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New computer peculiar...ness

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  • Homebuilt
  • Systems
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December 19, 2008 2:49:45 PM

Hi, you might remember me from such thread classics as "Sub $300 component" threads in which I solicited advice on building my first PC.

Time has passed, and I have since built my first PC successfully, but I am having some peculiar issues. Just wondering if someone could clear any of these up or have any suggestions what's going on.

Parts: AMD X2 5600+ CPU, ASUS EAH4850 vidyacard, 4GB Corsair DDR2 PC 6400 RAM, and a Foxconn A78AX-S motherboard.

Issues: Sometimes on start-up, no video will display and the motherboard will give one long beep and then two short beeps. Per the Foxconn site, this indicates (obviously) a video issue, but I don't know what fixes it. I will boot the PC 2-3 times and suddenly it will work. Usually there will be a message about incorrect startup and something about overclocking, but I don't have any overclocks.

Video card: The ASUS EAH4850 seems to only run on the drivers provided with it. Any attempt to update it from ASUS support or ATI's drivers causes the system to not recognize the card, as though it had no drivers at all. Also, on startup, I get a "could not load MOM.implementation" error every time.

Memory: Sometimes when running simple programs such as Sound Recorder, I will get errors such as "Not enough memory available to complete the operation," despite Windows recognizing 3.3GB, regardless of what programs I'm running. Is this common, is there a fix to this?

Semi-frequent crashes: Basically only when I play WoW, the game will crash once or twice, and then the Windows interface gets all wonky, colors blur, scrolling "overlaps" images instead of working correctly, but this is fixed immediately upon reboot.

Sound: On-board sound from the motherboard works great with the plantronics headset I have, but when I plug the mic in the sound is extremely soft in games, and I hear a constant humming (only when mic is plugged in). I think this is a configuration issue, any suggestions?

Overall, I'm happy, I just want to see if these small annoyances can be fixed or if any parts are defective. OH--one more thing. The motherboards PCI-E 2.0 16X slot did come with the plastic connector at the end that pushes up over the card broken off--is this vital or related to my problems? Should I RMA it?

Thanks for the help!

More about : computer peculiar ness

a b B Homebuilt system
December 19, 2008 2:53:47 PM

You didn't post what PSU you have. The GPU may not be getting the clean power it needs when running games in 3D mode if you have a cheap PSU.

Have you run memtest86+ overnight to check for memory errors? Have you manually set the RAM timings and voltage to the manufacturers specs in the BIOS?
December 19, 2008 3:13:27 PM

Sorry, I have an OCZ StealthXStream600SXS.

Is that plastic piece on the PCI-E 16x slot anything to lose sleep over?

And I have not run memtest86+, was not actually familiar with it. I have not changed the RAM timings or voltage beyond manufacturers settings, but in BIOS they appear to be in accordance with manufacturers standards.

Oh, the memory issue isn't a "sometimes" thing... it happens every time I run a small program like sound recorder, I can't actually recall it happening on any other program.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 19, 2008 3:19:14 PM

If the GPU isn't fully seated it could be causing these issues. If the motherboard is still under warranty you might as well RMA it. I'd also run memtest86+ to check for RAM errors.
December 19, 2008 6:55:38 PM

I reseated the card and didn't have the problem on start up, but it isn't 100% duplicatable. Time will tell, I suppose.

Ran memtest86+, completed with no errors.

I finally got the ASUS drivers to update for the videocard, so I'll give those a shot in regard to the WoW crashing/performance.
December 19, 2008 7:00:54 PM

Oh, the RAM timings and voltage were all correct.
December 19, 2008 7:24:07 PM

Another person on this site mentioned some motherboards that aren't the most recent builds need to have their bios flashed in order for the HD48XX series cards to work properly. I would google around and see what you can find.
December 19, 2008 8:58:12 PM

Having never flashed a bios before and trying to avoid it, does it make sense that the PC works great sometimes (like now) after a restart, and not all the time?

I'm becoming increasingly suspicious of the video card. Is there a different way to test this? According to GPU-Z it is running at 50 degrees C with the case open under no load... and the stock clock speed is supposed to be 650, yet GPU-Z monitors it at a consistent 500.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 19, 2008 9:07:20 PM

Most video cards run at a slower speed in 2D mode then up their speed in 3D mode to save power when it's not needed. 50C is not a bad temp for a GPU.
December 19, 2008 10:17:52 PM

Alrighty, a little update, maybe this'll help you help me. And I really appreciate all your help so far.

I was attempting to reproduce the problem to see if lights came on the GPU. Turns out the easiest way to reproduce it is to leave the machine off for some period of time and attempt to restart it. It will issue the one long, two short beeps for 3-4 restarts, and then this is the message that comes up:

"Too many cold reset due BIOS POST. System might be incorrectly overkclocked [sic] Press F1 to resume" -- from an American Megatrends screen

When I hit F1, it works like normal as described.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/258480-31-power-fans-... this guy had the same problem, different board, different card. I've reseated everything though and tested my RAM to no avail. :( 

Oh, and my mobo has the most up to date BIOS available for it.
December 20, 2008 4:35:31 PM

Quick bump. I am starting to find posts like my issue on most major hardware sites, many as old as 3-4 years so not connected to my specific equipment which leads me to believe it's a setting.

If it were a hardware issue, would it most likely be the motherboard or the videocard?

Ran Memtest86+ overnight and got 7 passes without errors. ASUS SmartDoctor says nothings wrong with the card.
December 21, 2008 4:18:23 PM

Bump.
!