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Bad Checksum Continually...

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July 1, 2009 9:51:11 AM

Hello,

Just want to see if anyone has any info on this problem. A few months ago, I purchased and installed a new video card, memory and power supply into my computer. Since then, occasionally when watching video online, the movie will just freeze, no encoding corruption, just a freeze of the video. The mouse will still respond and buttons, links, etc. on the current webpage will be clickable. However, no matter what you click, the current page will remain onscreen. Upon attempting to close the browser, the window will become semi-transparent and will not allow you to minimize. Although everthing will be clickable and appear to function (ie. hourglass cursor), nothing will actually load. The only alternative is to hit CTRL-ALT-DELETE. Upon doing this, the computer goes to a black screen, which remains until rebooting the computer. Upon rebooting, the computer will not POST.

I have found through experimentation that when this happens, I can pull out one of my 2 MB Dual Channel sticks of memory. The computer will then POST with a bad checksum, forcing you to go into BIOS at least one time (and to set the time and date, which oviously are bogus). Then, I can simply add the memory back into the computer and it will boot and run normally. Until I watch something online again, then it will happen all over again, apparently at random.

I recently attributed this to the power supply, as it was a cheap Logisys model that would overheat like I've never experienced. Yesterday I just installed an OCZ 600W Modxstream, which is supposed to be a good quality power supply (and for almost 100 bucks, it had better be). All yesterday, I watched videos and nothing happened. I thought my dilemma was fixed. Alas, about an hour ago, it happened again. The thing to note is, I have several videos actually on my computer, which I can watch with no problem. They don't lock up ever. Seems to only be a problem with streamed video. I am wondering if maybe the old power supply could have somehow corrupted my BIOS chip on the motherboard (due to heat, bad voltage, etc..) and maybe that is why I am experiencing these things. I am remiss to blame it on the video card, as it runs games and everything else perfectly. Just streamed video causing the lock-ups. Any suggestions? If anyone needs anymore info, just post and I'll be happy to provide what I can. Thanks.

By the way, the mainboard in question is not a particularly top of the line one, and somewhat old (but no more than a few years, not ancient( I will list it here in case anyone has knowledge of this particular model which could be a factor (which I severely doubt, as it only started after the above mentioned upgrade) it is an ECS K8M890M-M.
a c 98 V Motherboard
July 1, 2009 1:59:04 PM

the checksum error is probably because you pull the ram out

the problem doesnt occur until you wath download video which suggests your hardware functions correctly .


So its a software problem .

Does it matter which web browser you use to watch video? If you are using IE then try firefox or google chrome or anything else .
Does the problem still happen?

July 1, 2009 10:26:30 PM

Thanks, I have Firefox installed and although I have used it in the past, I can't specifically remember if this problem happened only with IE or also occurred with Firefox. What led me against blaming software is the simple fact that at the time of upgrade, I had did a complete reformat and install of the OS and all other software. Since this happened no more than a few hours later, it led me to think in hardware terms. But thanks for the suggestion. I will load up Firefox for a while and see if it can be duplicated.

EDIT: As I think about, I severely doubt a software failure would lock my computer up, then upon rebooting, cause it not to even POST without first removing a stick of RAM and replacing it.
Related resources
July 1, 2009 10:49:45 PM

Probably bad ram. Make sure you set the ram to manufacturer specs and then test it with memtest86+
July 1, 2009 11:04:11 PM

That's the thing. Can't test it with memtest, as I am using Vista 64-bit and memtest will not install, much less run on a 64-bit OS. I have ways around this, such as popping my RAM into my girlfriend's computer and running memtest from hers, but due to the hassle involved, I am trying other things first. If anyone knows of an equivalent extensive memory tester that runs on 64-bit OS's, please share.
July 1, 2009 11:10:54 PM

no, use memtest86+. google it. It's a boot able cd.
July 1, 2009 11:37:18 PM

That's what I downloaded. It wouldn't let me run the installer. Is there a binary version that could be burned to a floppy/CD?
July 2, 2009 1:09:29 AM

Thanks, I'll burn this and give it a whirl. Will post results ASAP.
July 2, 2009 2:34:11 AM

