AMD Turion 64 X2 Running on only one core!

I recently picked up a Pavilion Dv6812NR that is out of warranty but barely used. It wasn't working when I got it (neither windows or OS installation CD would boot completely.)

I tested the hard drives and RAM and all were fine, however the CPU tests on Ulitmate Boot CD wouldn't run, saying "idle sync timeout."

I tried everything, and during my research happened to read about someone with the exact same symptoms getting Windows to install by changing the HAL during windows setup (by pressing F5).

Just to see what happened, I tried selecting "ACPI Uniprocessor PC" HAL instead of multiprocessor, and to my surprise XP finally installed correctly.

Now I have this machine up and running, all drivers installed and it's perfectly stable. The Computer is in fact reported as ACPI multiprocessor PC in device manager. However in Task manager only one CPU graph is shown.

At first I was ready to get rid of this machine if I couldn't get XP to install properly, but now I've been using it for a few days , installed lots of programs and it seems to be running just fine. It seems as though one core of the CPU just isn't doing anything, but I still reckon this system feels faster than my P4 based desktop.

So what I wanted to ask is if there's any reason to think that this machine won't continue to run fine like this, albeit in it's handicapped state. If it does remain perfectly stable, do you think I would be likely to find performance completely unsatisfactory, or would half a new dual core CPU still be quite fast for someone graduating from a Pentium 4 based system.

Thanks for any advice!
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  1. Wouldn't doubt that it is faster than the P4, single core AMD 64s were generally faster than the P4s.

    These three things pop into my mind
    1. The chip is defective and only one core is working
    2. There is something wrong with the bios and doesn't work with the chip properly and may need to be updated.
    3. Run through the slew of windows updates (including sp3) and go to to look for a driver for your particular chip.

    If you can't get to recognize the second core after running updates and bios revisions then find out what socket that your motherboard uses and replace the chip, if possible.
  2. kiboy6 said:

    Just to see what happened, I tried selecting "ACPI Uniprocessor PC" HAL instead of multiprocessor, and to my surprise XP finally installed correctly.

    This is the main problem. If you setup the PC as a uniprocessor, even if you change it after Windows is installed. It will not change the processor type correctly.

    My suggestion, is to update the BIOS.

    My second suggestion is to change how Windows is installed. (Are you installing it thru a USB DVD Drive?)
    Or perhaps actually change the installation disc and use the same product key. (Might be a defective Windows installation CD.)
  3. Thanks for the replies. I am extremely confident that this is a hardware issue. I have updated the Bios, installed all the correct drivers, and it's a very new system and mobo designed for dual core CPU. I have tried different Windows CDs, XP and Vista.

    I also tried updating the driver for "computer" in Device manager, and selecting "ACPI multiprocessor PC". (This is meant to work if you installed Windows with an incorrect HAL). However, as soon as I do this The PC will not boot up, and Windows needs to be repaired / reinstalled. I have tried everything, and the ONLY way to install Windows on this PC, is with the ACPI Uniprocessor HAL.

    So, It's definitely a hardware issue. Ravenware, I thought about replacing the CPU, but I'm concerned that that will be quite expensive and/or fiddly, and isn't guaranteed to be the source of the problem. Isn't it perfectly possible that I'd replace the CPU, only to find that the problem was in fact the with the mobo?

    The main thing that I wanted to check opinions on, is whether there's any reason to mistrust the stabilty of this setup? And if anyone could be kind enough to give a brief rundown comparison of what performance to expect from this "single core" 2.0ghz AMD 64, vs an AMD 64 running on two cores like it's supposed to, vs an older P4 3.0Ghz that would be amazing!

    Thanks so much for the replies :)
  4. Bump...any more thoughts? Thanks!
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