Athlon 1.4 and Asus A7M266 Problem

I just bought a new Athlon 1.4, Asus M7M266, and 2 DDR-PC2100 256MB sticks (512MB total), all of which went into a new case with a 300W power supply. Additional components are a brand new AOpen GeForce2 MX, Soundblaster Live, D-link NIC, Logitech cordless mouse and keyboard, 2x IBM Deskstar drives (7200 RPM, 35 GB apiece), 1 6 GB Seagate drive, and one 40x Acer Labs CDROM drive.

All of the parts went together without apparent complaint. I started the system, and adjusted the frequency in the BIOS setup so the front-side bus speed was 133MHz, and the system correctly identified the processor at 1.4 and the memory as PC2100. All was well until I started Windows.

As soon as Windows started coming up, the machine spontaneously reboot. OK, it must not have liked one or more of the drivers from my old system (a P3-450). I reran the Windows setup (~20 minutes file transfer), the machine rebooted as scheduled, and as soon as Windows came back up, I saw a brief blue screen and it reboot again! I then tried a clean install...same thing, within moments after Windows initializes, the machine bluescreens then reboots.

After some futzing, I found if I left the bus speed at 100MHz, Windows would run. After more futzing, I found I could push this all the way to 130 MHz without a blue screen. But not only is the fact I can't run at the advertised speed annoying, but the system performance is horrible...worse than my old P3-450. I get frequent pauses and have had several out-right hangs. Calling up browser screens or even replying via ICQ takes forever.

Any ideas what might be going on here? CPU isn't overheated, the ASUS diagnostics report temp and fan speed to be happy happy. The drivers from the CD have been applied, there didn't seem to be any new drivers on the ASUS website for this board. I put in new drivers for the GeForce2, and the BIOS is current at 1.004a.

I'm out of ideas. Anyone else have any suggestions? Since I bought this by component, trying to get the place I bought the ram/cpu/mobo from to (1) diagnose the problem and (2) do something about it seems unlikely. Thank you.
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  1. Rather strange, but I would say that some device driver may still be lurking in the background, causing havoc. Use one of the drives to make a completely clean install.
    If that doesn't work (or, as it is easier even before) try to remove some hardware, namely the NIC, and them boot.
    Finally recheck your BIOS to see if the correct dividers are on (1/4 for PCI and 1/2 for AGP - it should be automatic, but...).

    How terrible is wisdom when it brings no profit to the wise
  2. This is just a shot in the dark response. Check the M/B manual to see if you have the jumper-free mode selected,(JEN) on pins 2-3, page 19 in the manual.

    Fisher of men
  3. I had the EXACT same problem, cept windows would actually load and so on.

    Solution: Take out the SB Live!. There are known incompatibilites between it and the Via 686B Southbridge. I took it out and everything worked fine.

    Now I am having trouble with data corruption problems, so checking into whether my Win2k install got botched or my board is bad
  4. Read this : ""
  5. Thank you all for your help. I think I have the machine running as it should (for the moment, anyway).

    It seems the crash was being caused by the CPU sucking up more juice than the 300W power supply could deliver. I disconnected my smallest hard drive, and the system was stable after that. It then took a reinstallation of the GeForce2 to correct the performance problems.

    I don't really need that small drive, but I may buy a new power supply tomorrow. I really didn't think it would be that much of a problem, all these same drives ran without incident in a P3-450 with a 235W power supply. I guess that Athlon is a bigger pig than I thought.
  6. I have the same problem... the pc mysteriously reboots. I also bought a new case with an "AMD Approved" 300 watt Enlight power supply. But I unplugged all my drives but one, and it still crashes... sometimes before I get to the Win2k desktop, sometimes when my Cubase VST32 audio software is running. I checked all the jumpers (again and again) and the BIOS settings, and all appears to be set correctly.

    The power rating on this power supply is 165W constant and 300W peak. Is this standard? Should I get a 400W power supply? Have you had ANY crashes since you unplugged your extra drive?

    Two other possibilities: (1) I am using a Delta 66 audio interface card for direct-to-HDD audio recording. Some guys on a Cubase forum mentioned some problems with the VIA chipset and the Delta. (2) When I got my shipment, the FedEx box and the motherboard box were punctured and the manual was dented & scratched, but the motherboard was not touched. Maybe my motherboard is damaged? But some of you are having my exact problem without a damaged board, so maybe not.

    Thank for any help!

  7. I've had a few anomalies, but at this point I suspect the problems are being caused by software no longer at the locations specified in the registry (the drive I removed hearkened back to FAT 16 days, and was partitioned into 5 pieces). I also removed a lot of the Norton stuff that was running after an AMD benchmark indicated my system was performing worse than their baseline Athlon 800 (its much better now).

    Make sure that any onboard audio is disabled. Your current audio might still work, but its possible it is competing for resources if you haven't disabled the on-board.

    My reboots usually occured within seconds of the registry initializing. Several times, the BIOS configuration came up and told me the speed setting was incorrect. If your BIOS allows it, try turning the bus speed down 1 MHz at a time and see if it stabilizes the system. If it does, the power supply might make a difference, but it seems to me you don't have a really heavy load on it.

    I was going to buy a 400+W powersupply at the local geekshow yesterday (sort of a computer flea market), but I couldn't find anything over 300W. I can live without the drive that I disabled (it accounted for only 6 of 76GB), and when I give the machine to mom in 2 months, I'll probably remove another drive (she doesn't need 70GB to play cards on Yahoo). On my next machine, however, I'll be looking at maybe a 550W power supply. The motherboard I'm looking at supports 8 IDE devices, and I'd like the peace of mind to know that whenever I want to slap on another drive, the machine won't wilt and die on me.
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