Ok, after reading the readme of this memtest, I have concluded that this memory test is almost virtually useless, as in if you receive errors, it is STILL not a guarantee that the memory is causing it. To me, that seems a waste of time. What are the benefits of running this as opposed to simple switching out new hardware? I'm not saying I'm not going to run it, just saying that it is pointless, as I know there is something wrong with my system and I know I will get errors. This will simply confirm what I already know. This will not guarantee me that those errors are memory related. The readme says that bad processor, motherboard, etc could lead to errors, which kind of makes this test obsolete when you already know there is a problem with one of the above mentioned components. This leads me to believe that there is no sure proof way to isolate hardware failure by software alone. Or, if there is, it is a closely guarded secret (ie. lack of software diagnostics = hundreds of dollars spent on components that are NOT the root of the problem)
July 2, 2009 3:05:16 AM

No, there is no sure fire way without very expensive test equiptment, run your browser and watch your video with one ram module pulled out, then swap it with the other(s). If it behaves then it is most likely one of three things in the following order of likelihood:

bad ram module
chipsets sometimes have bugs running multiple ram banks
or lastly, power supply load is causing the power supply voltages to dip.

other than that you need a multi thousand dollar ram tester. you could just part with 20 bucks or so and buy a decent power supply tester from a place like newegg as a starting point. keep it in your "toolbox" for future builds too !

you could also try lowering your ram timings if the computer lets you, especially if the ram modules are different brands. Some older via chipsets just did not like having more than 2 slots full either, no matter what, I owned one such kt600 based board.
July 2, 2009 4:36:45 AM

Thanks for those suggestions, royalcrown, and although I have tried most of them or they simply aren't relevent, they are informative well-thought out replies, nonetheless. Next week, I plan to buy a new motherboard, processor and memory anyhow, I was just dying to find out what the problem was for knowledge purposes. Running memtest to me, seems fruitless, as I already know there is a problem. As I have just bought a new, $100 PSU as stated above, I severely doubt it is PSU related, other than if the old PSU caused a problem that is now persistent with a new PSU, such as bad voltage to the BIOS chip, overheating of certain chips, due to its poor performance, etc... I guess I'll find out next week, since the components I plan to buy are compatible with the components I now own. I'll be able to swap certain things out to try and find the original culprit. The only thing I don't look forward is the complete randomness of the issue occurring. Could take mere minutes, hours or eve days for it to decide to lock up. We'll see. By no means is this issue resolved, so if anyone has any other suggestions, feel free to post. I love hearing others suggestions. Especially well-thought out ones like royalcrowns above. Thanks.

EDIT: Pertaining to the single RAM module you mentioned above, I have tried both DIMMS, one at a time and have not been able to duplicate the crash, but due to it's random nature, this is not to say that it definitely isn't the issue, just that I haven't been able to duplicate it with each stick singularly installed. This suggests a memory bank on my computer, which I simply cannot compromise seeing as I only have two in the first place. I am currently looking at mobos and processor now to replace my current one, so all should be well soon. Would simply like to know for sure what has been causing this behavior.
July 2, 2009 4:49:23 AM

memtest can at least tell you what ram bank it is if there is a bad bank or module, so you'd at least have an idea IF some ram happened to be bad. While memtest can point to a ram error to be sure, you do in fact need a dedicated ram tester. Another thought it that it could be a corrupt file or memory leak.

http://www.simmtester.com/
http://www.memorytesters.com/

the fact that you have to get a price emailed to you should tell you it costas a lot :) 

It may just be that your current mobo doesn't like both slots filled due to electrical loading issues.
July 2, 2009 5:44:21 AM

Thanks royal, although I higjly doubt that is the issue, as I ran two dual channel chips in this same mobo with no problem. The only difference between these ones and those ones are the size, they were 2x1 GB and now I am using 2x 2GB chips. If this continues to baffle me and I am that determined, I might rip my girlfriend's PC apart and snatch those up and run some tests with them and see if the issue reappears. Then again, as I am upgrading in a week or so, I just might not waste the time. Depends upon my mood/pursuit of knowledge.

However, little bit of a breakthrough here. Although I knew my BIOS was up to date, on a whim, I decided to reflash it anyhow. Upon doing so and rebooting, same problem happened. No POST. After the method described in original post, it booted up, forcing me to go into BIOS and reset the date and time, etc... Upon browsing through the options, I noticed an option entitled BIOS Protect. After getting everything up and running, I rebooted into BIOS again and set this to Enabled. Now, it is only a matter of time to see if the next time it locks up, if it will overwrite the BIOS as well. Just thought I'd share this to anyone who is interested.
July 2, 2009 6:29:33 AM

mundodragon, if you know so much why do you bother coming here to ask for help?

