Please report all spam threads, posts and suspicious members. We receive spam notifications and will take immediate action!
Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 33

Thread: EP35-DS3 broken? Problems prevent reinstalling Vista, system unstable.




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    17

    Default EP35-DS3 broken? Problems prevent reinstalling Vista, system unstable.

    Hi,

    I think my EP35 is broken but I am not sure, so I'm looking for advice.

    My previous history with this MB includes some trouble with 4870 graphics card, which I thought were over after getting a replacement graphics card to my previous one (The manufacturer changed from MSI to Asus 4870 with Glaciator fan). But, something new came up..

    Day before yesterday I started having serious trouble with my Vista 32b install: after booting and loading up Vista, display went black and I couldn't reach Vista login screen. I thought my ati 4870 was broken again and I switched to x1300. It succeeded booting to Vista via VGA but things had become unstable: Immediately after login Vista started giving blue screen errors indicating problems with system files.

    - I tried to recover by doing update reinstall but blue screens during setup prevented it.

    - I tried to format and reinstall but blue screens prevented successful clean reinstall

    - Then I ran Memtest 86+ 2.01 for my 2x2GB OCZ memory and received 140000(!) errors per each pass. Errors occurred both with fail-safe and optimized bios settings (mem settings were 6-6-6-18).

    - Then I tested with single memory in slot 1 (Ch1) and received 0 errors(!) for two passes (tested with both of the memory cards individually)

    - Then I tested with single memory in slot 2 (Ch1) and received 1-2 errors in one pass (tested with both memory cards individually)

    - Finally, I tested the memory cards with my friend's EP35-DS3 motherboard and no errors were detected

    - I also tested with HD Drive test tool: HDD was error free

    Based on this testing, is it safe to assume that my motherboard's memory controller is broken and I should RMA it? I can't think of any further tests that would be needed for testing the motherboard (as there's no direct way of testing it), neither can I find any other component that would be the cause for the unstable system.

    Thanks for your expert advice in advance!

    ---
    My system:
    GA-EP35-DS3, Q9300, ASUS 4870/x1300, WD 500GB, 2x2GB OCZ Platinum, Corsair HX-620W, P182
    Last edited by eikka; 10-07-2008 at 09:09 AM.

  2. #2
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
    Lsdmeasap is offline GIGABYTE Guru
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    PCB Island
    Posts
    25,940

    Default Re: EP35-DS3 broken? Problems prevent reinstalling Vista, system unstable.

    Test your friends ram in your PC please, or any older sticks you have

    OCZ has long been on my list of Incompatible with GA-P35.

    Hey, you do have manually set Refresh to Act Delay of 52-62, and MCH voltage added right? If not you MUST with 2x2, and manually set the proper ram voltage as well

    Hey, if you put back in your 4870 and run memtest does it error as well? Just wondering.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: EP35-DS3 broken? Problems prevent reinstalling Vista, system unstable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lsdmeasap View Post
    Test your friends ram in your PC please, or any older sticks you have

    OCZ has long been on my list of Incompatible with GA-P35.

    Hey, you do have manually set Refresh to Act Delay of 52-62, and MCH voltage added right? If not you MUST with 2x2, and manually set the proper ram voltage as well

    Hey, if you put back in your 4870 and run memtest does it error as well? Just wondering.
    Hmm.. I need to look if I can borrow any DDR2... - I just think that such abrupt and unique memory incompatibility issues (my memory works well with my friend's system, and seemed to work ok for mine for ~4 months) would be quite rare.

    I haven't made any changes to Refresh to act or MCH voltages, those settings are for overclocking, MCH voltages is to add extra juice to my north bridge, right? I haven't doen any of that. My CPU has been left at stock 333/2500MHz and was in firm belief that the defaults should work out of the box... (well I have tried the optimized/fail-safe presets). If such settings are necessary, how come such thing is not mentioned in the manual? And why everything has worked so far?

    Haven't done the tests with 4870, will try to do it...

    Thanks for helping me with my problem!

  4. #4
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
    Lsdmeasap is offline GIGABYTE Guru
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    PCB Island
    Posts
    25,940

    Default Re: EP35-DS3 broken? Problems prevent reinstalling Vista, system unstable.

    Well since it did work fine until now, you may just have a dying stick is all.

    Those settings are not for overclocking, they are for stability. And must be set manually for Stable 2x2 operation.

    Defaults work out of the box as far as ram goes with 2x1 only, and even then if the proper voltage is not applied the rated speeds and timings can fail as well.

