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Video Card, RAM, or something else

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July 28, 2006 6:23:04 PM

Hey everybody,

The past few weeks I have notice my computer doesn't respond, lags, then computer crashes which I will have to restart my computer. This is when I was using Windows 2000 Pro. So the next day I installed Windows XP PRO SP1, when I finished installing everything this still happens when I visit the web (FIREFOX AND IE), look at videos on or on the computer (youtube, google video, "MY OWN VIDEOS ON MY COMPUTER", and etc...) So from my perspective I think its either my video card which is a NVIDIA RIVA TNT2 Model 64 or my 512MB RAM. People from other forums told me its my video card but I want to make sure if its really my video card, ram, or both! Btw, I know for sure no ad-awares, spywares, malaware, virus, trojans, and etc...

MY SPECS:

Intel P4 2.4GHZ
512MB RAM
NVIDIA RIVA TNT2 Model 64 (Driver Version – 7.1.8.9)
Intel ECS PT800CE-A
Maxtor 114GB
Windows XP Pro SP1

*EDIT - also when I just visited hardforum.com, went to my thread, tried to scroll down, then mouse freezes, doesnt respond, then I have to restart my computer ONCE again.

Also, I just took the memtest86...it took very long!!! IT took about 1:13:46...and it still not done yet so I just quitted and I got


this

PASS: 5
ERRORS:
ECC ERRS:

Yep..how long was it suppose to be?

My temps are also fine from my perspective:
TEMP1:33C
TEMP2:29C
TEMP3:23C
HD0:41C
TEMP1:40C

I don't see anything wrong!?

Thanks.

More about : video card ram

July 28, 2006 6:54:47 PM

40 views and no help? please

btw, here's a picture of my eventviewer if there's any help: PICTURE01
July 28, 2006 6:56:44 PM

I'm not sure what to tell you about your crashing problem but I do know about memtest86.

Memtest86 doesn't end by itself. As you will notice it passes all the tests 5 times and was in the middle of the 6th when you quit. Some guys run that program all night when they are overclocking to make sure that their system will be stable. There is nothing wrong with it running for an 1:13. That is around 20min. per cycle of tests which sounds about right from from what I remember about using the program.
Related resources
July 28, 2006 6:58:45 PM

so is there anything wrong with my ram?
July 28, 2006 6:59:43 PM

I did just have one thought. Check to make sure that you GPU heatsink isn't full of dust and if it has a fan, make sure that the fan spins easily. It could be that your video card is overheating.
July 28, 2006 7:02:16 PM

I don't think that is the problem. But I'll check anyway! Thx for the advice...anymore please?
July 28, 2006 7:05:06 PM

Quote:
so is there anything wrong with my ram?


I don't think so. The attached image is similar to what your screen would look like if there are errors.

July 28, 2006 7:11:47 PM

Quote:
so is there anything wrong with my ram?


I don't think so. The attached image is similar to what your screen would look like if there are errors.



It looks exactly the same minus the errors and failing address and etc...so does taht mean ok? or not?
a b U Graphics card
July 28, 2006 7:20:49 PM

Quote:
Hey everybody,

The past few weeks I have notice my computer doesn't respond, lags, then computer crashes which I will have to restart my computer. This is when I was using Windows 2000 Pro. So the next day I installed Windows XP PRO SP1, when I finished installing everything this still happens when I visit the web (FIREFOX AND IE), look at videos on or on the computer (youtube, google video, "MY OWN VIDEOS ON MY COMPUTER", and etc...) So from my perspective I think its either my video card which is a NVIDIA RIVA TNT2 Model 64 or my 512MB RAM. People from other forums told me its my video card but I want to make sure if its really my video card, ram, or both! Btw, I know for sure no ad-awares, spywares, malaware, virus, trojans, and etc...

MY SPECS:

Intel P4 2.4GHZ
512MB RAM
NVIDIA RIVA TNT2 Model 64 (Driver Version – 7.1.8.9)
Intel ECS PT800CE-A
Maxtor 114GB
Windows XP Pro SP1

*EDIT - also when I just visited hardforum.com, went to my thread, tried to scroll down, then mouse freezes, doesnt respond, then I have to restart my computer ONCE again.

Also, I just took the memtest86...it took very long!!! IT took about 1:13:46...and it still not done yet so I just quitted and I got


this

PASS: 5
ERRORS:
ECC ERRS:

Yep..how long was it suppose to be?

My temps are also fine from my perspective:
TEMP1:33C
TEMP2:29C
TEMP3:23C
HD0:41C
TEMP1:40C

I don't see anything wrong!?

Thanks.


Sounds like your hard drive may be dieing.
July 28, 2006 7:25:30 PM

Quote:
Hey everybody,

The past few weeks I have notice my computer doesn't respond, lags, then computer crashes which I will have to restart my computer. This is when I was using Windows 2000 Pro. So the next day I installed Windows XP PRO SP1, when I finished installing everything this still happens when I visit the web (FIREFOX AND IE), look at videos on or on the computer (youtube, google video, "MY OWN VIDEOS ON MY COMPUTER", and etc...) So from my perspective I think its either my video card which is a NVIDIA RIVA TNT2 Model 64 or my 512MB RAM. People from other forums told me its my video card but I want to make sure if its really my video card, ram, or both! Btw, I know for sure no ad-awares, spywares, malaware, virus, trojans, and etc...

MY SPECS:

Intel P4 2.4GHZ
512MB RAM
NVIDIA RIVA TNT2 Model 64 (Driver Version – 7.1.8.9)
Intel ECS PT800CE-A
Maxtor 114GB
Windows XP Pro SP1

*EDIT - also when I just visited hardforum.com, went to my thread, tried to scroll down, then mouse freezes, doesnt respond, then I have to restart my computer ONCE again.

Also, I just took the memtest86...it took very long!!! IT took about 1:13:46...and it still not done yet so I just quitted and I got


this

PASS: 5
ERRORS:
ECC ERRS:

Yep..how long was it suppose to be?

My temps are also fine from my perspective:
TEMP1:33C
TEMP2:29C
TEMP3:23C
HD0:41C
TEMP1:40C

I don't see anything wrong!?

Thanks.


Sounds like your hard drive may be dieing.

honestly to tell you...right now from what I heard from other forums I really think it's either my harddrive or PSU. I don't think it's my video or ram right now...but I need more quotes from other people. So thanks for all the help so far, but more help would be apprecaited. Thanks:) 
July 28, 2006 7:28:20 PM

Well bouth of the suck :p  but your video card is realy a pain in the as ,so you should change it
July 28, 2006 7:31:21 PM

If you don't have any error reported, and you ran if for over an hour, it is pretty safe to say that your ram is fine.
July 28, 2006 7:32:01 PM

So how much would it cost for a harddrive, 512mb or 1GB ram, and a graphics card! I don't need anything HIGH RANGE...but don't suck, work for a long time, and cheap. Thanks.
a c 191 U Graphics card
July 28, 2006 7:43:17 PM

Adding RAM might well improve the performance of your system, but it sounds like your real issue is stability.
Your video card is old enough that many years' worth of power glitches, heat (including thermal cycling), and dust may have finally caught up to it as they ultimately do to virtually all electronics.
By today's standards, it's a low-end card. If it is all you need (e.g. no gaming), then you can replace it with something not much better for <$50. Your mobo has an AGP slot on it. If you think you might want to do some light gaming, you can get a GeForce 6600 for under $100 that will make chum out of your old card.
Make sure all of your fans are running. Replace any that aren't, hoping the heat didn't already kill something. If your PSU fan isn't running, plan on replacing the PSU.
If you do decide to add RAM too, you've only got two slots, so make sure they aren't both in use before buying RAM so you know what to get.
July 28, 2006 7:54:34 PM

to jtt283 - so how would I know if my PSU is dieing on me or not?

So jtt283, Which harddrive, ram, and maybe a PSU if I really need to?
a c 191 U Graphics card
July 28, 2006 8:18:33 PM

If your PSU fan isn't running, then your PSU has been or will be overheating, causing your system to crash as its voltages drift out of spec or fail altogether.
Your mobo supports SATA drives; you can find one at a site like newegg.com for $60-$90 depending on capacity. If you've lost or never had a SATA cable, be aware that OEM drives (vs. Retail) won't come with one.

A 1GB RAM kit consisting of a pair of 512MB sticks from one of the reputable manufacturers will be fine. Corsair, Mushkin, Geil, Kingston are just a few of the companies in the RAM business to stay.

Your mobo has a 20-pin power connector on it, so the PSU should be a 20-pin or a 20+4 pin. Your requirements are minimal; you aren't likely to do too badly if you spend $50-$75 on a new 300W PSU. No one here would suggest you try to get by with a $15 special, but they probably won't insist you have to spend > $100.
If you have to replace fans, get ball-bearing rather than sleeve fans. They last longer and run quieter.
July 28, 2006 8:19:07 PM

I can assure you it's not your RAM. If you ran memtest on it and received no errors than you can assure yourself RAM is not the cause of your problems.

It could be your PSU but I doubt it. Whats the Watts on your PSU by the way?

I would narrow your search down to either a dieing Hard Drive (Least likely if you crashing has to do with VIDEOS) or a dieing Video Card (Most likely if you get video crashing and video glitches). Before you start searching for a new video card make sure you know if the bus is either AGP or PCI-Express.
July 28, 2006 8:31:04 PM

thanks for the advices and suggestions!

ya...to me right now I don't think its the PSU (causing I'm feeling the back of the computer and I seriously don't feel any overheating at all) (also I have been running my computer from 7:30pm-current 1:29 on/off cause of crashing!) I really think its the hard drive dying on me and most likely the video card also! The ram maybe won't hurt if I upgrade that also! Thanks fro the help somefar everybody. I'll get back asap when I know what happens. But if there are more suggestions that would be also be appreciated.
a c 191 U Graphics card
July 28, 2006 9:14:55 PM

Quote:
thanks for the advices and suggestions!

...I don't think its the PSU (causing I'm feeling the back of the computer and I seriously don't feel any overheating at all)...



Are saying you are feeling no airflow at all, or is there air, but it's just barely warm? If there's no airflow, so much for your PSU fan (and probably the PSU). It is safe to stick a q-tip, straw, or other small non-conductive item through the fan slots just to check for moving blades;
if you have multiple exhaust fans in your case and no intake fans, they may be overwhelming the PSU fan's ability to exhaust warm air so the fan would appear to be dead (and may as well be). A good case setup includes as many intakes as exhausts.
PSUs often don't like to die alone, and will encourage a mobo or hard drive to join them in Death. If you aren't feeling any air, shut your system off until you've installed replacement parts and/or modified your arrangement of cooling fans.
July 28, 2006 9:34:02 PM

sorry if you misunderstood my statement. what i meant is there is air (i can feel it) and it's barely warm...before usually after an 2hr or so..it gets warm, warmer, and than hot...but the last two days after i installed windows xp pro my computer doesn't get that warm at all!

*edit - i just ran motherboard monitor and my temps were:

CASE: -81C
CPU: 90C/-121C wtf is wrong with it?
a c 191 U Graphics card
July 28, 2006 10:57:51 PM

Either whatever you used to measure is way off, or your system is way too hot. What does the monitor say when you first turn your PC on? If it is low (e.g. 30C-35C) but is now that hot, you've found your problem. I suspect the monitor is off though, because your system doesn't have a furnace of a GPU or other high-end heat producer.
A failing PSU, especially one trying to recruit company for the Great Beyond, might be causing this. After this next test, it might be best to not use that PC until it is fixed.
July 28, 2006 11:20:45 PM

I'm sure if you go to Maxtor's website they'll have some sort of diagnostic utility you download for free and test your HD with.
July 29, 2006 12:07:48 AM

Quote:
I'm sure if you go to Maxtor's website they'll have some sort of diagnostic utility you download for free and test your HD with.


i have tried that...its a program called PowerMax 4 or something like that and passed on eveything! And jtt283 I don't think I understand what you just said!!! Please explain. Thanks:) 
a b U Graphics card
July 29, 2006 12:34:05 AM

you ca n pick up a good psu at new egg <thermaltake 430watt>
for about 30$

that may be your problem or still maybe your hdd
a b U Graphics card
July 29, 2006 12:37:04 AM

hey those temps
81c for case
90c for cpu are out of this world

check for dust, are the fans working
take the side cover off and place a
house fan on it and see what happens
July 29, 2006 1:01:22 AM

A CPU at 90C is near melting temperature, no? Check the voltages in the PSU?

