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Abit KT7 Raid, Amd 900 Extremely Unstable for me

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Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
January 15, 2001 3:43:58 PM

Well this weekend I went out and purchased a Abit KT7 Raid and an Athelon 900 After reading Toms guides on how the AMD kicks Intel's Ass. I wish I had stuck with Intel. I so wanted to come home and have this pc just work like most of the Intels I have set up. I support 9 companies part time and 15000 users as an admin full time so needless to say I work on allot of PC's.

It all started out good.
I put the pc together.
Bios defaults except chip is set for 900Mhz
128 meg 5 nsec PC133 ram
Ibm 46 gig hd
Riva tnt 2 ultra (Came out of my old comp)
Certified AMD case and processor (300 Watt Power Supply)
3 com 3c905 (Came out of old computer)
floppy
Creative labs live (Came out of old computer)
Pioneer DVD
Pretty good CPU fan
Windows 98 SE
(NO ITS NOT OVERCLOCKED)

Heres how it works.

This pc will sit Idle for Hours no problem.
Try to play a dvd Gets through a few minutes (HANG)
Control Alt Delete) Thank you my os is back.(Barely)

Try to defrag the hard drive 10% (HARD LOCKED)
Turn off and Back on (Thank You I can use my cripled pc again)

Open a few things at once (HANG)
Control Alt Delete) Thank you my os is back.(Barely)

When it boots up and comes up to the network logon it sits for about 6 seconds then i can put my username and pass in.
(Cheap ass celeron never did that) (Same Nic Card)

Lemme give you people that arent so strong in the technical arena some good advice. Those benchmarks you see, If your not a power user - (They dont change your computing pleasure that much)
I would rather my computer boot and run successfully then boot 2 seconds faster and instead of opening word or bringing up a web page 1 split second faster Actually just work. The time it takes in reboots doesnt justify the frustration. I read all of the posts here about the problems people go through to get these AMD's t work and I ask myself (Why the hell did I do this)

I dunno maybe there is something im overlooking.
Heres what I did.

Heatsink compound on the chip and fan (Seems to be seated properly)
all the drivers are the latest
via chipset service pack done
changed the video drivers to a diff version
checked the tempature
no pci boards next to the video card
No conflicts according to 98 (Fat DUMB happy OS)

Well I better finish this up before my systems crashes :) 

Before you flame me, I know some people out there have them working) I just wonder what God they had to sacrifise animals too to get them to work)Maybe I should underclock this thing and put it where it acts right if there is such a speed.
Can anyone make me an AMD lover? (I NEED HELP)
PS can somone post there 900 tempatures? Just want to make sure the temp is the same.
When it crashes i reboot and the bios reports the tempatures as normal. Cant remember the numbers but i will post them later.
PLEASE HELP!
Signed,
Frustrated.
January 15, 2001 4:50:44 PM

Make sure your sound card, network card and video card are not sharing IRQ's. Once you do this, you wil need to turn off Fast Writes, set AGP to 4X if your card is AGP, and turn off the memory hole if you turned it on. people say turning that on gives your system added stability for legacy devices, but I just decided that it sucks because it made my system freeze even more. I so I disabled the thing that would allow sharing of IRQ's and did it all manually. Hoep this helps. I think Fast Writes is the most important here if your card is supporting it....
January 15, 2001 5:20:41 PM

When I first got my laptop, and tried to defrag, it would always get to 10% and then sit at it for ever. I would always cancel after about 5 minutes, but one day i didn't. After a long time it continued on past 10% and finished my hd. Since then it only spends about 2 minutes on 10%. Try and let it do its thing for a while and see what happens.