    Yes MCH is your NB voltage, which needs a increase to properly run with 4GB of memory. Stock is for 2x1

    Manual is only to get your started, after that it is all up to the user to ask and learn things themselves. It would be nice if such things were in the manuals, but sadly they are not.

    Everything may have worked for you for a while in Auto for any number of reasons. One being the errors were minor and you did not notice, or now you have a dying stick which multiply the issues. And putting in a larger card would also do the same.

    And no problem, that is why I am here! I try to help when I can.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: EP35-DS3 broken? Problems prevent reinstalling Vista, system unstable.

    Hmm.. I have tried your suggestion and been able to reduce errors (1 pass without errors, yay...) with (G)MCH overvoltage setting. Now, this setting is not enabled by default and it requires opening hidden options from the bios.

    In my book, this counts for a setting that common users (non-overclockers) should not care about. Since the overvoltage is for the MB and not for the memory, it should proof that the memory sticks are just fine (as seen when they were tested clean at my friend's EP35-DS3). I have become suspicious about the future stability of the motherboard now... Even without errors, I can't be certain if I need to crank even more volts to NB in the near future to enable fail-safe operation of the motherboard. I am more and more inclined to RMAing this motherboard....

    Thanks a lot for directing me to the root of this problem!

  6. #6
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
    Lsdmeasap is offline GIGABYTE Guru
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    PCB Island
    Posts
    25,940

    Default Re: EP35-DS3 broken? Problems prevent reinstalling Vista, system unstable.

    That means you for sure need to update your BIOS, and properly flash it. That hotkey Combination needed to be used is only in the way older BIOS's and has long been removed. So I think you may also be using a troublesome BIOS as well which may be part of your root problem

    Please see here for how to safely and efficiently flash your BIOS >>>
    http://forums.tweaktown.com/f69/bios...h-guide-27576/

    Your BIOS page F3 Latest NON Beta, F4a Available as well >>>
    http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/M...ProductID=2741

    If you are using the latest BIOS, then you did not properly flash last time you flashed, as the hotkey was removed long ago as a "Have to" use type of thing, so please if you are up to date BIOS wise please read the guide and do the load optimized routine so that your flash is proper. And yes it It would be best to do the flash again to the same version or higher if you like.

    NB (NorthBridge) = MCH (Memory Controller Hub)

    This is a features used by overclockers yes, but HAS to be also used for 2x2 or more ram, as you can tell by the name it controls and manages the memory, which you added more then the default of.

    You will need to add it to any motherboard by any company with and brand of memory when you use 4GB or more, be it 2x2 or 4x1. This is a known adjustment, Board defaults are setup for 2x1 @800Mhz and 1.8v, the rest is up to the user who bought the board knowing it was not a OEM system, but a overclockers board and planned to add his own High end hardware.

    AUTO defaults are setup by the BIOS engineers to system minimals only so that any user with most any hardware combination may be able to boot the system long enough to get into ther BIOS and make the proper needed adjustments. Any use of Auto past that is prone to instability and incorrect Automatic adjustments by the board. And for sure the board will adjust things incorrectly such as timings way loose causing poor performance, and voltages higher then they need be or often on some items lower then need be, such as a non adjustment like you see with the NB voltage.

    And by setting this to + .x to any direct amount also ensures that the board does not decide it needs more on it's own and way overvolts it, so you are ensuring against that and making your system stable at the same time.

    Sure sometimes auto will work fine with minimal hardware, and at minimal performance settings. Anything after that is up to the user to set, which is why you have those BIOS options unlike you see in a OEM system, like a Dell or HP setup.

    You did not buy a High end system only to let the Board decide for you and set things incorrectly did you? I mean, Gigabyte boards are for overclockers yes, but at the very least you should read up and properly set your BIOS Settings. Not only for the hardware sake, but for best performance.

    No you will not need to make future adjustments to it once you get it all 100% stable, maybe a timing adjustment here or there as your ram wears in, same would possibly apply with hardware voltages. Things will not remain exact forever and you cannot expect that.

    If you do decide to RMA the board, which would be silly, then keep in mind you will need to make the same adjustments on ANY board you buy.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: EP35-DS3 broken? Problems prevent reinstalling Vista, system unstable.

    Well, I got interested, I did reflash the F3 bios with Qflash utility and loaded optimized defaults and restarted as recommended. You were right in that the setting for MCH overvoltage was immediately available and not hidden. But the system voltage control was set to "manual", not "auto". Also the default setting for MCH overvoltage is not "auto" but "manual", which seems to be a fixed voltage. With this setting, memtest reports significant amount of errors, and again adding your suggested +0.1V seems to fix it, for now.