~Ibrahim~
a b U Graphics card
July 29, 2006 1:03:29 AM

yeah no kidding something is wrong.
July 29, 2006 1:39:17 AM

ya...i also thought so! i was pretty much freaked when I saw that!
a c 191 U Graphics card
July 29, 2006 1:46:37 AM

Quote:

...jtt283 I don't think I understand what you just said!!! Please explain. Thanks:) 


GPU = graphics processing unit, i.e. your graphics card. You don't have a high-end gamer card that puts out loads of heat. Nothing on your system should make it run that hot.
I'm assuming you didn't overclock anything or do any deliberate volt-mods. It is fine if you don't know anything about what I just said.
Go to your BIOS and reset everything to defaults, just in case. I still think there's something wrong. That kind of heat is almost enough to boil water. One or more fans have to be not working, and very likely your PSU is very very sick. It may be supplying too much voltage (possibly the result of thermal runaway, although that's more common with germanium than silicon), and sooner rather than later will inflict a final crash on your system.
July 29, 2006 3:04:17 AM

Quote:

...jtt283 I don't think I understand what you just said!!! Please explain. Thanks:) 


GPU = graphics processing unit, i.e. your graphics card. You don't have a high-end gamer card that puts out loads of heat. Nothing on your system should make it run that hot.
I'm assuming you didn't overclock anything or do any deliberate volt-mods. It is fine if you don't know anything about what I just said.
Go to your BIOS and reset everything to defaults, just in case. I still think there's something wrong. That kind of heat is almost enough to boil water. One or more fans have to be not working, and very likely your PSU is very very sick. It may be supplying too much voltage (possibly the result of thermal runaway, although that's more common with germanium than silicon), and sooner rather than later will inflict a final crash on your system.

well, to tell you the truth i personally only have one computer and I just want to fix this computer (upgrade a bit) and then also buy a way better computer that won't be breaking so fast! How much is water cooling? One more question is...does water cooling uses regular water and need to change the water everyday?
July 29, 2006 4:04:49 AM

Timezone,

I suggest that the first step would be to proceed methodically to establish which component in your system is the problem.

All the guesses I read from those who have replied are good but, that's all they are, guesses.

Check the obvious things first, that all the fans in your computer are working properly, visually inspect the inside of your machine searching for anything that "isn't quite right". If you find anything that "isn't quite right" fix that first and see if the problem persists. Pay particular attention to the capacitors on the motherboard (the capactitor look like small cylinders, they are usually found in the vicinity of the CPU socket, they are commonly green). The top of ALL capacitors should be *perfectly* flat, if they aren't or you see brown marks on top of them (usually caused by leakage) then your motherboard is the culprit. Bad capacitors are not unusual on old motherboards because there was a large supplier of capacitors that supplied a very large number of bad capacitors to many motherboard manufacturers. The behavior of a system with bad capacitors is very erratic and the description of the symptoms on yours are a good match. Therefore pay close attention to the capacitors. If your system passes the visual inspection then keep reading.

If you have old parts, or a friend that can loan you parts for a few hours, then I'd suggest you proceed this way,

1. Change the video card. I've had driver problems with Riva cards. I had one from an old Gateway computer and no matter what driver I used the system behaved very much like yours now. At any rate, you can pick up an old GeForce2, GeForceMX, Radeon 7000, etc for as little as $10.00 (from someone having a garage sale, at a recycling center, or some friend of yours that may have an old one laying around). Any of those cards, while being way outdated are superior to a Riva. Temporarely borrow a video card (not a Riva though!) from a friend if you have to. If that doesn't solve the problem go on to step 2.

2. Badge suggested that you may be having problems with your hard drive, I agree that it is a possibility that should be eliminated. You could follow these steps to test the hard drive,

2.1 Ensure that if your BIOS supports it, that SMART is enabled. Ensure that any BIOS options such as "Quiet Boot" and/or "Quick Boot" are *disabled*. Reboot and pay close attention to the messages that show up on the screen. (Disabling "Quick Boot" should also cause your BIOS to test the memory - though Memtest is *much* more thorough)

If your BIOS supports SMART and you get a message saying "Hard Disk Failure is imminent" then the problem is the hard drive. If no such message appears that still doesn't mean the hard drive is not the culprit. In that case proceed to step 2.2

2.2 Depending on whether or not you have a second computer available this test will vary.

2.2.1 If you have another computer available, take the hard drive out of the system that is giving you problems and connect it to the other computer. Get into Windows, start the command interpreter" (go to start menu, select run, type "cmd" - without the quotes - press Enter)
At the command prompt type "chkdsk <drive letter of your drive being tested>: /r" (again without the quotes). Wait until the checkdisk utility is done then look carefully at the message displayed at the end once complete. If it says there were "xxxKB in Bad Sectors" then the problems are caused by file corruption on your drive. You should consider replacing the drive. If you don't want to replace the drive, backup the data, reinstall Windows telling the Windows setup to format the partition (but NOT by doing a "quick" format - do a complete format). This will mark the bad sectors as unusable. This is a stop gap measure, the drive will very likely develop more bad sectors in the near future causing you additional headaches.

2.2.2 If you don't have another computer available, follow the same instructions as in 2.2.1 but after typing "chkdsk c: /r" you'll be prompted if you want to perform the check the next time the computer reboots, answer "Y" and reboot the computer. Wait until the computer is back into Windows, start the command interpreter (the same way as explained in 2.2.1) but this time you'll type "chkdsk c:" (without the quotes AND without the /r). This will do a quick check disk, at the end of it, it will tell you if you have any bad sectors on the drive.

The above steps, if carried out properly, eliminate the hard drive, memory and video card from the list of suspects. All that's left is the power supply, motherboard and the remaining components in your system. First, I'd disconnect any component that is not absolutely necessary (leaving only the video card and hard drive connected) and see if the problem is still present. If present, try a different power supply, if that doesn't do the trick, either your motherboard or CPU has lost its mind.

Hope that helps! Get to work!! You got a lot to do :wink:
a b U Graphics card
July 29, 2006 5:00:51 AM

Excellent advice. I hope OP folows your advice.

I have a RIVA TNT video card in my gateway 450 mhz. It's a Pentium 3 and has 128 x 3 (I added 128 Kingston 100mhz. dimms). Has a Fireball 4 gig HD. All I have to do is put a Dvd Rom in it and it will almost play a dvd. This gets better. I have my old 100mgz (God, that's amazing, 100mhz.) RD screwup out in the garage. It's upgraded to a 133 mhz. currently, but nobody knows how to set the pins so it will boot up. See, I have a 288 mhz. Pentium chip waiting to load on that baby. Since 1995! It even has a powerpak Matrox 16 mb. aftermarket high performance video card. It almost plays DVD'stoo, but worse! I think I'll go over your instructions and see if I can get it rollin'. :D  It used to be a Conroe.

Edit: Hey want to come by and help load up my 1 gigabye hard drive?
July 29, 2006 7:33:41 AM

Quote:

Edit: Hey want to come by and help load up my 1 gigabye hard drive?


I have a couple of 1GB Western Digitals laying around (keeping company to another couple of 1.6GB Western Digitals too). When I think those things cost $400.00 each back in 1986 I believe. Now a flashdrive holds more than that.

I also have the first Yamaha 4x CD burner. I got a great deal on that one, I paid $1100 in 1992, at that time the lowest price you could get them for was $1800 (and that was considered a screaming deal)

I use a an 80386 that cost me $500.00 as a keychain :) 

It's amazing.

I learned a lesson out of all that, I never spend more than $200.00 on a CPU for personal use. No more $500 keychains for me.
July 29, 2006 3:18:37 PM

Quote:
Timezone,

I suggest that the first step would be to proceed methodically to establish which component in your system is the problem.

All the guesses I read from those who have replied are good but, that's all they are, guesses.

Check the obvious things first, that all the fans in your computer are working properly, visually inspect the inside of your machine searching for anything that "isn't quite right". If you find anything that "isn't quite right" fix that first and see if the problem persists. Pay particular attention to the capacitors on the motherboard (the capactitor look like small cylinders, they are usually found in the vicinity of the CPU socket, they are commonly green). The top of ALL capacitors should be *perfectly* flat, if they aren't or you see brown marks on top of them (usually caused by leakage) then your motherboard is the culprit. Bad capacitors are not unusual on old motherboards because there was a large supplier of capacitors that supplied a very large number of bad capacitors to many motherboard manufacturers. The behavior of a system with bad capacitors is very erratic and the description of the symptoms on yours are a good match. Therefore pay close attention to the capacitors. If your system passes the visual inspection then keep reading.

If you have old parts, or a friend that can loan you parts for a few hours, then I'd suggest you proceed this way,

1. Change the video card. I've had driver problems with Riva cards. I had one from an old Gateway computer and no matter what driver I used the system behaved very much like yours now. At any rate, you can pick up an old GeForce2, GeForceMX, Radeon 7000, etc for as little as $10.00 (from someone having a garage sale, at a recycling center, or some friend of yours that may have an old one laying around). Any of those cards, while being way outdated are superior to a Riva. Temporarely borrow a video card (not a Riva though!) from a friend if you have to. If that doesn't solve the problem go on to step 2.

2. Badge suggested that you may be having problems with your hard drive, I agree that it is a possibility that should be eliminated. You could follow these steps to test the hard drive,

2.1 Ensure that if your BIOS supports it, that SMART is enabled. Ensure that any BIOS options such as "Quiet Boot" and/or "Quick Boot" are *disabled*. Reboot and pay close attention to the messages that show up on the screen. (Disabling "Quick Boot" should also cause your BIOS to test the memory - though Memtest is *much* more thorough)

If your BIOS supports SMART and you get a message saying "Hard Disk Failure is imminent" then the problem is the hard drive. If no such message appears that still doesn't mean the hard drive is not the culprit. In that case proceed to step 2.2

2.2 Depending on whether or not you have a second computer available this test will vary.

2.2.1 If you have another computer available, take the hard drive out of the system that is giving you problems and connect it to the other computer. Get into Windows, start the command interpreter" (go to start menu, select run, type "cmd" - without the quotes - press Enter)
At the command prompt type "chkdsk <drive letter of your drive being tested>: /r" (again without the quotes). Wait until the checkdisk utility is done then look carefully at the message displayed at the end once complete. If it says there were "xxxKB in Bad Sectors" then the problems are caused by file corruption on your drive. You should consider replacing the drive. If you don't want to replace the drive, backup the data, reinstall Windows telling the Windows setup to format the partition (but NOT by doing a "quick" format - do a complete format). This will mark the bad sectors as unusable. This is a stop gap measure, the drive will very likely develop more bad sectors in the near future causing you additional headaches.

2.2.2 If you don't have another computer available, follow the same instructions as in 2.2.1 but after typing "chkdsk c: /r" you'll be prompted if you want to perform the check the next time the computer reboots, answer "Y" and reboot the computer. Wait until the computer is back into Windows, start the command interpreter (the same way as explained in 2.2.1) but this time you'll type "chkdsk c:" (without the quotes AND without the /r). This will do a quick check disk, at the end of it, it will tell you if you have any bad sectors on the drive.

The above steps, if carried out properly, eliminate the hard drive, memory and video card from the list of suspects. All that's left is the power supply, motherboard and the remaining components in your system. First, I'd disconnect any component that is not absolutely necessary (leaving only the video card and hard drive connected) and see if the problem is still present. If present, try a different power supply, if that doesn't do the trick, either your motherboard or CPU has lost its mind.

Hope that helps! Get to work!! You got a lot to do :wink:


hey 440bx...thx for the advice...I'll try it asap!
July 29, 2006 4:04:56 PM

Quick question, 440.

Is Complete format just a 0 fill?