- "That's no moon, it's Rambus!"
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Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
January 15, 2001 5:37:05 PM

Blackfoot: Are you using the ATA-100 Raid Controller? If so, what card is in PCI Slot #5 ?? Hopefully none as it shares an IRQ with the ATA-100 Raid controller. If you are using the standard ATA-66 IDE connector for the Hard Disk have you set the drive to use ATA-66?? My temps for my 900 Tbird are around 32C-34C idle and 45C-49C max under load. My setup is almost identical to yours and I have not encountered any problems other that having a card in PCI Slot #5. I can overclock the CPU to 1050mhz, 105FSB x 10 and the temps stay about the same. I would hate to see you turn against AMD, as I feel they really make a processor the public wants, not what they want like Intel does just so can secure a monopoly on the market. The P4 is not that great of a technical leap, and of course they blame it on the fact that software is not optimized to run SSE2, but what about the software that is in place now?? Let us know if you find anything out on your system.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
January 15, 2001 6:08:50 PM

I had the same problem as Tempus, my sys would defrag to 10% and freeze, or go back to 0 and start again, I used the microsoft keyboard, Cntrl-Alt-Delete, to turn off some of the stuff that Win was using in the background (And what a lot there is) And it was fine after that, only had to do it once so go figure
January 15, 2001 6:39:43 PM

I suggest you check Paul's Unofficial KT7 FAQ page, http://go.to/kt7faq. Look at the section concerning instability. It is an excellent KT7 checklist. The section on memory timings is an eye-opener. (Who would have guessed the "Normal" setting had the most agressive timing? This might be a problem for many users but I see you have 5 ns memory)

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by phsstpok on 01/15/01 03:41 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
January 15, 2001 9:10:35 PM

I had a similar problem with my Asus A7v. I don't know if yours has a similar feature, but in the bios I have a choice of running my system at 'Normal' or 'optimum'. In optimum I notice some similar problems with defreagmenting. However, when in normal, I notice no such problems. Hope this helps some, good luck.
Loki
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
January 15, 2001 11:28:10 PM

I wanted to say Thankyou to everyone that has posted and everyone that will post. I sincerely appreciate you guys taking a couple minutes to stand behind what you believe in.
Although Im sure i will get through this what agrivates me is that a normal user would be F*&ked if they had purchased the same setup. I have never had to trouble shoot any of my prior abit or asus boards and to tell you the truth the problem is probably a couple of things combined.

Here is what I found so far.

1) I took my heatsink and sanded and reseated the fan/heatsink tempature dropped bi 10 degrees MINIMUM.
2) I moved the NIC off of the 5th PCI slot from the AGP port to the sith slot. Just rebooted.

3rd) I noticed im getting remnants of video left over small specs on my screen from my video card so i reseated it and checked the fan everything looks ok. I will keep posting my findings as I learn new problems. Do i really need to give my agp card its own IRQ? Is there enough for that? :) 

Defragmenting = When I said my computer locked up during defragmenting I meant it FROZE cursor will not move Notta Zilch. :)  I think reseating the fan/heatsink took care of this problem.

Thanks Guys, I do have one thing to say about you. You AMD guys stick together, That almost makes it worth it ;) 
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
January 16, 2001 12:45:29 PM

Well, After all of the steps suggested this system is still unstable after hours of sitting it starts to get video remnants left on the screen. Hangs intermittently, Man i wish i hadnt bought this. Anyways. Anyone want to buy a Athelon 900 and a KT7 Raid MB will knock 50$ off the price and free shipping. :) 
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
January 16, 2001 12:51:59 PM

Do you have another video card to use for a test, other memory? Try this is possible but leave the sound card out and the network card out. If you have the kind of experience you claim, you should know to go to barebones with known good equipment, then start piece by piece with the equipment that you have problems with to eliminate the bad piece, when it runs stable with one piece of hardware, add another and test again, and so on until you have all of the hardware in the system, hopefully to shine light on the bad or incompatible piece of hardware.
January 16, 2001 5:21:54 PM

