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Windows Reboot Loop with more than 8gb RAM - P8H67-M

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March 15, 2011 11:15:37 PM

I'm trying to get my P8H67-M PRO/CSM working with an existing windows 2003 x64 Server installation. I initially performed the transplant with only 4gb of ram installed and for the most part things seemed to be going ok. The driver CD refuses to work with Win2003 x64 but I was able to get most of the drivers to install in device manager.

However when I put in more than 8 gb of ram the system goes into a perpetual reboot loop, unable to get past the initial windows loading screen. With 8gb, it boots no problem. With 12 or 16, reboot loop. I tried adding /PAE and /MAXMEM to the boot.ini with no success. Also windows will not boot into safe mode with >8gb installed. I'm pretty sure it's not a bad ram issue but I am presently running memtest86+ against all 16gb with no errors found yet.

Anyone know what might be the problem/fix?

a c 346 } Memory
March 15, 2011 11:32:25 PM

Have you tried to increase the DRAM Voltage? The P67 in contrast to the P55 works best with low voltage RAM.

Q - What exact RAM do you have installed?
Q - What's missing? {"most of the drivers to install in device manager"}\

BIG Q - Where are you getting the Chipset Drivers for P67 + Windows 2003 Server?
March 15, 2011 11:49:37 PM

I have not messed with the RAM voltage or done any other memory or cpu tweaks.

It is 4 x 4GB Patriot PSD38G1600K

Things I can't get drivers for:

"RAID controller" (I'm using a third party RAID which was already installed on the OS so this wasn't a roadblock for me.)

"PCI Simple Communications Controller"

I was able to get the LAN drivers to install, as well as audio and USB - by using the "connect to the windows update" option in the Update Driver wizard. The hardware drivers did not appear in windows update though.

Also note this is an H67 board not P67, but yeah it's definitely not supporting win2k3 x64 in general. I guess I shouldn't be surprised but I actually had no way of checking OS compatibility, both newegg and ASUS do not list compatible OS's.
Related resources
a c 346 } Memory
March 16, 2011 12:06:54 AM

Though I'm not a Patriot fanboy they are 1.5v http://www.patriotmemory.com/products/detailp.jsp?prodl... I too assume that the 'Sets' are installed in their corresponding 'set' DIMM slots and not tossed-in randomly.
CPU: | Set1 | Set2 | Set1 | Set2 |

Yes, prior to my post I looked-up your MOBO http://usa.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=kpT6JUeGZkMlOjQQ I know exactly what it is and I know/knew you're lacking a boat load of drivers which is where 'I believe' the root of the problem is with your set-up.

My best suggestion is to collect all of the drivers that you can, and I would start at the OEM sites e.g.
Intel http://www.intel.com/p/en_US/support?iid=gg_support-en_...
Realtek http://www.realtek.com.tw/downloads/searchView.aspx?key...

You 'can' increase the DRAM Voltage to 1.55v~1.60v, it's pretty common for 4GB stick to draw too much voltage for ALL the DIMM slots to have adequate power running @ default.
a c 346 } Memory
March 16, 2011 12:14:06 AM

Brawndo said:
ASUS do not list compatible OS's.

Yeah...most folks look at 'server' MOBOs. http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategor...

Never, would it cross my mind to install Window Server 2003 on an H67. Currently, there are no 'server' LGA 1155 MOBOs listed. It crossed my mind to look for an ASUS LGA 1155 'server' MOBO for drivers... :( 
March 16, 2011 12:25:54 AM

The missing drivers seem mostly related to I/O, and I'm running fine on 8gb of ram. Do you know any specific reason why this would affect my ability to go over 8gb?

Also the advice about increasing ram voltage seems kind of odd... all 16gb run fine in memtest, it's windows that's having a problem with the amount of ram. The board supports up to 4 x 8gb and, I would think, ought to be able to do so without any voltage tweaking.

Both sets of RAM are identical and probably almost consecutive, why would it matter if I mingled them around in the slots?
March 16, 2011 12:42:23 AM

BTW... on the Intel link you posted, I don't see the H67 chipset listed anywhere. Right now I've got the machine booted on 8gb and trying to use Intel's in-browser driver update utility but just get an endless Loading bar.

The next thing I can think of to try is a fresh install of 2003 server in hopes that it will configure itself to use > 8gb.
a c 346 } Memory
March 16, 2011 12:53:14 AM

I run across mix-matching even 2X_GB sets; it is what it is in that it's better to keep them installed as I suggested. If this was my first post regarding DRAM voltage then I'd agree with your comments.