~Ibrahim~

P.S. Nice post, deserves 5 stars.
July 29, 2006 4:14:33 PM

hey 440...
Look at my screenshot

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g222/amenslove/cmd02....

440! I just scanned again and in the bad sectors section I got 0KB! So does that mean my haddrive is fine?

*EDIT -

Passed the third paragraph you have told me.
And for section 2.1 I cannot seem to find SMART, Quick Boot, or Quiet Boot on my BIOS. The motherboard I'm using is a Intel ECS Elitegroup PT800CE-A.

Now what I need to do is get a video card, hard drive, ram, and a psu to test out one by one! :) 

And what do you mean by "leaving only the video card and harddrive connected"? Do you mean take out the ram and everything else? huh?:( 
Thanks

.Please reply back.

*EDIT - I just looked at event viewer again and look at properties of EAPOL and it said it's stopped/disabled! But I'm still having that kind of lagg!
July 29, 2006 5:20:18 PM

Hey,

Can this be the problem?

Quote from Expert Answers.Com

I downloaded and installed SP2 on several machines running WIN XP. For the most part SP2 works fine, except for one machine, where SP2 caused another problem. When I run any audio file from the Internet or the local drive, a service called EAPOL starts and causes the OS to freeze. I know that EAPOL is used to run 802.1X security but I don't use it. The problem is that I can't find EAPOL to disable it. Do you have any suggestions?

That is almost exactly the same problem as me...except I'm not using SP2 but using SP1?

Please reply back! Thanks


*EDIT - From my perspective I don't think there is something wrong with my components on my computer. I think its the EAPOL that is causing this problem. I searhced on google and found several solutions but was not able to solve my problem. If anybody here knows how to disable EAPOL or got other suggestions please reply back here. THANKS

SCREENSHOT OF EAPOL

^^^That is a screenshot in eventviewer that shows eapol keep coming up.


*EDIT AGAIN- I just went to youtube and searched for naruto episode 52 and 56 and then I could watch both episodes with no problem! But one thing I still have is when I visit like hardwarecentral forum, tomshardware forum, and other websites...I still feel that kind of lag that I have before! And also in eventviewer it still says EAPOL but it also said its been stopped?!?

*EDIT ONCE AGAIN - I was about to downloada video and see how it is then when I went away for about 15min and came back it was still fine. Then I was about to minimize the download manger from firefox and use trillian and it started to freeze again. So from my perspective again I think there is still something wrong with my computer?! Please reply back

I just also downloaded a program from MajorGeeks and scanned and found these odd things I never seen before. So I took a screenshot and want to show you and can you guys tell me what these are?

SCREENSHOT OF AWC
July 29, 2006 8:27:06 PM

I can't really answer any of the first questions, but the last one I can. ;) 

Those seem like good fixes, just watch out, they hit the registry. If this is a very reputable program, go for it. If it isn't so well known make a Restore Point and a backup of the registry.

So removing this EAPOL is rather simple if it is a service or a process. So unless you are using some wireless network, it should be fine to take it down.

Do this to remove EAPOL from starting. Start, run, msconfig. Far right tab (StartUp), is it in there? If so, uncheck. If not, go to the tab directly to the left of it, Services. Look in there. It should be in either one of those..It'll ask to restart and next time it won't show up.

~Ibrahim~
July 29, 2006 8:39:40 PM

Quote:
Quick question, 440.

Is Complete format just a 0 fill?

~Ibrahim~

P.S. Nice post, deserves 5 stars.


No, a complete format doesn't do a zero fill, it tests every sector on the drive by doing a read/write cycle on it. That way it can recognize and appropriately mark bad sectors.
July 29, 2006 9:23:41 PM

so ya? my computer lagg has been better but still having them? what should I do right now?
July 29, 2006 10:03:55 PM

Got it!

~Ibrahim~
July 30, 2006 2:06:51 AM

It sounds like your hard drive is in good shape.

Go to your BIOS and "Load Fail Safe Defaults".

In "Advanced BIOS Features" change the following settings,

1. "Quick Power On Self Test", make sure that's *disabled*
2. "HDD S.M.A.R.T Capability", should be *enabled*

These are "profilactic" steps. Step 2. will give you a warning if your drive is having problems that are not apparent.

I looked at your screenshot, if you did do the "chkdsk c: /r" before the "chkdsk c:" then it is very likely that your hard drive is in good shape.

It seems that VIA has an updated driver for their VT8237A southbridge. Your motherboard manual says you have a VT8237 (without the "A" but it is likely the same thing). I recommend you update the sound driver, you can find it at

http://www.viaarena.com/default.aspx?PageID=420&OSID=2&...

Also, it is likely that you are not using the most current drivers for the VIA northbridge, I recommend you update those as well (actually, you should update the northbridge drivers before any others) The updated driver is at

http://www.viaarena.com/default.aspx?PageID=420&OSID=1&...

You need the first set of drivers, called "Hyperion Pro".

I think there is a good chance that updating the chipset drivers will solve your problems.
July 30, 2006 2:34:15 AM