Blackfoot, we must be in the same boat. I too have tried real hard to make the switch to AMD. I had become tired of Intels prices & decided to build a few AMD platforms for friends. As everyone knows, AMD is lmost impossible to beat in the "bang for the buck" category. Not knocking AMD in any way, but I eventually switched 2 of the 3 systems back to Intel platforms (while keeping all the same adapters) because I found myself constantly plagued with calls about compatibility issues (yes, like yourself I too had installed pretty much all the updates I could find). Now back with Intel & no more problems....none! The lone AMD system belongs to a very competent "techie/power user" who doesn't mind the lockups or spending the day in his A7V's bios tweeking this & changing that to get it to run for a few hours without hanging or to recognize this controller or work with that adapter.
I haven't done away with AMD just yet & must admit I am quite new to the AMD world. I might just purchase a system for myself & get to "learn her idiosynchrasies". Tell you the truth, I haven't been converted from the old BX chipset yet *don't laugh...hehe*. My PIII/BF6 machine was left on for 16 days (purposely) while I was on holidays. I have been back for 5 days & have been on it for hours daily & it still runs like a top (I do run Win NT 4, however). My point? I'd take that kind of reliability/stability over a performance graph anyday. Cheers!
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
January 16, 2001 7:29:26 PM

So the story goes, I guess Im goin to put this stuff on ebay and get a p3 or something. I dunno, My wife is getting pissed that i spent so much time trouble shooting the computer instead of Quality time. :)  Guess what my next chip and MB will be. Hint Intel, Asus
So the Story Goes.
a b V Motherboard
January 16, 2001 8:02:03 PM

I recommend everyone build at least 1 AMD with a VIA chipset and full load of cards and programs, especially if it is their first. By the time they make it work they will be experts! I did it, now I'm a tech! Why pay $900 for a 15 week coarse when you can spend the same money building one and end up with more knowlege and experience?

Suicide is painless...........
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
January 16, 2001 11:24:26 PM

I have pretty much the same setup you describe, except I am running it at 1000 and have 256 mb of curcial pc133vc.

Put together just before xmas. Took about a day to get tweaked just right. The faq at http://go.to/kt7faq was very helpful.

The only problem I really had was with the via busmaster driver that was bundled in the 426 drivers. They caused blue screens. Got rid of them and went with the dirvers standard in NT5 and all is well. I've also got my memory timings a medium, with host+pci for 133mhz.

Was it a clean install of the OS on a newly formatted drive? Win2k pretty much forced that issue, not sure if w98 will allow an upgrade from intel to amd.

Oh, one other thing, I found that if I was not using the HPT IDE ports (3 and 4), that it is best to disable them in the bios. It caused some problems to have them enabled but not have any devices attached. Later on I moved the HD to IDE3 and re-enabled the ata100, and left the cd and cdrw on ide 1 and 2. This set up is very stable - much better than the old celeron 450a (which my daughter now has).

I am quite happy. I do agree, that it takes a lot of effort to get these things going. Intel was never this much fun.

Makes me wonder, how are these mom and pops buying amd computers on HSN and QVC making out. Do the OEM's know something we don't. I can't imagine the "A'm gonna get me a computer so ah can get on da inturnut" types dealing with this.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
January 21, 2001 6:02:16 PM

Well its been a couple weeks and after removing my rivatnt2 ultra from its useful state and moving it to the static bag on my desktop replacing it with a voodoo card and moving every damn PCI card around the motherboard like musical chairs and 500 changes to the bios settings, My Athelon 900 is finally stable enough to be called usable. As I stated in the previous messages I kind of wished that I would have went with a Intel like every other processor in the past but Damnit (As well as most of you techie's know (I CANT STAND TO BE BEATEN) so i finally got it working. My athelon is now been overclocked to a gig for 3 days now running 24x7, and i havent had it really hang up once.
Intel, lower your prices and show them what plug and play really means.
What a week. Oh if your planning on buying an Athelon and a
Abit MB buy lots of spare parts spend the money you would have spent on an Intel so you can keep telling yourself "IT HAS TO WORK, That guy on Toms Hardware guide said it would
so you can keep swapping brands of memory and cards.
I love it when people say "Mine worked the first time" Look back 700 posts and see if there is another "Mine worked the first time"

Thanks everyone for your help.
Heres what I see hapening, AMD is going to prevail with a smoking kick ass chip and they are going to go to to their MB companies and say stop screwing our name up.
January 22, 2001 3:12:41 AM

Well, what finally got it working? What exactly is your stable, working configuration?
!