XP ATi 9700 & Audigy...BAD! (Resolved)

I have spent a week and ~ $350 trying to solve the following problem... to no avail.

Initial rig: AMD 1700+, 300W power supply, 512MB DDR/2100 RAM, Soyo Dragon+ (Via KT266A), WinXP Pro, GF3/Ti200, Soundblaster Audigy Gamer, Promise RAID 0 w/ 2 Seagate ST360021A 60GB drives. Installed since Feb '02
Results: No major problems at all...

Step 2: Download WinXP service pack 1
Results: All is golden

Step 3/Sept 23rd: Installed Radeon 9700 Pro (ATi manufacturer)
Results: Replace GF3 card w/ Radeon. Loaded latest 9/12 drivers for SP1 from ATi website. At first, OK. Within an hour, the machine started giving me "Windows: Delayed Write Failed" errors. Initially just "can't save" messages, within a couple reboots, they become "file corrupted" messages. Needless to say, within a short period of time, I could no longer access ANY data on the machine successfully. System Restore would no longer function properly. Ended up wiping the drives and starting over (no, I don't have Drive Image yet, much to my displeasure).

Next steps: Sept 23rd-28th (obviously time compressed)
1. Reload XP w/o SP1: no change, still errors.
2. Replace RAID array after "offline" indication (thinking I had bad drive). Spend $200 on WD 100GB w/ 8MB cache. Straight IDE primary/secondary setup (no RAID). Minimized peripherals on machine.
3. Noticed that loading of SB Audigy drivers (version matters not) caused almost immediate duplication of "Delayed Write Failed" (DWF) errors on previously clean install with only Radeon card, no sound.
4. Changing of slots for Audigy card does not solves DWF issue.
5. Immediately remove drivers/hardware of Audigy allows return to earlier restore point with System Restore.
6. BIOS upgraded to latest: no change
7. Decided motherboard may be underlying issue.
8. Purchased $130 Gigabyte GA-7VAXP board (KT400), R&R old board, fires up fine. Loaded latest BIOS. Initially, looks OK, within minutes I have same issue when Radeon 9700 Pro and Soundblaster Audigy Gamer are both in box. Win XP doesn't allow IRQ manipulation w/o reload of XP (MS KB Q314068). Also, this combination gives strange errors in Explorer. Pages refuse to load, or load and then give "can't find" error. Links and home pages that refuse to work. This ceased when I used the resolution below.

Resolution: Remove Audigy, install connector for Gigabyte onboard RealTek Audio and load driver. Since Saturday afternoon on Sept 28th all has been fine. No DWF errors at all.
Who I have talked to:
Microsoft, ATi and Creative support. All stated that I am the first to have this issue. All I know is that the two cards fight over system/IRQ resources and there is no immediate solution other than removing the Audigy or the Radeon 9700 and moving on. Have yet to call back any of the three this morning to inform of latest findings. ATi has been... slightly arrogant; they immediately want to blame the problem on the Audigy (which ran fine with a NVidia card and original rig on Sept 23rd b/f I loaded Radeon). Creative wasn't aware of any issues with Radeon. Microsoft... well, I just felt they ought to know about the issues, as it does this whether or not SP1 is loaded or not.

SO... until ATi, Creative, or some other (wink, wink!) industrious person figures out why these two pieces of hardware don't want to play nice, I am stuck w/o my Audigy.

Thoughts:
1. Could be an issue with Via KT chipsets? Don't know.
2. Bios issue? Don't know, tried many.
3. Radeon issue? Probably, in my opinion.
4. Audigy issue? Don't think so, it worked great til 9/23.

I intend on calling ATi back this morning and filling them in on the latest I have discovered. Hopefully, they will be less defensive about the possibility of an issue on their end. Same goes for Creative. Each card works fine by itself. Only when you put them together with these chipsets (KT 266A/400) do they misbehave.
This is a serious issue because unless you know to IMMEDIATELY remove the Audigy drivers and hardware in XP, the DWF errors will render your machine useless and cause you to wipe or reimage the hard drive.

