BSOD, and the end of stability..

Discussion in 'hardware' started by KookyMan, Dec 19, 2008.

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  1. KookyMan

    KookyMan Registered Member

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    Hey all, I am having some problems with some hardware and thought I might ask here if you have any new suggestions.

    Basics of the system:

    ASUS A8N-E Mobo, Socket 939
    Opteron 185 Dual Core Proccessor
    3 GB RAM, installed as 2x1GB+2x512MB, Dual Channel Configuration
    EVGA 8800 Video Card
    4x Hard Drives 2x SATA, 2xPATA. 300GB A piece.
    2x DVD+RW.

    When it began I also had a Hauppage Tuner card and a SB AWE64 installed, but have sense removed them.

    The system has a duty cycle of 24/7, its a desktop machine/home fileserver. It has been running in its current configuration for over a year. One day out of nowhere, I get a BSOD, which I believe was a memory error. When I attempted to reboot, it began giving a BSOD On boot, "PFN_LIST_CORRUPT". I now have had the same error for weeks. Happens with any boot mode, Normal, Safe, or Safe Command Prompt.

    I booted into a Live Fedora 10 disk, and it appears to operate perfectly normally, and backed up the system drive as I was going to reinstall Windows at this point. Upon trying to reinstall Windows, as soon as the initial file setup is finnished and it goes into 'Starting Windows' (Not the GUI) it will BSOD with the majority error PFN_LIST_CORRUPT, however I do occasionally get others such as the infamouse IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL, or various other errors. As a result of me deleting the partition on the system drive, and having this error apparently on the install CD before the install even got underway I ruled out files/drivers/etc as the culprit.

    I've also run Memtest86+ for a couple of runs, in excess of 8 hours on the RAM looking for errors, none found.

    Swapped RAM with a single stick from another machine, continues to BSOD.

    Apollogies for being a bit out of order, I was able to get the machine to reboot initially before wiping it by switching from Dual Channel to Single Channel configuration, however the system was still incredibly unstable (blue screen no less than a couple days uptime, on a machine that has seen 50+ days without reboots). Windows Installs are BSODing now single or dual channel.

    I have replaced RAM with RAM from another machine, still BSODs, I have replaced Video Cards with another one, still BSODs, I disconnected all my drives except 1 CD and 1 Hard Drive, BSODs. I even went as far as to return to my first processor, an Athlon XP 64, and that didn't solve the problem.

    I can't find another version of this board, and I'll be honest I'm really not finding any new hardware that I am 'enthralled' with. I have 4 PATA drives, and 2 SATA. Finding Mobos with 2 IDE Controllers is becoming very difficult.

    I was about to order a Core2 Duo (E8500), a new Mobo, and new RAM, but am uncertain if I want to try it with a ATX 4 Pin power plug. I am guessing that the Core2Duo is fine with a 4 pin power, despite the board has an 8 Pin socket, as its a Duo and not a C2 Quad.

    Am I possibly overlooking anything or is this motherboard shot that I have now?
     
  2. pugmug

    pugmug Registered Member

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    Reads like the power supply or mobo.
     
  3. KookyMan

    KookyMan Registered Member

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    Michigan, USA
    Any suggestions to check on it? I don't have a spare PSU to try, and the PSU stats in BIOS Look about right on the money, of course thats not actually taxing the system I know.
     
  4. pugmug

    pugmug Registered Member

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  5. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    The CPU is the last thing to go and very rare it is at fault. It maybe overheating, a fan has stopped maybe? Is the CPU fan going round at the right speed always and free of dust, is it secure and firmly down? A good test for hardware is installing Windows. if it dosent make the install then it definately hardware. It could be a MBR virus or a faulty hard disk. Try HDD in different ports. Unplug all USB. Try wiping the disk fully. BSOD are usually bad drivers or faulty memory. It more likely be motherboard before the CPU. Check any capacitors on the motherboard are not leaking. Disconnect as much hardware as possible to eliminate faulty possibles. Pull out all cards except graphics card. Reset the BIOS. Check cable connections. Try different PSU connectors.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2008
  6. Comp01

    Comp01 Registered Member

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    It's likely the PSU or motherboard as stated, since the memory tests out fine. You can always buy PATA/SATA controller cards with whatever motherboard you get if it doesn't have enough. Thats what I do, I'm currently running a PCI Express SATA controller with a regular IDE controller as well.
     
