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Thread: EP45-DS3L freezing on boot




  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Unhappy EP45-DS3L freezing on boot

    EP45-DS3L w/ F8 BIOS installed
    Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale
    2x2GB G.SKILL DDRII800 CL5-5-5-15 1.8-1.9V
    Radeon HD 4850
    Corsair HX620W power supply

    This is a new build and no BIOS setting have been changed from stock. I booted it up the first time with an XP install disk in the drive, and it gave me a bluescreen error while loading drivers (something about pci.sys if I recall correctly, but I don't think it matters). I restarted and decided to look through the BIOS (was still using the F3 it shipped with at this point) for anything amiss. The BIOS froze on me after about one minute.

    I figure I'll start by checking the memory at this point. Unfortunately, Memtest86 freezes on me after 8 seconds. I try testing the individual modules in each slot and get the same freeze at about the same time.

    A little internet research on my main machine reveals that the BIOS is unpopular, and an update is recommended. I cross my fingers and try QFlash from a thumb drive. Miraculously, it completes the F8 flash without a hitch, and I'm starting to feel lucky. The computer restarts, Memtest continues to freeze, BIOS continues to freeze, and Windows install continues to bluescreen.

    I have no compatible spare parts to swap around for testing purposes, so I'm stuck asking for advice on BIOS tweaks I can try to stabilize this thing with.

    Alternate question: Should I RMA the RAM or the mobo first?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: EP45-DS3L freezing on boot

    Do yourself a favor and look around this message board first. Your board will not likely be stable with auto BIOS settings. Flashing to F8 is a necessary but insufficient condition for stablity...
    Actually, you should go ahead and flash to F9, or you will likely be unstable coming back from S3 standby, should you use that feature. Then, load optimal defaults, let the system reboot, and begin setting the primary BIOS settings in accordance with your system specs. You will likely find someone here who has a system very similar to yours and has posted their settings.
    Post back if you run in to problems.
    Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3L (BIOS F9); E7200 Core2Duo 2.53Ghz 1066Mhz FSB 3MB L2 (OC to 3.4Ghz); SuperTalent 2x2G DDR2-800 PC6400 CL 5-5-5-12 (T800UX4GC5); Seagate 500GB SATA2 7200 32mb cache HD; EVGA 8800GT 512MB Superclocked Edition
    Ultra X-connect X2 550-watt PSU; Vista x64 SP1 and OpenSUSE 11.0 (KDE 4.1)

  3. #3
    ed1 is offline Member
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    Default Re: EP45-DS3L freezing on boot

    I have a system very similar to yours - same processor, graphics card, motherboard and also had G.Skill 1066 memory before I started RMAing things. I had a lot of rebooting and freezing. Took me a while to find a way to get the system stable, but now it is rock solid. My experience tells me that you probably have no defective components and it is just a matter of getting the bios settings right. I did a lot of RMAing of RAM and even the motherboard and found the replacement parts behaved exactly the same. The cure for me was the recent bios and chipset driver updates.

    One key step is to make sure you load the Optimized Default Settings in the bios as the first thing you do after flashing to a new bios version. This is apparently very important to eliminate remnants of the prior bios settings. Do this even now even if you don't think you need to. Then save the Optimized settings and reboot. Then redo any changes you want to in the bios and save the settings again.

    Another thing is to get the MCH voltage setting and memory voltage setting right. For MCH voltage default is 1.10v. LSD will advise you to increase this to 1.2v or even up to 1.3v if you have 2x2gb sticks. Someone posted that Intel strongly recommends that the voltage not be moved below 1.04v or above 1.15v. I don't know which is correct, but my system (also with 2x2gb) smoothed right out after I (1) reduced the MCH voltage to 1.05v, and (2) loaded the latest Intel INF P45 chipset drivers recently posted on the Gigabyte web site.

    For the memory voltage, LSD will tell you not to rely on AUTO in the bios and to set the voltage manually first to 1.8v and if necessary up to 1.9v if that is what is on the RAM stickers. For memory timings, again don't rely on AUTO and adjust manually to 5-5-5-15 if that is what is on the stickers. And turn off the Turbo mode that the bios defaults to and reset it to Standard.

    Try booting with only 1 stick installed if you can't boot with 2 at first. If 1 stick boots, do all of the bios flashing and settings with that. And with 2 sticks, try moving them from slots 1 and 3 to slots 2 and 4.

    Use CPU-Z and/or memset to see the timings the memory is actually running at. You can't rely on the left column in the bios display - that is just the memory's SPD spec timing, not the actual. It took me a while to figure that out that the bios does not display actual timings used - only what you are setting.

    You may want to test your memory sticks for errors using memtest86+ before RMAing them. I would bet they are fine. And your graphics card is probably fine too.

    It is frustrating and time consuming trying to run down the booting/freezing problem, but again, it is most likely just bios settings. The recent Gigabyte bios updates and Intel chipset driver updates have addressed and solved most or all of the issues, I think.

    Let us know how this comes out for you.

    Perhaps LSD will respond with more detailed advice. . .
    Last edited by ed1; 09-24-2008 at 12:34 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: EP45-DS3L freezing on boot

    Well, I made some progress.

