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GA-P35-DS3L frustrating problem?

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July 17, 2009 8:22:43 PM

My Specs:

Windows 7 - 7077 beta build
GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX All Solid Capacitor Intel Motherboard
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 Conroe 2.66GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
XFX PVT98GYDLU GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200AAKS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB
COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-WW Black/Silver Aluminum Bezel, SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

So, I had some weird things going on with my computer lately. I used to be running 4gb of my G.Skill RAM. I bought 4 more and that is where my troubles began. (Mobo CAN support 8gb of RAM) When I put 8gb in, my computer acts very strange. Most of the time, the computer just starts a never ending restart cycle. I usually get past the windows loading screen, a BSOD for a half a second, then it restarts again. Yesterday, after the windows loading screen, it just stopped at a black screen and windows did not boot.

So, I gave up trying to put 8gb of RAM into it. Even then, I still have issues. I seem to run into the most problems when my computer tries to wake up from sleep. Usually, when it wakes up, my GPU fan is loud for about 3 seconds, then dies down and my computer wakes up. Many times, i try to wake up my computer, the components turn on, but my 9800 GeForce fan is very loud and and will not die down. Nothing shows up on my monitor and I sits like that until I turn off my computer. When I try to turn it back on, my GPU fan still doesn't die down and nothing shows up on the screen. The only way I am able to start my computer again is I shift both of my sticks of RAM to the opposite slots. Then my computer works just fine until it happens again (about once a week).

I did a memory test and my RAM appears to be working fine. I have tried some other A-Data RAM, and the same problem happens. So I dont think its the RAM.

I think it is my Mobo. Would BIOS updates or firmware help this problem? Any input would be great. Thanks!

a b V Motherboard
July 17, 2009 8:34:04 PM

Regarding the attempt to run 8GB of RAM - are you using Windows 64? Windows 32 (whatever version - Vista, 7, XP) will only recognize up to 4 GB and the amount shown is usually closer to 3.2 GB even with 4 GB in pc.

I am not sure why the problem continues after you corrected this tho.
What version of bios are you using? Did you flash the bios to update? If so how? If so, did you go into bios and tell it to load default settings?

How long after you completed build did you try to increase memory? I am trying to understand if you used computer awhile without the sleep problem and it is really related to adding more memory - or only seems that way.

Have you tried turning off the sleep setting in power management to see if that eliminates the problem - e,g, if it never goes to sleep do you never have the problem reoccur?

I have a P35-DS3L mobo but am not familiar with the 9800GT. How is the fan speed controlled? Which mobo fan power connector is it connected to? Is it set for manual or auto?

When you do a cold boot is the fan loud for three seconds or only when waking up from sleep? If the former, it might indicate that it is not really a fan issue but a startup issue.
a c 177 V Motherboard
July 17, 2009 9:53:47 PM

Assuming it's all the same model number RAM, do the following:

Get a copy a copy of MemTest86+:
http://home.att.net/~chip.programm [...] 1a.iso.zip
Unzip it to an .iso, and burn it to a CD - makes a bootable RAM tester...

Take out all the RAM, and unplug any USB devices other than keyboard; place one stick of RAM in slot 'DDRII1" (closest to the CPU)...
Power up, hit <DEL> to enter the BIOS, select "Load Optimized Defaults":


Reboot, hit <DEL> to enter the BIOS, select "Advanced BIOS Features" page;
Set "CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E)" and "CPU EIST Function" to "Disabled";
select "First Boot Device" and set to "CDROM";
exit back to the main BIOS page, select "Integrated Peripherals" page;
set "Legacy USB storage detect" to "Disabled"
load the CD we made above into the drive;
do an <F10> BIOS "Save & Exit";
on the reboot, MemTest will run and check your stick of memory...

Let it run at least one complete pass;
if it fails - you've found your problem;
if it passes, power down, remove the stick of RAM and replace it with one of the other ones;
power up and run MemTest as above - until all four sticks are tested...

If they all test OK:
power up, again hit <DEL> to enter the BIOS again, select "MB Intelligent Tweaker(M.I.T.)" page;
set "Robust Graphics Booster to "Auto"
set "Performance Enhance" to "Standard"
set "System Voltage Control" to "Manual"
set "DR2 OverVoltage Control" to "+0.1"
set "(G)MCH OverVoltage Control" to "+0.1"
do an <F10> BIOS "Save & Exit";
power down;
re-install all your RAM;
power up;
(hopefully) should work at this point...

problems or questions - feel free to post back - I try to grab stuff and respond within an hour if at all possible
Related resources
July 17, 2009 10:56:16 PM

Quote:
You mean you switched out the 4 1gb sticks of g-skill for 4 2gb sticks of g-skill and your having problems? or are you mixing ram?



