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The strangest reboot.... (A8N32-SLI Deluxe mobo)

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  • Asus
  • Motherboards
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March 27, 2006 5:53:21 PM

Hello from the UK all.

I'm looking for some suggestions as to the cause of a strange problem that I am having with my home-built PC. Before I get stuck in, a quick introduction to the machine:

Asus A8N32-SLI Motherboard: Updated to latest Bios via Asus update utility and replaced once by my retailer due to this problem.
AMD X2-4800 CPU: Runs Prime95 on each core without a hitch.
2 x 1GB Corsair Platinum DDR400 CL2: Passed Memtest86 with flying colours, operating at stock mobo CAS.
Silverstone Zeus 650W PSU
Asus 7800GTX Extreme
2 x 250GB SATAII Western Digital Harddrives
2 x Asus DVD ROM drives
1 x Asus DVD Writer

The Problem
Machine boots fine and the installation of Windows XP Pro goes without a hitch. Upon the first start of Windows proper I do get a Windows error message (7F code) but this doesn't appear after I install drivers so assume it's a Windows driver problem with the hardware.

Drivers are successfully installed (both stock drivers that came with hardware and latest drivers downloaded from manufactorers).

Generally the machine seems very quick and stable until I attempt to run something like a game (Battlefield 2 being my example in this post).

The machine will clear the desktop and occasionally display the launch screen briefly, before resetting the entire PC. No BSOD (including when I've turned off the auto reboot option).

Given that neither Prime95 nor Memtest86 has revealed any problems I'm at a loss as to what the problem could be. The retailer got the core components back for testing to identify the problem and discovered no faults, so I have to assume that I've made a mistake in building/configuring the machine.

Can anyone suggest where my problem might lie?

Many thanks!

More about : strangest reboot a8n32 sli deluxe mobo

March 27, 2006 6:17:02 PM

have you been able to test any more 3d applications? You should run DX Diag and see if anythings out of place.
March 27, 2006 6:30:58 PM

I did manage to get 3D Mark running on it as a test of the VGA card. No problems to report. To be fair, I've not attempted to run 3D Mark since I got the components back from the retailer, but I assume that it would work again.
March 27, 2006 7:02:55 PM

hmm...well you could run 3dmark 05 for a few hrs just to make sure everything is stable, the onli thing i can think of now is a driver problem, unless you can try another copy of xp, i've come across a few buggered versions. The onli thing that is making me think its not a driver problem is that you state you dont get a BSOD.
It could be just a problem with Battlefield 2, EA have really done a horrendous job at the programming ,shame :( . I have enough problems with it myself. Unless you can try another game?

gd luck.
March 27, 2006 7:43:23 PM

Very strange...

Maybe you should give Knoppix a try and see if the problem persists.

http://www.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V4.0.2CD...

Knoppix is a live CD and does not have the nVidia accelerated driver although you could probably download and install it in the ram drive.

http://www.nvidia.com/object/unix.html

Fedora or one of these other distributions might help too:

http://mirrors.kernel.org/

If you machine crashes in both windows and Linux or BSD it is almost certainly a hardware problem or BIOS configuration problem.

PM me if you'd like more info.

Good Luck :-D
March 27, 2006 7:45:02 PM

Sorry, something that I didn't make clear is that this is happening with all the games I've tested. (Those being BF2, Football Manager, Star Wars: Empire at War and Black & White 2.)

It's entirely possible that it's a driver issue, but I can't see how that could be given that I've run so many different versions of each for each bit of kit. I can't find any evidence of known conflicts between the devices and a good chunk of the goods all come from Asus.

The reboot really is instant. Nothing runs, except Windows, which will quite happily sit there provided that you don't want to run anything.

FYI: The updated drivers I have tried are the latest NForce 4 and latest Forceware, as well as those drivers included with the hardware.
March 28, 2006 6:08:58 PM

I think you are on the right track. I do think it is a driver issue. The problem is which driver. You should also be aware that driver uninstall programs don't always uninstall everything. The other issue is if you are running raid.

I recommend you not run raid, do a fresh install of windows and only install the drivers that came on the cd and see if it works then.
April 9, 2006 4:51:52 PM

Have you been able to solve this problem?

I just setup a rig for a friend, and have encountered the EXACT same situation:

harware:
Lian Li PC-60APlus Silver Aluminum ATX Mid Tower
SeaSonic S12-500 ATX12V 500W PS
Asus A8N32 Deluxe SLI
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Manchester 1GHz FSB Socket 939 Dual Core ZALMAN CNPS7000B-ALCU 92mm 2 Ball Cooling Fan
CORSAIR XMS 2x1GB DDR 400 Twinx2048-3200c2pt
eVGA 256-P2-N517-AX Geforce 7800GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Creative Audigy 2 ZS Sound Card
2 x Seagate 7200.7 160GB SATA NCQ (in RAID 0)

running WinXP Pro Sp2 (with all updates)
Latest Nvidia Chipset & Forceware drivers

It is stable as anything....UNTIL he runs games (Battlefield 2, Half-life 2, D&D online)

It then proceeds to randomly reboot - just...wham! and it reboots with no blue screen or anything!

We checked the Power supply and it's not that....

