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synax
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Cell 666
Insane since: Mar 2002

posted posted 06-10-2003 05:59

*rant mode* (Hopefully I can educate others with my experiences... I'm learning new things as I'm doing this)

So I've recently bought new computer parts:

• ATI® Radeon™ 9700 Pro - 128Mb DDR AGP TV-Out DVI Graphics Card
• AMD Athlon™ XP 2800+ Barton @ 333Mhz FSB (Socket A) 512k w/ Heatsink & Fan
• Asus® A7N8X-DX, Socket A, NVidia® nFORCE2 w/ 8X AGP and Serial ATA (ATX)
• CORSAIR CMX-512-3200 DDR 512MB PC3200 CAS2 32MX8 184DIMM W/ HEAT SPREADER
• SL350 Dual Fan ATX12V power supply


So the point of this thread is basically a journey through my frustrations (Wes ). I've done this type of job before, so it's not a first for me. I love putting computers together... The love to do so is usually associated by a massive headache from all the problems that arise, but in the end the feeling of accomplishment and self success is worth it IMO.

I've spent the entire night trying to get the aforementioned components working. Actually, I don't have my videocard yet (I wasn't here to get the delivery, so now I gotta pick it up tomorrow, damnit!) but that's not a huge issue. I'm just using my current video card, GeForce2 MX 200/400 as I thought I'd have it up and running by now. This is not the case...

Along with the new hardware, I have 2 hard drives (a 7200 60GB Maxtor, and an 8GB Fujitsu), a CD-R/RW (Yamaha CRW-F1 44W, 24RW, 44R), a generic floppy, and the usual peripherals plus some other shite. Before disassembling my old system, I did my backups and formatted my master boot drive (the maxtor) and left some little backups on my smaller drive. I love having that second drive for such occasions. Anywho, upon assembling the new system and booting up for the first time, everything seemed to work fine. My 2 hard drives were read as was the CD-ROM. At this point I'm using my modified Windows98 bootdisk to get a DOS prompt.

Problem #1: The only HD it will find after booting with my disk is the 8GB one. Hmmm.... Suckfest. Also, upon booting the BIOS is only reading 1250Mhz... Ah, I already know how to fix this - a little venture into the BIOS and an adjustment of the FSB speed from 100Mhz to 166Mhz and it's now reading 2800+. Ok, back to the HD issue - unplug the smaller drive and try again. Ok... now it's not finding ANY drives. Righto, so I guess I need to install the partitioning software that came with my hard drive. I pop the MaxBlast II bootdisk in a reboot. Everything seems to be going swell, until it stops responding. I try again... Same deal. Again...same deal. Hmmm... Crap. Ok, time to do some research. Off I go to Maxtor's website. Well, there seems to be a newer version of MaxBlast, version 3.6 to be exact. Excellent, I make a new MaxBlast bootdisk and...success! This one goes through. I setup my partition and reboot.

Ok, new partition is setup, so I pop my Win98 bootdisk back in. Again, it doesn't find my Maxtor drive... After some profanities and various boot methods, it finally clicks in: "Oh right! <--- Dumbass! Win98 has cannot read drives that are larger than 10GB or something along those lines, that's why I needed the drive utility! So... what do I do now? I can't get a DOS prompt with my Win98 disk... grrr. Wait, I seem to remember hearing that the WindowsXP CD is bootable!" Yes, reboot, a little boot sequence change in the BIOS, and I'm booting off the CD! Success! I'm now installing WindowsXP on my large HD.

Problem #2: So I'm sitting here, twiddling my thumbs, waiting for my OS installation to finish and then... Blue Screen of Death follow by a system memory dump.. NOOOO!!! Ok, ok, calm down... Maybe it was just a heat issue, try again. Second shot worked, somewhat. I had a shitload of queer ass errors... somethings weren't installed, but that's ok. As long as I have a Windows environment to work in, I can fix these things later. So now I'm booting into Windows, sweeeet!

...

Hmmm... there's...not much here. Oh well, I just do a fresh install now from Windows. That should take care of any missing files and such. Computer reboots... Uh... ok... Let's try this again. Uh... crap. A bunch of errors on startup this time. Uh... oh. Damnation! OK! Trying to reinstall again. Blue Screen of Death. Fantastic. At least I've got some stop codes to work with.

Ok, off to Microsoft's site to see what they say about these stops codes. Apparently there's some sort of conflicting driver issues... Could be because of the bum install of the OS. Most likely... Another random reboot. I'm starting to get annoyed by these now...

