The resolution to my problem was having to revert to an old version of the ASUS BIOS (v0803). There are RAM compatibility issues with the newer versions of their BIOS.
I could use some ideas on extra troubleshooting steps to track down the cause of my blue screens...
Last week I built:
Asus 95Q-E Motherboard
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor
CORSAIR DOMINATOR 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) TWIN2X4096-8500C5DF (2 sets, 8gig total)
ASUS EAH4850/HTDI/512M Radeon 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Graphics Card
Western Digital VelociRaptor WD1500HLFS 150GB 10000 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Antec NeoPower 650 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply
ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler
ASUS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA
LITE-ON Black SATA DVD-ROM Drive
GIGABYTE GN-WP01GS PCI Wireless Adapter
COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Case
... gotta love newegg invoice copy/paste
I put Vista 64 Ultimate on, and now I am eating BSoD. They seem to occur whenever I am doing something intensive (like multiple software installations, or running my programming environments). Below is every troubleshooting idea I have had so far, so if anyone could supplement my thought process I would be in debt!! Please note that no overclocking or other modifications have been made to the way the hardware is running; its still completely stock!
FYI: The BSoD errors I get are usually: 'irql_not_less_or_equal' or 'memory_management'
1. Run Prime95 on all 4 cores.
1a. Run TortureTest in 'Lots of RAM' Mode - failure in under 10 seconds.
1b. Run TortureTest in 'Some RAM' Mode - failure in under 10 seconds.
1c. Run TortureTest in 'Not a lot of RAM' Mode - 1 core failed after 12 minutes, others still running...
First thought, gotta be RAM.
2. Run Memtest86 on 2 sticks at a time.
2a. First set of sticks - No failure.
2b. Second set of sticks - No failure.
Lets try putting 2 sticks at a time into a working box and run Prime95 on it; this will isolate my RAM theory.
3. Remove RAM from a working machine, put my new RAM in place of it.
3a. First 2 sticks in working machine on Prime95 - No failure in any of the 3 modes.
3b. Second 2 sticks in working machine on Prime95 - No failure in any of the 3 modes.
Hmmm... How about I put the RAM from the working machine into my new machine.
4. Put the known, good RAM into my new unstable machine.
4a. Run TortureTest in 'Lots of RAM' Mode - failure in under 10 seconds.
4b. Run TortureTest in 'Some RAM' Mode - failure in under 10 seconds.
So I know its not RAM! (or at least I think).
After reading more on those particular error codes, a lot of people had suggested driver conflict (typically from the graphics card). So lets play around in that space.
5. Remove video card from working computer and replace the new video card in the new computer.
5a. Try to run normal applications that result in crashing - Still getting same BSoD error codes
So I know its not video card related (or at least I think).
Now I am getting desperate, how about re-installing vista to get a fresh start.
6. Reinstall vista without installing any custom drivers, everything is from Windows Update.
6a. Start installing all of my applications - BSoD.
So I know its hardware related.
Maybe some of my extra USB devices are killing me?
7. Unplug everything that isnt essential.
7a. Unplug everything, leave 1 monitor and a keyboard - Prime95 still failing.
So I know its none of my USB inputs.
Now I am stuck. The only thing I can think of doing is taking the processor out of my working machine, and putting it into my new machine to isolate the CPU. For anyone who has installed the Zalman 9700 CPU cooler, you will know why I havent already done this lol. My other thought is that something is motherboard related, but I have never had a defective motherboard that actually works - its either dead or its not.
I look forward to hearing any advice or suggestions that you all have. I am not an expert at this stuff, but I wouldn't say I am a complete idiot either; feel free to be as technical as needed.
tell me what u find after the tests, and get back to me.
i will see what else i can come up with.
Same results with Prime95 - any RAM intensive tests fail immediately.
wait, so you took out everything that is plugged into your USB ports? or everything that is not relevant in booting up a computer?
I unplugged all devices all together, not just for bootup; I was running in Vista with just the keyboard and monitor and Prime95 still generated failure.
one thing i didn't see you do is test the PSU, try getting another PSU somehow and try it with that. you never know, it might be it.
I have a working 380w Antec earthwatts PSU in my other box; I dont know if that will be enough to power my machine? Do you think my RAM could be under-volted? Right now I have my BIOS set to "Auto" for DRAM voltage?
Download the latest Bios. There have been lots of Bios updates for ram issues.
Since you want to run 8G you need to run your ram voltage .1-.2 volts higher then stock voltage. "Probably will fix the issue" assuming the bios likes your ram.
Corsair says to put voltage at 2.1, that didn't help. I did see several BIOS updates on the ASUS website for my board so I am trying that route now. If that fixes this I am going to feel like an idiot, and rightfully so
Latest BOIS isnt working; however I found something that looks promising:
As has been noted previously, with Q9550 proc I had to flash to older 0803 bios (had 1201) to get it to work. I had random BSOD's whenever I tried to play a game or play a movie with 1201 BIOS. 0803 seems to have done the trick
Could you please give me a link to the 0803 bios of p5q-e?
I've had similar problems, not begin able to boot up my pc(i couldn't even get bsod since couldn't install any os), and fixed most of them with the 0803 bios downgrade, but even so, i still have some issues. Asus released v1406 and i would like to try it to see if it can solve the rest of my problems, but unfortunately v0803 is no longer available to download from support.asus.com and i won't attempt a bios update without having 0803 as a backup.