Here is a good link for BIOS Optmization Guide
http://www.rojakpot.com/freebog.aspx
Disable video bios shadowing,
Disable system bios caching
disable auto detech dimm/pci clk
disable fast r w turn around only enable if your memory supports this if enabled with crappy ram you will get instable performance
Bios Opt
Guide Revision
This e-guide is based on The BIOS Optimization Guide Rev. 6.2 by Adrian Wong
Updates
For updates of this e-guide or the entire BIOS Optimization Guide, please visit http://www.rojakpot.com or go directly to http://www.rojakpot.com/Speed_Demonz/BIOS_Guide/BIOS_Gu...
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The BIOS Optimization Guide rev. 6.2
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BIOS Features Setup
BIOS Features Setup (Part 1)
Virus Warning / Anti-Virus Protection
Options : Enabled, Disabled, ChipAway
When Virus Warning is enabled, the BIOS will flash a warning message whenever there's an attempt to access the boot sector or the partition table. You should leave this feature enabled if possible. Note that this only protects the boot sector and the partition table, not the entire hard disk.
However, this feature will cause problems with the installation of certain software. One good example is the installation routine of Win95/98. When enabled, this feature will cause Win95/98's installation routine to fail. Disable it before installing such software.
Also, many disk diagnostic utilities that access the boot sector can trigger the error message as well. You should first disable this option before using such utilities.
Finally, this feature is useless for hard disks that run on external controllers with their own BIOS. Boot sector viruses will bypass the system BIOS and write directly to such hard disks. Such controllers include SCSI controllers and UltraDMA 66 controllers.
Some motherboards will have their own rule-based anti-virus code (ChipAway) incorporated into the BIOS. Enabling it will provide additional anti-virus protection for the system as it will be able to detect boot viruses before they have a chance to infect the boot sector of the hard disk. Again, this is useless if the hard disk is on a separate controller with its own BIOS.
CPU Level 1 Cache
Options : Enabled, Disabled
This BIOS setting can be used to enable or disable the CPU's L1 (primary) cache. Naturally, the default setting is Enabled.
This feature is useful for overclockers who want to pinpoint the cause of their unsuccessful overclocking. I.e. if a CPU cannot reach 500MHz with the L1 cache enabled and vice versa; then the L1 cache is what's stopping the CPU from reaching 500MHz stably.
However, disabling the L1 cache in order to increase the overclockability of the CPU is a very bad idea, especially in highly pipelined designs like Intel's P6 family of processors (Pentium Pro, Celeron, Pentium II, Pentium !!!).
CPU Level 2 Cache
Options : Enabled, Disabled
This BIOS setting can be used to enable or disable the CPU's L2 (secondary) cache. Naturally, the default setting is Enabled.
This feature is useful for overclockers who want to pinpoint the cause of their unsuccessful overclocking. I.e. if a CPU cannot reach 500MHz with the L2 cache enabled and vice versa; then the L2 cache is what's stopping the CPU from reaching 500MHz stably.
Users may choose to disable L2 cache in order to overclock higher but the trade-off isn't really worth it.
CPU L2 Cache ECC Checking
Options : Enabled, Disabled
This feature enables or disables the L2 cache's ECC checking function (if available). Enabling this feature is recommended because it will detect and correct single-bit errors in data stored in the L2 cache. It will also detect double-bit errors but not correct them. Still, ECC checking stabilizes the system, especially at overclocked speeds when errors are most likely to creep in.
There are those who advocate disabling ECC checking because it reduces performance. The performance difference is negligible, if at all. However, the stability and reliability achieved via ECC checking is real and substantial. It may even enable you to overclock higher than is possible with ECC checking disabled. So, enable it for added stability and reliability.
Processor Number Feature
Options : Enabled, Disabled
This feature is only valid if you install a Pentium !!! processor. It will most probably not appear unless you have the Pentium !!! processor installed. This feature enables you to control whether the Pentium !!!'s serial number can be read by external programs. Enable this if your secure transactions require you to use such a feature. But for most people, I think you should disable this feature to safeguard your privacy.
Quick Power On Self Test
Options : Enabled, Disabled
When enabled, this feature will shorten some tests and skip others that are performed during the booting up process. Thus, the system boots up much quicker.
Enable it for faster booting but disable it after making any change to the system to detect any errors that may slip through the Quick Power On Self Test. After a few error-free test runs, you can reenable this option for faster booting without impairing system stability.
Boot Sequence
Options : A, C, SCSI/EXT C, A, SCSI/EXT C, CD-ROM, A CD-ROM, C, A D, A, SCSI/EXT (only when you have at least 2 IDE hard disks) E, A, SCSI/EXT (only when you have at least 3 IDE hard disks) F, A, SCSI (only when you have 4 IDE hard disks) SCSI/EXT, A, C SCSI/EXT, C, A A, SCSI/EXT, C LS/ZIP,C
This feature enables you to set the sequence in which the BIOS will search for an operating system. To ensure the shortest booting time possible, select the hard disk that contains your operating system as the first choice. Normally, that would be drive C but if you are using a SCSI hard disk, then select SCSI.
Special : Some motherboards (i.e. ABIT BE6 and BP6) have an extra onboard IDE controller. The BIOS options in these motherboards replaces the SCSI option with an EXT option. This allows the computer to boot from an IDE hard disk on the 3rd or 4th IDE ports (courtesy of the extra onboard IDE controller) or from a SCSI hard disk. If you
want to boot from an IDE hard disk running off the 1st or 2nd IDE ports, do not set the Boot Sequence to start with EXT. Note that this function has to work in conjunction with the Boot Sequence EXT Means function.
Boot Sequence EXT Means
Options : IDE, SCSI
This function is only valid if the Boot Sequence function above has EXT settings and this function has to cooperate with the Boot Sequence function. This function allows you to set whether the system boots from an IDE hard disk that's connected to any of the extra two IDE ports found on some motherboards (i.e. ABIT BE6 and BP6) or a SCSI hard disk.
To boot from an IDE hard disk that's connected to the 3rd or 4th IDE port, courtesy of the extra onboard IDE controller), you'll first have to set the Boot Sequence (above) function to start with EXT first. For example, the EXT, C, A setting. Then, you will have to set this function, Boot Sequence EXT Means to IDE.
In order to boot from a SCSI hard disk, set the Boot Sequence (above) function to start with EXT first. For example, the EXT, C, A setting. Then, you will have to set this function, Boot Sequence EXT Means to SCSI.
BIOS Features Setup (Part 2)
First Boot Device
Options : Floppy, LS/ZIP, HDD-0, SCSI, CDROM, HDD-1, HDD-2, HDD-3, LAN, Disabled
This feature allows you to set the first device from which the BIOS will attempt to load the operating system (OS) from. Note that if the BIOS is able to load the OS from the device set using this feature, it naturally won't load another OS, if you have another on a different device.
For example, if you set Floppy as the First Boot Device, the BIOS would boot the DOS 3.3 OS which you have placed in the floppy disk but won't bother loading Win2k even though it may be residing on your hard disk drive C. As such, this is useful for troubleshooting purposes and for installing an OS off a CD.
The default setting is Floppy. But unless you boot often from the floppy drive or need to install an OS from a CD, it's better to set your hard disk (usually HDD-0) as the First Boot Device. That will shorten the booting process.
Second Boot Device
Options : Floppy, LS/ZIP, HDD-0, SCSI, CDROM, HDD-1, HDD-2, HDD-3, LAN, Disabled
This feature allows you to set the second device from which the BIOS will attempt to load the operating system (OS) from. Note that if the BIOS is able to load the OS from the device set as the First_Boot_Device, any setting toggled by this feature will have no effect. Only if the BIOS fails to find an OS on the First_Boot_Device, will it then attempt to find and load one on the Second Boot Device.
For example, if you set Floppy as the First Boot Device but left the floppy disk out of the drive, the BIOS will then load Win2k which you have installed on your hard disk drive C (set as Second Boot Device).
The default setting is HDD-0, which is first detected hard disk, usually the one attached to the Primary Master IDE channel. Unless you have a removable drive set as the First Boot Device, this feature has very little use. HDD-0 is a perfectly fine choice although you can set an different device to serve as an alternative boot drive.
Third Boot Device
Options : Floppy, LS/ZIP, HDD-0, SCSI, CDROM, HDD-1, HDD-2, HDD-3, LAN, Disabled
This feature allows you to set the third device from which the BIOS will attempt to load the operating system (OS) from. Note that if the BIOS is able to load the OS from the device set as the First_Boot_Device or the Second_Boot_Device, any setting toggled by this feature will have no effect. Only if the BIOS fails to find an OS on the First_Boot_Device and Second_Boot_Device, will it then attempt to find and load one on the Third Boot Device.
For example, if you set Floppy as the First Boot Device and the LS-120 drive as the Second Boot Device but left both drives empty, the BIOS will then load Win2k which you have installed on your hard disk drive C (set as Third Boot Device).
The default setting is LS/ZIP. Unless you have a removable drives set as the First and Second Boot Devices, this feature has very little use. LS/ZIP is a perfectly fine choice although you can set an different device to serve as an alternative boot drive.
Boot Other Device
Options : Enabled, Disabled
In older motherboards, this feature determines whether the BIOS will attempt to load an OS from the Second or Third Boot Device if it fails to load one from the First Boot Device.
The default is Enabled and it's recommended that you leave it as such. Otherwise, if the BIOS cannot find an OS in the First Boot Device, it will then halt the booting process with the error message "No Operating System Found" even though there's an OS on the Second or Third Boot Device.
However, in present-day motherboards, this feature determines if the BIOS is allowed to boot from devices other than the three listed in First, Second and Third Boot Devices. When this feature is disabled, the BIOS will only attempt to boot from the three boot devices set in the First, Second and Third Boot Devices options. If enabled, the BIOS will check for unlisted boot devices after it has failed to boot from the three listed boot devices.
If you have no idea how to set boot devices and there's only one bootable device, you can enable this feature just to ensure that your system will boot even if you fail to correctly set the boot devices. This is because the BIOS will try to boot from every storage device in the system.
Alternatively, you can set your bootable devices properly and disable this feature. That will prevent the BIOS from booting other bootable media. This is useful if you have multiple bootable devices in your system and just want to boot from one from them.
Many thanks to Lars Hederer for pointing out to me that this feature had a different meaning with newer motherboards! :) 
Swap Floppy Drive
Options : Enabled, Disabled
This feature is useful if you want to swap the logical arrangement of the floppy drives. Instead of opening up the casing to do it physically, you can just set this feature to Enabled. Then, the first drive will be mapped as drive B: and the second drive, mapped as drive A:; which is the opposite of the usual convention.
This feature is also useful if both the floppy drives in your system are of different formats and you want to boot from the second drive. That's because the BIOS will only boot from floppy drive A:.
Boot Up Floppy Seek
Options : Enabled, Disabled
This feature controls whether the BIOS checks for a floppy drive while booting up. If it cannot detect one (either due to improper configuration or physical inavailability), it will flash an error message. It will also detect if the floppy drive has 40 or 80 tracks but since all floppy drives in use today have 80 tracks, this check is redundant. This feature should be set as Disabled for a faster booting process.
Boot Up NumLock Status
Options : On, Off
This feature controls the functionality of the Numeric Keyboard at boot up. If set to On, the Numeric Keyboard will function in the numeric mode (for typing out numbers) but if set to Off, it will function in the cursor control mode (for controlling the cursor). The setting of this feature is entirely up to your preference.
BIOS Features Setup (Part 3)
Gate A20 Option
Options : Normal, Fast
This feature determines how Gate A20 is used to address memory above 1MB. When this option is set to Fast, the motherboard chipset controls the operation of Gate A20. But when set to Normal, a pin in the keyboard controller controls Gate A20. Setting Gate A20 to Fast improves memory access speed and thus, overall system speed, especially with OS/2 and Windows.
This is because OS/2 and Windows enter and leave protected mode via the BIOS a lot so Gate A20 needs to switch often from enabled to disabled and back again. Setting this feature to Fast improves memory access performance above 1MB because the chipset is much faster in switching Gate A20 than the keyboard controller. It is recommended that you set it to Fast for faster memory accesses.
IDE HDD Block Mode
Options : Enabled, Disabled
The IDE HDD Block Mode feature speeds up hard disk access by transferring data from multiple sectors at once instead of using the old single sector transfer mode. When you enable it, the BIOS will automatically detect if your hard disk supports block transfers and configure the proper block transfer settings for it. Up to 64KB of data can be transferred per interrupt with IDE HDD Block Mode enabled. Since virtually all hard disks now support block transfers, there is normally no reason why IDE HDD Block Mode should not be enabled.
However, if you are running WinNT, beware. According to Chris Bope, Windows NT does not support IDE HDD Block Mode and enabling IDE HDD Block Mode can cause corrupted data. Ryu Connor confirmed this by sending me a link to a Microsoft article about Enhanced IDE operation under WinNT 4.0. According to this article, IDE HDD Block Mode (and 32-bit Disk Access) had been observed to cause data corruption in some cases. Microsoft recommends that WinNT 4.0 users disable IDE HDD Block Mode.
On the other hand, Lord Mike asked someone in the know and he was told that the data corruption issue was taken very seriously at Microsoft and that it had been corrected through Service Pack 2. Although he couldn't get an official statement from Microsoft, it's probably safe enough to enable IDE HDD Block Mode if you are running WinNT, just as long as you upgrade to Service Pack 2.
If you disable IDE HDD Block Mode, only 512 bytes of data can transferred per interrupt. Needless to say, that degrades performance quite a bit. So, only disable IDE HDD Block Mode if you are running WinNT. Other than that, you should enable it for optimal performance.
For more detailed information on IDE HDD Block Mode, check out our Speed Demonz' guide on IDE Block Mode!
32-bit Disk Access
Options : Enabled, Disabled
