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New build - hardware easy, software not - drivers / BIOS flashing?

Last response: in Systems
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April 1, 2009 4:54:46 AM

The hardware part of a new build is the easy part...it's the software that's a challenge!

Hardware:
Gigabyte EP45-UD3P
Intel Q9550 Quad core
Corsair HX620W
Corsair DDR2 1066Mhz (2x2GB) PC2-8500CS
Sapphire HD4670 Ultimate
WD velociraptor 300GB
OCZ Vendetta 2 CPU cooler
Asus DVDR

Just starting installing software on a new build on Saturday and getting some blue screens occaisionally...mostly from a cold boot. Restarts, not so much. Not sure if it's a Vista issue but I don't know where to begin. Last night it repeatedly went BSOD, but then today I tested it repeatedly and it took almost a dozen before I got an error. I'm about ready to just do a fresh install (since I'm not that far into it).

I just used the CD for the video card so I'll certainly use the most up to date drivers for that. Was also considering Flashing the BIOS from F6 to F8 but not sure what that will help. NOt sure what else I can do? Please help?

Software installed:
-Windows Vista Home Premium OEM 64bit (SP1)
-all important online updates and most recommended
-Gigabyte drivers and utilites (from CD)
-ATI drivers & Catalyst driver suite (from CD)
-Monitor Driver from CD
-Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007
-Microsoft Vizio 2003
-Adobe Acrobat 7 Pro
-Firefox 3.0
-Google Earth
-iTunes & Quicktime
-HP photosmart driver and utilities


Here's the exact detail from one of the error screens:

Problem signature:
Problem Event Name: BlueScreen
OS Version: 6.0.6001.2.1.0.768.3
Locale ID: 1033

Additional information about the problem:
BCCode: a
BCP1: FFFFFA8026701010
BCP2: 0000000000000002
BCP3: 0000000000000001
BCP4: FFFFF80001EFB3F5
OS Version: 6_0_6001
Service Pack: 1_0
Product: 768_1

Files that help describe the problem:
C:\Windows\Minidump\Mini033009-02.dmp
C:\Users\Richard\AppData\Local\Temp\WER-74178-0.sysdata.xml
C:\Users\Richard\AppData\Local\Temp\WER53CA.tmp.version.txt

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April 1, 2009 5:11:57 AM

Don't just flash a BIOS on a wish. It's always a dice roll, and any particular BIOS flash might brick your board.

Have you verified that your RAM is running at the proper timings and voltage?

To find out what those might be, use CPU-Z. Here also are some other handy and small utilities. (Tiny safe downloads, basic tools)

CPU-Z
Real Temp
HWMonitor

April 1, 2009 6:13:43 AM

There a utility in Vista that checks the RAM and it performed well. From what I can see in the BIOS, the timing and speed is correct. Not sure about the voltage, or even what it's supposed to be...I'll have to look into that. BTW, I haven't touched any clocking and most likely won't. Everything (CPU, GPU, RAM, etc) is at the default.

My first thought is that it's the video card drivers. I remember having to make sure I had the most up to date when I put an ATI card in an XP system years ago.

There's something kinda funny about the Gigabyte board that made me think about updating the BIOS. There's a utility for overclocking and monitoring called Easy Tune 6. EVERY time during boot up, it asked for permission to continue in Vista. REALLY anoying, but I think that might be a Vista issue and not Gigabyte.

Those are some nice apps!...I may use one of them to monitor data instead of the Easy Tune 6 since I don't need to overclock. Which reminds me of another issue...the SYS_FAN2 header doesn't seem to work on my board. I actually have the front fan plugged into the PWR_FAN header. Again, anoying, but not enough to take the board out...and especially the CPU heatsink and the push pin mounting! But could that be a BIOS issue too?
Related resources
April 1, 2009 10:17:35 AM

Ram testing utilities only detect faulty RAM. They aren't much good at detecting under-volted RAM.

I'm not stabbing in the dark here. Motherboards do not correctly adjust RAM settings. Under-voltage is the primary cause of BSOD in new builds.
April 1, 2009 12:18:20 PM

Most motherboards will not correctly identify and set up 1066 memory.
This is a common problem. Before you do anything else, follow the advice given here and check your RAM settings, especially the voltage in your BIOS. More often than not, this is the problem. The symptoms you are having are EXACTLY what undervolted memory will do.
April 1, 2009 1:19:01 PM

jitpublisher said:
Most motherboards will not correctly identify and set up 1066 memory.
This is a common problem. Before you do anything else, follow the advice given here and check your RAM settings, especially the voltage in your BIOS. More often than not, this is the problem. The symptoms you are having are EXACTLY what undervolted memory will do.


That is correct..... If I am not mistaken the voltage for that Corsair memory is 2.1V for it to be run @1066....... check it in the bios.....
April 2, 2009 5:12:32 AM

This place is great! The voltage is indeed supposed to be 2.2V (from Corsair's website).

But what about all the other settings? Now I'm concerned that "auto" isn't good enough for many of the BIOS settings. ANy recommendations? Is there some kind of software or tool that will tell me what the standard settings in the BIOS should be without overclocking

I also noticed that my CPU host frequency was set at 266 instead of 333
I also set the (G)MCH frequency Latch from auto to 333.
April 2, 2009 7:18:54 AM

Welcome to the world of "auto" BIOS settings.

I seldom use auto settings. You just do not know what the system is doing.
April 2, 2009 7:24:16 AM

Much of what is in your BIOS can be left on defaults, as long as there are no issues.

GENERAL CPU and RAM settings are the two things to always check up front.

I'm not sure about Gigabyte, but I've never had to touch my CPU or NB voltage on my ASUS board. It handled my 20% OC like a dream, left on auto. Modern P45 boards are pretty nice.
April 2, 2009 6:53:47 PM

I have mushkin 1.8 v ram and my board autos it fine, so you guys know (pc6400). The cpu is also fine stock @3.17
!