Upon checking motherboard and CPU temperatures, they are cool enough to make ice cubes on. Ok, obviously not a heat issue, thank God.

By now I'm pretty fed up and I take time to cool off by chatting with the GF and researching my problems some more. I'm going to have to do another format on this computer if I ever want to get in Windows again, so I just shut it down for the night.

Here's a list of things I found which I'll be trying tomorrow:

• Apparently the A7N8X-DX has had alot of Vcore fluctuation issues as well as memory instability. I think this was with previous revisions of the motherboard though. I have the latest revision (Rev 2.00) but it still could be memory problems.

• I'll try adjusting the memory timings to lower frequencies.

• If I ever get Windows to install properly, I'm going to download some memory testing programs from http://www.simmtester.com/ and http://www.memtest86.com/ and check for bad RAM.

• I have to check which nforce2 drivers are installing for the mobo. Apparently I should have either the ASUS v1.6 or the Nvidia v2.03 set of drivers.

• I'm going to see if changing the 1T Command in the BIOS from Enabled to Auto and see if that does anything.

• I'm hoping a fresh format and fresh parition will solve my problems for me. I did it in a pretty messy way at first, so hopefully doing it RIGHT the second time will fair better for me.

I'll update this thread as I progress.

eyezaer
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: the Psychiatric Ward
Insane since: Sep 2000

posted posted 06-10-2003 06:20

you suck.

counterfeitbacon
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Vancouver, WA
Insane since: Apr 2002

posted posted 06-10-2003 06:25

^^^

Yes, I'll second that.

maninacan
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Seattle, WA, USA
Insane since: Oct 2001

posted posted 06-10-2003 06:32

I'll have to agree. Take your money and go somewhere else, us poor people can't stand to watch you buy a $300 graphics card (or is it $400 can't remember). Just stick to the $100 range or else I will be forced to upgrade my computer out of jealousy.

iconoclast
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: SM Megamall
Insane since: May 2003

posted posted 06-10-2003 06:38

got that

eyezaer
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: the Psychiatric Ward
Insane since: Sep 2000

posted posted 06-10-2003 07:48

errr... nevermind that... ehhhh.... heh.

Naxer! Ol Buddy Ol Chum! If you get too discouraged with that system, send it to me, ill fix itup.



[This message has been edited by eyezaer (edited 06-10-2003).]

Raptor
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: A˛, MI, USA
Insane since: Nov 2001

posted posted 06-10-2003 08:29

$300 now. $259 if you look hard enough.

Gotta agree with synax, I love building computers. The headache and everything is worth it once it's up and purring like a kitten

Wes
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Inside THE BOX
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 06-10-2003 11:21

Go, synax!

Hey, where are the pictures?

synax
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Cell 666
Insane since: Mar 2002

posted posted 06-11-2003 05:47

Heh, too damn lazy for pictures. Maybe I'll take a picture of it after it's all setup, but I don't have any mods, so it'd just look like everyone else's computer.

So today everything went smooth. Got up this morning, and before I went out, I did a fresh format and installed WinXP without a hitch. I completely disregarded all the MaxBlast shite with EZ BIOS and whatnot, and its working fine.

I picked up my videocard (man does this thing look like a beast! It has a direct plug from the power supply! Power horse...) but I haven't bothered to install it yet. Too busy today to do it.

I managed to run into zero errors today. I have all my devices working as they should and as I write this I'm running a test for bad memory.

I'm pretty sure the constant reboots and BSODs were caused by the first shitty OS installation. I did however set my memory's FSB frequency to Auto instead of by SPD, so it's running at 166Mhz instead of 200Mhz, so that could also have been the cause. Tomorrow I'll be setting it back to 200Mhz as it should work at that rate flawlessly, according to the manufactuer of the RAM and of the motherboard. I'll also be sticking in the new graphics card and seeing how that baby performs

I'll update after then.

Wes
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Inside THE BOX
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 06-11-2003 11:16

You don't need mods to make good pictures. Look at this action!








Moon Shadow
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Rouen, France
Insane since: Jan 2003

posted posted 06-11-2003 13:28

ROTFLMAO

Hmm.. Can you actually be alive after eating the red thing in the pot ?

Yuri21
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Feb 2003

posted posted 06-11-2003 14:10

Yummy!

The food in the steamboat looks kinda delicious!

I am asexual, neither male nor female.

[This message has been edited by Yuri21 (edited 06-11-2003).]