  7. KookyMan

    KookyMan Registered Member

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    I've been looking into it... I am debating if I want to spend the money for a new PSU, MoBo, CPU, RAM.... If I do replace I'm going i7. Its top end for not to bad of a price... Downside is having to replace my PSU because it only has the 4pin mobo connector, not the 8Pin.

    Thanks for the help everyone.
     
  8. axial

    axial Registered Member

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    Last year I RMA'd an Intel version of ASUS mobo (undertook major detective work to validate all the other parts before finally determining the culprit in the system crash was a burst capacitor).

    As the board was barely 12 months old, I figured I'd stick with it especially as I didn't want to go through a new system build at the time, so just swapping the board would be relatively fast (or so I thought).

    While the RMA process was very smooth, the replacement that ASUS sent me a completely different board, and an AMD version to boot. <sheesh!>
     
  9. axial

    axial Registered Member

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  10. KookyMan

    KookyMan Registered Member

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    axial -

    Sadly my Mobo is nearly 3 years old (to the day) and so RMAing is out of the picture. I went with, what at the time seemed like a good choice, a AMD Socket 939 board, as I purchased a low-cost CPU (Athlon 64) with the plan at a later date (read: when I had more money/prices came down) could update to a high-end dual core (which I did, Opteron 185). Sadly they moved away from 939 a lot faster than I was hoping. That's part of why I'm considering going for the i7. I don't see LGA1366 disappearing any time soon, meaning I can get the low end Core i7 now, and upgrade to a higher end in 2 years when prices are coming down.

    Actually, I have to go from 4 to 8, and it appears they do have an adapter for it, but its still pulling all the power from the same plug. What the point of that is, I'm not sure. I thought there was a reason that there were not 8pin, (and a lot of motherboard say they will run on just the 4pin, but its to pull power from multi-rails I believe.)
    http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=186&products_id=3204

    Aside from RAM (which I know enough match pincount and required specs to what I need), Power and supplies are probably my weakest area of expertise. From what I can tell, I have more than enough power on my system right now so I might be able to get away with upgrading to a Core i7 and keeping my PSU. If you have some good suggestions for were to get some good education, it would be grand. (When I was designing my system initially, I added up wattage requirements of all my components and came up with an insane number, somewhere around 900W, and I knew it was bunk. I went with a 550Watt PSU and haven't had a problem in three years. And had rock solid stability. [By Rock Solid I mean upwards of 45-50+ days of uptime between reboots, XP SP2])

    For my config, with 550W PSU, I had:
    Opteron 185
    EVGA 8800 GT 512 (initally was ASUS 6800GT)
    2 PATA 300GB Maxtor HDs
    2 SATA 300GB Maxtor HDs
    2 DVDRW Drives (almost never used concurrently)
    and two add-in PCI cards, a TV Tuner and a second sound card (although neither had been actively used in a while. They were removed when I started having the above problems.)

    According to my APC UPS, I never really passed 250 Watts, but I know that is not what I should be looking at.
     
  11. axial

    axial Registered Member

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    I'm afraid I don't have much advice on sizing the PSU, other than to go with a well-known mfg -- I usually browse the forums over at http://www.tweaktown.com/index.html and then discount the rabid enthusiasm by about 85%. I've used Corsair, Thermaltake (they have a forum on Tweaktown), PC Power and Cooling, Seasonic, Enermax, Nexus (and others). Other than capacity I am particularly concerned about sound, as many PSUs are noisy. A good reference site for all hardware sound issues is http://www.silentpcreview.com/section13.html.

    I prefer sleeved cables, and modular designs that let one remove unused connectors.
     
  12. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    I had a similar problem with my media center PC. It ran 24/7 for about 2 years then it started giving me BSOD's. I replaced the power supply/memory with no success. I replaced my boot drive, when I try to restore an image to a new drive, it wouldn't complete, finally I tried doing a clean install of windows and that fail also with BSOD input/output errors.

    Finally I changed the motherboard and that fix the problem. Like you I have 4 IDE's on that computer and the new motherboard only had one IDE connector. There are special adapters to convert IDE to sata's, I tried 2 different brands that connect to the back of each hard drive and they proved unreliable (sometimes the computer would boot up and the drives would not be found). I also tried a PCI IDE adapter, it has 2 IDE connectors. They do work, but the drives won't show up in the BIOS, also you loose the ability to read the temperature of the hard drives. The PCI IDE adapters have proven reliable for me and cost about $20.00.
     
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