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XP3200 instability (PLEASE HELP)

Last response: in CPUs
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February 11, 2004 11:56:36 AM

This was the query as I sent it to asus tech support (please help!):

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Problem
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Last night, I updated my processor from an XP2400+ to XP3200+ and have had some stability problems. Before I describe the problem, please note my system configuration:

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Old configuration
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Windows XP Pro operating system
ASUS A78NX Deluxe motherboard
AMD XP 2400+ Processor
Standard CPU cooler provided by AMD
ATI Radeon 9700 Pro Graphics Card
1x512MB PC3200 Corsair memory

MB bios: rev 1.04 (as supplied with asus motherboard)

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Updated configuration
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Windows XP Pro operating system
ASUS A78NX Deluxe motherboard
AMD XP 3200+ Processor
Coolermaster Aero 7 lite
ATI Radeon 9700 Pro Graphics Card
1x512MB PC3200 Corsair memory

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What went wrong
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1. Having installed the new fan and CPU, I booted up to make sure things were working. Things were okay.

2. Using 'ASUSUPDATE', I updated the BIOS using the file on the asus website 'AN801007.ZIP'. (But did not yet change any BIOS settings - the purpose of the BIOS update was to enable FSB 400 support.)

3. This worked well, but when I rebooted the 'Windows device detector' prompted me for memory controller drivers.

4. Managed to download the latest drivers from NFORCE website with the file 'NFORCE_2.45_WINXP2k_WHQL_ENGLISH'.

5. This solved the problem, and no drivers were requested upon booting.

6. I now entered the advanced chipset options within the BIOS and changed the CPU FSB to 200Mhz (multiplier auto at 11 times). The memory was set to 'optimal' which I believe is the most stable setting to use.

7. Note that PC Probe indicates throughout all this that the CPU temperature is around 30o'C - which is perfectly ok, I believe.

8. Upon rebooting (using FSB 400), the system opens up the operating system then freezes.

9. Upon booting again, the system works for about 5 seconds then freezes.

10. Booting again, the system is now stable. I was able to move around, and open various excel/word documents. I tried to open a game (UT2003) and the system crashed again.

11. Booting again, system stable within UT2003 for about 10 secs then system freezes.

12. System is stable is I change the FSB back down to 266Mhz again - but don't want to keep this setting!

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Can you please help
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I called your helpdesk earlier, and they were helpful, but thought the problem might be incompatible memory (I did not state the brand at that point). I was pointed in the direction of your Qualified Vendor List for memory.

From what I can see, the Corsair 512MB memory that I have is on the list of 'qualified' memory. Do you know what may be causing the system instability? I don't mind investigating a number of possibilities. I also just purchased a second 512MB of Corsair memory 'Corsair 512MB DDR XMS3200C2PT Platinum CAS2 (MY-007-CS)' and using this module in place of my existing module (or in addition to) does not solve the instability problem.

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Final thoughts
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1. Without wishing to influence you conclusion, could it possibly be the PSU that I'm using? I think it's only 240W...although disconnecting my extra HDD and extra CD Drive did not seem to help.

2. Also, the verbal warning system that the motherboard uses on booting up has always reported 'system failed memory test' every third or fourth time I boot up - but the system always then goes on to work perfectly. I have noticed that I get this message a number of times now also (but again the system will start before destabilising).


<Well, at least I didn't go down PC world!><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by sparkplug on 02/11/04 08:57 AM.</EM></FONT></P>

More about : xp3200 instability

February 11, 2004 1:14:21 PM

try set the ram settings from optimal to something like by spd
or other lower settings.

A fine day!
February 11, 2004 1:43:58 PM

In BIOS, set DDR Reference Voltage to 2.7V.
Related resources
February 11, 2004 3:19:20 PM

Versions 1.06 and lower of that motherboard have problems running the AXP on a full 400MHz bus because they use the older version of the nForce2 chipset. I upgraded my CPU from a AXP 1900+ to an AXP 3200+ and then had to upgrade my A7N8X Deluxe rev. 1.04 to a new motherboard because it wouldn't run the processor and RAM both at 400MHz. I think you have to run the processor at 333MHz and the RAM at 400MHz, or vice versa. You'd have to check with Asus to make sure. Either way it's not ideal because you're running your RAM and CPU asynchronously. You get better performance when they run at the same speed, so you may have to upgrade your motherboard in order to run both at 400MHz.


<i>Money talks. Mine always likes to say "goodbye." :smile: </i>
February 11, 2004 3:28:19 PM

Cheers for that info...

I had rev 1.04 ... however, isn't it simply good enough to upgrade the bios?

From what your saying, the nforce2 chip is different so just doing the bios isn't good enough?

(How about that other post about changing voltage...did you try that?)

Thanks again,
Craig.

<Well, at least I didn't go down PC world!>
February 11, 2004 5:17:23 PM

Quote:
I had rev 1.04 ... however, isn't it simply good enough to upgrade the bios?

My understanding was that it's a physical limitation of the first version of the nForce2 chipset. Upgrading the BIOS allows the motherboard to recognize the CPU and run it at 400MHz, but there may be problems trying to run both the CPU and RAM at that speed.

The nForce2 Ultra was a new stepping that addressed that problem.

I never tried changing the voltage to see if it would run like that. I needed another motherboard anyway, so I just bought a new Gigabyte and used the Asus for my other computer.

<i>Money talks. Mine always likes to say "goodbye." :smile: </i>
February 11, 2004 6:30:46 PM

Long shot here, but I once built a computer for a friend on the mATX version of that board. I configured it with a 2500+ and DDR400 (too fast I know, but it was same price as DDR333). The thing was unstable as hell; took me a while to figure out why, but I discovered it would run the memory modules at SPD speeds (no manual override in the BIOS !), and those modules, or the motherboard just wouldnt do 400 Mhz at whatever CAS latency they where supposed to run. Resolved it by using slower DDR333 modules (go figure!).

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
February 12, 2004 2:05:33 AM

Download and run memtest at fsb 166. Try it with mem settings of 3-3-3-8, if it fails. If it passes try different fsb settings. Test it at different fsb speeds. Tell Asus that it is fine at fsb? but will not work properly above that. Then push for an rma. If it were me, I might through this forum into the discusion, as well as the AN7 mobo from Abit. The sqeeky wheel gets the grease.
!