As already explained, memtest is the best free RAM diags out there. No, it won't 'install'' as it needs its own environment to do its work. So you need to burn the .iso file to a CD or a DVD. Look for Alex Feinman's ISO Burner that will help.

Other tools that should be a part of any hobbyist's toolkit are prime95, and Ultimate boot CD as well as a good DVM.

You did not mention what PSU or brand of RAM that you bought, so I hope you make better choices in your upcoming purchases.

Personally, I am not a 'hobbyist'. I have many k's worth of test equipment, but I still carry the above tools in my DVD wallet. For someone that doesn't even qualify as a noob to say that memtest is useless and a waste of time just makes me chuckle...
July 2, 2009 6:33:55 AM

hey UBUNTU cd has memtest built in FYI guys...just burn a free copy of ubuntu if you want memtest :) 
July 2, 2009 6:43:17 AM

royalcrown said:
hey UBUNTU cd has memtest built in FYI guys...just burn a free copy of ubuntu if you want memtest :) 


And it's also on the UBCD. The problem seems to be that the OP doesn't know how to burn an ISO file.....
July 3, 2009 12:56:11 AM

croc said:
mundodragon, if you know so much why do you bother coming here to ask for help?

As already explained, memtest is the best free RAM diags out there. No, it won't 'install'' as it needs its own environment to do its work. So you need to burn the .iso file to a CD or a DVD. Look for Alex Feinman's ISO Burner that will help.

Other tools that should be a part of any hobbyist's toolkit are prime95, and Ultimate boot CD as well as a good DVM.

You did not mention what PSU or brand of RAM that you bought, so I hope you make better choices in your upcoming purchases.

Personally, I am not a 'hobbyist'. I have many k's worth of test equipment, but I still carry the above tools in my DVD wallet. For someone that doesn't even qualify as a noob to say that memtest is useless and a waste of time just makes me chuckle...


@ croc

I apologize for the misconception. I was, in no way, trying to imply that memtest was useless. I was merely stating that it was impractical for my current needs, as I alreadyknew there was a problem and memtest would siply verify that. I can see clearly the applications where it would be an invaluable tool. It just doesn't fit my current needs. But I do have it on the shelf and will more than likely use it in the future. Thanks and sorry for the confusion. As for the brand of PSU, I thought I listed the original as being a cheap Logisys brand and the upgrade as an OCZ ModXstream 600W. But obviously that was elsewhere. As for the memory, I cannot remember the exact brand ofhand, as I don't memorize, like some, the complete specs of my comp, but I can tell you it was not top of the line, nor was it scraping the botton of the bin barrel. Just average memory.

As an update, after setting the BIOS Protect flag in my BIOS, I have not been able to duplicate the problem after hours of loading up and watching streamed videos online. This is not to say that all is well, however, as it can occur quite randomly. Only time will tell, but as of now, all appears to be in order.

As for my not knowing how to burn an ISO, that is not the case. I simply wasn't aware that an ISO file existed until pointed elsewhere. Upon a search for memtest, all I came up with was a batch file to make a bootable floppy which would not run on my OS. Why I am even defending myself from a comment eludes me, but alas, this is the internet and everyone is entitled to their opinion of another. Sadly, most go to no lengths to make that opinion known.

As for UBUNTU, what exactly is that. I have heard ofit and from the brief things that I have heard, I surmised it to be some type of operating system, would I be correct in this assumption? Again, thanks for the positive feedback on this issue. Alweays appreciated.
July 4, 2009 8:28:08 AM

Yes it is an operating system based of linux. The cd image you download is bootable, you can run it of the cd to test it when you boot or install it. Now when it boots up and asks you what you want to do, one of the options is MEMTEST :D . It doesent install anything without asking or fool with partitions so you can just use it for the memtest, or play with it for fun if you want.

http://www.ubuntu.com/

July 4, 2009 10:35:48 AM

Cool, thanks. I'll give it a whirl. :) 

By the way, sorry to jump off subject here, but I just downloaded the release candidate of Windows 7 and was considering giving it a try. Have you tried this and if so, what do you think of it? Although I understand the purpose of a release candidate is to test the system, why even bother unless I get something out of it, like a stable, new operating environment to play with. :)  Is it worth it to install or should I just pass it by. Thanks.
July 4, 2009 3:42:33 PM

I like it a lot better than vista except for the ugler taskbar, and the "homegroup" concept, runs a lot better than vista and seems to have drivers for most everything, very stable on my system. No dx10 if you need it though.
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