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Freezing problems with Athlon XP

Last response: in CPUs
December 22, 2001 3:43:09 PM

My friend has a troublesome computer with following configuration:

Athlon XP 1600+
ABIT KG7 motherboard
256 DDR RAM (Samsung)
40 GB Maxtor HD (split in two equal partitions)
Hercules Geforce 2 MX graphic card (32 MB RAM onboard)
Creative SB Live 5.1 soundcard
Logitech Highscreen M-S48a mouse
Cherry RS 6000 M keyboard
(no network, modem, printer or other exterior device installed)

Computer is only few weeks old. During that, graphic card was changed from Leadtek Geforce MX400. All possible drivers were updated to the newest versions. Operating system is Windows ME (changed from Win2000).

Problem is, that this computer freezes randomly with no explanation found, why. Usually this happens between playing games but not always. When in win2000 it froze during 3D Mark 2000 (did not happen in winME). In all other hardware test programs it worked fine, even during constantly heavy load. Once froze during changing song in WinAmp and playing Divx movie. (Except in 3D Mark and Divx) computer froze ALWAYS when some keyboard or mouse button was pressed. Freeze can occur few minutes or few hours after bootup (no rule here). Computer doesn't respond (to any action and needs to be hard rebooted.

We suspected first it was a graphic card, but changing it didn't help. Also changing operating system from win2000 to winME did only lower number of needed reboots per day but didn't eliminate them). Changing IRQs did not help either. Temperature of processor, speed of fans and other "interior thing" are always inside expected limits. Overall, freezes don't occur under heavy processor or graphic card load (except in 3D Mark). Power supply from electrial network is normal. Almost identical computers which some other friends have don't show any problems at all.

What should be done about this?


P.S. Sorry if you read this somewhere else, I just need to find an adequate solution.
December 22, 2001 4:28:47 PM

Which detonator drivers are installed, the 23.11's have issues and should not be used. The 21.83's are the best ones, the 23.11's cause issues such as you have stated, also make sure all your via/amd drivers are installed and ready. Also turn off 4x agp and see if that helps, the performance loss is negledgable.

"The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
No Overclock+stock hsf=GOOD!
December 22, 2001 8:27:55 PM

Sorry bothering... but what is a detonator? I have the EXACT problems on my AMD T-Bird 1400mhz, a couple of months old. The dealer tested the hardware, and upgraded everything after installing the Win 98 2:nd ed. all over again... but it still keeps freezing, mainly using Windows Mediaplayer, Quicktime, surfing at flash-sites and shockwave-gaming.
It's all very confusing, and I feel stupid bothering my dealer, friends and people here, because it seems like there should not be a problem...
Best wishes for Christmas!
Related resources
December 22, 2001 9:18:05 PM

but what is a detonator?

It is video driver for NVIDIA cards (TNT, GeForce).
I have the EXACT problems on my AMD T-Bird 1400mhz

What is your CPU core voltage.? I found that increasing it would improve system stability.

:smile: Good or Bad have no meaning at all, depends on what your point of view is.
December 23, 2001 12:09:34 AM

Imho, the AMD platform is a waste of money, errant IRQ's, fragile cpus, weekly driver downloads, your friend will get the picture.

this is funny because I too have a friend with a Athlon and every time he plays a dvd, I have to laugh inside when it stutters or stops and Max Payne freezes constantly, weekly under hood type of deal with him, how embarassing!

"<b>AMD/VIA!</b> are <i>still</i> the weakest link, good bye!"
December 23, 2001 12:38:23 AM

I have a duron and every time I play max payne or a dvd it starts right up no problems or irq conflicts.

How long will it take for bill to make a stable and secure os?
15 years and counting!
December 23, 2001 2:09:13 AM

... because the dweeb doesn't know how to configure his system correctly :p  Athlons require some *skill* in order to run well. If you want to have the superior overall performance of the Athlon at your disposal, you have to be prepared to make sure your system is adjusted correctly.

Intel systems are your basic "whack it together and it'll work" system, designed for the average Joe Schmuck who doesn't know diddly about correctly tweaking systems, and wants something that will run no matter what. Athlons *are* more sensitive... big deal. That's the price you pay for higher performance.


I plugged my ram into my motherboard, but unplugged it when I smelled cooked mutton.
December 23, 2001 3:04:57 AM

Haha, Nailed him, I agree.
My new KR7A and XP 1800 freezes when I go to play UT after being here or searching and have to reboot before playing UT, but I did crank up the BIOS a little. There's still a ton of stuff in the BIOS I could tweak. It will take me sometime before I squeeze as much as I can out of it and get the best performance and stability, since just one setting can mess things up. And what your computer does on and off the Internet is like night and day, the Internet can be brutal.

defrage is child's play-fdisk
December 23, 2001 3:12:28 AM

Haha, <font color=red>average Joe Schmuck</font color=red>

defrage is child's play-fdisk
December 23, 2001 4:02:17 AM

Running no matter what is the price you pay for buying higher quality hardware

<i>AMD's thermal protection: as seen in tom's burning chip video</i>
December 23, 2001 6:20:47 AM

You took the words right out of my mouth.