[This message has been edited by Yuri21 (edited 06-11-2003).]

Fey
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: The Netherlands
Insane since: May 2003

posted posted 06-11-2003 14:28

charming...I think...



axleclarkeuk
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Swansea, Wales, UK
Insane since: Aug 2001

posted posted 06-11-2003 17:52

WES !! You show see a doc about that finger !!

viol
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Charles River
Insane since: May 2002

posted posted 06-11-2003 18:40

I also like to build my own computers.
But if I were you, I didn't read all your thread, but I understand you tried using Win98.
I'd use WinXP. You're system has newer components and WinXP can hopefully recognize most of them to work with them, if not at their best, at least in a working way until you can get the latest drivers from the manufacturer's websites.
And if you really can't get all these components to work, throw them all into the trash and let me know where the trash is.

Yuri21
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Feb 2003

posted posted 06-11-2003 19:18

Ya know what's a good idea?

If you don't need the parts, please send them over to Singapore. XD

Thanks!

I am asexual, neither male nor female.

Wes
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Inside THE BOX
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 06-11-2003 20:18

Guess I should've explained... That was from my own upgrade adventure that started a year ago. See this.

Dracusis
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Brisbane, Australia
Insane since: Apr 2001

posted posted 06-12-2003 00:14

Synax: The problems you experienced sound like a RAM related issues to me. You have a DDR 400 ( 200Mhz x 2 ) supporting M/B and DDR 400 RAM yeah? Well, DDR 400 is known to be extremely unstable and on many systems seems to run slower than when the RAM is configured as DDR 333 (166 x 2).

I remember reading various tech articles in numerous magazines about the some problems plaguing a slew of different DDR 400 boards, so I'd advise you to run some benchmarks with WinStone and PC Mark yourself when you get everything up and running just to make sure. Although beyond that I don't remember much of the articles because I'm still running on piddly old PC133 silicon thus I didn't really care to take too much notice.

Best of luck with it Sounds like you have a very zippy system on your hands.

synax
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Cell 666
Insane since: Mar 2002

posted posted 06-12-2003 03:25

Yeah, it turns out the crashing was happening when I set my Memory Frequency to SPD (which sets it to 200Mhz). Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I figure it works correctly at 166Mhz because my processor has 333Mhz FSB (x2 166Mhz). I *think* the 200Mhz setting is for the 400Mhz FSB of P4s.

Anyway, that problem was solved and I even managed to install my videocard without a problem - YET.

I say YET, because I've run into another problem...

Problem #3: This is my current problem, and it's preventing me from doing *anything* on my computer. In my BIOS, there are no settings to change DMA and I am using an 80 pin IDE cable, so that's not the problem either.

I went ahead and disabled write caching on both hard drives, but the errors keep popping up for EVERY SINGLE FILE that Windows tries to save. This prevents me from upgrading to SP1... It also prevents me from installing anything...

So, with that in mind, I'm in the process of formatting again. *sigh*

I'll be back with more updates...



[This message has been edited by synax (edited 06-12-2003).]

Wolfen
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Minnesota
Insane since: Jan 2001

posted posted 06-12-2003 03:57

What I would do is get rid of the components... (except the powersupply...), save up the money and get this and still be able to run XP, 98se, Linux, and Unix all at the same time! (with the right software of course!) It is a lot less headaches, and a lot less kicking ones own ass later. hehehehehe. Then again that is just me.

[This message has been edited by Wolfen (edited 06-12-2003).]

synax
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Cell 666
Insane since: Mar 2002

posted posted 06-12-2003 04:27

Ha Right... The day I buy a Mac... oh, let's not get in that discussion

As I speak I'm installing Service Pack 1 and have yet to recieve any errors... Had some trouble actually getting the Service Pack downloaded (Internet seems like it's acting funky atm) but it's going now.

*keeps fingers crossed*

CPrompt
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: there...no..there.....
Insane since: May 2001

posted posted 06-12-2003 06:13

I love these threads. Wes' was absolutely hilarious! It sucked that you all are having so many problems but it is funny to read.

I have only had one problem when building a computer. I just couldn't get the darn thing to recognize the network printer. Other thatn that everything went smooth.

Synax: you said: Win98 has cannot read drives that are larger than 10GB
I got an 80GB Maxtor and it loaded 98 just fine. wonder why? Strange.......


