help a rookie built a PC - please!

Glenn Overholt

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I disagree that it isn't possible to place the memory sticks in incorrectly. I'd take them out and make sure that there isn't a microscopic piece of debris in the slots, and use a magnifying glass if you have to to make sure that they are both in the exact right way.

As for the heat, this is the summer, so what is your room temperature? That's the first step. Second, the front of the PC case has to have air available. If it is stagnant, it won't help. If you have a fan, aim it at the front of the case and try that out.

The fans in the front should suck air into the case, and the ones in the back suck it out of the case. Make sure that they are facing the right way. Also, you might be better off to get a few more of them and with a few small hardware "L" brackets, mount them inside to increase the air flow. If the side of your case hinges, you might be able to mount them there without them hitting anything, or on the metal shelf that the motherboard is attached to.

Glenn
 

Eric_L

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well, I watched the temp monitoring software and the cpu stayed right about 25C and the mobo gradually went from 25C to 34C then the system crashed. (though the software says it allows up to 75C or so!) Is 34C too hot?

I tried using a much older video card, but still the same problem. Both memory sticks are presently in. I had the same problem last night with only one.

The only thing that seems to work is to have the case laying on its side with a fan blowing right on the mobo, between the video card and the processor. There is a heatsink there. It is not very warm, in fact may be the coolest one in the case. The memory sticks are nearby there also. I'm not sure how long the system will stay stable when this way, I'll check tonight.

Could it be that I need a fan there or is this mobo faulty? ASUS is supposed to be the most stable, especially when overclocked. I have only run standard and am having heat troubles. (at least, I think it's heat)

Also, sometimes after a crash when I reboot (after the system has had some cool-down time) I get an error about overclocking attempt didn't work, press F1 to do something and F2 to restore defaults. (I paraphrase) I just hit reset and then it boots fine...

(also, my living room is 78F)

Trying to setup wireless network right now (another headache!) so I can download memory tests, updated bios, etc. Dang I wish I had installed a floppy!
 

Glenn Overholt

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Yuck Eric! I checked my temp and 37C is around 100F, but I don't think anything would run at 75C, but I may be wrong on that.

You have checked the battery and your bios settings - for now, everything should be at default.

The only thing I can think of is to pull the CPU out and put it back in. Sometimes the dumb stuff works.

Disconnect everything that you don't have to have going and just work with one memory stick. It is possible that one of them got partialy fried, and if so, you could get intermittent periods of it working or not, depending on if the memory flagged down a bad area of the memory stick.

If it does seem to work ok, run everything in your office and give it a push, and if still ok, turn it off, take that chip out and try the other chip. It could be fried without any visible dark spots.

Glenn
 

MikeAlletto

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Its starting to sound more and more like a possible mb problem. It is not running too hot. If you aren't overclocking there is no reason the stock fans shouldn't be able to handle it. Is the box on the floor or pushed up against a wall though maybe stopping the airflow?

My temp in my computer room gets up to 80 at times without any problems with my pc.
 

Chris

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With the P4P800 (same board my wife is running) you may need to go into BIOS, and change a few things.. set the Overclocking to MANUAL (you may overclock if you want, set the memory to 320 and then up the FSB for a 5:4 pulldown) but, you'll want to lock the AGP and decide on how you want memory timings.. you might also tell it not to overclock "automatically" (only true if you're using a newer BIOS)

Also, if you are running any BIOS older then 1008, upgrade RIGHT NOW. RIGHT, RIGHT NOW. The performance increase and stability increase is very significant. You will kick yourself for not doing it. You can use their windows based utility or the DOS flash tools to do so. Both are on your CDROM. If you are running with BIOS 1004 or 1005 or 1006, you're stability will not be anywhere near as good as with 1008.

More then that, you have to remember this board, by default, overclocks automatically unless you tell it different within BIOS. I recommend, unless you are using the memory pulldown, to tell it to do so. Asus isn't the only one doing this with the 865 (Springdale) chipset; Abit & MSI are also shipping boards around this same idea. In general, it works, if your components are equal.. but once you introduce a Radeon 9700 AIW in the mix, it gets tricky.

