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Abit KT7A crashes on dvdplay

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Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
May 18, 2001 12:39:07 PM

I have an abit kt7a, with a 850mhz tbird. The system is rock-stable, but when playing a dvd it occasionally freezes. I run WinME and tried the 4.31 via drivers,and the newewst beta bios too. The sound card is a Diamond mx300, so no sblive problem. Can anybody help me?
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
May 18, 2001 2:15:27 PM

first thing i would check are IRQ conflicts between the DVD drive and other hardware. Sisoft SANDRA program is excellent for this type of diagnosis. other than that a different software player might help.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
May 18, 2001 2:24:14 PM

I've tried severel players, but none of them worked out. I'll try to lookup the irq problem...
Related resources
May 18, 2001 6:34:25 PM

I think the Diamond MX300 has a problem as well. Search these forums. Someone mentioned a set of updated drivers for the MX300, from Vortex (I think). Something about the Aureal sound chip. I also seem to recall mention of the problem at <A HREF="http://www.viahardware.com/faq/kt7/kt7faq.htm" target="_new">Paul's Unofficial Abit KT7 FAQ</A>. You might also check there for information on your specific problem.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
May 18, 2001 7:21:19 PM

Thanks, you were right. If I remove the mx300, everything works fine, but no sound ;-). Can you name a good sound card that functions properly with the kt7a? I don't won't to chage to sblive because of the southbridge probelm...
May 18, 2001 8:01:08 PM

Isn't the "south bridge" problem only when it is running on win98se? My KT133a board works just fine with a sblive!

96.3 % of Statistics are made up.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
May 19, 2001 2:05:49 PM

mjdunn!

Have you tries playing a dvd? My system is rock stable except for dvd playing...

I think the south bridge problem is OS independent.
May 19, 2001 3:55:45 PM

Did you try the tips at the link I provided or did find a link for the updated MX300 drivers?

<b>Update:</b>Sorry, I am in a bit of a hurry but here is one excerpt from <A HREF="http://www.viahardware.com/faq/kt7/kt7faq.htm" target="_new">Paul's Unofficial Abit KT7 FAQ</A>.

"One user who experienced computer crashes while copying data from his DVD drive on a KT7A found that the problem was resolved by setting Enable Fast CPU Decode to Normal and Enhance Chip Performance to Disabled."

It is my understanding that all the sound cards with the Aureal 3D sound chip have problems. If you want to avoid the issue you can get a 2-channel sound card (meaning non-3D sound). Also, I believe the Philips Acoustic Edge (not the Seismic Edge) uses a proprietary 3D sound chip with true Dolby Digital 5.1 capability. Of course, I have only read a couple of reviews of this sound card and do not know if it has any problems of it's own. I have an old Turtle Beach ISA card, myself, and have none of the problems which I have seen described with the SB Live or MX300 but it is not the greatest sounding card and I plan on replacing it because I can't get the Wavetable synthesis to work on Windows 98SE. I will probably go with the Philips Acoustic Edge unless I learn of something better.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by phsstpok on 05/19/01 12:01 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
May 19, 2001 4:03:16 PM

Okay, I'm getting now really upset. A borrowed a fortemedia 801 card, and ... The same !!! Random lockups. I've tried win2000, even worse. Now I'n gonna try win98se, but I think that's not the problem. The kt7a, is a bad design? If anyone from abit is reading this, please do a recall. This is my 5th abit board, but maybe my last one.
May 19, 2001 10:02:07 PM

Could be a case of VIA striking again.

Assuming you already tried my previous tip, put the sound card in Slot 4. Most people have the best luck there. If you can do without RAID and can limit yourself to 4 IDE devices, disable the HPT controller in BIOS setup and put the sound card in slot 5. This will guarantee that the sound card will not share IRQs. I also recommend disabling all unused legacy ports (com1, com2 and LPT1). This frees up more IRQs. If you don't use USB you can disable it.

Here is how the KT7A's PCI slots use interupts.

Slot 1 shares an interupt with the AGP port
Slot 2 and 3 share an interupt along with ACPI
Slot 4 and 6 and USB share an interupt
Slot 5 shares with the HPT370 controller

(This information was obtained at <A HREF="http://www.viahardware.com/faq/kt7/kt7faq.htm" target="_new">Paul's Unofficial Abit KT7 FAQ</A>, the Instability section).