32-bit Disk Access is a misnomer because it doesn't really allow 32-bit access to the hard disk. What it actually does is set the IDE controller to combine two 16-bit reads from the hard disk into a single 32-bit double word transfer to the processor. This makes more efficient use of the PCI bus as fewer transactions are needed for the transfer of a particular amount of data.
However, according to a Microsoft article about Enhanced IDE operation under WinNT 4.0, 32-bit disk access can cause data corruption under WinNT in some cases. Microsoft recommends that WinNT 4.0 users disable 32-bit Disk Access.
On the other hand, Lord Mike asked someone in the know and he was told that the data corruption issue was taken very seriously at Microsoft and that it had been corrected through Service Pack 2. Although he couldn't get an official statement from Microsoft, it's probably safe enough to enable IDE HDD Block Mode if you are running WinNT, just as long as you upgrade to Service Pack 2.
If disabled, data transfers from the IDE controller to the processor will then occur only in 16-bits. This degrades performance, of course, so you should enable it if possible. Disable it only if you face the possibility of data corruption.
You can also find more information on the WinNT issue above in our Speed Demonz' guide on IDE Block Mode!
Typematic Rate Setting
Options : Enabled, Disabled
This feature enables you to control the keystroke repeat rate when you depress a key continuously. When enabled, you can manually adjust the settings using the two typematic controls (Typematic Rate and Typematic Rate Delay). If disabled, the BIOS will use the default setting.
Typematic Rate (Chars/Sec)
Options : 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 20, 24, 30
This is the rate at which the keyboard will repeat the keystroke if you press it continuously. This setting will only work if Typematic Rate Setting is Enabled.
Typematic Rate Delay (Msec)
Options : 250, 500, 750, 1000
This is the delay, in milliseconds, before the keyboard automatically repeats the keystroke that you have pressed continuously. This setting will only work if Typematic Rate Setting is Enabled.
Security Setup
Options : System, Setup
This option will only work once you have created a password through PASSWORD SETTING out in the main BIOS screen.
Setting this option to System will set the BIOS to ask for the password each time the system boots up.
If you choose Setup, then the password is only required for access into the BIOS setup menus. This option is useful for system administrators or computer resellers who just want to keep novice users from messing around with the BIOS. :) 
BIOS Features Setup (Part 4)
PCI/VGA Palette Snoop
Options : Enabled, Disabled
This option is only useful if you use an MPEG card or an add-on card that makes use of the graphics card's Feature Connector. It corrects incorrect color reproduction by "snooping" into the graphics card's frame buffer memory and modifying (synchronizing) the information delivered from the graphics card's Feature Connector to the MPEG or add-on card. It will also solve the problem of display inversion to a black screen after using the MPEG card.
Assign IRQ For VGA
Options : Enabled, Disabled
Many high-end graphics accelerator cards now require an IRQ to function properly. Disabling this feature with such cards will cause improper operation and/or poor performance. Thus, it's best to make sure you enable this feature if you are having problems with your graphics accelerator card.
However, some low-end cards don't need an IRQ to run normally. Check your graphics card's documentation (manual). If it states that the card does not require an IRQ, then you can disable this feature to release an IRQ for other uses. When in doubt, it's best to leave it enabled unless you really need the IRQ.
MPS Version Control For OS
Options : 1.1, 1.4
This option is only valid for multiprocessor motherboards as it specifies the version of the Multiprocessor Specification (MPS) that the motherboard will use. The MPS is a specification by which PC manufacturers design and build Intel architecture systems with two or more processors.
MPS version 1.4 added extended configuration tables to improve support for multiple PCI bus configurations and improve future expandability. It is also required for a secondary PCI bus to work without the need for a bridge. Newer versions of server operating systems will generally support MPS 1.4 and as such, you should change the BIOS Setup from the default of 1.1 to 1.4 if your operating system supports version 1.4. Leave it as 1.1 only if you are running older server OSes.
Eugene Tan informed me that the setting for WinNT should be 1.4.
OS Select For DRAM > 64MB
Options : OS/2, Non-OS/2
When the system memory is more than 64MB in size, OS/2 differs from other operating systems (OS) in the way it manages the RAM. So, for systems running IBM's OS/2 operating system, select OS/2 and for systems running other operating systems, select Non-OS/2.
HDD S.M.A.R.T. Capability
Options : Enabled, Disabled
This option enables/disables support for the hard disk's S.M.A.R.T. capability. The S.M.A.R.T. (Self Monitoring Analysis And Reporting) technology is supported by all current hard disks and it allows the early prediction and warning of impending hard disk disasters. You can enable it if you are using S.M.A.R.T. aware utilities to monitor the hard disk's condition. Enabling it also allows the monitoring of the hard disk's condition over a network.
However, there's a possibility that enabling S.M.A.R.T. may cause spontaneous reboots in networked computers. Johnathan P. Dinan mentioned such an experience with S.M.A.R.T. enabled. S.M.A.R.T. may be sending packets of data through the network even though there's nothing monitoring those data packets. This may have caused the spontaneous reboots that he had experienced (Comment #103). So, try disabling HDD S.M.A.R.T. Capability if you experience reboots or crashes while you are on a network.
For most users, the S.M.A.R.T. capability isn't really useful or necessary. In fact, all the constant S.M.A.R.T. traffic eats up some bandwidth. So, if you don't use S.M.A.R.T. aware utilities or don't need that level of real-time reporting, disable it for better system performance.
Report No FDD For Win95
Options : Enabled, Disabled
If you are using Windows 95/98 without a floppy disk drive, select Enabled to release IRQ6. This is required to pass Windows 95/98's SCT test. You should also disable the Onboard FDC Controller in the Integrated Peripherals screen when there's no floppy drive in the system. If you set this feature to Disabled, the BIOS will not report the missing floppy drive to Win95/98.
Delay IDE Initial (Sec)
Options : 0, 1, 2, 3, ..., 15
The booting process of new BIOSes is much faster these days. Thus, some IDE devices may not be able to spin up fast enough for the BIOS to detect them during
the booting up process. This setting is used to delay the initialization of such IDE devices during the booting up process.
Leave it at 0 if possible for faster system booting. But if one or more of your IDE devices fail to initialize while booting, increase the value of this setting until they all initialize properly.
BIOS Features Setup (Part 5)
Video BIOS Shadowing
Options : Enabled, Disabled
When this feature is enabled, the Video BIOS is copied to the system RAM for quicker access. Shadowing improves the BIOS' performance because the BIOS can now be read by the CPU through the 64-bit DRAM bus as opposed to the 8-bit XT bus. This seems quite attractive since that's at least a 100x increase in transfer rate and the only price is the loss of some system RAM which is used to mirror the ROM contents.
However, modern operating systems bypass the BIOS completely and access the graphics card's hardware directly. So, no BIOS calls are made and no benefit from BIOS shadowing is realized. In light of this, there's no use in wasting RAM just to shadow the Video BIOS when it's not used at all.
Ryu Connor confirmed this by sending me a link to a Microsoft article about Shadowing BIOS under WinNT 4.0. According to this article, shadowing the BIOS (irrespective of what BIOS it is) does not bring about any performance enhancements because it's not used by WinNT. It will only waste memory. Although the article did not say anything about Win9x, it's the same for Win9x as it's based on the same Win32 architecture.
Not only that, some manuals also allude to the possibility of system instability when certain games access the RAM region that has already been used to shadow the Video BIOS. However, this is no longer an issue as the shadowed RAM region has been moved far from the reach of programs.
What could be an issue is if only 32KB of the video BIOS is shadowed. Newer video BIOSes are larger than 32KB in size but if only 32KB is shadowed and the rest is left in their original locations, then stability issues may arise when the BIOS is accessed. So, if you intend to shadow the video BIOS, you'll need to ensure that the entire video BIOS is shadowed. In many cases, only the C000-C7FF region is shadowed by default. To correct that, you'll need to :-
• enable video BIOS shadowing (for the C000-C7FF region) and
• enable the shadowing of the remaining portions, i.e. C800-CBFF, until the entire video BIOS is shadowed.
That tip was generously contributed by X.
Finally, most graphics cards now come with Flash ROM (EEPROM) which is much faster than the old ROM and even faster than DRAM. Thus, there's no longer a need for video BIOS shadowing and there may even be a performance advantage in not shadowing! In addition, you shouldn't shadow the video BIOS if your graphics card comes with a Flash ROM because you wouldn't be able to update its contents if shadowing is enabled.
On the other hand, there may still be a use for this feature. Some DOS games still make use of the video BIOS because they don't directly access the graphics processor (although more graphical ones do). So, if you play lots of old DOS games,
you can try enabling Video BIOS Shadowing for better performance. This tip is courtesy of Ivan Warren.
For an excellent overview of video BIOSes and their shadowing, check out William Patrick McNamara's explanation :-
The whole issue is historical in nature. Way back when having a VGA video card was a big thing, graphics cards were pretty dumb and fairly simple as well. They amounted to a chunk of memory that represented the pixels on the screen. To change a pixel, you changed the memory representing it. Things like changing color palettes, screen resolutions, etc were done by writing to a set of registers on the video card. However, everything was done by the processor. Since interfacing with hardware varies with the hardware, talking to the video card depended on the card you had installed. To help solve the problem, the video card included a BIOS chip on it. Quite simply the video BIOS was an extension to the system BIOS. It was simply a documented set of function calls a programmer could use to interface with the video chipset.
So why did BIOS shadowing come about? The memory used to store the BIOS on a video card is usually some sort of EPROM (Electrically Programmable Read Only Memory). A very fast EPROM has an access time of 130-150ns, which is about the same as the memory in an 8086 based computer. Also, the bus width is 8bits. As computers got faster (x386, x486, etc) and games got more graphical, calling the BIOS got to be more of a bottleneck. To help alleviate the problem, the video BIOS was moved to the faster 16bit system memory to speed things up. Actually most graphical DOS games rarely call the BIOS anyway. Most interact with the chipset directly if possible.
A quick summary: In the "old days", video BIOS didn't really have much to do with running the video card. It simply provided a set of function calls to make a developers life easier.
"And now for something completely different....."
New video cards, ones that have accelerated functions, fall into a different category. They actually have a processor built on the card. In the same way that the system BIOS tells you processor how to start your computer, your video BIOS tells you video processor how to display images. The reason, new card have flash ROMs on them, is so that the manufacturers can fix any bugs that exist in the code. Any operating system that uses the accelerated features of a video card, communicates directly with the processor on the card, giving it a set of commands. This is the job of the video driver. The idea is, the driver presents the operating system with a document set of function calls. When on of these calls is made, the driver sends the appropriate command to the video processor. The video processor the carries out the commands as it programming (video BIOS) dictates.
As far as shadowing the video BIOS goes, it doesn't matter. Windows, Linux, or any other OS that uses the accelerated functions never directly communicates with the video BIOS. Good 'ole DOS however still does, and the same functions that existed in the original VGA cards exist in the new 3D cards. Depending on how the video interface on DOS programs is written, they may benefit from having the video BIOS shadowed.
Quick Summary #2: In today's accelerated video cards, the main job of the video BIOS is to provide a program for the video processor (RIVA TNT2, Voodoo3, etc) to run so that it can do its job. Interface between the video card and software is done through a command set provided by the driver
and really has nothing to do with the video BIOS. The original BIOS function are still available to maintain backwards VGA compatibility.
More on this can be found from his e-mail (Comment #91). Check it out for more information.
For a final confirmation on why you should not shadow the video BIOS, check out Steve Hauser's account of his bad experience with video BIOS shadowing :-
A few years back (probably '96 or so) I had a Matrox Millenium card and the BIOS I had at the time defaulted to shadowing enabled for the VGA BIOS... *WELL* the Millenium had a larger than 32KB BIOS. So, when I ran a BIOS flash, the first bit just copied into the shadow in system RAM, while the rest hit the video card itself.
Needless to say, with the first 32KB block missing, the BIOS of the card was completely corrupted and no longer functioned. Already you can see how shadowing *CAN* get you in real trouble with carelessly written flash software (that doesn't check for it first). Now, I can't attest to any speed increases/decreases it may have caused but here's the really pertinent part, what happened with the card after it no longer had a BIOS....
It still worked! (mostly)... ALL 'DOS' video modes were gone - total blank screen. But you can hear the computer beep and then boot normally. Once the Windows GUI (with proper drivers) loaded, it operated 100% normally. All video acceleration modes worked fine... *EXCEPT* anything related to DOS (even a DOS window within Windows itself) was 100% devoid of text. This includes the 'built-in' VGA (640x480x16 colours) safe mode which also didn't work at all (since it doesn't use drivers).
So, apparently you are 100% correct in assuming that modern video cards do not use the 'DOS addressable' BIOS for anything except driverless VGA/EGA/text modes... Now, that's not to say 'BIOS updates' are useless, as the actual BIOS of the card includes far more than the little table DOS can see. It can include micro-code with patches for problems (just like how motherboard BIOS updates can fix certain processor problems).
I've given you at least one case now where enabling BIOS shadowing can cause SERIOUS and permanent harm to the video card itself... After the failed 'shadowed' flash, the card was never again able to render DOS video modes or text; and further BIOS updates would not work since they 'failed to detect current BIOS revision'.
Shadowing Address Ranges (xxxxx-xxxxx Shadow)
Options : Enabled, Disabled
This option allows you to decide if the memory block of an addon card in the address range of xxxxx-xxxxx will be shadowed or not. Leave it as disabled if you don't have an addon card using that memory range. Also, like Video BIOS Shadowing, there's no benefit in enabling this option if you run Win95/98 and have the proper drivers for your addon card.
