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Massive Crashing- Help!

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Last response: in CPUs
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March 9, 2005 7:17:02 AM

Ok- Lemme give the overview:

A few weeks ago my comp was running like a pro, then decided to crap out on me (AMD finally burnt- no clue how)

I decided it would be a great time to upgrade from my AMD 1800+, 2x 256 2100 ddr, to something much more modern.

I went to Fry's and picked up:

P4, 3.2 ghz processor (478)
2x 512 3200 ddr (more on this later)
MSI PT880 NEO mobo.

After installing, I discovered I'd have to upgrade my power source to get it working and did so.

Then the problems began:

Constant crashes from every 5 mins to every hour in EQ2 and WoW. Random restarts (once even with restarting on errors off in win XP), BSOD, constant crashes in game to desktop..ect.

I decided I'd start troubleshooting and did the most logical thing: I reformatted to start.

So I reformatted and hoped things would get better. Nope. Same thing.

So I tried onboard sound instead of my SB Audigy MP3+. Nope.

So I tried different bios settings I could figure out (MSI has some wacky bios settings....) nope.

At this point, I tried some memory tests. In memtest86 I got these errors:

Error 1:

Test: LRAND
Cache: on
Address: 333c704c
Expected: 5b2197e7
Actual: 5b197e7

Errors 2,3,4:
Test: ERAND
Cache: on
Addresses: 1177c64c 31db72cc 1569c04c
Expected: 3260a42b bbdfd25b 79bc0492
Actual: 3260a40b bbddd25b 79bc0412

So I figured it might be my memory. I am currently using Patriot 2x 512 3200 ddr (which I was told was Duel ddr, and appears to be extreme performance ddr.) I tried them in all combos of dimms, one at a time, ect.

Still crashing.

I even get some errors on starting up windows (windows has recovered from a fatal error in win32k.sys... ect.)
Other errors include: IRQ_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL, errors ot afd.sys... Memory read errors.... I can't pinpoint it.

I am up to date on all my soundcard and vid drivers, as with all windows updates. I have no virus's or spyware on my comp. I cannot update bios for some odd reason, as when I go through my startup disk to get to the A: prompt, I cannot access the C:, and have NO idea why, so I can't flash the new bios on. (It's definately C:) 

So here's the thing:
What's wrong with my comp? Is the memory just bad memory? I have a lifetime warranty on it, and I WAS misled in buying it- Should I just get it replaced, or return it and buy a better brand (it's past 15 days...)(Kingston?)

Should I get another board? Should I reformat again?

I care about one thing: Stability. I don't want to crash. My old system never crashed. I don't need blazing graphics, just something that works at a good speed, and doesn't crash.

Could it be the CPU? It doesn't seem to be a CPU cooling issue, as I have a great case and the fan on the CPU is working perfectly.

Thank you all for looking at this, I'm at my wit's end.

More about : massive crashing

March 9, 2005 7:26:57 AM

Sounds like a memory issue, and memtest agrees, so I'd blame the memory.

You might find increasing memory voltage and/or using higher memory timings will help, but if it's not running at its rated settings then it's faulty - you'd of course be within your rights to get it replaced, and should do.

---
A64 3200+ Winchester @ 250x10= ~2.5Ghz, ~1.41 Vcore
1Gb @ 209Mhz, 2T, 3-5-5-10
Voltmodded Sapphire 9800Pro @ 450/350 w/ modded VGA silencer 3.
March 9, 2005 7:43:50 AM

It is running currently at 2-3-3-6 (poorly)
I upped the voltage .2 for a few days, and had no change.
Related resources
March 9, 2005 8:11:03 AM

Have you tried increasing the timings? something like 3-4-4-7 perhaps?

Low latencies don't do a great deal for P4 performance anyway.

---
A64 3200+ Winchester @ 250x10= ~2.5Ghz, ~1.41 Vcore
1Gb @ 209Mhz, 2T, 3-5-5-10
Voltmodded Sapphire 9800Pro @ 450/350 w/ modded VGA silencer 3.
March 9, 2005 4:13:12 PM

Definately sounds like a memory issue. Maybe your motherboard doesn't like these Dimms, try some other. Other idea; it could be a overheating Northbridge. To putting a fan on it, see if it makes a difference.

If all else fails, return the lot, and get something decent instead. You should have a bought an Athlon64 anyhow :D 

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
March 9, 2005 11:12:24 PM

This is not what I would call "massive crashing", but I would check for the PSU too. How many watts does it have and what brand.

I once had to upgrade from a cheap 450W to a branded 300w to have an A64 system to start...

-Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
March 10, 2005 1:40:01 PM

I have to agree with everyone. It <i>sounds</i> like a memory issue. Try to find out the maximum voltage that your sticks are rated for and go with that. (Memory is often warrantied up to higher than the default that it gets set to.) Try slowing down your timings too. (Especially if it was set to auto detect from SPD since sometimes what SPD is set to and what the sticks are meant to be set to are two different things.)

And check your power supply anyway. RAM set to x voltage but only recieving enough juice for y voltage is actually running at y, no matter what you set in BIOS.

And if after all that everything checks out, it's quite possible that your VIA chipset mobo is to blame. I never trust VIA, especially when combined with Intel. Every time that I've personally experienced a computer set up that way it's been trouble.

Hell, for that matter it could be MSI. MSI's low prices usually come at the cost of quality control. A lot of people have had to return MSI products that never should have passed any quality testing. In that way MSI is like a crap shoot. You might save money on a really good product, you might get a flaky product that you can return for a really good one and more or less break even compared to more quality brand prices, or you might have so many problems and returns that MSI ends up either costing you a small fortune or you have to configure for a performance loss to make it stable.

I'm not a big fan of MSI, but I <i>have</i> taken that crapshoot myself in the past and come out okay. It's always tempting. MSI products look so good on paper, especially for their prices.

<pre>Antec Sonata 2x120mm
P4C 2.6
Asus P4P800Dlx
2x512MB CorsairXMS3200C2
Leadtek A6600GT TDH
RAID1 2xHitachi 60GB
BENQ 16X DVD+/-RW
Altec Lansing 251
NEC FE990 19"CRT</pre><p>
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