Also, ditch the drivers with the Radeon AIW out of the box. The new Catalyst 3.5 drivers are available at http://www.atitech.ca/ as well as the new Multimedia Center 8.5. It makes capture easier, and performance and stability better
If your screen occassionally turns to monochrome 640x480 with the 9700AIW (same card I have) then you really, really need to get these drivers... they answer some of the AGP8X flagging issues that pop up on newer Intel chipset boards. (875/865)

Finally, just a note, you're going to be glad with that Vantec PS. It's a very nice one.
I'm using the Vantec 520, and I love the hell out of it.
 

Scott H

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I don't believe a DVD recorder slot drive exists.
Sure they do.

Apple Powerbooks have had them for years. And both the Apple Cube and the old iMacs have been modded by owners, replacing their respective slot loading optical drives (vertical on the Cube) with slot loading "superdrives". However, I believe that those mods used only 1x DVD burners.
 

Eric_L

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Chris, Mike, Glenn - thanks, you've given me plenty to keep me busy a while. Especially chris. I first have to learn what the heck you said - but it sounds good. heh. I'm not sure why I should like my vantec, but so far there is little I like about my new pc.

Scott, are you flaunting your apple before me? grrr!
 

Chris

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Eric:

if you need a lot of help, here's a link that will help you out a fair amount:

http://www.abxzone.com/

Here's the Asus BIOS:
ftp://ftp.asus.com.tw/pub/ASUS/mb/so...0/p4p81008.zip

Ignore part of their instructions (you don't have to flash from DOS if you do not wish, it does not update the boot block, so you're OK to use the winflash utility bundled with your board)

This is pretty much what I do for a living *laugh* we've went through at least 80 of these boards in the last week.. let me know when/where you get stuck..


(BTW, even if you disable the onboard sound, you might want to hook a crappy speaker up to the onboard sound output; the POST reporter will still work and tell you if there are any errors/successes during the boot process.. which can be a good thing.. or can be annoying)
 

Scott H

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Scott, are you flaunting your apple before me? grrr!
Not at all, my Powerbooks predate slot loading "superdrives". Just responding to the suggestion that slot loading DVD-R drives don't exist, because they do.

Any other Apple comments would be inappropriate in your thread, and I know it
I'll just hope you're going to run Linux on it and that you solve your issues. Good luck.
 

MikeAlletto

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Also, if you are running any BIOS older then 1008, upgrade RIGHT NOW. RIGHT, RIGHT NOW.
Oh absolutely. Especially with these brand new mb's make sure you are updated.

I didn't realize the asus mb's auto overclocks also. I was under the impression that it just adjusts memory timings with a special chip to mimic a 875 chipset. I know the MSI dynamically overclocks when things get busy and their new bios also does the memory timing adjustment to mimic the 875 chipset like the others.

Unless the bios was set incorrectly from the beginning the machine should be ok at all the default settings. It should be auto detecting the ram settings from the ram chips as well as the processor settings. Eric have you changed any settings in the bios since plugging it all together that may have caused instability? In theory you should only have to set the clock and turn off features you don't want on. Otherwise it should detect everything else automatically.
 

Eric_L

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Well, I updated my bios to 1008, closed up my cabinet and prayed. I even put a case fan right over the north bridge heat sink with a custom bracket I built.

I browsed the web for about 30 minutes, keeping an eye on the MOBO temp. It got up to 38C then,... shutdown. I felt around inside and notice that the memory is barely warm, the cpu heatsink is barely warm, the video card heatsink is nearly hot - like a cup full of coffee, the HD is a bit warm, and the northbridge heat sink is hardly warm at all. (I have tried using an older video card with the same results)

Is this mobo faulty? ASUS is supposed to be the most stable, especially when overclocked. I have only run standard and am having heat troubles at only 38C. (at least, I think it's heat)

I did set the overclocking to manual, the memory to 320, but couldnt find where to adjust the fsb to 5/4 nor locking the agp.

I didn't adjust any other system settings, excpt the order of booting, disabling the 'a' drive (no floppy) and I disabled the onboard lan. (got wireless) Also set the aperature at 128 for the video.

I am presently using the computer to type this message. I have the case open and it seems fine holding temp at 32C-33C and running over an hour.

