Asus P5B Deluxe Unstable....Frozen BIOS screen, Post Issues etc..

I’m having a lot of instability with my system (listed below). Just to give you a perspective here’s a brief history(with the hardware on my system)-

I put together this system in 2006, and had to get the board repaired/replaced in 2008(don’t know which one) by ASUS because I had this message pop-up “USB Over Current Status Detected, Computer will shut down in 15 seconds " even before I was able to get into the BIOS.

After I got the board back though, I dint use the system much, since I had another system at home. The few times I decided to use this system, I discovered that this board was very unstable- every once in a while, the computer wouldn’t POST!, but after a reset it would(for a few time- sometimes for upto a week I wont have any issues). The other symptom I noticed, was my system would after being reset(or on a soft-reset) tell me that “Over clocking Failed!”, this when I dint have any overclocking set-up!! I did see a lot of posts in all the tech forums talking about this particular issue- but none of them offered a solution.

I do not know if my issues have something to do with my bios settings(maybe because Im using a 1066fsb proc, and a 800Mhz ram which forces the system to choose a 2:3 ratio(on auto)- as reported by cpuZ), or with the board itself- which is where I’d like to get some advise from this forum.

UPDATE: Recently, I noticed that my system freezes WHILE I’m in the bios, what does this issue sound like?

My Config: P5B Deluxe wi-fi/ap rev 1.03G, bios v1238 beta, E6420 @ 2.13Ghz, Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) PC2 6400, Radeon X1950XT 256MB, Thermaltake CL-P0310 120mm CPU Cooling Fan, SAMSUNG SpinPoint T Series HD501LJ 500GB, HITACHI Deskstar T7K500, Antec Performance One P180B Black, Antec True Power Trio TP3-550 550W.
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  1. I'd try downloading the free bootable CD image of memtest86+, burning it as a CD, and booting from that to run memtest86+ through at least a couple of complete passes. You should have no (zero) errors, otherwise you've got a problem with your RAM.
    If that's not it, you might try an OEM or other "downdraft" style CPU cooler that blows air down and out in *all* directions, thus cooling the radiator/PWM area and the heatsink on top of the northbridge. Your Thermaltake, depending on how it is oriented, probably isn't blowing as much air over each of those areas.
  2. reset bios to default settings and leave it like that to test if the problem goes away
  3. Mondoman: Will reset my system, and run memtest86+, and log my results.
    I have the OEM cooler, will try swapping that for the TT- though I must say, my system is well ventilated(3 case cooling fans(2 near the cpu)..+ I had the system lying open for the test- but ill give the oem fan a try anyway.

    xanxaz: It does go away- but only for a little while. sometimes, it goes strong for days before it starts giving trouble again, but at other times, it happens the second(approx-not an exact #) time i restart.

    I did try stripping to the barebone to isolate the issue- but no luck. I also tried an alternate vid card(though they bot are Pcie)... i dont know what else to do... I am going to try taking out evrything and putting it back one at a time once again... dont know if it'll be any different, but its worth a try.
  4. So Mondoman was right- memtest did the trick!! My rams are bad- or are they? thats the question Im trying to answer now - I'd like to know how to read the memtest results to rule out possibilities of "other" factors in the test failures, or in other words, I want to be sure that faulty ram is the cause for the memtest failure.
    So my question is- could things like dram timings used, faulty ram slots, some issue with bios, faulty motherboard etc have played a part in the ram failing the test?

    I did do some more tests to rule out my thoeries("other factors"), Id like your input on if you think these are reason enough for me to assume the RAM to be at fault. Here are the tests I did and their results/observations.

    My ram was running at 5:5:5:18 @ DDR2 799 speed( on Auto), but my Ram's specs are 4:4:4:12... so to rule out bad settings, I set up the ram to run as DDR2 532 which automatically brought down the timings to 4:4:4:12. Memtest still failed.

    I used one(1gb) ram stick at a time, and put them into two different ram slots(of the same channel- dint try channel B yet). Memtest failed.

    Can something in the BIOS(AMI) cause memory to fail? I am using a beta version of the bios(latest avilable) and am using auto settings. I had never run memtest before, so I dont know how these sticks were performing before(my issue with booting).

    THIS is my biggest concern. My warranty expires in like a couple of weeks, and I would like to rule out my mother board being the cause. Short of replacing the ram and retesting, is there any other way for me to determine my MB works properly and that my issue is not related to it?
  5. What's the RAM voltage for the 4:4:4:12 spec? I'm guessing it's higher than the DDR2 standard 1.8V, so your second RAM test doesn't tell you much, but the first (DDR2-800 on auto) should have worked. It could be your RAM that's bad, but given the MB's history, it could be a MB problem as well. The only straightforward way to tell is to try running one stick of known good RAM (that passed memtest86+ on another system) on your MB, or equivalently, running your RAM on another system and having it pass memtest86+ there.
  6. I tested with a (brand new) kingston value ram DDR2 667(PC2-5300), and memtest failed. So before I conclude the Mb as the cause, I wanted to test the CPU(since the cpu+ CPU cache has a significant impact in the memtest tests/results).
    I got a celeron D325j (rated at 533Mhz FSB) from a friend.
    I know the celeron is compatible with P5B Deluxe, but would it be able to run with my current memory stick? My memory is rated for(ddr2 667(PC2-5300), 533(PC2-4200), & 400(PC2-3200) operation). So, if the FSB of the celeron is 533, then the clock is 133(533/4)... and my memory stick would have to run at 266Mhz(at 1:1 ie) - RIGHT?

    Do you know if the Asus can run a 1:2 mem ratio- automatically?

    By the way, I have 2 diff memory modules- 1. Kingston Value Ram DDR2(PC2-5300)
    2. Crucial Ballistix PC2-6400.
  7. The memory bus and CPU FSB are independent -- the memory will run at its speed and the CPU will run at its speed.
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