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Tons of problems with a i3 SB HTPC build

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March 30, 2011 3:08:36 AM

Hi,

I put together a build last week to replace an old AMD HTPC that I fried and I've had no end of problems with it. Any advice would be appreciated.

The components:
Biostar TH67+ MB
i3-2100 with stock cooler
2x2GB G.Skills DDR3 RAM
OCZ Agility 2 60GB SSD
WD Green 1TB HDD
PCI Wireless-N adaptor
Hauppauge 2200 tuner
Windows 7 Home Premium

Installation went smoothly. I couldn't get 1920x1080 resolution for the TV I was using until I installed the latest Intel drivers (15.21.12.64.2321 - Mar 2011). These caused it to crash and reboot several times, after a few reboots it was stable but without HDMI support. I installed an earlier set of drivers (15.21.10.64.2291 - Feb 2011) which fixed this. I also stuffed up the bios settings at install and didn't select AHCI. I found a registry hack to fix this which seemed to work okay.

After I've installed Winamp, VLC, Microsoft Security Essentials and IE9, it fails to boot repeatedly again. It goes through startup repair, fails again, startup repair again and then I get a CMOS Fail message at boot up.

It boots up anyway. And seems fine. The BIOS settings keep resetting though, back to IDE and different fan/sleep settings. If I change them then I get a series of very short reboots and then I lose HDMI when it finally boots successfully.

It's a brand new MB - could it really be a battery issue?

I'm about to format the drive, try to reset the BIOS and start from scratch with correct bios settings and drivers.

It's a lot of work for something that should be a simple HTPC build. Am I missing something here? Any suggestions>

Josh
I
March 30, 2011 3:47:33 AM

Have you tried updating the BIOS?

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March 30, 2011 4:20:07 AM
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Try reinstalling the OS and create a restore point after installation, another one after the drivers and then install the applications one by one. Check the VBAT voltage (BIOS battery) with some application like PC Wizard.
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April 5, 2011 11:49:12 PM

Thanks for the suggestions.

I reset the BIOS and reinstalled Window from scratch which has fixed the CMOS Failure and I haven't had any more crashes.

I now can't get the HDMI output to work however. This was working the first time around but now I can't get anything other than VGA.

I'm using the February Intel drivers (x.2291). When I set the PC up the first time I played around with some of the BIOS settings, including "multiple display support under IGP". Could this be the setting I need? I'm a bit loath to experiment again given that it is running smoothly but I really need HDMI to work.

Thanks in advance.

Josh
April 6, 2011 2:43:10 AM

Sorry, don't know much about the Intel IGP. Does it say anything about that in the mobo manual?
April 6, 2011 8:50:49 PM

The Biostar manual isn't much use for the bios options. There seems to be a heap of interesting IGP options (multiple display support, change the memory dedicated to the IGP from the default 64MB etc.) but they aren't really documented.

Off to search the Biostar website.
April 7, 2011 11:03:55 PM

Okay - not much help on the Biostar site and even more confusingly, HDMI worked once when I switched on the PC and then hasn't worked since.

This is taking up more of my time than it is worth so I've ordered a Radeon 5570 which hopefully will work out of the box.
April 9, 2011 11:52:01 PM

Welcome newcomer!

@OP - Bro have you checked to see if your board is a B3 revision'd chip? you mentioned that you fried your AMD build...was it to do with your PSU or mains being faulty? btw the next question is - what is your PSU wattage?
April 10, 2011 12:30:23 AM

Thanks for stopping in Lutfij,

I have confirmed that the MB is B3 - it was the only B3 I could get at the time, otherwise I probably would have gone for Asus or Gigabyte.

The death of my last build is a sorry tale involving moving from a 240V country to a 115V country. Let's just say that I thought I had changed the voltage switch over.

The new PSU is a 500W Thermaltake - I'm reasonably confident it will handle the build with a 5570 added.

Speaking of which - the video card has arrived so by Tuesday I should have an update.

Cheers

Josh
April 10, 2011 2:14:57 AM

:)  keep us posted then...

good luck with the build!

Quote:
The new PSU is a 500W Thermaltake - I'm reasonably confident it will handle the build with a 5570 added.
FYI - the 500W will power a 5770 even with a slight OC to your rig :)  so yeah your better than good!

It could be a battery issue - try replacing it with a fresh cell. It may also be due to the cmos jumper being set in any way other than default...take a look at that as well.

The mobo might be the culprit here...you 'COULD' RMA it, but since you've ordered a dedicated GPU...you'll less likely be bothered to RMA it :) 
April 12, 2011 8:31:56 PM

Thanks to all the contributors.

The 5570 worked a treat straight out of the box (well after changing to the low profile brackets anyway).

I guess this could have been a motherboard problem given how many people successfully use the Intel IGP for HTPC builds but I value my time too much to stuff around any more with it.

Should be a lot of ancillary benefits from the dedicated GPU and the AMD drivers.

Cheers

Josh
April 17, 2011 4:47:50 AM

Best answer selected by JoshWilkinson.
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