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reaktor3
06-08-2004, 10:09 AM
OK, I believe I'v solved reason for crashing for most of cases present over here (atleast those with freezing, bluescreen and/or automatic rebooting). Please read carefully, but if you'r just lazy please go ahead and read the summary at the end of this message.

First of all, I'v been having problems with freezing / bluescreen crashing since I updated computer. My baby is 3000+ XP AMD, Asus motherboard, 1GB of 400mhz DDR, 380w quality power, STaudio soundcard (specially made for music producing) and Ati Radeon 9600.

So as everyone would guess, things were messed up for a reason or another. First thing I ruled out was Radeon 9600, for I didn't have any crashing/freezing neither on Far Cry or UT2004 BEFORE updating all the other components (9600 did just fine on old comp). I started investigating this problem after finding out that Unreal Tournament 2004 didn't work either and had just similar freezing problems. My best guess was that some hardware was messed up, so after reading coupel of threads at UT2004 tech. forum, I came across with Prime95 'benchmark/test'-software, which tests your motherboard, cpu and memories by torturing em' until some critical error happens (meaning, calculation is done wrong --> data is lost at some point). I ran this default "torture-test" couple of times and each time first error came after around 4-5min's (just about the same time as with crashing in game). I loaded up "Motherboard Monitor 5" software and did this test couple of times more and found out that there was no problem with components getting enough power or CPU overheating. This finally pointed out that something was wrong with memory sticks, so I just took one off. Still Prime95 gave me errors, so I checked the other one. Still errors... so both of my brand new chips are broken? No way! I decided to try underclocking my FSB from 200 -> 166 (meaning that both memory and cpu are dropped a little bit) and after updating bios options and rebooting I ran Prime95 again. This time it ran over 30mins without errors and I decided to quit the test. Then I ran Far Cry ones more... No crashing, no nothing. Then UT2004, no freezing, nothing.

Conclusion: Despite motherboard's description 'bout working with 400mhz chips it seems to me that memory channels cannot transfer data fast enough, or some component ain't getting enough power (despite the fact that it seemed to me that each volt channel is working stable).Prime95 FAQ says somewhat like "Even though it seems that you have no problem what so ever with your system, it DOES have SERIOUS problem if tests are not going through. When pushing hardware to it's limits it may occur freezing/crashing, as it happens with poor quality hardware and newest games".
It seems to me that Far Cry is just pushing too much data to transfer between memorychips and motherboard and it's causing some serious crashing... This could count in most of cases present in this forum. Also some of my friends had discovered similar problems when running their brand new 400mhz chips on brand new (and costy) motherboards.

*** Summary (all you lazy should read just this) ***

Run Prime95 test! If you get any errors it means that you do have a serious problem with your computer when pushing your hardware to it's limits!
You may be able to play, may be able to edit photos, may be able to run web server and such without freezing, but you MAY NOT be able to play some extremely cpu/memory efficient games without crashing!
Even with hyper great hardware you should underclock your memory bus to work at 333mhz (by turning FSB from 200 --> 166). This will also turn down your CPU speed, but you can turn it back with multipliers. As for me, this wasn't CPU problem, but with memory. My best guess would be that some good Dual Channel memory, such as Kingston Hyper-X, would work with full 400mhz and these people don't have problems with playing the game with 400mhz memory channels on.

When you get Prime 95 through (you should run for 2-6 hours atleast for major testing, but around 20mins should be enough in this case, so if no error occurs just go ahead and stop it manually), try running Far Cry again! I seriously believe that most of crashing problems would be solved by following these instructions.
Most of questions about crashing have been very similar to mine and I believe that "running in low-details" is just bubblegum-fix for limiting amount of data transferred to memory-chips, and ain't actually fixing the problem.

Links:

Prime95:
http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft.htm

Original thread at UT2004 forum, which has additional info 'bout this problem:
http://www.ataricommunity.com/forums/showthread.php?s=43eb106232240385eb1651ef24ea2805&threadid=367928

ps. This msg may have some incorrect information related to FSB -> memory speed -> cpu relation, since I'm just newbie with over/underclocking. Also some expressions here may be wrong due to my lacking english skills http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

You all have a great summer!

- Reaktor

[This message was edited by reaktor3 on Tue June 08 2004 at 09:29 AM.]

reaktor3
06-08-2004, 10:09 AM
OK, I believe I'v solved reason for crashing for most of cases present over here (atleast those with freezing, bluescreen and/or automatic rebooting). Please read carefully, but if you'r just lazy please go ahead and read the summary at the end of this message.