At first, I had 2 sticks of 2gb, giving me 4gb total. (2 of the 4 slots used) I bought the exact same G.Skill RAM to increase it to 8gb. So yeah, I am not mixing my RAM.

If I have anything more than 4gb, my computer will not boot up.
a b V Motherboard
July 17, 2009 11:02:18 PM

When filling all memory banks on a motherboard, you often have to increase the RAM voltage or relax the timing (CAS) a bit (both done in the BIOS). This is because the rated voltage and timing given to a dual-kit is for that dual kit used alone; when adding another dual kit, it puts more strain on the memory controller.
July 17, 2009 11:05:40 PM

rockyjohn said:
Regarding the attempt to run 8GB of RAM - are you using Windows 64? Windows 32 (whatever version - Vista, 7, XP) will only recognize up to 4 GB and the amount shown is usually closer to 3.2 GB even with 4 GB in pc.

I am not sure why the problem continues after you corrected this tho.
What version of bios are you using? Did you flash the bios to update? If so how? If so, did you go into bios and tell it to load default settings?

How long after you completed build did you try to increase memory? I am trying to understand if you used computer awhile without the sleep problem and it is really related to adding more memory - or only seems that way.

Have you tried turning off the sleep setting in power management to see if that eliminates the problem - e,g, if it never goes to sleep do you never have the problem reoccur?

I have a P35-DS3L mobo but am not familiar with the 9800GT. How is the fan speed controlled? Which mobo fan power connector is it connected to? Is it set for manual or auto?

When you do a cold boot is the fan loud for three seconds or only when waking up from sleep? If the former, it might indicate that it is not really a fan issue but a startup issue.


I am running 64bit W7. I''m not at my desktop right now, so I dont know what version of bios I am using. I do know I have not updated them (I don't really know the process).

When I first built the computer, I was running it on 2gb (2x1gb) of Adata RAM. I had no problems at this point. Then I got 4gb more of Adata (2x2gb) giving me 6gb total. Then the problems started. I thought it was the RAM and got my money back for the 4gb RAM I got and then I switched to 4gb of G.Skill, then got the same RAM again to give me 8. (2gbx4 sticks)

So my computer is only stable with 2gb of RAM. If I have 4gb, it has a hard time starting up. When I have 8gb, it won't boot.

Im assuming my GPU fan speed is set to auto. My GPU fan is always loud for 3 seconds when I wake it up AND when I restart it. According to the Newegg reviews, this is normal thing for the first few seconds of booting.
July 17, 2009 11:07:48 PM


Thanks bilbat. I'll try this as soon and see if this works.
a c 177 V Motherboard
July 17, 2009 11:32:09 PM

Quote:
I dont know what version of bios I am using. I do know I have not updated them (I don't really know the process).


Bios rev is here:


I would post the current version of your board's BIOS, but the effing Gigabyte product page at:
http://www.gigabyte-usa.com/Products/Motherboard/Produc...
has been 'stuck' now, for twenty minutes, unable to load off the old Apple IIe w/16K of RAM and a 300 baud modem that GB uses to host their web site!
[edit] Your CPU has been supported since F2:
http://www.gigabyte-usa.com/Support/Motherboard/CPUSupp...
Current BIOS is F9, here:
http://www.gigabyte-usa.com/Support/Motherboard/BIOS_Mo...
Someone noted a few days back that there are known issues with F9, and suggested F8b{beta} which I've posted to RapidShare here:
http://rapidshare.com/files/257042468/motherboard_bios_...



Meantime, whichever, the overall technique is thus:

Quote:
To flash the latest BIOS: I must point out here, that there is inherent risk in this. If, say, the power goes out during the process, or your CPU isn't supported properly by the existing BIOS, there's always the possibility that you could 'brick' the board, i.e., turn it into something only suitable to prop open a door... However, with proper technique, the odds of success are very high - and, short of having @BIOS 'die' in the middle of a flash, the built-in recovery stuff (dual or quad BIOS, XpressRecovery, etc.) is very good. I have dumped my BIOS twice (due to a corrupted file) and both times my board simply reverted to the 'as shipped' BIOS, and continued to work fine.

