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Paul
December 31st 04, 02:11 AM
I'd like some advice on some problems I'm having with my new setup. It's a
Gigabyte GA-K8NSNXP-939 mobo with AMD Athlon 3500+, Corsair 3200 memory, two
Seagate 160GB SATA drives, ATI RADEON 9600 video, Artec case and XP Pro.

Originally I only installed a single 160GB SATA drive. XP Pro installed ok
although I recall it locked up at one stage but after rebooting it ran well
for a few days. I didn't load much software initially. The first problem
started with trying to write to a floppy. First time was ok but then the
floppy drive failed and I assumed it was a bad floppy disk.

Then I decided to add another 160GB drive and implement RAID. This took a
while to do because I had no experience with RAID. The mobo has two
separate
SATA implementations (NVidia & Sil3512) - I opted to use the NVidia pair. I
eventually got it working but the system frequently locks up, mostly when
booting but also infrequently when operating. Locking up freezes the mouse
& keyboard and Windows doesn't seem to notice that it didn't close down
properly which puzzles me. I use a cordless Logitech keyboard & mouse but I
think that is irrelevant. The floppy drive is still playing up. Again it
seems to work ok once or so and then fails. Even BIOS reports the failure.
I've tried three different physical floppy drives and always the same
symptoms so I
think there is a problem with the mobo or driver.

The problems eventually got so bad that I decided to ditch RAID and reloaded
everything again to a single hard disk. Unfortunately the problems
continued.

Some of the lockups occur when doing extensive CD work - reading mostly when
loading programs. So I thought perhaps the IDE drivers were suspect.
Sometimes it has problems detecting a CD in the drive. I have loaded the
latest BIOS (F7) and all the latest drivers I can find. The system seems
stable at present - ie it ran for two hours this morning without locking
up.

Overheating? The BIOS reports the CPU running between 15 degrees C and 17
degrees C. This seems a bit low to me but the fan speed goes up and down
depending on the temperature. Front case temperature monitor display shows
the sensor close to the CPU fan at about 33 -37 degrees C.

The Gigabyte documentation is aweful - even by Taiwanese standards. Most of
these guys have improved in the last few years but in my opinion Gigabyte is
way behind the others in this area. The doco says to go to their web site
for info on RAID - I couldn't find it but did find lots of info elsewhere on
the web.
The Dual BIOS is also confusing. I have F3 (original) in the backup BIOS
and F7
in the normal BIOS - the
machine sometimes boots from the backup without asking. I suspect its
because of the lockups.

In summary the lockups are random but occur mostly when booting - driver
conflicts? Once running it is stable but any floppy work is out of the
question and extensive CD work can cause a lockup. Some other lockups are
just plain random. Other than the floppy problem the lockup symptoms are
always the same - no keyboard or mouse movement. Other processes seem to be
unaffected - on the odd occasion I've had something else running it seems to
keep working.

Sorry for the long post but thought the background would be useful. I see
from some earlier posts on the 11th Dec that others have ditched this mobo
for Asus. I'm leaning towards that as I had mobos from Asus before that
worked fine.

Anyone have any thoughts? If you mail me direct, please remove the
underscore. TIA

Cheers
Paul

Hawkeye
December 31st 04, 02:48 AM
Be done with it get you an Asus A8V and be happy as we that heeded
the warnings about that gigacrap board are.

Mitch Crane
December 31st 04, 03:18 AM
"Paul" > wrote in
:

> In summary the lockups are random but occur mostly when booting -
> driver conflicts? Once running it is stable but any floppy work is
> out of the question and extensive CD work can cause a lockup. Some
> other lockups are just plain random. Other than the floppy problem
> the lockup symptoms are always the same - no keyboard or mouse
> movement. Other processes seem to be unaffected - on the odd occasion
> I've had something else running it seems to keep working.

[snip]

>
> Anyone have any thoughts? If you mail me direct, please remove the
> underscore. TIA

Since CD access may be a factor, I'd try moving any optical drives to a
different controller if possible. I had lockups on my MSI Neo2 Platinum
with an older DVD-ROM drive on onboard PATA controller.

Paul
December 31st 04, 04:21 AM
Further to my earlier e-mail. The thing locked up shortly after posting and
all I was doing was web browsing looking for info. CPU temp is now 41 c
which seems more reasonable however I cannot find anything which states the
'normal' operating temp. Its not even on the product spec. Currently I'm
reading through a swag of pdf files from AMD's site. Room temp is probably
about 25 c (summer here). I was toying with the idea of writing a small
program to display CPU temp.

One other thing I forgot - on the PC status page in the BIOS it sometimes
comes up with a string of 'fails' for voltage, temp checks and the like and
says the CPU fan isn't running when it is. Seems like the BIOS is seriously
screwed or perhaps I have a heat related issue on the mobo.

Paul

Wes Newell
December 31st 04, 06:22 AM
On Fri, 31 Dec 2004 03:21:52 +0000, Paul wrote:

> One other thing I forgot - on the PC status page in the BIOS it sometimes
> comes up with a string of 'fails' for voltage, temp checks and the like
> and says the CPU fan isn't running when it is. Seems like the BIOS is
> seriously screwed or perhaps I have a heat related issue on the mobo.
>
Sounds more like bad ram or a weak PSU to me.

--
Abit KT7-Raid (KT133) Tbred B core CPU @2400MHz (24x100FSB)
http://mysite.verizon.net/res0exft/cpu.htm

Paul
December 31st 04, 06:59 AM
Wes Newell wrote:
> On Fri, 31 Dec 2004 03:21:52 +0000, Paul wrote:
>
>
>>One other thing I forgot - on the PC status page in the BIOS it sometimes
>>comes up with a string of 'fails' for voltage, temp checks and the like
>>and says the CPU fan isn't running when it is. Seems like the BIOS is
>>seriously screwed or perhaps I have a heat related issue on the mobo.
>>
>
> Sounds more like bad ram or a weak PSU to me.
>
The RAM is Corsair Twinex (?) which the dealer chose for me. I remember
it being expensive. I'll go look for a RAM testing program - haven't
had to use one for years. The PSU is a 480W Antec which I would think
was more than adequate.

The thing that puzzles me is the floppy drive. I've not known many to
fail except for dirty heads. The disks themselves can be unreliable
especially if old. The bios accesses the drive once and then refuses to
look at it again - almost as if the driver was getting
corrupted/overwritten. When I first installed XP the system didn't have
a floppy drive - I wasn't sure I needed one until I changed to RAID and
then I had to load supplementary drivers by floppy - XP doesn't give any
alternatives.

I seem to have two choices:
1 - completely wipe the hard disks and start over again.
2 - pick another motherboard - apart from the cost I see that others
have had problems with MSI boards as well.

Paul