Incidentally whenever you change PCI hardware on a KT7/KT7A you must <b>enable</b> the Reset Configuration Data setting in the PnP Configuration section. (In later BIOSes the option is labeled "Force Reset ESCD" or something like that). Whatever it is called it forces Windows to pick up the new PCI configuration information. This solves a lot of problems.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
May 20, 2001 11:08:07 AM

Hi. Many-many thanks for your help, i've tried all of your suggestions, but everything fails. I have no raid controller, disabled usb and anything, two types of soundcards, 3 OS... The win98se is the most stable, it locks up only after approx. 20 minutes, winnt2000 ha severe sound problems, me is instable too. I'm going to get rid of the board as soon as i can. Any other suggestions?
May 20, 2001 7:22:43 PM

Sorry to hear it. You said DVDs play fine without a sound card. It seams this should be solvable but I can understand your frustration.

This may be off the wall but have your tried another type of video card? If you are using a Geforce maybe a Radeon would work better. I hear they have much better DVD playback, anyway.

I'm just thowing ideas out there but maybe your video card is overheating. Try running with the case open and use a room fan to blow in extra air.

How's your power supply? Read how power supplies can affect graphics cards in <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.html?i=1128" target="_new">this article</A> at <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com" target="_new">www.anandtech.com&lt;/A>.

You could also try a hardware MPEG2 decoder for DVDs but you probably don't want to spend any more money chasing this problem.

That's about all the ideas I have.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
May 21, 2001 8:18:43 AM

Thanks for the tip. To Anyone who's system is stable: do you use a 300w poer supply? Is it really neccesary? I don't want to invest if it doesn't solve the problem.
May 21, 2001 7:16:58 PM

I upgraded from a 300 watt PSU, AMD approved, to a 330 Watt Enermax unit. Mostly for insurance but I learned that my old unit was marginal with a Geforce256. I occasionally, about once a week, got a black screen with a green line across the top while playing 3D games. (I usually just ignored this because I typically get Windows 98 related crashes about three times in the same time frame. You know, when Windows runs out of resources, slows down, and eventually hangs. I can sometimes prevent the crash if I notice the slowdown and close some applications). www.geforcefaq.com had a note about the black screen problem indicating that it is a power supply issue. Apparently, they recommend a PSU that can supply at least 20 amps on the +3.3 volt leg when used with the combination of an Athlon and a Geforce. My old supply maxed out at 14 amps, so I upgraded. After this I did some research and learned that my old "AMD Approved" power supply is only approved for CPUs below 1.0 Ghz. At 1.0 Ghz and above the unit does not show up on AMD's list. (The lesson relearned, do your research before you buy)

The new unit, Enermax EG351P-VE is really nice, providing more and longer power cables. The extra cooling fan keeps my CPU about 3 degrees cooler than the old unit. This is a bonus. In two months of use I have had none of the black screens with the green line.

I still get the Windows related crashes. I think I have a buggy release of Windows 98SE because these problems have followed me through 3 system upgrades. With the last upgrade I only kept the floppy, CD-ROM, CD-RW and the sound card so I don't think my problem is hardware related. Like I said I had this problem on 3 systems.

My only regret is that just after I bought the 330 watt unit I learned it was replaced by a new 350 watter, the EG365P-VE. Same price, about $80 retail, $65 street. (I guess I ought to be used to new and better equipment making mine obsolete. hehe!).

Personally I think a little peace of mind is worth the cost of a bigger power supply. I wish I could guarantee a larger unit would fix your problem but I can't.
May 21, 2001 7:30:03 PM

I ran DVD on 250W PS and haven't had any problem (Duron 600 on Biostar M7VKB and Diamond Monster Sound MX-300).
What brand of your DVD drive?
And for MX-300, have you tried the <b>Reference driver</b> from <b>Aureal</b>?http://www.vortexofsound.com/drivers/drv_v29x.htm
May 21, 2001 10:30:17 PM

Thanks, khha4113. I didn't have the link to provide for esjani.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
May 22, 2001 7:14:31 AM

Many many thaks to all you guys who tried to help me: finally yesterday night I succeded!!! My system is stable, playing 2 dvds without a crash (it hang after 20 minutes max, in the pervious state). And now for the solution:

- removing ACPI from winME !!!

I was so frustrated about my machine, I almost threw it out of the window (ME... ;-)). Somewhere in a FAQ I read that removing the ACPI from windows could help solving instability problems. It's a weird procedure, but I had nothing to lose, so I did it. And suprisingly it worked... To get it fail proof I installed the 4.31 4in1 and the 3.11beta Ide miniport dirver too.

This is what makes a forum real good. Thanks again for all you Guys.
!