You will wind up downloading a file named "motherboard_bios_ga-p35-ds3l_f9.exe"{"motherboard_bios_ga-p35-ds3l_f8b_beta.exe" for the beta}; easiest way to do it is to create a folder on your desktop, named, say "NewBIOS", and put the .exe into it. Then, open it, and run the .exe; it will extract to three files: "P35DS3L.F9"{"p35ds3l.f8b" beta} (the actual BIOS binary), "FLASHSPI.EXE" (the BIOS 'flasher' executable), and "autoexec.bat", which can be used to make a bootable, self-loading BIOS flasher disk.

There are a few variations of three basic methods to flash the BIOS. One is the included, windows/inet based utility "@BIOS"; NEVER use this! BIOS flashing has its own risks built-in; you really don't want the possibility of a windoze crash added to them. Every time I post this, someone, without fail, will pop up and say "I use it all the time" (which usually amounts to, maybe, twice), or "I've never had a problem" (once); my response is that you can play Russian Roulette, too, and live to tell about it; you can pull the trigger once, and just get a 'click'; maybe the second time, also - but by the third pull, the odds are stacking up against you, and if you keep pulling that trigger, you will blow your brains out!

The easiest WAY: "<F8> Access the Q-Flash utility" from the main BIOS page, and avoids having to rely on a loaded OS to work correctly to do the flash. If you have a floppy drive, copy the P35DS3L.F9"{"p35ds3l.f8b" beta} file to an empty floppy, reboot, hit <DEL> to enter the BIOS, hit <F8> to enter the flasher, the first place it will look for the new BIOS is, I believe, the floppy - select the file - it will verify the file, flash, verify the flash, and offer you a keystroke to exit the utility and reboot... If you don't have a floppy, put the file on a USB keydrive, enter the flash utility, and navigate to it; if it doesn't seem 'reachable', you may have to reboot, enter the BIOS, and go to the "Integrated Peripherals" page to enable "Legacy USB storage detect" - remember to disable this after the flash, as it is known to cause wierd problems, including the dreaded "reboot loop"...

Last, but not least, a 'bootable' flasher; if you have a floppy, this is only a little more complicated (but I don't see a real need for it - the BIOS' built-in facility is more reliable, easier, and, if your system is so cooked that it won't enter the BIOS, it's damned unlikely to boot anything)... You need to start out in widows, and format a floppy, checking the "create an MS-DOS startup disk" box; then, open the disk, and erase everything but command.com and msdos.sys to make room for the BIOS goodies; copy the three files your BIOS expanded to, to the disk. Next, a reboot, and a <DEL> to enter the BIOS - go to the "Advanced BIOS Features" page, and set "First Boot Device" to "Floppy", put the floppy we created into the drive, save and exit - on the reboot, the flasher should autoload and 'do' the BIOS; be sure to give it enough time to finish - rebooting during the process (and for some versions of the utility, it doeasn't give you a lot of feedback!) puts your MOBO 'at risk'... If you don't have a floppy, and want to create a bootable USB 'flasher', post back - that gets a little more complex, and I'd like to limit the 'scope' here.

No matter how you've done it, the very first thing to do, after booting to your brand-spanking-new BIOS is to do an "<F7> Load the Optimized BIOS default settings", or simply cursor to it and select it, and then re-boot again; if you still have troubles, try the "<F6> Load the Fail-Safe BIOS default settings" likewise...


I will check back and correct the file names cited above, if and when Gigabyte's ^%$* &$%# web pages start loading!
[edit] finally got 'em - twenty minutes per page!
a c 177 V Motherboard
July 18, 2009 1:58:50 AM

see [edits] above...
a b V Motherboard
July 19, 2009 4:41:18 AM

Bilbat - re Gigabyte site - I sometimes have problems opening their site with IE and then I switch to Firefox and it opens right up. Course I have no idea what browser you are using. Just a thought in case it might be relevant.
a c 177 V Motherboard
July 19, 2009 2:13:29 PM

Interesting - I will certainly give this a try next time it happens (and there will be a next time, their server is good for about three episodes per week...)
a b V Motherboard
July 19, 2009 5:41:07 PM

smeyer - make sure you keep a record of all your bios changes. As bilbat noted above, when you reinstall your bios you need to go in and select "optimize BIOS defautl settings". And after that, you need to re-input any of the manual changes you made to optimize performance. Also if you come back a year from now and have to deal with other bios issues, it might be helpful to have a log of the changes (including prior settings that you later changed) to facilitate troubleshooting any new problems.
a b V Motherboard
July 19, 2009 5:57:03 PM

To repeat my earlier question - have you tried turning off sleep mode and if so does the problem completly disappear since computer never goes to sleep?