Ryu Connor confirmed this by sending me a link to a Microsoft article about Shadowing BIOS under WinNT 4.0. According to this article, shadowing the BIOS (irrespective of what BIOS it is) does not bring about any performance enhancements because it's not used by WinNT. It will only waste memory. Although the article did not say anything about Win9x, it's the same for Win9x as it's based on the same Win32 architecture.
In addition, Ivan Warren warns that if you are using an add-on card which is using some CXXX-EFFF area for I/O, then shadowing would probably prevent the card from working because the memory R/W requests might not be passed to the ISA bus.
Chipset Features Setup
Chipset Features Setup (Part 1)
SDRAM CAS Latency Time
Options : 2, 3
This controls the time delay (in clock cycles - CLKs) that passes before the SDRAM starts to carry out a read command after receiving it. This also determines the number of CLKs for the completion of the first part of a burst transfer. In other words, the lower the latency, the faster the transaction.
Note that some SDRAM modules may not be able to handle the lower latency and will become unstable and lose data. Therefore, set the SDRAM CAS Latency Time to 2 for optimal performance if possible but increase it to 3 if your system becomes unstable.
Interestingly, increasing the CAS latency time does have an advantage in that it will enable the SDRAM to run at a higher clockspeed, thereby giving you an edge in overclocking your system. So, if you hit a snag while overclocking, try increasing the CAS latency time.
SDRAM Cycle Time Tras/Trc
Options : 5/6, 6/8
This feature toggles the minimum number of clock cycles required for the Tras and the Trc of the SDRAM.
Tras refers to the SDRAM's Row Active Time, which is the length of time in which the row is open for data transfers. It is also known as Minimum RAS Pulse Width.
Trc, on the other hand, refers to the SDRAM's Row Cycle Time, which determines the length of time for the entire row-open, row-refresh cycle to complete.
The default setting is 6/8 which is more stable and slower than 5/6. The 5/6 setting cycles the SDRAM faster but may not leave the row open long enough for data transactions to complete. This is especially true at SDRAM clockspeeds above 100MHz.
Therefore, you should try 5/6 for better SDRAM performance and only increase it to 6/8 if your system becomes unstable or if you are trying to get the SDRAM to run at a higher clockspeed.
SDRAM RAS-to-CAS Delay
Options : 2, 3
This option allows you to insert a delay between the RAS (Row Address Strobe) and CAS (Column Address Strobe) signals. This occurs when the SDRAM is written to, read from or refreshed. Naturally, reducing the delay improves the performance of the SDRAM while increasing it reduces performance.
So, reduce the delay from the default value of 3 to 2 for better SDRAM performance. However, if you are facing system stability issues after reducing the delay, reset the value back to 3.
SDRAM RAS Precharge Time
Options : 2, 3
This option sets the number of cycles required for the RAS to accumulate its charge before the SDRAM refreshes. Reducing the precharge time to 2 improves SDRAM performance but if the precharge time of 2 is insufficient for the installed SDRAM, the SDRAM may not be refreshed properly and it may fail to retain data.
So, for better SDRAM performance, set the SDRAM RAS Precharge Time to 2 but increase it to 3 if you face system stability issues after reducing the precharge time.
SDRAM Cycle Length
Options : 2, 3
This feature is similar to SDRAM CAS Latency Time.
This controls the time delay (in clock cycles - CLKs) that passes before the SDRAM starts to carry out a read command after receiving it. This also determines the number of CLKs for the completion of the first part of a burst transfer. In other words, the lower the latency, the faster the transaction.
Note that some SDRAM modules may not be able to handle the lower cycle length and will become unstable and lose data. Therefore, set the SDRAM Cycle Length to 2 for optimal performance if possible but increase it to 3 if your system becomes unstable.
Interestingly, increasing the cycle length does have an advantage in that it will enable the SDRAM to run at a higher clockspeed, thereby giving you an edge in overclocking your system. So, if you hit a snag while overclocking, try increasing the SDRAM Cycle Length.
SDRAM Leadoff Command
Options : 3, 4
This option allows you to adjust the leadoff time needed before the data stored in the SDRAM can be accessed. In most cases, it is the access time for the first data element in a burst. For optimal performance, set the value to 3 for faster SDRAM access times but increase it to 4 if you are facing system stability issues.
SDRAM Bank Interleave
Options : 2-Bank, 4-Bank, Disabled
This feature enables you to set the interleave mode of the SDRAM interface. Interleaving allows banks of SDRAM to alternate their refresh and access cycles. One bank will undergo its refresh cycle while another is being accessed. This improves performance of the SDRAM by masking the refresh time of each bank. A closer examination of interleaving will reveal that since the refresh cycles of all the SDRAM banks are staggered, this produces a kind of pipelining effect.
If there are 4 banks in the system, the CPU can ideally send one data request to each of the SDRAM banks in consecutive clock cycles. This means in the first clock cycle, the CPU will send an address to Bank 0 and then send the next address to Bank 1 in the second clock cycle before sending the third and fourth addresses to Banks 2 and 3 in the third and fourth clock cycles respectively. The sequence would be something like this :-
1. CPU sends address #0 to Bank 0
2. CPU sends address #1 to Bank 1 and receives data #0 from Bank 0
3. CPU sends address #2 to Bank 2 and receives data #1 from Bank 1
4. CPU sends address #3 to Bank 3 and receives data #2 from Bank 2
5. CPU receives data #3 from Bank 3
As a result, the data from all four requests will arrive consecutively from the SDRAM without any delay in between. But if interleaving was not enabled, the same 4-address transaction would be roughly like this :-
1. SDRAM refreshes
2. CPU sends address #0 to SDRAM
3. CPU receives data #0 from SDRAM
4. SDRAM refreshes
5. CPU sends address #1 to SDRAM
6. CPU receives data #1 from SDRAM
7. SDRAM refreshes
8. CPU sends address #2 to SDRAM
9. CPU receives data #2 from SDRAM
10. SDRAM refreshes
11. CPU sends address #3 to SDRAM
12. CPU receives data #3 from SDRAM
As you can see, with interleaving, the first bank starts transferring data to the CPU in the same cycle that the second bank receives an address from the CPU. Without interleaving, the CPU would send the address to the SDRAM, receive the data requested and then wait for the SDRAM to refresh before initiating the second data transaction. That wastes a lot of clock cycles. That's why the SDRAM's bandwidth increases with interleaving enabled.
However, bank interleaving only works if the addresses requested consecutively are not in the same bank. If they are, then the data transactions behave as if the banks were not interleaved. The CPU will have to wait till the first data transaction clears and that SDRAM bank refreshes before it can send another address to that bank.
Each SDRAM DIMM consists of either 2 banks or 4 banks. 2-bank SDRAM DIMMs use 16Mbit SDRAM chips and are usually 32MB or less in size. 4-bank SDRAM DIMMs, on the other hand, usually use 64Mbit SDRAM chips though the SDRAM density may be up to 256Mbit per chip. All SDRAM DIMMs of at least 64MB in size or greater are 4-banked in nature.
If you are using a single 2-bank SDRAM DIMM, set this feature to 2-Bank. But if you are using two 2-bank SDRAM DIMMs, you can use the 4-Bank option as well. With 4-bank SDRAM DIMMs, you can use either interleave options.
Naturally, 4-bank interleave is better than 2-bank interleave so if possible, set it to 4-Bank. Use 2-Bank only if you are using a single 2-bank SDRAM DIMM. Note, however, that Award (now part of Phoenix Technologies) recommends that SDRAM bank interleaving be disabled if 16Mbit SDRAM DIMMs are used.
Chipset Features Setup (Part 2)
SDRAM Precharge Control
Options : Enabled, Disabled
This feature determines whether the processor or the SDRAM itself controls the precharging of the SDRAM. If this option is disabled, all CPU cycles to the SDRAM will result in an All Banks Precharge Command on the SDRAM interface, which improves stability but reduces performance.
If this feature is enabled, precharging is left to the SDRAM itself. This reduces the number of times the SDRAM is precharged since multiple CPU cycles to the SDRAM can occur before the SDRAM needs to be refreshed. So, enable it for optimal performance unless you are facing system stability issues with this option enabled.
DRAM Data Integrity Mode
Options : ECC, Non-ECC
This BIOS setting is used to configure your RAM's data integrity mode. ECC stands for Error Checking and Correction and it should only be used if you are using special 72-bit ECC RAM. This will enable the system to detect and correct single-bit errors. It will also detect double-bit errors though it will not correct them. This provides increased data integrity and system stability at the expense of a little speed.
If you own ECC RAM, enable it (set ECC) to benefit from the increased data integrity. After all, you have already spent so much for the expensive ECC RAM so why not use it? ;)  If you are not using ECC RAM, choose Non-ECC instead.
Read-Around-Write
Options : Enabled, Disabled
This BIOS feature allows the processor to execute read commands out of order, as if they are independent from the write commands. So, if a read command points to a memory address whose latest write (content) is in the cache (waiting to be copied into memory), the read command will be satisfied by the cache contents instead.
This negates the need for the read command to go all the way to the DRAM and improves the efficiency of the memory subsystem. Therefore, it is recommended that you enable this feature.
System BIOS Cacheable
Options : Enabled, Disabled
This feature is only valid when the system BIOS is shadowed. It enables or disables the caching of the system BIOS ROM at F0000h-FFFFFh via the L2 cache. This greatly speeds up accesses to the system BIOS. However, this does not translate into better system performance because the OS does not need to access the system BIOS much.
As such, it would be a waste of L2 cache bandwidth to cache the system BIOS instead of data that are more critical to the system's performance. In addition, if any program writes into this memory area, it will result in a system crash. So, it is recommended that you disable System BIOS Cacheable for optimal system performance.
Video BIOS Cacheable
Options : Enabled, Disabled
This feature is only valid when the video BIOS is shadowed. It enables or disables the caching of the video BIOS ROM at C0000h-C7FFFh via the L2 cache. This greatly speeds up accesses to the video BIOS. However, this does not translate into better system performance because the OS bypasses the BIOS using the graphics driver to access the video card's hardware directly.
As such, it would be a waste of L2 cache bandwidth to cache the video BIOS instead of data that are more critical to the system's performance. In addition, if any program writes into this memory area, it will result in a system crash. So, it is recommended that you disable Video BIOS Cacheable for optimal system performance.
Video RAM Cacheable
Options : Enabled, Disabled
This feature enables or disables the caching of the video RAM at A0000h-AFFFFh via the L2 cache. This is supposed to speed up accesses to the video RAM. However, this does not translate into better system performance.
Many graphics cards now have a RAM bandwidth of 5.3GB/s (128bit x 166MHz DDR) and that number is climbing constantly. Meanwhile, SDRAM's bandwidth is still stuck around 0.8GB/s (64bit x 100MHz) or at most 1.06GB/s (64bit x 133MHz) if you are using a PC133 system.
Now, although a Pentium !!! 650 may have a L2 cache bandwidth of about 20.8GB/s (256bit x 650MHz), it makes more sense to cache the really slow system SDRAM instead of the graphics card's RAM.
Also note that caching the video RAM doesn't make much sense even with the Pentium !!!'s high L2 cache bandwidth. This is because the video RAM communicates
with the L2 cache via the AGP bus which has a maximum bandwidth of only 1.06GB/s using the AGP4X protocol. Actually, that bandwidth is halved in the case of the L2 cache caching the graphics card's RAM because data has to pass in two directions.
In addition, if any program writes into this memory area, it will result in a system crash. So, there's very little benefit in caching the video card's RAM. It would be much better to use the processor's L2 cache to cache the system SDRAM instead. It is recommended that you disable Video RAM Cacheable for optimal system performance. For more detailed information, check out the Video RAM Caching guide.
Memory Hole At 15M-16M
Options : Enabled, Disabled
Some special ISA cards require this area of memory for them to work properly. Enabling this function reserves the memory area for the card's use. In some cases, it may also prevent the system from accessing memory above 15MB.
If you enable this function, 1MB of RAM (the 15th MB) will be reserved and is therefore not available for the OS' use. So, if you have 128MB of RAM, this feature effectively reduces the usable amount of RAM to 127MB.
In certain motherboards, this feature may actually render all RAM above the 15th MB off-limits to the OS! In this case, you will effectively have only 14MB of RAM, irrespective of how much RAM your system actually has.
Since ISA cards are a thing of the past, you should always disable this feature. Even if you have an ISA card that you absolutely must use, that doesn't mean you must enable this feature. Most ISA cards don't need this reserved memory area. Check to make sure that your ISA card absolutely requires this memory area to work properly before enabling this feature.
Chipset Features Setup (Part 3)
8-bit I/O Recovery Time
Options : NA, 8, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
The PCI bus is much faster than the ISA bus. So, for ISA cards to work properly with I/O cycles from the PCI bus, the I/O bus recovery mechanism adds additional bus clock cycles between each consecutive PCI-originated I/O cycles to the ISA bus.
By default, the bus recovery mechanism adds a minimum of 3.5 clock cycles between each consecutive 8-bit I/O cycle to the ISA bus. The options above enable you to add even more clock cycles between each consecutive 8-bit I/O cycle to the ISA bus. Choosing NA sets the number of delay cycles at the minimum 3.5 clock cycles.
So, set the 8-bit I/O Recovery Time at NA if possible for optimal ISA bus performance. Increase the I/O Recovery Time only if you are having problems with your 8-bit ISA cards. Note that this function has no meaning if you are not using any ISA cards.
16-bit I/O Recovery Time
Options : NA, 4, 1, 2, 3
The PCI bus is much faster than the ISA bus. So, for ISA cards to work properly with I/O cycles from the PCI bus, the I/O bus recovery mechanism adds additional bus clock cycles between each consecutive PCI-originated I/O cycles to the ISA bus.
By default, the bus recovery mechanism adds a minimum of 3.5 clock cycles between each consecutive 16-bit I/O cycle to the ISA bus. The options above enable you to add even more clock cycles between each consecutive 16-bit I/O cycle to the ISA bus. Choosing NA sets the number of delay cycles at the minimum 3.5 clock cycles.
So, set the 16-bit I/O Recovery Time at NA if possible for optimal ISA bus performance. Increase the I/O Recovery Time only if you are having problems with your 16-bit ISA cards. Note that this function has no meaning if you are not using any ISA cards.
Passive Release
