware monitor' or 'your motherboard is not supported!' i've got the latest version of corecenter off the diff.

    It seems to me its a bit of a buggy app. The bios always reads the cpu temp around 49-51 degrees, corecenter sometimes reports it at 26!!? Are there other applications out there which are better and will work with my config?

    Also, i am having the odd lockup, total freeze [mouse not move, numlock light not go on/off on keyb] -i've flashed the bios to the latest version + checked i've the latest drivers for all the kit. Running xp sp2.

    it seemed to coincide with things like accessing the cd - as in the cd spinning up. also, the odd time it's misreported the cd's/not detected hard drive in the bios/blank screen after post -years ago when i worked in tech support i might have guessed these problems were a lack of power? As in there's too much load on the psu? I've heard people saying the q-tec's are a bit pants on boards before. The other problem is at shut down, it does the 'windows is shutting down...' then screen goes blank, and it doesn't shut down, have to hold power button in for a few secs.

    It's not a major issue right now, but if anyone has thoughts/suggestions i'd love to hear them.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,264 ✭✭✭RicardoSmith

    The usual method is to go back to a minimal system, with the min of hardware connected and see if you still have the problem. Then add stuff back until the problem reappears.

    Personally I would have held off on installing SP2. Its too new.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,478 ✭✭✭magick

    think thats bad Bozzie (on boards) a friend of mine, everytime he reboots his pc he has to firstly reset the bios and reslot the ram into the pc to get it to work!

  • Registered Users Posts: 648 ✭✭✭Tenshot

    That Q-Tec PSU might be your problem. A friend had various stability problems with his Athlon system recently (e.g. random resets whenever he attached or removed a firewire or USB drive). Eventually, he replaced his Q-Tec 550w PSU with an Antec model, and everything started working fine.

    Q-Tec rate their PSUs differently to everyone else, so that 550W may only be giving you 300-350W of power as rated by other manufacturers. See for example:

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,169 ✭✭✭dangerman

    damn q-tec. That's so cheeky. i guess i should have known something was weird when it was so cheap on komplett.

    Gonna remove the audigy + disconnect the cdroms and see how i go. If it solves it i guess it is the psu.

    I've had a look at the antec web site and this seems to me the psu to go for?

    Here it is for £82 sterling on amazon:

    Anyone know anywhere cheaper?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,756 ✭✭✭Col_Loki

    Theres no need for that ammount of power TBH. Over 400w of a decent brand PSU should do the trick (if you want to overclock get slightly more).

    Try ....... , there prob the best places to buy from. For the good name brands have a look at the sticky.......

    Try to make sure it is the power though, with a system like that the q-tec should be struggling but it might not be the problem. Have you tried running prime95?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,169 ✭✭✭dangerman

    just dloaded prime95.

    i take it i just run the stress test and leave it running as long as possible?

    Thanks for all the help.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,264 ✭✭✭RicardoSmith

    You need a better quality power supply, not really a more powerful one. That said pull all the non essential hardware to see if that really is your problem. Often it isn't.

  • Registered Users Posts: 771 ✭✭✭Sir Random

    Are you using the latest BIOS for that mobo?
    Are both drives newly formatted, and using a fresh install of XP?
    Have you installed the latest Via 4in1 drivers?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,169 ✭✭✭dangerman

    I ran prime95 for 6 hours and it reported 0 errors 0 warnings.

    With the audigy2 + cdroms disconnected i haven't had any lockups so far. Will continue running it this way for a day or two more just to be sure and then add them back in one at a time.

    Sir Random: I believe so, first thing I did when i noticed the problems was troll the sites for latest bios update, did that and the 4 in 1 drivers etc. Yeh its a brand new fresh install of XP, and i applied sp1 & sp2. [My reasoning behind going to sp2 straight away was to install it before i had important stuff on the system/stuff to do so if it went horribly wrong it wouldn't be a big issue.]

    Thanks everyone, i have a hunch it is the power supply, especially considering the info posted on the poorness of the q-tec. though i guess one of the cd drives could be faulty or the audigy. fingers crossed it stays stable for the next few days. [was averaging about 3 lockups a day.]

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,756 ✭✭✭Col_Loki

    Prime95 will usually route out any problems with CPU/RAM/FSB and most of the time PSU aswell (as there is extra power drawn when the CPU is under load).

    You could try to use 3dmark and loop it , this will mean your CPU and GFX card is drawing extra power ........ see how the PSU holds up.

    How are your voltage rails? (you can download MBM5 , its a motherboard monitor that has temps/voltages etc) ......also handy for temp readings.
    I wouldnt jump in and get a PSU just yet , better to make sure instead of wasting money.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,169 ✭✭✭dangerman

    I'm afraid you've lost me when u ask how my voltage rails are.

    On the MBM 5 dashboard i have the following:

    Case: 35c
    CPU: 45c

    Core 0: 1.49v
    Core 1: 0.00
    +3.3: 3.34v
    +5.00: 5.13v
    +12.00: 12.10v
    -12.00: -11.78v
    -5: 4.99v

    Fan 1
    3341 RPM

    CPU: 1998mhz.