First of all, I'v been having problems with freezing / bluescreen crashing since I updated computer. My baby is 3000+ XP AMD, Asus motherboard, 1GB of 400mhz DDR, 380w quality power, STaudio soundcard (specially made for music producing) and Ati Radeon 9600.

So as everyone would guess, things were messed up for a reason or another. First thing I ruled out was Radeon 9600, for I didn't have any crashing/freezing neither on Far Cry or UT2004 BEFORE updating all the other components (9600 did just fine on old comp). I started investigating this problem after finding out that Unreal Tournament 2004 didn't work either and had just similar freezing problems. My best guess was that some hardware was messed up, so after reading coupel of threads at UT2004 tech. forum, I came across with Prime95 'benchmark/test'-software, which tests your motherboard, cpu and memories by torturing em' until some critical error happens (meaning, calculation is done wrong --> data is lost at some point). I ran this default "torture-test" couple of times and each time first error came after around 4-5min's (just about the same time as with crashing in game). I loaded up "Motherboard Monitor 5" software and did this test couple of times more and found out that there was no problem with components getting enough power or CPU overheating. This finally pointed out that something was wrong with memory sticks, so I just took one off. Still Prime95 gave me errors, so I checked the other one. Still errors... so both of my brand new chips are broken? No way! I decided to try underclocking my FSB from 200 -> 166 (meaning that both memory and cpu are dropped a little bit) and after updating bios options and rebooting I ran Prime95 again. This time it ran over 30mins without errors and I decided to quit the test. Then I ran Far Cry ones more... No crashing, no nothing. Then UT2004, no freezing, nothing.

Conclusion: Despite motherboard's description 'bout working with 400mhz chips it seems to me that memory channels cannot transfer data fast enough, or some component ain't getting enough power (despite the fact that it seemed to me that each volt channel is working stable).Prime95 FAQ says somewhat like "Even though it seems that you have no problem what so ever with your system, it DOES have SERIOUS problem if tests are not going through. When pushing hardware to it's limits it may occur freezing/crashing, as it happens with poor quality hardware and newest games".
It seems to me that Far Cry is just pushing too much data to transfer between memorychips and motherboard and it's causing some serious crashing... This could count in most of cases present in this forum. Also some of my friends had discovered similar problems when running their brand new 400mhz chips on brand new (and costy) motherboards.

*** Summary (all you lazy should read just this) ***

Run Prime95 test! If you get any errors it means that you do have a serious problem with your computer when pushing your hardware to it's limits!
You may be able to play, may be able to edit photos, may be able to run web server and such without freezing, but you MAY NOT be able to play some extremely cpu/memory efficient games without crashing!
Even with hyper great hardware you should underclock your memory bus to work at 333mhz (by turning FSB from 200 --> 166). This will also turn down your CPU speed, but you can turn it back with multipliers. As for me, this wasn't CPU problem, but with memory. My best guess would be that some good Dual Channel memory, such as Kingston Hyper-X, would work with full 400mhz and these people don't have problems with playing the game with 400mhz memory channels on.

When you get Prime 95 through (you should run for 2-6 hours atleast for major testing, but around 20mins should be enough in this case, so if no error occurs just go ahead and stop it manually), try running Far Cry again! I seriously believe that most of crashing problems would be solved by following these instructions.
Most of questions about crashing have been very similar to mine and I believe that "running in low-details" is just bubblegum-fix for limiting amount of data transferred to memory-chips, and ain't actually fixing the problem.

Links:

Prime95:
http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft.htm

Original thread at UT2004 forum, which has additional info 'bout this problem:
http://www.ataricommunity.com/forums/showthread.php?s=43eb106232240385eb1651ef24ea2805&threadid=367928

ps. This msg may have some incorrect information related to FSB -> memory speed -> cpu relation, since I'm just newbie with over/underclocking. Also some expressions here may be wrong due to my lacking english skills http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

You all have a great summer!

- Reaktor

[This message was edited by reaktor3 on Tue June 08 2004 at 09:29 AM.]

Ru.
06-08-2004, 10:58 AM
I'd recommend running it on Torture Test for at least 12 hours or preferably 24.