Chances are the ASUS DVD drivers can be used with your Windows 2003 Server. If the as you stated, "The driver CD refuses to work" then pull the 64-bit drivers on to a Flash Drive and manually install them individually. e.g. ASUS Z8NA-D6C "Intel(R) Chipset Device Software Production Version 9.1.1.1023 for Windows XP 32/64 bit,Windows Server 2003 32/64 bit,Windows Vista 32/64 bit,Windows Server 2008 32/64 bit,Windows 7 32/64 bit,Windows Server 2008 R2 64 bit."

The WHY question is difficult to guess now until ALL of the drivers are properly installed and working.

Q - What EXACT version of Windows 2003 Server are you running?
{all of the X64 or IA64 support >16GB; others like Windows Storage Server 2003, Enterprise Edition have 8GB limits but are X86}.
March 16, 2011 1:24:46 AM

It's Standard R2 x64 so it should support 32gb in theory. I will try to force some more drivers into the system and let you know what happens.
March 16, 2011 10:47:24 PM

I was able to get windows server 2008 to install with all 16 gb, and also I was able to get windows 2003 server installed on a single drive plugged into one of the two sata 6gb/s ports. So far I've been unable to get 2003 to properly load the drivers for my raid card, but I think that's due to the fact that my USB floppy drive seems to be going bad. Unfortunately I don't have another one and this board has no FDD connectors. But, I have proven that 2003 and 2008 both install and run on 16 gb on this board so I think that pretty much rules out a hardware problem. It definitely seems to be windows 2003 that is hitting a stop because of some software problem, but I haven't been able to find anything about a os-imposed memory limit at the 8gb mark. If I could only figure this out I could fix my existing already set-up os installation and get this thing going but as of yet no luck on finding a fix.
March 16, 2011 10:48:58 PM

Oh, also, I tried slipstreaming the raid drivers and for some reason even though they are loaded they do not find the raid card. Also tried putting them on a USB stick, and found that it will "load" the drivers but then later when it goes to copy them the emulated floppy no longer exists and it fails trying to copy the driver files.
a c 346 } Memory
March 16, 2011 11:17:32 PM

Define your version of SlipStream. Windows Server 2003 is supported by nLite, and the F6 {FDD} drivers can be integrated {they must be unpacked}.
March 16, 2011 11:52:23 PM

I used nlite to add the F6 drivers provided by the raid card mfr website. At the drivers step I browsed to the dir where TXTSETUP.OEM is located and nlite seemed to detect the drivers properly. I selected only the 64bit drivers to include.
March 16, 2011 11:56:27 PM

Also I tried loading the drivers from floppy on the slipstreamed install, the installer said that windows already had drivers for that device and recommended I not use the ones on floppy. I tried both options without success.
a c 346 } Memory
March 17, 2011 1:03:34 AM

I assume your copy is not some prepackaged OEM Windows 2003 Server {e.g. scripted for a Dell, HP, etc}. If it were 'me' start from scratch, install on the MOBO SATA ports, install the drivers as discussed, install the RAID drivers -- then migrate the HDD and rebuild the RAID.

However, you stated "RAID which was already installed on the OS so this wasn't a roadblock for me." Further. you stated "I was able to get windows server 2008 to install with all 16 gb" so it leaves the OS as i suspected.

ref http://support.microsoft.com/kb/283037
My assumption is 'some' driver(s) is(are) interfering with the Windows 2003 PAE, and I am NOT a Windows 2003 Server guy. I get consumer Windows and RHEL.
--
I am at my knowledge limit.
March 17, 2011 12:31:57 PM

I was ultimately able to install a fresh copy of Win2k3 server, but I had to take out the raid card and use the onboard raid instead. I was able to easily get drivers installed for everything except the "PCI Simple Communications Controller." Most of them had installers buried in the cd that worked. The board is definitely desktop oriented and I noticed the difference a lot when testing windows 7 on this setup. It took some fighting with it to get it to work as a server but to me it's definitely worth it to get sandy bridge in my server lineup. An equivalent xeon setup would have cost many times as much.
March 18, 2011 3:59:35 AM

Another update: after all that, I ran the system for a few hours with no problems and then started experiencing bsods. Ran a newer version of memtest86+ and it found a bad stick immediately. On the upside, an i7 2600 is amazing and it's been worth all the messing around to get to know the platform.
a c 346 } Memory
March 18, 2011 3:26:19 PM

A bad stick or bad BIOS setting can result in failures. If the DRAM Voltage, QPI/DRAM Voltage {NB/IMC} and CAS are all set correctly {including Default} then yep bad stick(s).

I don't have an issue with the SB CPU, but I would 'prefer' ECC and a MOBO without all of that other consumer 'stuff'.
!