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System won't boot after overclocking FSB

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December 16, 2010 4:56:33 PM

I recently bought a new motherboard (Gigabyte GA-G31M-ES2L) so I would be able to replace my two 1GB 800MHz memory modules with two 2GB 1066MHz ones. The motherboard says it accepts 1066MHz modules in overclocked mode.

After changing the BIOS settings, one of three things happens:

  • after the POST screen, the system freezes or

  • after the POST screen, the system reboots or

  • I get a message saying that Windows can't be started because of a hardware error.


    I used the following settings (slightly overclocking the 2.50GHz E5200 CPU):

      Robust Graphics Booster              [Auto]
      CPU Clock Ratio                       [10x]
      Fine CPU Clock Ratio                   +0.0
      CPU Frequency            2.80GHz (266x10.5)
      CPU Host CLock Control            [Enabled]
      CPU Host Frequency (Mhz)              [266]
      PCI Express frequency (Mhz)          [Auto]
      Performance Enhance              [Standard]
      System Memory Multipliere (SPD)      [Auto]
      Memory Frequency (Mhz)     800   1066
      ******** System Voltage Optimized ********
      System Voltage Control               [Auto]
    x DDR2 OverVoltage Control             Normal
    x FSB OverVoltage Control              Normal
    x CPU Voltage Control                  Normal
    x Normal CPU Vcore                   1.16250V


    'x' indicates values which can't be changed (dependent on other settings). I also tried other multipliers, e.g. 10 (2.66GHz), but even if I UNDERclock the CPU, e.g. with a multiplier of 8 (2.13GHz), the computer won't boot. At this setting I just get a column of letter 'H's after the POST screen.

    The other thing is that now one of my hard drives is making ominous clicking noises. The same thing happened with my previous system drive (160GB) after I incorrectly installed the 1066MHz memory in the board which I had at the time, which was only built for memory speeds of 667 or 800 MHz. At that time I was getting more and more sector errors all the time, and the system was just getting slower and slower each time I rebooted, until I replaced the hard drive with a newer one, as well as replacing the faster memory with the one I had previously been using. I think now it might be my second oldest drive (300GB) which is on its way out too.

    What am I doing wrong? I have never done any overclocking before, so I need some advice from someone who is more experienced.
    a b V Motherboard
    a b à CPUs
    December 16, 2010 5:19:02 PM

    You'll want to reset your CMOS and start over. (either via removing the motherboard battery for 5 or so minutes or by using the CMOS clear jumper on the motherboard)

    It sounds like your problem is with the ram frequency. Overclocking your "host" (FSB/Reference) messes with everything. Your CPU should be okay though.
    There should be a means in your BIOS to adjust your ram frequency.

    Your CPU probably works fine with that ram on its normal frequency, or OC'd to a certain extent (usually about 1200Mhz) but when the ram goes much higher it's probably not going to like it.

    How high can you put the multiplier on your CPU? it may be safer to just use that in combination with a much milder FSB OC.
    December 16, 2010 5:42:56 PM

    Thanks for the quick reply.

    I set the RAM multiplier to 'auto'. The highest setting for adjusting it manually is 4x, which would give me 1066MHz with the FSB clocked at 266MHz (through the 'System Memory multiplier (SPD)' setting). Should I try that? I wouldn't have thought though that the 'auto' setting would have used a higher value than that.

    I can however use any value for the FSB – not just 200 or 266MHz, but anything inbetween. Maybe I should use 220MHz and a RAM multiplier of 5 (=1100MHz), and a CPU multiplier of 11.5 (2.53GHz)?

    And can I clear the CMOS by choosing 'Apply default settings' in the BIOS menu, or do I have to do it by removing the battery or using the jumper :? This is very confusing to me, not even sure if I'm making some logical error here.

    Related resources
    December 16, 2010 5:44:10 PM

    Damn that wouldn't work, would it, because the highest multiplier for the system memory is 4, not 5 .... :( 
    a b V Motherboard
    a b à CPUs
    December 16, 2010 6:03:28 PM

    jbrighton said:
    Thanks for the quick reply.

    I set the RAM multiplier to 'auto'. The highest setting for adjusting it manually is 4x, which would give me 1066MHz with the FSB clocked at 266MHz (through the 'System Memory multiplier (SPD)' setting). Should I try that? I wouldn't have thought though that the 'auto' setting would have used a higher value than that.

    I can however use any value for the FSB – not just 200 or 266MHz, but anything inbetween. Maybe I should use 220MHz and a RAM multiplier of 5 (=1100MHz), and a CPU multiplier of 11.5 (2.53GHz)?

    And can I clear the CMOS by choosing 'Apply default settings' in the BIOS menu, or do I have to do it by removing the battery or using the jumper :? This is very confusing to me, not even sure if I'm making some logical error here.