If you can stand being kept off your PC for that long that is.

ps reaktor3 is NOT me with a different username, in case anyone was wondering...

reaktor3
06-08-2004, 11:40 AM
You'r right about torture test, it should be running for longer than 20mins, but I'm quite sure that most of people having freezes/crashes will get errors in 4mins and when fixed I doubt there would be anything too bad going on after 20mins (since I haven't had any problems after 12min successful torture-test).

As for underclocking, it's not such a big thing even for a newbie to do since there are no heat-problems to deal with. It will still make your system all the way more stable.

Ru, ... Just wondering why would anyone think you are me? http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

- Reaktor

Ru.
06-08-2004, 12:14 PM
Only that I keep on blabbing on about Prime, is all.

reaktor3
06-08-2004, 01:42 PM
Well I'll have to say that it's one hell of a piece of software. I never would have though that memories may be unstable when running high, but after discovering this problem I have founded couple of articles concerning this problem... Still no solution found yet, except having superb condicion sticks which happen to work OR underclocking. Also it's still a big question if the problem is actually with sticks or just with lame mobo's. Hopefully we will sooner or later find out. Until then I would suggest everyone to give a shot with underclocking, rather than blaming their videocards.

Ru.
06-08-2004, 02:49 PM
As an alternative it may be helpful to increase the timing values for your memory rather than reducing the FSB (somewhere in the advanced bit of BIOS); if you have a multiplier-locked CPU then you can't get it back to full speed with a lower FSB.

Slight increases in memory latency timing etc. won't affect performance that much but could be enough to get a stable machine.

ska1315
06-08-2004, 03:29 PM
Well, i ran Prime and twice in a row it got an error within minutes. So i underclocked the FSB and Prime went on longer but Far Cry still wasnt going on. HMm....

ToranagaSama1
06-08-2004, 03:34 PM
Ahhhh.....what brand is your memory?

Is it the same memory from your old system? If so, it may be spec'd to run at 166 not 200.

What I would conclude from your comments is that your memory is having problems running at 200 hz.

The memory is either not rated for that speed and/or the memory is of a low quality. All memory is not the same.

You could try increasing the DDR voltage, and see if that would allow you to run at 200 hz.

If a friend has some quality memory, Corsair, Mushkin, etc., borrow his and see if you can run at 200 hz.

Luck!

---
Abit KR7A 133r
AMD Athlon XP 1800+
ATI Radeon 9700 pro
512 MB Corsair XMS DDR (266)
Addtronics 7890A (modified by www.coolcases.com (http://www.coolcases.com))
Cornerstone p1700
Win2000pro SP4
O/C: 145 fsb, cpu clock 1668 RAM Timings: 2-2-2-5
GPU core/ram: default (stock HSF, so heat issues w. game at certain levels)

reaktor3
06-08-2004, 04:06 PM
ToranagaSama:

If the question was meant for me, I'm using 2 x 512 MB DDR 400MHZ RAMOS PC-3200. Mobo is A7N8X-E Deluxe, so there is support for 400mhz memory (200mhz channels). Sticks are brand new. As stated before, prime tests do pass now after underclocking a bit and no crashing what so ever has been recorded since underclocking. And as said before, some of my friends / work partners have had similar experiences until changing to Kingston Hyper-X. Most of 'em are now using underclocked 400 -> 333 sticks or bought new dual channel sticks...

I also tried increasing voltage, but this didn't help and I decided not to increase too much, since I wasn't sure if the results would be two dead sticks.

Ru, Reducing FSB wasn't such a big dea at least on my motherboard. Mine wasn't locked, but I guess that Intel prosessors might have different handling. I would guess that changing memory timing would have the same effect, since I'm still quite confident that underclocking memory would do the trick.

I just called to one friend about this very same problem he was having with UT2004 and told him what I'v explained here. He thinks that UT ain't crashing right now, but it will take atleast couple of hours to make sure of the effect (prime passed for 15mins and I told him to quit and try the game).

btw, I did notice that ASUS hasn't guaranteed Ramos working with current mobo and it still may be the reason for not getting 400mhz working... well, sticks working 'only' 333 won't get me sleepless, because I just finished Far Cry! http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif))

ToranagaSama1
06-08-2004, 04:36 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by reaktor3:
ToranagaSama:

If the question was meant for me, I'm using 2 x 512 MB DDR 400MHZ RAMOS PC-3200. Mobo is A7N8X-E Deluxe, so there is support for 400mhz memory (200mhz channels). Sticks are brand new. As stated before, prime tests do pass now after underclocking a bit and no crashing what so ever has been recorded since underclocking. And as said before, some of my friends / work partners have had similar experiences until changing to Kingston Hyper-X. Most of 'em are now using underclocked 400 -&gt; 333 sticks or bought new dual channel sticks...
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The above appears to confirm things. Never heard of Ramos, so I did a Google for "Ramos". Can't find a site for the company, though found a few places that sell the brand.