Later,

C:\


~Binary is best~

Raptor
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: A˛, MI, USA
Insane since: Nov 2001

posted posted 06-12-2003 06:44

Yeah, I only had one problem building my last one. After I had everything hooked in, I plugged in the power supply and turned her on. Monitor was completely blank. -> <- After playing around with the cable and restarting the computer about three times, I took the computer apart again and checked out the video card... yeah, it wasn't completely plugged in.

synax
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Cell 666
Insane since: Mar 2002

posted posted 06-12-2003 18:09

Oook, so I'm having the problems again... It started when I tried to copy my backups on my second HD to my primary HD, and then all hell breaks loose.

I'm formatting again but this time I'm installing Win98 first in hopes that it's a WinXP rooted problem and not a hardware problem...

synax
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Cell 666
Insane since: Mar 2002

posted posted 06-12-2003 18:54

ok, so it seems I may have had a bad partition. When I went to setup Win98, it had to do a scandisk to make sure my drives were ok. That's when it told me I had some inaccesible clusters at the end of my main drive - probably caused by a bad partition.

So I break out the MaxBlast 3 again and setup my partition - this time when I reboot the MaxBlast appears correctly installed and as I type this I'm currently installed Win98.

If all goes well I'll just do a fresh install of WinXP right after.

Thumper
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Deeetroit, MI. USA
Insane since: Mar 2002

posted posted 06-12-2003 20:37

synax,
I was having the same blue screen and memory problems (not the hard drive issue) when I built my new system last week:

<unnecessary system bragging>

Chieftec case w/ 4 case fans
420W Power Supply (w/ fancy light up fans)
Intel Pentium 4 3.0 GHz w/HT
Gigabyte 8KNXP 875p (Canterwood)
- 800 mHz FSB
- SATA RAID
- IDE RAID
- HT Technology
- Intel chipset
- 6-phase circuit DSP voltage regulator
- Socket 478
- 8x AGP
- Dual RAID, Dual BIOS, Dual Power System, Dual Virtual Processing (HT), Dual Cooling, Dual Channel DDR
ATI Radeon 9700 Pro All-In-Wonder
2 80 gig Seagate Barracuda SATA drives (RAIDed)
2 30 gig Maxtor drives (RAIDed)
2 80 gig Maxtor drives (not RAIDed)
2 x 512 mB (1024mB) XMS Corsair DDR 3200 LLPT (low-latency) memory


</unnecessary system bragging>

I had to RMA one of my sticks of memory, since it was not operating in either single-channel or dual-channel modes. After the RMA, I was safely able to increase the CPU clock and memory to 200mHz - 2.0 (800 FSB w/ HT)...

Remember that twin packs manufactured by Corsair have been tested in a dual-channel environment before they are released. From what I understand, the single packs are not. So if you are enabling dual-channel memory, scrutinize your memory and make sure yours will be stable under dual-channel mode.




[This message has been edited by Thumper (edited 06-12-2003).]

CPrompt
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: there...no..there.....
Insane since: May 2001

posted posted 06-13-2003 03:35

good greif TP! do you have enough HD space

Later,

C:\


~Binary is best~

eyezaer
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: the Psychiatric Ward
Insane since: Sep 2000

posted posted 06-13-2003 03:39

Could the Thumper and Naxer say how much the systems costed? or... a ball park figure would be cool. Pretty Please!

synax
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Cell 666
Insane since: Mar 2002

posted posted 06-13-2003 05:06

Yeah, I'd say you have bragging rights Thumper! Nice system.

I've only got one stick of RAM, so dual-channel memory isn't possible for me. The blue screen was caused by setting my memory's FSB frequency too high.

In other news, IT FINALLY WORKS!!! OH YES!!! I apparently had a bad partition, so after I re-partitioned it, I installed Win98 on it and it ran smooth. So then I just did a fresh instal of XP after that and updated with all the criticals and sevice pack and such.

Photoshop installed in 30 seconds... I counted! Soooo fast... *drools* Thankfully I haven't had to RMA anything which is just fine and dandy.

Izz, with taxes, shipping and shipping insurance, those parts cost me $1414.56 CDN

JKMabry
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: out of a sleepy funk
Insane since: Aug 2000

posted posted 06-13-2003 22:06

as of 2003.06.13 20:04:48 GMT.
1,414.56 CAD
=
1,059.68 USD

naxer's a wise shopper

Jason

Thumper
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Deeetroit, MI. USA
Insane since: Mar 2002

posted posted 06-14-2003 01:33

The four Maxtor drives are old so I'll just tell you how much the recent purchases cost...

Pulled right from my emailed Purchase Orders:

----- New Egg: ----------------------

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