    Ah, sorry, I may have misread your situation. The CMOS clear is only for if you had an OC config bad enough that the system refuses to boot (As in couldn't even reach BIOS). If you can still get into the BIOS, a default reset will work fine.

    When you're tinkering, go from a default setting and start adjusting things by very small increments, then test, then increment up again, etc. Going through and doing a massive change right away is often a bad idea.

    If you want more extensive help, which you probably will given the situation, you probably want to head over to the Overclocking section of the forums. The people over there will have more extensive advice and will probably be more helpful on the topic.
    December 16, 2010 7:11:04 PM

    Thanks, I didn't realise there was an overclocking section but will check it out.

    I used the values I posted above and was pleased as I managed to boot into Windows, even if the RAM wasn't running at it's full speed (4x220=880MHz instead of 1066MHz). Unfortunately the computer turned itself off though after running for a few minutes, so this time I left the host frequency at 200MHz and used the '4.0+' multiplier (and 9.5 as the CPU multiplier, giving me 2.53GHz). Seems to be working fine so far.

    Maybe I'll have to live with not running the RAM at its full speed but at least have the benefit of being able to use 4GB – I guess it means that when I use Photoshop, that Windows won't be swapping like mad anymore. I'll check the forum you mentioned though.
    a c 156 V Motherboard
    a c 197 K Overclocking
    a c 172 à CPUs
    December 16, 2010 7:27:37 PM

    OK. You have several problems.

    First, it looks like you are just trying various overclocking settings with only a general idea of what you want to do and a vague idea of how to do it.

    The G31/G41 chipset is an economy chipset. You will find that, unless you are very lucky, you cannot push the FSB frequency past about 360 - 370 MHz. One of my G41 boards goes unstable (boots but fails Prime95) at 353 MHz. The other quits at 362 MHz.

    Specs in my G41-M-ES2L manual say: "FSB - 1333/1066/800 MHz FSB". They mean FSB clock, not FSB frequency which would be 333/266/200 MHz. Memory specs say "Support for DDR2 800/667 MHz memory modules.

    This should be your first stop.
    Core2 Overclocking Guide generic guide)
    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/259899-11-core-over...

    Next is Shadow's Gigabyte motherboard OC guide:
    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/page-245679_11_0.ht...
    It's for an EP35-DS3L but all the Gigabyte Core2 BIOS's are similar.

    Go through the guides. Then take your core voltage off Auto and set your memory voltage to factory recommended values. Change the System Memory Multiplier from AUTO to 2.00, 2.00B, or 2.00D - whichever you need to set the Memory Frequency to twice the FSB. At an FSB of 266 MHz, your memory clock should be at 533 MHz. That seems low, but Core2 systems gain little performance from overclocking memory. Here's one place we discus that:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/251715-29-ratio-myth

    Because of the FSB frequency limit, the chips with a 333 MHz FSB freq (the Q8200 and Q9000 quads and the E8000 duals do not overclock well in a G31 board. E5000 chips work well because of the relatively low FSB freq and high internal multipliers. The E7200 series and the new E6300 series work pretty good.

    Don't exceed a load temp of 70 C and keep the core voltage under 1.45 volts. Upper limits of VID (sort of the "stock" voltage for your chip) is 1.3625 volts. Here's where the "1.45 volts" figure comes from.
    http://download.intel.com/design/processor/datashts/320... page 17.

    Stock cooling is going to limit your overclock. An inexpensive cooler, such as the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro is the least I would use if I were to increase vcore significantly.

    You have a nice CPU chip (1.1625 volt VID is lower than average). With halfway decent cooling, you should be able to push the FSB freq to at least 280 MHz (3.5 GHz)
    December 16, 2010 7:36:22 PM

    That sounds interesting, will have to go through all that in detail and see if I understand it. Meanwhile thanks for the links – even though I grew up in the 68000 era, I've never really looked into hardware to a great extent. Maybe it's time to do some catching up! :)  Need to reboot first though and check the system temperature in the BIOS (it always just used to be around 30º even after running the computer for days/weeks).
    December 16, 2010 7:45:47 PM

    Damn – 61C º, that's pretty bad. The new motherboard doesn't show the sys temp, just CPU, and that never used to exceed 33º in the past. The CPU clock ratio automatically reset itself to 6x, and I've set the memory multiplier to 'auto' again. Will see if I can get the system to a stable temperature again by using very conservative settings before I read the links and start messing about again ...

    This is more complicated than I thought!
    a c 156 V Motherboard
    a c 197 K Overclocking
    a c 172 à CPUs
    December 16, 2010 8:01:44 PM

    Told you that you needed better cooling. :) 

    If you check the temperature in the BIOS, you are checking an almost idle system. By the time you terminate whatever program you are using to load the CPU and go to the BIOS, the CPU will have cooled off pretty quickly. Download a utility called CoreTemp. And if you don't already have it, download CPU-Z.