It's not a matter of *if* your motherboard/chipset supports the memory, though its possible that the Asus board and the Ramos memory are not compatible. Check Asus' site they probably have a list of compatible memory (or uncompatible).

JFYI, some memory companies try to save money by using low quality parts to make their sticks. They *may* run fine in the average situation, but in *above* average circumstances, such as playing FC, their lack of quality shows itself. This is what I believe is happening with your Ramos memory.

See, if you can borrow the Kingston Hyer-Z for a couple of hours. If it works at 200 hz then....

The Ramos sticks are new? Then I'd take them back and exchange for better quality brand. Might have to pay a little more though. Personally, I don't recommend Kingston, BUT, try them, as long as you can take it back.

Sure you can underclock them, BUT, you pay'd for your sticks to work at 200 hz, that's precisely what you SHOULD have. Take them back. JMUHO.

Luck!

ska1315
06-08-2004, 06:54 PM
Ok, so what memory should i buy that can be run at 400mhz? And if i add a 512 stick of it will my other 512 thats slower, slow it down?

imabrickwall
06-09-2004, 03:17 AM
well this whole stress test thing is great, but I dont want my computer to help find prime numbers lol...who cares.

Ru.
06-09-2004, 05:56 AM
@ska - I can't recommend any memory, as I'm using some cheap generic PC3200 rubbish, clocked at 358Mhz (effective) and it works fine (as it's slightly underclocked, unlike my CPU...)

But, afaik, no motherbaord allows you to run different memory sticks at different speeds so you have to set it at your slowest stick's speed.

@ima - afaik the torture test of prime95 doesn't find new prime numbers, it's just a great way to test for stability. Apart from Far Cry, there's not many applications which give your CPU and RAM such a work-out.

ksk3000
06-09-2004, 06:37 AM
@Ru.
358Mhz effective??? You mean 358Mhz DDR!

When I spent my money for what you can see in my signature, I wasnt able to run my system at 200 FSB and 200 Mhz RAM because of too low RAM-voltage. So Ive chosen the right voltage and now its working great for hours and hours, with the respective timings!
There is definitely no major "bug" or something like that, that wont allow you to run games like FarCry at PC3200-mode. Try the voltage mentioned by the manufacturer

---------------------------------------
AMD XP3000+
ASUS A7N8X Deluxe 2.0
1024MB Golden Dragon PC3200
Radeon 9800Pro (VGA Silencer)
17" EIZO L557
17" LG CRT
Thermaltake XaserIII Alu

Ru.
06-09-2004, 09:05 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ksk3000:
@Ru.
358Mhz effective??? You mean 358Mhz DDR!
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes. And no. We're both right?

What I mean is an FSB of 179MHz, giving an actual RAM clock of 179MHz or an effective RAM clock of 358MHz as it's DDR and clocks on both the rising and falling edge of the pulse (as you know).

http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

imabrickwall
06-09-2004, 12:06 PM
wouldn't underclocking your system make some applications/games run slower?

Jabroni_619
06-09-2004, 01:20 PM
As RU stated, I would also try running relaxed timings before I tried underclocking my FSB. You will take less of a performance hit and still gain your stability back.

-ABIT NF7-S (nForce2)
-Mobile Barton 2600+@2.3GHz
-Radeon 9800 Pro @ 420/380
-2x512MB Corsair XMS @ 2-2-2-11
-Audigy2 Platinum

imabrickwall
06-09-2004, 09:50 PM
If I understood what you were talking about and knew how to change it, I would certainly give it a go. Oh, and I was wondering, I checked and it says my AMD is currently running at 1.3 when I have a AMD Athlon 3000+ 2.0 GHz. Is my system underclocked? Can I change it? could this be why I got a mere 2400 on Mark3d?

Jabroni_619
06-10-2004, 12:07 AM
Your bus speed is at 133 instead of 200 where it should be.

-ABIT NF7-S (nForce2)
-Mobile Barton 2600+@2.3GHz
-Radeon 9800 Pro @ 420/380
-2x512MB Corsair XMS @ 2-2-2-11
-Audigy2 Platinum