    Turns out I pulled a boner and was using the knock-off version of Memtest86 (version 3.4) and not the proper Memtest86+ (version 2.01). Once I got that sorted out, I managed to run a full pass on each memory stick individually in slots 2 and 4. Based on that, I'm declaring the motherboard and memory to be in working order. I went ahead and flashed the F9 BIOS now that I know the system's stable with just one stick.

    Unfortunately, when both RAM sticks are installed, the computer goes back to freezing within 20 seconds of powering on, in both BIOS and Memtest. That makes playing around with settings slow and painful.

    According to VenuS in this thread, he's got 8GB of the same RAM running fine in a P45 board. It sounds like he didn't have any trouble getting his rig running with stock settings, but I tried some of the timings he listed in that thread. I also tried some settings listed in other threads with 2x2GB of 800 speed RAM and haven't found anything that shows even the slightest improvement.

    I'm not sure where to go from this point. It seems that this motherboard is not going to play nice with this RAM, though I can't pinpoint the conflict. Being stuck with 2GB of RAM in this machine seems... weak. Is it worth trying another set of the same G.Skill, or should I try another RAM manufacturer whose product is known to consistently work with this motherboard? Which memory would that be? Is 4GB of memory abnormally high?

    Alternately, is the EP45-DS3L so finicky that I may never get 4GB of RAM running in it? I've probably wasted 10 hours of my life flailing around in the darkness trying to make this build work. My last build was an Athlon64 3000+, so it's been a while since I put anything together, but I never had problems like this. Would I be having the same problem if I switched to an ASUS board?

  5. #5
    ed1 is offline Member
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    Default Re: EP45-DS3L freezing on boot

    Camalaro, did you load optimized defaults, save and reboot after flashing the bios?

    Did you change memory Turbo mode to Standard in the bios?

    Did you do any adjusting of MCH voltage setting in the bios?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: EP45-DS3L freezing on boot

    From the sounds of things, you are very close...just a matter of getting the right settings. I had exactly the same symptoms to begin with, and felt, like you, that it would never be stable. Now everything is solid. Please use the template and post your BIOS settings so we can help you.
    Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3L (BIOS F9); E7200 Core2Duo 2.53Ghz 1066Mhz FSB 3MB L2 (OC to 3.4Ghz); SuperTalent 2x2G DDR2-800 PC6400 CL 5-5-5-12 (T800UX4GC5); Seagate 500GB SATA2 7200 32mb cache HD; EVGA 8800GT 512MB Superclocked Edition
    Ultra X-connect X2 550-watt PSU; Vista x64 SP1 and OpenSUSE 11.0 (KDE 4.1)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: EP45-DS3L freezing on boot

    Yes to all of the above for both the F8 and F9 BIOS. I've tried both lowering the MCH voltage as you recommended, and raising it per LSD's advice to others; neither produce any recognizable improvement.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: EP45-DS3L freezing on boot

    Quote Originally Posted by camalaro View Post
    Yes to all of the above for both the F8 and F9 BIOS. I've tried both lowering the MCH voltage as you recommended, and raising it per LSD's advice to others; neither produce any recognizable improvement.
    I see you have set the Performance Enhance to "Standard", but have you set the tRFC to at least 54? (for 4GB and above)
    GA-P35C-DS3R Rev2.0 F11 bios, E8200 (@3.0Ghz), OCZ DDR3 PC3-10666 Reaper 4GB (@1200Mhz), Xonar D1, 8800GTS 512, Corsair HX520 (Single 12volt line, Max 40A), WDC 3200aaks/5000aaks in AHCI mode, Vista 64 Premium.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: EP45-DS3L freezing on boot

    Quote Originally Posted by VorLonUK View Post
    I see you have set the Performance Enhance to "Standard", but have you set the tRFC to at least 54? (for 4GB and above)
    I tried the values LSD listed here:

    ACT to ACT Delay (tRRD)________ 3-4
    Rank Write to READ Delay (tWTR)_______ (4-6) 9-11 (Note Actual Value set in BIOS Vs. What system Uses will be 7+)
    Write to Precharge Delay (tWR)________ 3-5
    Refresh to ACT Delay (tRFC)___________ 38-42 (2X1GB) 52-62+ (2x2GB)
    Read to Precharge Delay (tRTP)_________ 3-6
    Static tRead Value (tRD)______________ (6) 7-10 (800Mhz) 7-12 (1066Mhz)
    Static tRead Phase Adjust________ 1-31*

    Based on his writing in that post, it sounds like the higher values in the listed ranges are "safer," so I went with those (e.g. tRFC=62) in an attempt to find a starting point to work from. They made the system less stable if anything. If starting out at the highest number, or jacking up all the numbers at the same time, is a bad idea let me know.

    Right now I've reset everything back to the auto Optimal settings, set the memory to Standard mode, and manually set the CAS to 5-5-5-15.

    I'm ordering a different motherboard tonight if I can't make any progress by then.

    Thanks to those who've tried to help me so far.

  10. #10
    ed1 is offline Member
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    Default Re: EP45-DS3L freezing on boot

    One more thought, have you updated the Radeon 4850 to the latest Catalyst drivers, version 8.9, I believe?

    By the way, it took me a month and a half to get my system fully stable, most of which was either RMAing various parts and/or waiting for Gigabyte bios updates. Bios seems to be fine now.
    Last edited by ed1; 09-26-2008 at 04:09 AM.

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