How long will it take for bill to make a stable and secure os?
15 years and counting!
December 23, 2001 9:01:48 AM

EXCUSE ME, but I'm looking for a solution of a problem and your post is nothing more than useless!

Please be helpful or SHUT UP!

December 23, 2001 12:37:36 PM

I don't have the exact setup, so it would be hard to be accurate. I would say start tweaking with the BIOS, starting with default. Also see if the BIOS and video card needs a update. If it is the XP CPU causing this, it just takes one setting to cause freezes, which one I don't know. Use the mobo Manual and this web sight for help. Just doing one of the things I sudjest can raise havoc, if you or your friend haven't done this be prepaired to learn. good luck.
<A HREF=" hardware issues should I be aware of?" target="_new"> hardware issues should I be aware of?</A>

defrage is child's play-fdisk
December 23, 2001 9:18:12 PM

Since I had a similar problem a while back in my current rig, I <i>might</i> have a solution for you. In my experience, the SBLive! will <i>not</i> function properly if on the same IRQ as the video card, so moving the sound card to the 3rd or 4th or even 5th slot will get it off the same IRQ as the APG slot. If it shares an IRQ with the video card, again in my opinion, random freezing will occur. I had that problem mostly when I had a windows theme with sound, winamp, IE, and popup stopper running (which made sound when it killed a popup). So when I moved the card to a different PCI slot, that cleared up. Granted, I had other issues with the SBLive! (I think it got some ESD, so it slowly died), but then I got a Fortissimo II and all my problems went away. Now, I can keep my Win98SE system running for 3 days at a time without needing a reboot.

So, update all your drivers, and then try moving the sound card out of the first PCI (if it's there). To move the card, just remove it from the device manager profile, shut down, pull it out, move it to another slot, and reboot. The drivers are already on the system, so it'll find them and you'll be golden. If that doesn't work in the slightest, then I'm just blowin' smoke up you ass.

December 23, 2001 9:53:20 PM

you went from win2k to ME???
ummmm NO!
bad keber :) 

win2k is more stable generally.

may i suggest somthing?
try to isolate the issue!

run some CPU intensive applications (sandra, prime95, seti@home)
this will determine if a defective or overheating cpu is to blame.
a few hours of running shuld be enough.

if its not the CPU, move on.
try playing a mp3, then open files, move and copy them around. see if you get any distortion. this shuld reveal 'the via bug' or irq conflicts

then u could try video stress testing. 3dmark is a good one. see if it crashes regularly with that.

also, dont forget memory testing.
for this i strongly reccomend u get memtest86.
a nice OS independent program.
run it for a few hours and it should pick up any memory issues u have.


- Know thyself
- Seek
- Love
- Cherish Life
- And do not Yield!
December 24, 2001 12:09:10 AM

This was happening to me a LOT with my Athlon XP 1800 and KG7 combo.. There is a bug in the KG7 series that causes instabilities. is a great website (And a lot of the KG7-raid stuff applies to the normal KG7 card)
KG7 family only

A few KG7-RAID owners have reported that a fast Athlon XP on a KG7 motherboard is unstable when using a FSB of 133, but stable if the BIOS settings are changed to "underclock" the FSB to 100 using BIOS 5W. Many have found that downgrading to BIOS 5E resolves this issue. Some also need to reduce the DDR Vcc voltage to 2.52v.
One user reported that instabilities with an AthlonXP processor can be resolved by increasing the CPU slew rate (Control CPU P/N value) in Advanced Chipset Features to the faster setting (6 or 7).
The KG7-RAID runs the memory at 2.65v by default. Is your memory rated at 2.5v? If so, try lowering the DDR Vcc voltage. If this doesn't help, try increasing DDR Vcc voltage to 2.7v or 2.75v in SoftMenuIII!
Load the latest AMD AGP drivers - see drivers section

For me, the first option worked perfectly, but I'm now running at only ~1.1ghz

Anywho, I hope that helps. And as always, be carefull when putting the voltage up on ANYTHING.

Jeremy Dunn
a b à CPUs
December 24, 2001 12:57:21 AM

"Athlons require some *skill* in order to run well".

OK, I have a 1gh tbird that has been working great for over a year, but, I will never go thru the amd/via crap again. I need to put my "skill" to use actually using the machine and not constantly installing via patches.

If you want to learn a lot about bios settings, chipsets, irq's, drivers and so forth, get an amd/via solution and have fun.
December 24, 2001 1:01:19 AM

Sorry. There are several people on this forum that could be helpful but choose not to be. :frown:
The site listed above is a great site for ABIT problems. Paul's unofficial site has download BIOS fixes
and other downloads that do work. My son has a KG7/XP1800+ and uses their downloads without any problems.

<A HREF=" " target="_new"> </A>

<font color=blue>Remember.... You get what you pay for. :smile: All advice here is free.</font color=blue> :wink:
December 25, 2001 10:07:25 AM

Thank you for all advices.

However we found out, that winME is actually more stable with this computer than win2000. Like 3dmark did crash on win2000 but not in winME.

December 25, 2001 9:11:01 PM

It all depends on what drivers you were using.

"The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
No Overclock+stock hsf=GOOD!
December 25, 2001 11:06:03 PM

so its still crashing generally under winME?

- Know thyself
- Seek
- Love
- Cherish Life
- And do not Yield!