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BX-133 and WinXP "Hardware Failure"

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April 5, 2002 5:47:07 PM

Has anybody got a working WinXP machine using the ABIT BX-133 RAid?

I'm having compatibility problems between Windows XP and my BX-133. I've got the most recent motherboard BIOS (ber.72)and drivers for all my hardware. Windows XP is crashing at frequent, random intervals to a blue screen that only says:

"Hardware malfunction. The system has stopped responding. Contact your hardware vendor for assistance."

The System Event Log has this error at random intervals:

"AMLI: ACPI BIOS is attempting to read from an illegal IO port address(0x71), which lies in the 0x70 - 0x71 protected address range. This could lead to system instability. Please contact your system vendor for technical assistance."

There's no pattern to when or what triggers the crash; it happens in audio,video, or office programs at different times, or when the PC is doing nothing. No other hardware or software is causing any problems.

The erros in the Event Log are sometimes 5 minutes in between, sometimes 45 minutes or longer. It doesn't crash every time this error is logged. Sometimes I can go for several hours without a crash (even when Errors are
logged), some nights it crashes every few minutes for long stretches.

I removed all non-essential hardware and software and did a clean install and kept getting the same error (down to mobo, CPU, 1 EIDE hard drive, 1 stick of 256 RAM, and ATI video card. I swapped out my 2 RAM sticks as well). It doesn't seem to matter whether the PC is doing nothing or I'm running audio and video applications simultaneously.

My same hardware/software setup (including the BX-133) and all my other hardware worked OK on Windows 98 (specs below).

This problem began during the first time I did a clean installation of WinXP. I disabled ACPI in the BIOS and during installation chose the "Standard PC" option and disabled ACPI. It crashed during several installation attempts with the above blue scree message; I don't think I
ever made it through the whole installation. Then I tried combinations of enabling/disabling ACPI in the BIOS with choosing Standard PC or default install. The only combination that is stable for more than a moment is with
ACPI enabled in the BIOS and installed and active in Windows. That's the setup I've got now.

Microsoft Knowledge Base says:

This behavior can occur if your computer's basic input/output system (BIOS)attempts to write to a port in AML [Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) Machine Language]. This attempt causes Microsoft Windows XP
to prevent any access to that port. This feature has been designed to improve the stability of your computer's operating system. This behavior is by design. Contact the BIOS vendor for a possible BIOS update.

I've read that one thing ACPI does (and the main problem with it?) is it puts everying on one IRQ. Well, I've got ACPI enabled and my hardware is on lots of different IRQs, nearly identical to how they laid out with in Windows 98. Does that mean anything? Is my mobo old enough to treat this differently?

Please let me know if I'm leaving out some important information. I'm prepared to get a new motherboard (and CPU while I'm at it!) to get stability. Thanks for any suggestions.

Specs

WinXP Home
PIII 933 Mhz
Abit BX-133 Raid Mobo
512 MBs RAM
SB Live value
Gina 20
ATI Radeon 64
US Robotics 56K modem
Adaptec 2940 SCSI card
a b V Motherboard
April 6, 2002 12:53:46 AM

The bx chipset does not fully support ACPI. The best solution is to dissable ACPI in bios. Then select Non plup and play operating system. This way the bios assigns each device an irq.
The other option is to enable ACPI in the bios. And then set P&P o/s to yes.

It sounds like you have ACPI enabled and P&P o/s set to no.

I aint signing nothing!!!
a b V Motherboard
April 6, 2002 1:07:22 AM

Yes, ACPI CAN have problems on the BX, and usually DOES, I had one board that would NEVER work with ACPI enabled, and with ACPI off it was the most stable board I've owned!

What's the frequency, Kenneth?
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April 6, 2002 10:22:49 AM

Wow!

I didn't know that. Funny. I've got my ACPI disabled too. :smile:

Probably did it as I set things up. Maybe I should write down my settings as I do them. Hmmm.

<b><font color=blue>~ Whew! Finished...Now all I need is a Cyrix badge ~ </font color=blue> :wink: </b>
April 8, 2002 4:10:14 PM

Thanks for the suggestions folks. Unfortunately, I tried every combination of enabling/disabling ACPI and PnP OS in the BIOS, and still couldn't get it stable. So I yanked out the BX-133 and dropped some cash on an Athlox XP and an ECS K752A. Seems to be working at this point.
a b V Motherboard
April 9, 2002 1:45:42 AM

Send me the old board and I'll play with it.

What's the frequency, Kenneth?
April 9, 2002 2:02:15 AM

Aso make sure you reinstall Windows after disabling ACPI. I had a similar problem and disabling it didnt help until after I reinstalled windows, then it was fine =)

Jesus saves, but Mario scores!!!
April 9, 2002 2:16:44 AM

I had a feeling you might say something like that.

Don't you ever get tired of the BX chipset? Me neither. I really can't tell if my system is stable or not. It never crashes often enough for me to compare it to others. :wink:

<b><font color=blue>~ Whew! Finished...Now all I need is a Cyrix badge ~ </font color=blue> :wink: </b>
a b V Motherboard
April 9, 2002 4:07:10 AM

Intel could have revised the BX to support a 1/2 AGP divider, AGP4x, and an extra USB hub, but they choose not to because it already made their i820 and i840 "high end" chipsets look bad. Of coarse running my AGP card at up to 100MHz port clock is not an inconvienience for me, and AGP4x is not much of an improvement over AGP2x. And I have a USB hub.

This BE6-II I'm using is the first BX board I've had with stability problems, it gets my memory hot and I don't know why. Crucial Cas2 PC133. It won't even work right with two DIMMS. I think my memory might have been damaged, but I can't be sure yet.

What's the frequency, Kenneth?
April 9, 2002 8:14:40 PM

You never tried other modules?

A complete uneducated guess here, but could any of the electronics on the mobo be messing with the ampage?

Just curious, cause whenever wiring has ever melted on me, it's been due to too much ampage, or too much resistance.

I'm no sparkey, so like I say, I'm guessing.

Sounds logical though.

<b><font color=blue>~ Whew! Finished...Now all I need is a Cyrix badge ~ </font color=blue> :wink: </b>
a b V Motherboard
April 9, 2002 10:08:02 PM

Same problem on two modules. I had another board that wouldn't run both, and that board is now fried. So I'm thinking a power problem on that board damaged these modules.

What's the frequency, Kenneth?
!