I am trying to understand how switching the memory sockets could have any impact on the GPU fan. How many times have you repeated the fix of switching the memory? Are you sure that is what fixes it since you are also (I assume - lol) switching off the computer before changing the memory. When you tonly urn off the computer to try to affect the fan - this is a cold restart right? Have you ever tried 5 or 6 cold restarts in a row before resorting to switching channels? Does switching channels fix it every time you swap - or only when you swap in one direction?
July 20, 2009 6:53:09 AM

bilbat said:
Assuming it's all the same model number RAM, do the following:

Get a copy a copy of MemTest86+:
http://home.att.net/~chip.programm [...] 1a.iso.zip
Unzip it to an .iso, and burn it to a CD - makes a bootable RAM tester...

Take out all the RAM, and unplug any USB devices other than keyboard; place one stick of RAM in slot 'DDRII1" (closest to the CPU)...
Power up, hit <DEL> to enter the BIOS, select "Load Optimized Defaults":
http://img212.imageshack.us/img212/3499/0015h.jpg

Reboot, hit <DEL> to enter the BIOS, select "Advanced BIOS Features" page;
Set "CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E)" and "CPU EIST Function" to "Disabled";
select "First Boot Device" and set to "CDROM";
exit back to the main BIOS page, select "Integrated Peripherals" page;
set "Legacy USB storage detect" to "Disabled"
load the CD we made above into the drive;
do an <F10> BIOS "Save & Exit";
on the reboot, MemTest will run and check your stick of memory...

Let it run at least one complete pass;
if it fails - you've found your problem;
if it passes, power down, remove the stick of RAM and replace it with one of the other ones;
power up and run MemTest as above - until all four sticks are tested...

If they all test OK:
power up, again hit <DEL> to enter the BIOS again, select "MB Intelligent Tweaker(M.I.T.)" page;
set "Robust Graphics Booster to "Auto"
set "Performance Enhance" to "Standard"
set "System Voltage Control" to "Manual"
set "DR2 OverVoltage Control" to "+0.1"
set "(G)MCH OverVoltage Control" to "+0.1"
do an <F10> BIOS "Save & Exit";
power down;
re-install all your RAM;
power up;
(hopefully) should work at this point...

problems or questions - feel free to post back - I try to grab stuff and respond within an hour if at all possible


Ok. So I found something interesting and I hope it is the problem. I ran memtest on each stick in a different slot. On the last one I tried, within a few seconds of the memtest, a huge list of errors popped up. The list was growing so fast I couldnt write down all the info. I didn't even do a full pass with memtest, because I knew there were problems. I tried the errored stick if a couple of different slots and each time, it failed the memtest within seconds. I guess the windows one didn't pick up on it. Anyway, so I put all 4 sticks in and I got errors (not surprising). The error count finally stopped and this some data I got:

tst: 2
pass: 0
failing address: 001fbbed9d0
good: 00000000
bad: ff000000
Error bits: ff000000
Count: 1006

(This was just one of many (maybe a hundred?) errors listed in the memtest.

So as of now, I'm keeping that stick out. I will see if I have any more sleeping problems. If I do, I'll be sure to let you know. I guess I'll be contacting G.skill and hopefully get a replacement. As of now, my computer is running 6gb, and seems stable for now. I ran a memtest on those 6gb and it checks out fine (although I'll run it again tonight so I can go through multiple passes) How many passes do you recommend to know everything checks out? Thanks for the help! You saved my life, Bilbat!
a b V Motherboard
July 20, 2009 3:14:49 PM

You should run memtest for 8 hours solid - usually done overnight - to prove out the memory.
a c 177 V Motherboard
July 20, 2009 3:29:01 PM

I think you'll find G.Skill to be an example of what product support should be; I've never gotten a part that was bad enough to RMA (i.e., met spec, just not my spec); but I have availed myself of their help with pushing the limits, and I've found them to be knowledgeable, helpful, friendly, and, both times, native English speaking!
!