    If you set the memory multiplier to Auto, you are overclocking the RAM. You will have more stability with the multiplier set to 2.00.

    My 4 Core2 systems:
    GA-EP45-UD3P | Q9550 OC'd to 3.6 GHz (425 MHz X 8.5) C3 stepping :( 
    GA-EP45-UD3L | Q6600 OC'd to 3.6 GHz (400 MHz X 9)
    GA-EP35-DS3P | E7500 OC'd to 4.1 GHz (373 MHz X 11)
    GA-G41M-ES2L | E6500 OC'd to 3.66 GHz (333 MHz X 11)

    All are running with a 2.0 mem multiplier. All are 24 hour Prime95 stable.
    ----------
    Overclocking since 1978 - Z80 (TRS-80) from 1.77 MHz to 2.01 MHz
    :D 
    December 16, 2010 9:19:47 PM

    I've installed both Core Temp and CPU-Z.

    Core temp showed me a temperature in the low eighties after starting the system – which is WAY ABOVE anything I fell comfortable with! I installed the old (800MHz) memory, but not much seems to have changed – after I've had the computer on for about 10 minutes the temperature seems to have settled between the mid 60s and the mid 70s.

    I also noticed there is no 2x multiplier. The only options are auto, 2.66, 3.33 and 4.0+ so I'm using the lowest value (2.66).

    Not sure what to do. This is really scary, running such a hot machine, and it seems that whatever settings I apply, it doesn't have a lot of effect on the core temperature.

    This is annoying. It all happened because I wanted to upgrade my memory from 2GB to 4GB, and made the mistake to ask for 1066MHz memory as an early Christmas present, instead of 800MHz. I thought that by buying an LGA775 motherboard that could take the memory I'd be able to sort things out at a low cost (as I am able to re-use the processor), but obviously not.

    What would the best thing be to do?

    Also, is it possible to request that the thread gets moved to the overclocking section, as it seems nonsense to start a new one and having to explain everything from the beginning again.
    December 16, 2010 9:22:30 PM

    Buy a new motherboard & Arctic Freezer cooler? I can afford a little bit of money but not much. I hope I've not made a mistake & that I won't end up having to pay as much for upgrading as I would have had to fork out for a new Phenom system ...
    December 16, 2010 11:41:23 PM

    Just changed the CPU multiplier from 6 to 12.5 (although Core Temp says 12) to run the processor at its intended speed.

    This is how hot my system was several minutes after booting (note the max temperature!).



    With values like these I keep expecting my procesor to explode any moment so I guess I'd better underclock it again. Seems like getting 1066MHz memory was a bad idea and I need to invest in two PC-6400 modules, even if DDR2 RAM is even more expensive than it was two yeas ago. Any other solution is likely to cost me even more. I can't believe I've wasted my money like that. :( 
    a c 156 V Motherboard
    a c 197 K Overclocking
    a c 172 à CPUs
    December 17, 2010 6:58:35 AM

    That is a very high idle temperature. If you haven't increased the core voltage, check for a an improperly installed cooler. Unfortunately, you may need to remove the motherboard from the case to inspect the back of the motherboard to ensure that the pushpins are properly seated.

    The next thing to to check is airflow through the case.

    About the location of the thread, you have two possibilities. You can contact one of the moderators to move the thread. Or you can start a new thread in the OC forums and link to this one. I'd also add a link to the new thread in this one.
    December 17, 2010 7:48:33 AM

    I realised I made a slight mistake and the idle temperature is now just below 60º. Still quite warm, especially considering that the temperature will probably rise if I use any resource intense applications.

    I have the suspicions the pins holding the cooler to the motherboard might not be inserted properly. I seemed to have difficulties making them click into the motherboard but will try again. Thermal paste should be sufficient.

    Airflow is definitely no problem. I have an Antec P182 case, and while I am trying to sort things out, the case is open.
    December 17, 2010 5:59:45 PM

    I came home half an hour ago and was shocked that after leaving the PC on all day, core temp showed me a maximum temperature of over 100ºC! I'm surprised the CPU is still alive.

    I did realise that I hadn't clipped the heat sink onto the motherboard properly, so it wasn't applying any pressure to the CPU. I completely removed the motherboard, applied a more generous portion of thermal paste, and installed a different Intel HSF which I found among my spare parts. It is about twice as high as the other one (around 2" instead of just 1") so hopefully it will provide better cooling. I also made sure that this time the heatsink is properly attached to the motherboard. So far it's looking good – core temp currently around 46-47º, which is far more acceptable. I am sure that with a better heatsink I'll probably get that temperature even further down. Looks like I'll be making another small investment soon, just to be on the safe side.
    December 17, 2010 7:04:20 PM

    How do I mark the thread as 'solved'? As I wrote my previous thread there was a button saying 'mark as best answer' or something like that, but I can't find it. Is it because I have clicked on the 'thumbs up' button for some of the replies?
    !