    I am sorry but it is really hard to swallow claims that dual channel memory sticks should not work without increasing the default voltage settings for the motherboard, that setting even warns that adjusting it may brick the board. I have two friends with the exact same motherboard and exact same brand of memory and they don't have any problems with default settings, not even when they are using my memory on their motherboards.

    I think that my piece of mobo is a weaker being, having probably elevated risk of failing in the future due to inherent instability with default settings... And that makes me think hard about RMA.. but it is a painful operation and I would not want to commit to it lightheartedly.

  8. #8
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
    Lsdmeasap is offline GIGABYTE Guru
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    PCB Island
    Posts
    25,940

    Default Re: EP35-DS3 broken? Problems prevent reinstalling Vista, system unstable.

    Have a read >>>
    mch nb voltage needed for 2x2GB - Google Search

    mch nb Northbridge voltage needed for 2x2GB - Google Search

    System voltage control was set to manual after you flashed? Guess I forgot to tell you to Disable Keep DMI data, either way it should be on manual anyway. And adjusted per your hardware

    You will need MCH + .15-.25 for stable 2x2GB use. You can not believe me all day long, but seriously you asked and I am giving you the proper answers. What your friends tell yu is stable may not be, and likely is not memtest86+ stable.

    The warnings you see are for people who do not know, and do not ask. Therefore should not be adjusting things. You have asked, and been advised of proper settings so you can ignore the warnings it is not for you.

    Like I said, default settings are not for your hardware setup, and therefore will nto be stable. It is not your board that is failing, but your settings. That is why there are there for you to adjust, your system is not a Dell or something like that. It is a enthusiast board with high end hardware, something Auto or normal or default is just not programmed to run stable

    Trust me! If you still do not believe me, I guess you will have to see when you RMA and get another board. ALL of the same needed adjustments WILL apply still.

    I will go PM some others here so you can see a few more people tell you all the same, and that it is true. I have PM'd several people to come let you know this is normal, and necessary.

    Hopefully they will all stop by to assure you

  9. #9
    MDDI is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Florida USA
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: EP35-DS3 broken? Problems prevent reinstalling Vista, system unstable.

    eikka,

    Trust me, LSD has helped more people on this site with Gigabyte boards and RAM settings than any other member.

    I have a Gigabyte X48T board and purchased OCZ DDR3 RAM. I had POST issues during my first BOOT and used his suggested RAM settings. I did not want to take the chance of voiding my warranty, I confirmed the settings were within spec with OCZ.

    My board was stable for five months, last week it would not POST again. Both DIMM's failed Memtest. As I stated, all the settings were blessed by OCZ, they issued an RMA.

    I have used most of the major brand RAM. I have had issues with RAM in the past regardless of brand. I'm not going to suggest one brand over the other.

    LSD feels that some RAM brands work better than others on Gigabyte boards, Mushkin being one of them. I trust his opinion so I decided to purchase Mushkin since I have not received my OCZ replacement yet. I'll post my feelings later.

    I'm not suggesting you change your RAM brand. I am suggesting you let LSD help you with your problem and take his advice.

    You can always confirm the settings with OCZ Tech or on the OCZ forum. You will however get faster responses on this forum from LSD and others.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: EP35-DS3 broken? Problems prevent reinstalling Vista, system unstable.

    Just to make sure: You have set the RAM timings and RAM voltage to the values specified by the RAM manufacturer? The RAM voltage may even need to be set in the BIOS 0.05V - 0.1V above what the manufacturer writes, because of the voltage drop on the board. I assume you have done this, but just to make sure, otherwise any further analysis is useless.

    About the MCH voltage. I personally would not worry too much about setting the MCH voltage 0.1V above default. What I have seen in forums you wouldn't be the only one that needs to do that. On my GA-EP45-DS3R I can run 4x1GB at default MCH, which may just be luck with my RAM. Besides 4x1GB can be different from 2x2GB and not every board is 100% identical.

    Have you checked what the Gigabyte RAM compatibility list says? Only if you can find some OCZ 2x2GB RAM there, you could expect it to run with default MCH.

    About the warning when setting the MCH voltage: You get the same warning when setting the RAM voltage. It's just to let you know that it is a setting where you have to be extra carefull not to set some insane value.

    I personally would only RMA something when it is really broken, meaning no more use to me. Or if I am really sure that something is totally wrong (which I would not be in your case).

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •