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Please Help! Need Some Guide Troubleshooting My New Rig!

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  • Homebuilt
  • Western Digital
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
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March 28, 2006 1:24:41 AM

Hello, everyone.. I'm back again.. Thanks a lot for those helping me picking up the components for my new rig. I've got my new rig now, up and running for a month already, running 24 hours for continuous 16 Days already. But there are a few problems that I need help to troubleshoot. For your info my rig's specs are as follow:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (Manchester) processor
MSI K8N SLI Series Motherboard
Apacer 512MB DDR 400 PC3200 RAM x4
MSI NX6800GS-TD256E Display Card
250GB Western Digital SATA HDD 16MB
250GB Western Digital IDE HDD 8MB (From old PC)
80GB Western Digital IDE HDD 8MB (From old PC)
Enermax 533Watt Power Supply
Creative X-FI Extreme Music
LiteOn DVD-ROM
Lian-Li ATX Tower Casing

Ok.. the problem is that everytime when I've switched of the PC, and for the first time I turn it on the next day... (first boot up after 2 hours shut down) my PC will freeze for like 15 second on the MSI flash screen and then I will go to the dos screen showing "Detecting Array" and after 8 seconds it will continue to load Windows XP normally. (FYI: I've disabled the RAID option in the bios). My question is:

1. What could have caused the delay?
2. Why is it detecting Array everytime I turn on my computer? (FYI: If I restart the computer it won't occur.)
3. How to correct this situation cause it doesn't seems normal?

Another problem is everytime I run the "nTune" utility that comes with nforce4 it shows a warnig message like this:

Warning : Your PCI clock is currently set to track the HT bus. If you adjust the clock for the HT bus, the PCI bus clock will change as well. Please consult your motherboard manual to determine how to disable this behaviour before proceeding.
Nvidia will not be responsible for any data lose if occur.

The above warning worries me. Is it severe? Please let me know:
1. Does the warning interconnects with the first problem?
2. How to correct the problem and disable the behaviour?

Those are the 2 problems with my new PC that worries me. Please help me to solve the problems and thanks in advance for all the advice. :?

More about : guide troubleshooting rig

March 28, 2006 2:07:34 AM

As for the PCI lock question, go into your bios and turn on the PCI lock so that it doen't track the HTT. This will lock the PCI slot frequency so that it is not overclocked when you raise the HTT (AMD's FSB).
March 28, 2006 2:14:44 AM

Thanks for the advice spontayo. Really appreciate it. Will give it a try.

About the lag during the system start up.. can anybody help me. Thanks.
Related resources
March 28, 2006 3:03:45 AM

I have an MSI motherboard and when you start-up it displays the MSI logo which stays on the screen for as you say 10-15 seconds. This is displayed during the POST (Power On Self Test) operation. This can go into the BIOS and disable this screen splash. If you do this you will then actually see what is going on as it will be displayed on the screen. The computer could be going through a memory test as well which is time consuming. You can also disable this start-up memory test in the BIOS as well.
March 28, 2006 4:52:57 AM

Thanks for info SteveMeister,

But I'm still curious about the line in the command prompt after the 15 seconds delay on the MSI splash screen stating "Detecting Array" for another 8 seconds.

Why is it claiming that while the RAID is disabled? What is it detecting?

But your info is very informational. Thanks.
March 28, 2006 6:15:00 AM

Quote:


Another problem is everytime I run the "nTune" utility that comes with nforce4 it shows a warnig message like this:

Warning : Your PCI clock is currently set to track the HT bus. If you adjust the clock for the HT bus, the PCI bus clock will change as well. Please consult your motherboard manual to determine how to disable this behaviour before proceeding.
Nvidia will not be responsible for any data lose if occur.

The above warning worries me. Is it severe? Please let me know:
1. Does the warning interconnects with the first problem?
2. How to correct the problem and disable the behaviour?

Those are the 2 problems with my new PC that worries me. Please help me to solve the problems and thanks in advance for all the advice. :?


Set the 3rd party disk controllers into IDE/Non-RAID mode, in addition to disabling RAID in the BIOS, then save. That'll speed up boot time.

Enable Quick Power On Self Test (Quick POST), it will speed up the memory test if on. (As in only count, not perform a useless basic test, of RAM). (MemTest86+ is barely enough, the POST memory check is pointless and will PASS faulty RAM).

Lock the PCI bus at 33.333 MHz in BIOS. Instead of using a ratio (eg: 1/3) of the HTT/FSB. (eg: The ratio would be 1/3 at 132, but rise to 1/4 at 133, be 1/4 at 165, but 1/5 at 166, etc - I thought all overclockers knew this ?). However if nTune can't change the ratio every 33 MHz then yeah, once PCI hits 37.5 MHz or more expect problems.

This is why a 166 FSB overclock may be stable, when a 160 FSB overclock isn't. (Assuming PCI uses a ratio/divider and that divider rises at 166 FSB).
March 28, 2006 6:37:51 AM

Thanks TabrisDarkPeace,

Actually I'm not overclocking my system. Just that its the first time that I'm using a nforce4 based motherboard, so just curious and run the "nTune" application. That's when I saw the warning message pops up.

Quote:
Set the 3rd party disk controllers into IDE/Non-RAID mode, in addition to disabling RAID in the BIOS, then save. That'll speed up boot time.

Does the setting above have something to do with the "Array Detection" during system boot up?

Lock the PCI bus at 33.333 MHz in BIOS. Instead of using a ratio (eg: 1/3) of the HTT/FSB. (eg: The ratio would be 1/3 at 132, but rise to 1/4 at 133, be 1/4 at 165, but 1/5 at 166, etc - I thought all overclockers knew this ?). However if nTune can't change the ratio every 33 MHz then yeah, once PCI hits 37.5 MHz or more expect problems.

This is why a 166 FSB overclock may be stable, when a 160 FSB overclock isn't. (Assuming PCI uses a ratio/divider and that divider rises at 166 FSB).

If I follow the above setting, will it affect my PC performance? Will it bottleneck the system?

I'll take note of what you've stated.. Thanks for the valuable advice.
March 28, 2006 7:42:31 AM

If you are not overclocking locking PCI bus at 33.333 MHz won't make a difference.

Overclocking +32 MHz on FSB is going to raise PCI clock.

Overclocking +33 MHz on FSB should raise divider and keep PCI clock, and everything running off it, stable.

100 MHz / 3 = 33.333 MHz
100 MHz / Locked = 33.333 MHz (no difference to above)

132 MHz / 3 = 44.444 MHz (well over the safe 37.5 MHz 'zone' for PCI)
132 / Locked = 33.333 MHz (safe, but async, won't hurt performance much)
133 MHz / 4 = 33.333 MHz (every +33 MHz the divider rises).

165 MHz / 4 = 41.25 MHz
166 MHz / 5 = 33.33 MHz again (system can go stable by overclocking bus to nearest 33 MHz boundery).
March 28, 2006 7:53:59 AM

Wow.. so informative and so technical.. Don't really understand what you're talking about.. but I can see that you're a very experienced overclocker.

I'll try the tips that you gave me.. but I don't think that I will change the setting for PCI bus.. Affraid that I will mess up the system more..

Just want to solve the afformentioned problems.. then I'm satisfied.. but thanks very much for the tips..

Will overclock when I'm more knowledgeable..
March 28, 2006 8:43:55 AM

i think your delay is caused by the hdds...western digital ide drives can cause that if they are not properly set up..master slave..according to your cable position...
i hope this helps...
March 28, 2006 11:05:42 AM

If you just want to overclock and not worry about 'south' components (eg: RAID / HDDs, Audio, LAN, to some degree Video, etc) then just lock PCI bus at 33.333 MHz, any bus that gets its timings from the PCI bus will thus run 'within spec'.

It helps isolate overclocking to the CPU / RAM / FSB/HTT only, making failures far less liklely to occur. 8)
March 29, 2006 1:33:40 AM

TabrisDarkPeace, thanks for the explanation.. no I beginning to understand a little bit of what your trying to say here..

Ok... that mean that I can set the PCI bus at 33.333 even though I'm not overclocking and if I do overclock in the future.. I will perform in a stable manner.. So this is a win - win situation right?

fainis, that's for the advice.. but I don't really get it..What do you mean by not properly set up? I think that the IDE master slave setup is correct. One driver is set up to Master (jumper) and another drive is set up to Slave (jumper). May I know what is the key area that I should look into?

Thanks..
March 29, 2006 8:38:04 AM

Yeah, it is pretty much "win - win" when left on.

There are some speeds where having it run async might put a ceiling on the overclock, but I doubt you're aiming quite that high to begin with. You'll 'feel' it when it happens and likely be within +/- 4 MHz ~ of the next PCI divider (eg: 233.33 MHz divider should raise to 7).

So long as the PCI bus is kept between 30.00 MHz - 37.5 MHz it would be stable, eg: 160 MHz FSB / 4 = 40 MHz = Unstable = Lock PCI to 33.333 MHz. But 140 MHz FSB / 4 = 35 MHz = Stable = better of not locking PCI bus.