Temps are around 45oC idle, 55oC load (for **both* CPU and Motherboard according to Asus PCProbeII)

Any other thoughts??? :) 
April 9, 2006 5:28:05 PM

It sounds to me like your Video card isn't getting the proper power it needs for load.
April 9, 2006 5:45:15 PM

That motherboard has a 4 pin power connector on the motherboard, yeah? I believe you are only suppose to plug the 4 pin power connector to that if you are using SLI (two video cards)

This may be way out in left field.... but just checking to see if you have the power plugged in there with only one card.

This might be the most worthless reply... but trying to think outside the box, lol
April 9, 2006 6:01:32 PM

have been reading these forums for a year ,just finally decided to register.


what did u use to install the o/s?
one prob i have seen in my 10+ builds is always use a cd rom for installs(operating system),by using dvdrw or cdrw i have had really weird things happen,but using a cdrom only it always runs smooth afterwards.
my only guess is that the burners are missing things randomly and causing prob's,but when i use my good ole faithful cdrom,all is good.

as for the 4 pin mobo connector,i would definatly plug it in!
April 9, 2006 6:03:23 PM

As per the manual

Do not forget to connect the 4-pin ATX +12v power plug; otherwise, the system will not boot (this is the square one)

When using two graphics cards, do not forget to connect the 4-pin ATX + 12v power plug to the EZ Plug; otherwise, the system will be unstable.


I have no idea what happens if you plug into the EZ Plug when you are using only one video card. But as per the manual, you only use it if you have two.

/shrug. Have no idea what, if anything, happens if you plug into it with just one video card.
April 9, 2006 9:25:25 PM

Actually the problem has been identified, if not resolved (as yet).

In my case the problem turned out to be a defective CPU. It would run Prime95 without a hitch which was odd. I've dropped in a substitute S939 CPU and the problem magicially vanished.

Confirmed this by taking the CPU into a different machine and sure enough that machine lost the ability to run games.

I suspect that AMD haven't quite got their fabrication process perfect yet and some chips are slipping through quality assurance.

For the guy who's friend has a similar problem try swapping the CPU with a substitute (via a friend or friendly local shop). If the machine suddenly works then you have a bad CPU like me.
April 10, 2006 4:29:09 AM

Well, I'm glad you found your problem. It's nice to get them solved! :) 

As to the suggestions offered here, I much appreciate them.

1. I have no way of testing a new CPU, unfortunately. :( 
2. The install was from a brand-spanking new WinXP Pro System Builder's CD.
3. The extra molex connector is not connected.

Still hunting - we thought it might be a heat issue for the motherboard, so we took the side of the case off and blew a table fan at it. It's been stable for ~24 hrs.....longest it's gone, so far.

I haven't mucked with the BIOS too much - but I was going to tweak and see if things like PEG mode and such are causing issues.....
April 10, 2006 11:32:51 AM

Quote:
Still hunting - we thought it might be a heat issue for the motherboard, so we took the side of the case off and blew a table fan at it. It's been stable for ~24 hrs.....longest it's gone, so far.


For the record, if you're managing to run any games at all then you don't have the same problem that I have.

In my case the machine resets instantly and isn't heat related. If you're managing to run a game at all then you're a step ahead of me until I get my replacement processor.

Your case sounds a little more you have a heat issue. I would say that 45c idle is too high (in comparison my CPU sits at 26c idle - although I have a whacking great case and good airflow).

Also, with regards to the other posts: adding the 4 pin 12v molex cable to the EZPlug makes no difference to the running of the computer. It's only necessary when your PCI-E cards doesn't have additional power connectors but the motherboard doesn't mind if you use the PCI-E power and the EZPlug connector at the same time.
April 10, 2006 4:12:47 PM

What bios are you using?

I have that same mb (and proc). If you go to asus website and check the forums (under mb), you will see that the latest bios actually has issues. Lots of complaints about it. Everybody is saying use the second to latest release.
April 10, 2006 7:12:47 PM

Quote:
What bios are you using?

I have that same mb (and proc). If you go to asus website and check the forums (under mb), you will see that the latest bios actually has issues. Lots of complaints about it. Everybody is saying use the second to latest release.


Really? So, you're saying that a bad BIOS could cause this random reboot specifically in games? That seems weird, but then I don't know enough about these things........I do not overclock others' systems..... :) 

hmmmm....I guess it couldn't hurt......
April 10, 2006 7:23:31 PM

I finished my rig this past weekend. I've not had a problem.

I don't know much about the SeaSonic, but 500W should be enough for you. For example, I'm running

Asus A8N32 -Sli Delux
X2 4800 (even has the Zalmon 9500 like you do).
WD 150G raptor
WD 250G for storage
3 120 Atnic Fans (two out, 1 in) and 1 80 Antic (out). (Coolmaster stacker 810)
Two BFG 7900GTX

My PS? A thermaltake 550 sli ready unit.

I played UT2004 for 3 hours saturday. Then ran 3dmark06 3 times back to back (broke 8,500). I never had a problem with power or over heating.

I've also played Doom3 and Serious Sam2. No problem.
April 10, 2006 7:59:57 PM

Quote:
What bios are you using?

I have that same mb (and proc). If you go to asus website and check the forums (under mb), you will see that the latest bios actually has issues. Lots of complaints about it. Everybody is saying use the second to latest release.


Seconded! The latest won't run for me. I can't even install windows. The one just prior to that runs fine.
!