I did notice this post from someone with similar troubles:

http://www.abxzone.com/forums/showth...?postid=486556

Yikes, there was a thermal pad under there and a shim of sorts around it. Hardly any contact at all. Cleaned it up, put on some decent thermal compound, bent the clips a bit to make it nice and tight and now the heatsink is much warmer to the touch, the way it should be. I upgraded to the beta bios as well, 1008-004 in hopes of getting past 164 fsb.
(regarding the northbridge heat sink)


-but they are overclocking. Sounds similar to my prob except I am not overclocking. Question is, do I try to repair it, ask for a replacement, or look into other possibilities?

You cannot imagine how much I appreciate everyones help. I never would have taken this on without your support. I owe all of you my gratitude.
 

MikeAlletto

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Question is, do I try to repair it, ask for a replacement, or look into other possibilities?
To me all I'd see is a motherboard that is not working. I'd ask for a replacement. There is NO reason it should not work just fine with the stock case, mb, and cpu fans using default bios settings.
 

MikeAlletto

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Just reading some of the threads on that site, did you install the chipset drivers off the asus install cd?
 

Eric_L

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not sure what a 'chipset driver is - I'll have to look. It is getting late and I gotta catch some zzz's. I just noticed something odd though;
The PC works fine with the case open, resting on it's side with the fan blowing on the northbridge heatsink.

However, I just tried standing it upright, with the case still open and had a system crash at 33C. I set it on its side as it rebooted and it is fine again. I just set it upright again to see if it happens again... I'll look into that chipset driver while I wait, but then I must sleep...

edit - add - 10 minutes later
I am wondering if the heat isn't 'seeping' up from the video card. The mobo is showing 34 already. It held at 32 when the case was on its side. The case is still open and the fan is still on the northbridge... do you think the vid card is too hot?
 

Eric_L

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Isn't the bios the chipset driver? That would be the version 1008 I just updated, no?

There is an intel chipset software installation utility. It is ver 5.00.1012 I think I ran it.

Is it the same as bios? I could reinstall it, but I don't want to undo the 1008 bios update I already did with Chris' link.

edit - one more thing. I want to run a memory test, but all the ones I find require a boot from floppy. I don't have a floppy. Is there another way to do this or should I cave and buy a floppy?
 

Glenn Overholt

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No, the chipset and the bios are two different animals. The other chips on your motherboard have drivers that Windows needs in order to interface the hardware with the software. You should have gotten a CD with your board, so run that if you haven't already.

They might not be the newest drivers too, so go back to Asus and check there, and I think I'd check for videocard driver updates too. The possibility is really remote, but that might fix the heat problem.

Glenn
 

Chris

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I did set the overclocking to manual, the memory to 320, but couldnt find where to adjust the fsb to 5/4 nor locking the agp.
If you have the RAM @ 320, you're running the 5:4. If you actually have DDR400, and you aren't overclocking, then you do this as a matter of stability rather then performance.

Your board shouldn't auto-shutdown @ 38C, unless you've set it to do so in BIOS. You might also check and make sure that your CPU fan is plugged into the CPU fan plug on the board (and not the Case/PS fan plug) ..

If your BIOS isn't set to auto-shutdown at these heat threshholds, you should be OK. My 3.0G-800Mhz runs much, much hotter then that.. with little problems (and within spec)
 

MikeAlletto

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Thats curious that when you tip the case it shutsdown. Does it do an official shutdown or does it just turn itself off? If it just turns itself off (like a crash? Or just boom, no power?), it might just be a lose power line or it might be the HD acting up.

I don't have a floppy. Is there another way to do this or should I cave and buy a floppy?
Do you have an old pc somewhere? You can just rip it out of that and use it. They are all the same.
 

Eric_L

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I called ASUS tech support today and described the trouble. He speculates that the MOBO is expanding and making contact with the case or mounting screws. He suggested taking it out and running it. If it shuts down at 36C then the MOBO is bad, if it goes well, then it is the case. I will try it soon and let you know.

Caved in and bought a floppy today. I'l cnnabalize one for now from an old sys, but I had to buy a black one! heh.
 

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