Options : Enabled, Disabled
If Passive Release is enabled, CPU-to-PCI bus accesses are allowed during passive release of the PCI bus. Therefore, the processor can access the PCI bus while the ISA bus is being accessed.
Otherwise, the arbiter only accepts another PCI master access to local DRAM. In other words, only another PCI bus master can access the PCI bus, not the processor. This function is used to meet the latency of the ISA bus master, which is much longer than that of the PCI bus master.
Enable Passive Release for optimal performance. Disable it only if you are facing problems with your ISA cards.
Delayed Transaction
Options : Enabled, Disabled
This feature is used to meet the latency of PCI cycles to and from the ISA bus. The ISA bus is much, much slower than the PCI bus. Thus, PCI cycles to and from the ISA bus take a longer time to complete and this slows the PCI bus down.
However, enabling Delayed Transaction enables the chipset's embedded 32-bit posted write buffer to support delayed transaction cycles. This means that transactions to and from the ISA bus are buffered and the PCI bus can be freed to perform other transactions while the ISA transaction is underway.
This option should be enabled for better performance and to meet PCI 2.1 specifications. Disable it only if your PCI cards cannot work properly or if you are using an ISA card that is not PCI 2.1 compliant.
PCI 2.1 Compliance
Options : Enabled, Disabled
This is the same thing as Delayed Transaction above.
This feature is used to meet the latency of PCI cycles to and from the ISA bus. The ISA bus is much, much slower than the PCI bus. Thus, PCI cycles to and from the ISA bus take a longer time to complete and this slows the PCI bus down.
However, enabling Delayed Transaction enables the chipset's embedded 32-bit posted write buffer to support delayed transaction cycles. This means that transactions to and from the ISA bus are buffered and the PCI bus can be freed to perform other transactions while the ISA transaction is underway.
This option should be enabled for better performance and to meet PCI 2.1 specifications. Disable it only if your PCI cards cannot work properly or if you are using an PCI card that is not PCI 2.1 compliant.
AGP Aperture Size (MB)
Options : 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256
This option selects the size of the AGP aperture. The aperture is a portion of the PCI memory address range dedicated as graphics memory address space. Host cycles that hit the aperture range are forwarded to the AGP without need for translation. This size also determines the maximum amount of system RAM that can be allocated to the graphics card for texture storage.
AGP Aperture size is set by the formula : maximum usable AGP memory size x 2 plus 12MB. That means that usable AGP memory size is less than half of the AGP aperture size. That's because the system needs AGP memory (uncached) plus an equal amount of write combined memory area and an additional 12MB for virtual addressing. This is address space, not physical memory used. The physical memory is allocated and released as needed only when Direct3D makes a "create non-local surface" call.
Win95 (with VGARTD.VXD) and Win98 use a "waterfall effect". Surfaces are created first in local memory. When that memory is full, surface creation spills over into AGP memory and then system memory. So, memory usage is automatically optimized for each application. AGP and system memory are not used unless absolutely necessary.
Many people recommend the AGP aperture size should be half of the amount of RAM you have. However, that's wrong for the same reason why swapfile size shouldn't be 1/4 of the amount of RAM you have in your system. As with the swapfile's size, the AGP aperture size required will be smaller as the graphics card's memory increases in size. That's because most of the textures will be stored on the graphics card itself. So, graphics cards with 32MB of RAM or more will require a smaller AGP aperture than graphics cards with less RAM.
If your graphics card has very little graphics memory, then you should set as large an AGP aperture as you can, up to half the system RAM. For cards with more graphics memory, you shouldn't set the aperture size to half the system RAM. Note that the size of the aperture does not correspond to performance so increasing it to gargantuan proportions will not improve performance.
Still, it's recommended that you keep the AGP aperture around 64MB to 128MB in size. Now, why is such a large aperture size recommended despite the fact that most graphics cards now come with large amounts of RAM? Shouldn't we just set it to the absolute minimum to save system RAM?
Well, many graphics card require at least a 16MB AGP aperture size to work properly. This is probably because the virtual addressing space is already 12MB in size! In addition, many software require minimum AGP aperture size requirements which are mostly unspecified. Some games even use so much textures that AGP memory is needed even with graphics cards with quite a lot of graphics memory (32MB).
And if you remember the formula above, the amount of AGP memory needed is more than double that of the required texture storage space. So, if 15MB of extra texture storage space is needed, then 42MB of system RAM is actually used. Therefore, it makes sense to set a large AGP aperture size in order to cater for every software requirement.
Note that reducing the AGP aperture size won't save you any RAM. Again, what setting the AGP aperture size does is limit the amount of RAM the AGP bus can appropriate when it needs to. It is not used unless absolutely necessary. So, setting a 64MB AGP aperture doesn't mean 64MB of your RAM will be used up as AGP memory. It will only limit the maximum amount that can be used by the AGP bus to 64MB (actual usable AGP memory size is only 26MB).
Now, while increasing the AGP aperture size beyond 128MB wouldn't really hurt performance, it would still be best to keep the aperture size to about 64MB-128MB so that the GART table won't become too large. As the amount of onboard RAM increases and texture compression becomes commonplace, there's less of a need for the AGP aperture size to increase beyond 64MB. So, it's recommended that you set the AGP Aperture Size as 64MB or at most, 128MB.
Chipset Features Setup (Part 4)
AGP 2X Mode
Options : Enabled, Disabled
This BIOS feature enables or disables the AGP2X transfer protocol. The standard AGP1X only makes use of the rising edge of the AGP signal for data transfer. At 66MHz, this translates into a bandwidth of 264MB/s. Enabling AGP 2X Mode doubles that bandwidth by transferring data on both the rising and falling edges of the signal. Therefore, while the clockspeed of the AGP bus still remains as 66MHz, the effective bandwidth of the bus is doubled. This is the same method by which UltraDMA 33 derives its performance boost.
However, both the motherboard chipset and the graphics card must support AGP2X transfers before you can use the AGP2X transfer protocol. If your graphics card support AGP2X transfers, enable AGP 2X Mode for a higher AGP transfer rate. Disable it only if you are facing stability issues (especially with Super Socket 7 motherboards) or if you intend to overclock the AGP bus beyond 75MHz and can't just disable sidebanding.
AGP Master 1WS Read
Options : Enabled, Disabled
By default, the AGP busmastering device waits for at least 2 wait states or AGP clock cycles before it starts a read transaction. This BIOS option allows you to reduce the delay to only 1 wait state or clock cycle. For better AGP read performance, enable this option but disable it if you experience weird graphical anomalies like wireframe effects and pixel artifacts after enabling this option.
AGP Master 1WS Write
Options : Enabled, Disabled
By default, the AGP busmastering device waits for at least 2 wait states or AGP clock cycles before it starts a write transaction. This BIOS option allows you to reduce the delay to only 1 wait state or clock cycle. For better AGP write performance, enable this option but disable it if you experience weird graphical anomalies like wireframe effects and pixel artifacts after enabling this option.
USWC Write Posting
Options : Enabled, Disabled
USWC or Uncacheable Speculative Write Combination improves performance for Pentium Pro systems (and possibly other P6 processors as well) with graphic cards that have a linear framebuffer (all new ones do). By combining smaller data writes into 64-bit writes, it reduces the number of transactions required for a particular amount of data to be transferred into the linear framebuffer of the graphics card.
However, it may cause issues like graphic corruption, crashes, booting problems, etc... if the graphics card does not support such a feature.
In addition, tests using FastVid (in the old article - The Phoenix Project) have shown that such a setting can possibly decrease performance, instead of increasing it! This was observed with the Intel 440BX-based motherboard.
So, if you are using a Pentium Pro processor or a motherboard based on older chipsets, enable it for faster graphics performance. If you own a newer motherboard, you can try enabling it but make sure you run some tests to determine if this feature really improves performance or not. It's quite possible that it may not anything at all or even decrease performance.
Spread Spectrum
Options : Enabled, Disabled, 0.25%, 0.5%, Smart Clock
When the motherboard's clock generator pulses, the extreme values (spikes) of the pulses creates EMI (Electromagnetic Interference). The Spead Spectrum function reduces the EMI generated by modulating the pulses so that the spikes of the pulses are reduced to flatter curves. It does so by varying the frequency so that it doesn't use any particular frequency for more than a moment. This reduces interference problems with other electronics in the area.
However, while enabling Spread Spectrum decreases EMI, system stability and performance may be slightly compromised. This may be especially true with timing-critical devices like clock-sensitive SCSI devices.
Some BIOSes offer a Smart Clock option. Instead of modulating the frequency of the pulses over time, Smart Clock turns off the AGP, PCI and SDRAM clock signals when not in use. Thus, EMI can be reduced without compromising system stability. As a bonus, using Smart Clock can also help reduce power consumption.
If you do not have any EMI problem, leave the setting at Disabled for optimal system stability and performance. But if you are plagued by EMI, use the Smart Clock setting if possible and settle for Enabled or one of the two other values if Smart Clock is not available. The percentage values denote the amount of jitter (variation) that the BIOS performs on the clock frequency. So, a lower value (0.25%) is comparatively better for system stability while a higher value (0.5%) is better for EMI reduction.
Remember to disable Spread Spectrum if you are overclocking because even a 0.25% jitter can introduce a temporary boost in clockspeed of 25MHz (with a 1GHz CPU) which may just cause your overclocked processor to lock up. Or at least use the Smart Clock setting as that doesn't involve any modulation of the frequency.
Auto Detect DIMM/PCI Clk
Options : Enabled, Disabled
This function is similar to the Smart Clock option of the Spread Spectrum function. The BIOS monitors the AGP, PCI and SDRAM's activity. If there are no cards in those slots, the BIOS turns off the appropriate AGP, PCI or SDRAM clock signals. And when there's no activity in occupied AGP / PCI / SDRAM slots, the BIOS turns off those clock signals as well.
This way, EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) can be reduced without compromising system stability. This also allows the computer to reduce power consumption because only components that are running will use power.
Still, if you do not have any EMI problem, leave the setting at Disabled for optimal system stability and performance. Enable it only if you are plagued by EMI or if you want to save more power.
Chipset Features Setup (Part 5)
Flash BIOS Protection
Options : Enabled, Disabled
This function protects the BIOS from accidental corruption by unauthorized users or computer viruses. When enabled, the BIOS' data cannot be changed when attempting to update the BIOS with a Flash utility. To successfully update the BIOS, you'll need to disable this Flash BIOS Protection function.
You should enable this function at all times. The only time when you need to disable it is when you want to update the BIOS. After updating the BIOS, you should immediately re-enable it to protect it against viruses.
Hardware Reset Protect
Options : Enabled, Disabled
This function is useful for file servers and routers, etc., which need to be running 24 hours a day. When enabled, the system's hardware reset button will not function. This prevents the possibility of any accidental resets. When set as Disabled, the reset button will function as normal.
It is recommended that you leave it as Disabled unless you are running a server and you have kids who just love to press that little red button running around. ;) 
DRAM Read Latch Delay
Options : Enabled, Disabled
This is a BIOS function that introduces a small delay before the system reads data from a DRAM module. This feature was added to facilitate the use of some special SDRAM modules that have unusual timings. You need not enable this feature unless you experience strange system crashes that you suspect is due to memory instability.
So, it's recommended that you leave it as Disabled unless you are experiencing some system stability issues. In that case, you can enable this BIOS function to see if your DRAM module is one of those with unusual timings and to correct that problem.
DRAM Interleave Time
Options : 0ms, 0.5ms
This BIOS function controls the timing for reading the next bank of data when DRAM Interleave or SDRAM Bank Interleave is enabled. Naturally, the lower the time you use, the faster the DRAM modules can interleave and consequently, the better the performance.
So, it is recommended that you set the time as low as possible for better DRAM performance. Increase the DRAM interleave time only if you face system stability problems.
Byte Merge
Options : Enabled, Disabled
Byte merging holds 8-bit or 16-bit writes from the CPU to the PCI bus in a buffer where it is accumulated and merged into 32-bit writes. The chipset then writes the data in the buffer to the PCI bus when it can. As you can see, merging 8-bit or 16-bit writes reduces the number of PCI transactions, thus freeing up both bandwidth and CPU time.
So, it's recommended that you enable this feature for better CPU and PCI performance. But note that Byte Merge may be incompatible with certain PCI cards. Boar-Ral explains :-
I noticed that some PCI cards really despise Byte Merge, in particular the 3Com 3C905 series of NICs. While this may only apply to certain motherboards, in my case the P3V4X, I feel this is probably not the case and it is a rather widespread problem.
Issues I have encountered with Byte Merge enabled range from Windows 98SE freezing at the boot screen to my NIC not functioning at all. This issue has been confirmed with others using the same NIC and is what alerted me to the issue in the first place.
PCI Pipeline / PCI Pipelining
Options : Enabled, Disabled
This BIOS function combines PCI or CPU pipelining with byte merging. Byte merging is then used to enhance performance of the graphics card. This function controls the byte-merge feature for framebuffer cycles. When Enabled, the controller checks the eight CPU Byte Enable signals to determine if data bytes read from the PCI bus by the CPU can be merged.
So, it's recommended that you enable this feature for better performance with your PCI graphics card. Other PCI devices may benefit from this feature as well.
Fast R-W Turn Around
Options : Enabled, Disabled
This BIOS option reduces the delay that occurs when the CPU first reads from the RAM and then writes to it. There
July 30, 2006 2:34:25 AM