Any thoughts from Tom, etc. and others appreciated, although mostly I want to get this issue "out there" in the public eye.

Thanks,
Pdubya

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Pdubya on 10/05/02 01:46 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
11 answers Last reply
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  1. Just talked to ATi. Much better support from the technical guys this time.
    The tech found reference to a case with another person, same issue. Ended up buying a high quality 400+ Watt power supply and the write failed and other errors stopped.
    The tech did say that they are currently researching this issue at ATi and would e-mail me with any new resolutions/conclusions.
    I could see where my 300 watt Enermax power supply may not be able to keep up with the demands of a Radeon and Audigy at the same time along with all the other power demands.
    Will keep everyone posted.
    Pdubya
  2. Just to tell you that it's great that you put such informations in your post. If everybody do the same, this forum would be a mint of great information!

    --
    Would you buy a GPS enabled soap bar?
  3. I was wondering about the power supply. You never suspect it because it always looks like something else's fault, yet inadiquate power supplies are so very often the true cause of a problem. I found that out the hard way myself.

    Pdubya, I hope you get your system up and running at it's best again. And if it is the power supply, please let us know. :) Thanks for the informative posts.

    <pre><A HREF="http://www.nuklearpower.com/comic/186.htm" target="_new"><font color=red>It's all relative...</font color=red></A></pre><p>
  4. VIA chipset have a lot of issue with ATI

    I wont leak detail
  5. don't forget Creative Labs!

    Life is irrelivent and irrational.

    <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?id=9933" target="_new"> My Rig </A>
  6. OK guys:

    I ordered a PC Power & Cooling "Turbo Cool 425 ATX" power supply. Got it Thursday. Installed it and reinstalled the SB Audigy with the newest 8/26 drivers for WinXP.

    Works flawlessly now... imagine that!
    Word to the wise, DON'T overlook your machine's power supply once you start using the Radeon 9700 Pro! Mine was fine until this power hog was installed.

    My 300 watt Enermax ps was not enough to keep the hard drives happy, hence the DWF XP errors.

    See ya around,
    Pdubya
  7. Update:
    Still running perfectly, not one hiccup.

    Pdubya
  8. And you spent all that money when you could just have bought a new PSU. That is a major "too bad".

    <font color=red>I´m starting to feel like a real computer consultant.</font color=red>
  9. Again...some too quick to blame VIA and Creative. :(

    I want to die like my Grandfather...in my sleep...not screaming in terror like his passengers.
  10. Yep guys, know what you mean. Oh well, the MB is AGP8x capable and the new Western Digital 100MB w/8MB cache really kicks ass, so... I'm not too upset in the end.

    Machine has been working great, no problems to date.

    Kronos; part of the issue is that WinXP's error messages are nebulous. It told me I probably had a hardware or networking issue. That leaves a LOT of stuff to be considered! Until the machines get better at internal diagnostics we are left to fend for ourselves and learn by mistakes.
    Pdubya
  11. Quote:
    part of the issue is that WinXP's error messages are nebulous. It told me I probably had a hardware or networking issue. That leaves a LOT of stuff to be considered! Until the machines get better at internal diagnostics we are left to fend for ourselves and learn by mistakes.

    No offense Pdubya, but how exactly do you think that <i>any</i> OS is going to figure that one out? <i>We</i> know <i>now</i> that the problem was the power supply. However, the computer only knew that your hard drive was failing to work properly, so Windows reported the information that it had to report, which was hard drive problems.

    How is Windows supposed to tell the difference between a hard drive not working properly because the mechanics in the drive are failing and a hard drive not working properly because it is underpowered thanks to the person who built/modified the system hardware didn't put in a strong enough power supply?

    If anything, it is the hardware that is nebulous, making it impossible for the software to properly identify the problem.

    <A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/community/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=45775#45775" target="_new"><font color=red>Join</font color=red> <font color=blue>the</font color=blue> <font color=green>THGC</font color=green> <font color=orange>LAN</font color=orange> <font color=purple>Party</font color=purple>!</A>
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