Locking the PCI bus causes it to run async, instead of sync, and at times this can cause artificial OC ceilings, or problems that running it in sync wouldn't cause. Thus the option exists to toggle to taste.

Ideally the BIOS would auto select it for you, based on your FSB and if 'the current divider' would run it within the 30 to 35 MHz range..... BIOS that 'overclock friendly' are still 18 months away at my guess. Abit or DFI would be the first to implement such a cool feature like that IMHO aswell. (But still provide manual override).

The dividers may differ, slightly, from chipset to chipset.
March 30, 2006 12:25:16 AM

I may not have all the answers here as when I set my own computer up I was having problems with random crashing (the reason for which turned out to be a duff hard drive). I tried a lot of things to try and get it to work and can't remember the exact order in which I did everything I did but I can desrribe what I did an you might care to try some of it.

When I built my computer I installed a single SATA hard drive. The MSI manual contained a lot of instructions on setting up HD's in RAID but was pretty thin on what you should do if you didn't want RAID. During the initial loading of the OS the HD was not detected (which in hindsight may have been due to the HD being faulty) and the install process halted. What I did was reload but during the boot process you can press F6 to install third party drivers. I pressed F6 and installed the nVidia RAID drivers from a floppy disc drive even though I was not going to set up a RAID array. This at least allowed the OS to see the HD and it proceeded to load the operating system.

I know that at some point during the initial install I pressed [I think it was the] F4 key to go into the RAID array setup menu that shows during initial boot up. I at least defined what drives were connected to what but then I did as you did disabled the RAID array in the BIOS. I also went one step further as somewhere in the layered BIOS menu you can actually completely disable the SATA connections in pairs. My MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum had 4 of the SATA drives associated with nVidia RAID and 4 associated with Silicon Image RAID. Anyway - by the time I had done this the pop-up raid array menu you are describing disappeared. My system now boots up into Windows XP64 in seconds literally. I also went through the BIOS and disabled every input/output device that I'm not actually using (like the firewire port) as the CPU stops scanning these ports. Probably only saves milliseconds but its easy enough to turn them on again if you decide to use them ever.

Hope this helps - not sure if it will



It sounds as if you have the SLI version of the board I have so it should be very similar.
March 30, 2006 1:00:58 AM

TabrisDarkPeace,

Thanks for more details.. you are giving me a lot of technical info. But I can't consume all of them. Not that good with the technical stuffs. Your info are very useful though. Thanks.

So would you recommend me to lock the PCI bus or not? Cause spontayo recommends me to lock the PCI bus in order to solve my problem. What's your opinion?

SteveMeister,

Thanks for posting again. Yes, your are right. I'm using a SLI board but I'm not sure if the configuration is similar or not but I think that for MSI board the bios should be the same since both are using the nForce4 chip right?

Quote:
I know that at some point during the initial install I pressed [I think it was the] F4 key to go into the RAID array setup menu that shows during initial boot up. I at least defined what drives were connected to what but then I did as you did disabled the RAID array in the BIOS. I also went one step further as somewhere in the layered BIOS menu you can actually completely disable the SATA connections in pairs. My MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum had 4 of the SATA drives associated with nVidia RAID and 4 associated with Silicon Image RAID. Anyway - by the time I had done this the pop-up raid array menu you are describing disappeared.


Your post is very useful but I'm not sure about the steps that you've described. You've stated press F4 key to go into RAID array setup. When should I press the F4 key? Is it during the MSI logo boot up splash screen?
How to access the layered BIOS menu? What's the purpose to disable the SATA connections in pairs? This is my first time using the SATA hard disk so don't really know how to configure them correctly. But you did manage to solve the array problem. I haven't solve mine yet but wish to solve it soon. So.. please enlighten me. Thanks a lot. Will look into what you've suggested.

:o 
March 30, 2006 1:40:39 AM

Quote:
250GB Western Digital IDE HDD 8MB (From old PC)
80GB Western Digital IDE HDD 8MB (From old PC)


when used as single drive (master), wd hdd don't requier jumper. Check for any conflict with these 2 hdd
March 30, 2006 2:00:04 AM

Thanks Pat,

But I'm not using any of the IDE drive for single drive master. I'm using one as master and another one as slave sharing the same IDE cable connected to IDE 1 slot on the motherboard. So.. I think that the jumper setting is correct cause one needs to be set to master another to slave. Thanks.

:) 
!