so 440bx, after I download those files how am I suppose to install those?

and what do you mean by "You need the first set of drivers, called "Hyperion Pro"." Thanks.

*EDIT 440bx, you told me to load fail safe defaults and after I did that I couldn't see anything on my screen anymore! so I removed the battery on my motherboard and now is working fine!? What is wrong? What did that happen?

Also you told me to install that audio thing and it said HD Audio cannot install or something...I don't understand why!? T

And to gomerpile, I'll for sure look over that, thanks!:) 
July 30, 2006 4:27:14 AM

Quote:
so 440bx, after I download those files how am I suppose to install those?

and what do you mean by "You need the first set of drivers, called "Hyperion Pro"." Thanks.


on the page you'll find a set of drivers called "Hyperion Pro" and below another set called "4 in 1". The one you need (applicable to your chipset) is the "Hyperion Pro". I believe they give you instructions on the page on how to install it. If not, normally double clicking on the file you downloaded starts a setup of some kind. If it is a compressed file, you'll have to decompress first then double click on the decompressed file.

Quote:

*EDIT 440bx, you told me to load fail safe defaults and after I did that I couldn't see anything on my screen anymore! so I removed the battery on my motherboard and now is working fine!? What is wrong? What did that happen?


That's VIA for you! (the manufacturer of the chipset used on your motherboard). "Load Fail Safe Defaults" is supposed to set the BIOS settings to values that *guarantee* that your computer will at least POST, this guarantee is valid only if the motherboard is working properly.

Your motherboard seems to be working fine, so loading the fail safe defaults should have worked. That said, I've stayed away from VIA based motherboards for reasons just like that. It should have worked, it didn't, IMO, this is another VIA screwup (though, to be fair, it could be an ECS screwup). It doesn't really matter much that it didn't work, as you figured out, removing the CMOS battery gives you a "last resort" way of resetting the BIOS. well done!

Quote:
Also you told me to install that audio thing and it said HD Audio cannot install or something...I don't understand why!? T


The southbridge on your motherboard is commonly paired with another VIA chip for sound generation. Your motherboard manual doesn't say which sound chip is used. Obviously, what happened is that your motherboard does not use the VIA chip for sound, therefore the VIA driver did not install (which in this case is a good thing). Don't worry about it, it is a non-issue.

You do however have the option of disabling the quick boot mode and enabling S.M.A.R.T. You should do that.

I suggest you look for the appropriate sound driver in the ecs web site. Their address is www.ecsusa.com lookup your motherboard model number and download the latest drivers for it. The problems you are experiencing are more likely to be software related (drivers) than hardware related.
July 30, 2006 5:24:55 AM

That BIOS optimization guide contains a lot of information that is no longer applicable (because it is so obsolete)

Case in point, the way the A20 line was handled dates back to the 80286. This was related to going back to the processor's real mode from protected mode. This was necessary because the main OS at the time was MSDOS which only ran in real mode. The first programmers creating DOS extenders were surprised when they found that once in protected mode there was no way (for the 80286) to go back to real mode (to go back to plain DOS). A smart and creative programmer figured out that he could force a CPU reset AND trap the reset midway (just after the CPU had gone back to real mode as a result of the reset) so the previously active DOS environment could be "reactivated" (before being lost or damaged as a result of the reset). The whole thing was the biggest programming kludge since the creation of microprocessors.

The demise of MSDOS made going back to real mode unnecessary.

Any computer that is booted using NT, Win2K, WinXP, any Linux distro will *never* go back to real mode even when you are using a DOS window. In that case, the system is still running 100% in protected mode, the "real mode" environment is emulated using software and the hardware abilities given by the 80386 onwards. (It really isn't in "real mode", it is in V86 mode - a mode that consists of features in the 80386 class processors and software that is aware of those features)

Very often, even computers booted into MS-DOS did not actually run in real mode (making the whole thing about the A20 line superfluous). Any system that used a 386 memory manager (EMM386.sys, 386Max, etc) put the computer in V86 mode to provide the "magic" High Memory area. Himem.sys was the driver used to determine which method to use to enable the A20 line.

How the A20 line was managed became obsolete around the time of MS-DOS v6.0. Since back then just about everyone was using a memory manager and living in V86 mode until the computer was *truly* reset (rebooted). Therefore the A20 once enabled stayed enabled and the method by which it was enabled had NO effect WHATSOEVER on memory performance (except on the 80286 where it did matter, since the 80286 did *not* provide a V86 mode)

Fortunately, all that stuff is gone. Good riddance!!
July 30, 2006 5:32:33 AM

there are still lots of things in this quide that is in most bios today, there is an update to this quide that can be helpfull. I have the gate in my bois and the board is this year yes there are still things in bois today that dont really need to be there but they are.
July 30, 2006 11:51:39 AM

Try to find out why your sistem is instabile and then go and buy some ram and a video card,1GB or ram will be ok and a 7600GT(PCI-E) or some other card for agp will do
August 1, 2006 12:56:29 AM

Update on this thread:

I have done what 440bx has told me and updated my drivers and chipset but it didn't seem to fix the problem. (it actually got worse!!!:( )

I have not yet got any extra components on my hand yet but on another forum this member mentioned this: "The past few weeks I have notice my computer doesn't respond, lags, then computer crashes which I will have to restart my computer. This is when I was using Windows 2000 Pro. So the next day I installed Windows XP PRO SP1, when I finished installing everything this still happens ,

It looks like your CPU Throttle is kicking in,
Easy to check,
Run this program in the backgound when you are doing what it is that makes your system go belly up,

Throttle watch download, link,
http://www.panopsys.com/Downloads.html,

Download to desktop, Unzip in a folder Throttle watch and run it
Read the help file , you have to start the log manualy by pushing F5,"


So I did what he said, ran it and I pressed F5 and the journal started, then I went to the sites/stuff that lags me then I had to restart. So I'm not sure how am I doing this correctly?! If this is also the problem may you guys please tell me how am I suppose to use the program and how to look if this is really the problem? Thanks
August 3, 2006 10:56:28 PM

Update on this thread:

I jotted down my settings on my BIOS and if there something wrong pelase point it out...thanks

Hey are the settings: (They go in order, going down)

>Standrad CMOS Features >Frequency/Volage Control
>Advanced BIOS Features >Load Fail-Safe Defaults
>Advanced Chipset Features > Load Optizmied Defaults
>Integrated Peripherals >Set Supervisor PW
>Power Mangement Setup > Save & Exit Setup
>Pnp/PCI Configurations > Exit without saving
>PC Health Status

Under >Standrad CMOS Features

Date Thu, Aug 3, 2006
Time 2:52:51

>IDE Channel 0 Master [Maxtor 6Y120P0]
>Ide Channel 0 Slave [ None ]
>IDE Channel 1 Master [DVD-Rom BDV212B]
>IDE Channel 1 Slave [ SAMSUNG CD-R/RW SW-21]

Drive A [1.44m, 3.5in.]
Drive B [None]

Video [EGA/VGA]
Half On [All Errors]

Basic Memory 640k
Exteneded Memory 523264k
Total Memory 524288k

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Under >Advanced BIOS Features

ATA IDE Cable Msg. [Enabled]
Hard Disk Boot Priority [Press Enter]
Hyper-Threading Technology [Enabled]
Quick Power On Self Test [Eanbled]
First Boot Device [Hard Disk]
Second Boot Device [CDROM]
Third Boot Device [Floppy]
Boot Other Device [Enabled]
Boot Up MemLock Status [On]
Typematic Rate Setting [Disabled]
x Typematic Rate (Chars/Sec) 6
x Typematic Delay (Msec) 250
Security Option [Setup]
x APIC Mode [Setup]
OS Select For DRAM >64MB [Non-OS2]
HDD SMART Capability [Disabled]
Vido BIOS Shadow [Enabled]

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Under >Advanced Chipset Features

>DRAM Clock/Drive Control [Press Enter]
>AGP & P2P Bridge Control [Press Enter]
>CPU & PCI Bus Control [Press Enter]
System BIOS Cacheable [Enabled]
Init Display First [PCI Slot]

Under >DRAM Clock/Drive Control [Press Enter]

Current CPU Frequency 200MHz
Current DRAM Frequency 166MHz
DRAM Clock [By SPD]
DRAM Timing [Auto by SPD]
x SDRAM CAS LAtency 2.5
x Bank Interleave 4 Bank
x Precharge to Active(Trp) 4T
DRAM Commands Rate [2T Command]

Under >AGP & P2P Bridge Control [Press Enter]

AGP Aperture Size [128M]
AGP 2.0 Mode [4X]
AGP Driving Control [Auto]
x AGP Driving Value DA
AGP Fast Write [Disabled]

Under >CPU & PCI Bus Control [Press Enter]


PCI Delay Transaction [Disabled]

--------------------------------------------------------------

Under >Integrated Peripherals

OnChip SATA [Enabled]
SATA Mode [RAID]
IDE DMA transfer access [Enabled]
OnChip IDE Channel0 [Enabled]
OnChip IDE Channel1 [Enabled]
IDE Prefetch Mode [Enabled]
Primary Master P10 [Auto]
Primary Slave P10 [Auto]
Secondary Master P10 [Auto]
Secondary Slave P10 [Auto]
Primary Master UDMA [Auto]
Primary Slave UDMA [Auto]
Secondary Master UDMA [Auto]
Secondary Slave UDMA [Auto]
IDE HDD BLock Mode [Enabled]

And I forgot where these were under:

AC97 Audio [Auto]
MC97 Modem [Auto]
Onboard LAN [Enabled]
OnChip USB Controller [All Enabled]
USB Legacy Support [Eanbled]
USB Mouse Support [Enabled]

Onboard FDC Controller [Enabled]
Onboard Serial Port 1 [3FA/IRQ4]
Onboard Serial Port 2 [2FA/IRQ3]
Onboard Parallel Port [378/IRQ7]
Parallel Port Mode [ECP]
ECP Mode Use DMA [3]

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Under >Power Mangement Setup

HDD Power Down [Disable]
Suspend Mode [Disable]
Video Off Option [Suspend -> Off]
Video Off Method [DPMS Support]
MODEM Use IRQ [3]
Sort-off by PWBTN [Instant-Off]
Ac Loss Auto Restarft [Off]
>IRQ/Event Activity Detect [Press Enter]
^^^^^^^
Under >IRQ/Event Activity Detect [Press Enter]

VGA [Off]
LPT&COM [LPT/COM]
HDD &FDD [ON]
PCI Master [OFF]
PowerOn by PCI Card [Enabled]
Modem ring Resume [Disabled]
RTC Alarm Resume [Disabled]
DATE (of month)
Resume TIME
IRQS ACtivity Monitoring [Press Enter]
^^^^^^^^^
Under IRQS ACtivity Monitoring [Press Enter]

Primary INTR
IRQ3 (COME 2)
IRQ4 (COME 1)
IRQ5 (LPT 2)
IRQ6 (FLOPPY DISK0
IRQ7 (RTC ALARM)
IRQ9 ( IRQ2 REDIR)
IRQ10 (RESERVED)
IRQ11 (RESERVED)
IRQ12 (PS/2 MOUSE)
IRQ13 (COPROCESSOR)
IRQ14 (HARD DISK)
IRQ15 (RESERVED)

Under >Pnp/PCI Configurations (i think, I dont really rmemeber)

Reset Configuation Data (Disabled)
Resoruces Controlled By [Auto(ESCD)]
x IRQ REsources Press Enter
PCI/VGA Palette Snoop [Disabled]
Assign IRQ For USB [Enabled]

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Under >PC Health Status

Shutdown temp [disabled]
CPU Vcore 1.45V
2.50v 2.52v
3.30v 2.52v
5.00v 3.24v
12.00v 11.71v
Voltage Battery 3.18V
Current System TEMP 34C
Current CPU TEMP 35C
CPU Fan Speed 2481RPM
CASE Fan Speed 0 RPM

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Under >Frequency/Volage Control

Auto Detect PCI Clk [Enabled]
Spread Spectrum [+/-0.50%]
CPU Clock [200MHz]
CPU Voltage Regulator [Default]
DDR Volage Regulator [Default]

So what is wrong? May you please point it out so I can change it! These settings were exactly the same as in the manuel except for the First Boot, Second Boot, and Third Boot is a little different!


Thank you for your time. :)  Thanks
!