    The computer is still purring happily without any problems + I still have the audigy/cdroms disconnected.

    I presume in order to make the 3dmark test meaningful, i'd have to add the audigy back in with the cd's in order to reintroduce the full load again + then run it see if it borks.

    edit: oops i left out some of the dashboard values. updated above.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,756 ✭✭✭Col_Loki

    Ok your voltage rails are the readings you posted up there :) .

    It shows how close to the correct voltage the power supply is producing. Ie 12v rail @ 12.1v....... the closer to 12v the better.

    Try prime95 for a little while again and watch these rails, see if they change much........ the more they change (ie further away they change between idle and load) the more your PSU is struggling.

    Your temps seem ok aswell (load temps are more important).

    The Audigy has been know to cause conflicts and problems with certain boards (and even in certain slots). I havent heard many problems where the CD Drive is causing most of the problems unless it was power related (but the system would have to be pretty unstable power wise for that to happen, ie it would have crashed for prime95). The fact that you have a new install of XP aswell.........

    Ok so prime95 pretty much rules out CPU/RAM/FSB , you really want to eliminate as much as possible (or narrow it down to something). Try running 3dmark in loops or a game like doom3/halo etc and see if its stress related.

    From the sounds of it mabye some sort of conflict/driver problem would be my guess (that is if it passes 3dmark loops, leaving out the audigy).

    What else were you running when it re-started (ie any heavy programs)?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,169 ✭✭✭dangerman

    Something in the back of my brain twigged about the audigy when you said that, i remembered hearing problems with them and certain configs.

    I've now shifted the audigy to a new slot and checked the model number on it and made sure i've installed all available updates for it and we'll see if the lockups return.

    Running prime95 while monitoring the mbm5 stats was interesting.

    Cpu which at idle is 45 went up to 48/49 when running the prime95 torture test, it jumped up to 51 when i did things like switch apps while the test was runnning.

    the voltage remained almost completely consistant except for the -5.00 one which is usually at -4.99 but this would jump to -5.03 at times. sounds like a tiny tiny jump to me.

    Thanks again for all the suggestions/helpful advice etc. I've learned a lot. :)

    If the lockups return i'll try the 3dmark test. I must try 3dmark anyway to see what scores the system gets.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,264 ✭✭✭RicardoSmith

    Too many people immediately point to the PSU as the cause of instability. Whereas in my experience its usually pretty rare to have a problem with a PSU. Even really cheap and nasty ones. In fact it more common to have a problem with creative sound cards. Especially with AMD/VIA machines.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,756 ✭✭✭Col_Loki

    Let us know how you get on anyway........ hope it was just an audigy acting up.

  • Registered Users Posts: 65,414 ✭✭✭✭unkel
    Chauffe, Marcel, chauffe!

    Yep have had various instability issues with my audigy 2 in 2 out of 3 different motherboards, from an nforce2 board, to my current 865 board. Installing a previous or later version of the drivers has sorted those problems for me

    Funny thing is that everything was fine, running a certain version for a while on a system that I didn't change any hardware in and all of a sudden the problems would start...

    The problems were invariably halting on bootup of xp (like 1 in 3 times or so), never while the system was up and running. Took me some time to figure it out, was convinced that my overclock (p4c 3 @3.8 on air) was causing it, but it wasn't :)

    BTW XP SP2 is grand, RicardoSmith :)

    Had it installed on my main rig before release as soon as the RTM release leaked and since then installed on 4 more rigs. No probs whatsoever

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,169 ✭✭✭dangerman

    Let us know how you get on anyway........ hope it was just an audigy acting up.

    Trying to hold off on posting the 'everything is a-ok' post cause i dont want to jinx it. ;)

    Seems grand now, been running all day today with me trying multiple restarts/shutdowns etc. without lockups.

    Like unkel it was halting on xp bootup, but also the system failed to shutdown properly and a few times locked up while in use.

    As I said i shifted the audigy to a new slot, + installed all updates for it and so far so good.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,264 ✭✭✭RicardoSmith

    unkel wrote:
    BTW XP SP2 is grand, RicardoSmith :)

    Had it installed on my main rig before release as soon as the RTM release leaked and since then installed on 4 more rigs. No probs whatsoever

    I heard it has problems with machines with a .Microsoft Visual Studio .NET enviroment a VB6 amongst other development type things. Any of those machines, have development enviroments? I don't have DSL so its going to be a while before I get it, anyway.

  • Registered Users Posts: 65,414 ✭✭✭✭unkel
    Chauffe, Marcel, chauffe!

    Haven't installed VB6 or .net on any yet. Will give it a try on Monday (work)

    If you want I'll burn an SP2 cd for you. Collect from me in Lucan :)

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,264 ✭✭✭RicardoSmith

    unkel wrote:
    Haven't installed VB6 or .net on any yet. Will give it a try on Monday (work)

    If you want I'll burn an SP2 cd for you. Collect from me in Lucan :)

    Great I'll PM you. might try doing it a 3G store first though as I'll be in Blanch center later. How long did it take to download?

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