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Thread: GA-EX38-DS4 continuous reboot after 9 months of stablity

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Brisbane, Australia

    Default GA-EX38-DS4 continuous reboot after 9 months of stablity

    This build is 9 months old. I had some initial problems during the build (faulty RAM) but the system has been rock solid since the end of May 2008. The machine was purpose built for my trading business, so it runs just trading applications, 4 in total. The only changes to the machine have been upgrades to that trading s/w. No hardware changes this past 9 months, no BIOS tweaking this past 9 months. It runs WinXp Pro.

    Today I noticed that one of my trading apps just shutdown and about 10 seconds after that the machine rebooted itself. It got to the Windows splash screen, then rebooted again. I let it do this about 5 times and then turned it off. Turned back on after 20 minutes or so, stayed up for about 5 minutes (just web browsing) and then it started the reboot cycle again.

    First thoughts was memory problems. I'm running 8500 Ballistix tracers. I'm aware of the preceived problems with this memory, they run really hot but Crucial say they must be run at their rated 2.2v otherwise there will be problems. So I run them at their rated voltage and I have active cooling on them. I ran memtes86+, 4 full passes with no errors, so I guess this kind of rules out memory problems.

    Anyway, turned the machine off again and disconnected from power, turned back on and it stayed up for about 1 hour before rebooting itself again. However, this time no reboot cycle, it just booted into Windows and has been running now for about 30 minutes (not doing anything though).

    I am familiar with the continuous reboot cycle with this (and similar) boards but my understanding is that this is generally caused by BIOS settings (e.g. memory timings) that it does not like.

    There are no event log entries that point me at possible problems. I'm looking for suggestions as to what might be causing this. Is there a short somewhere, is the motherboard on the way out etc etc.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default Re: GA-EX38-DS4 continuous reboot after 9 months of stablity

    Well, one thing you could do that may help you to identify the problem area would be to fire it up, pressing F8 like mad, and when the screen with the boot options comes up select "Disable Reboot on system failure" This may allow you to get a BSOD maybe to see wtf is going on. If you do not get any BSOD then its probably Hardware related and more likely ram related?? I know you ran memtest. But try it first. You may get a BSOD, Or it could be that your HDD is dying or bindows has become currupted somehow. I have a customer that has a "server" running quickbooks and they were backing up, it failed and then every time you restarted it it would just boot loop at various loading stages sometimes with BSOD sometimes not. I took the HDD out and put it in my Vista machine as a second drive and when mine loaded vista it went black screen then Disk scan came up and "repaired bad sectors" and all was well again. Hope something I have said helps. Let me know how you go.
    Lian Li PC-7F Chassis Black
    Gigabyte GA-X48-DS5 MB (Rev. 1.1 BIOS v.F8c)
    Gigabyte ODIN GT 800Watt PSU
    Intel Core2Quad Q9550 E0 @ 3.4Ghz @ 1.25vcore
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    2 X ATI Radeon HD4850 512MB (Crossfired)
    Dell Ultrasharp 2209WA IPS
    2 X 1TB Seagate 7200.11 in RAID 1
    Pioneer DVR216 SATA DVD MultiDrive
    Windows 7 Ultimate X64 RC1 (Build 7232)
    Gigabyte Poseidon Chassis
    Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3 (Rev. 1.0 BIOS v.F9)
    ASUS Artic Square CPU Cooling with AS5
    Thermaltake TR2 RX 550Watt PSU
    Intel Core2Duo E8500 E0 @ 3.8Ghz @ 1.25vcore
    Corsair 2 X 2Gb XMS2 PC6400C5 DDR2
    NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT 512MB
    1 X Seagate 1TB 7200.12 + Seagate 750GB 7211.11
    Sony SATA DVD MultiDrive
    Windows 7 Ultimate X64 RC1 (Build 7232)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Brisbane, Australia

    Default Re: GA-EX38-DS4 continuous reboot after 9 months of stablity

    Thanks for your suggestions. You can actually disable reboot on system failure from within control panel. I did that but the dump didn't reveal any useful info, no drivers mentioned, just the STOP: codes, which were different each time. I'd also been looking at the minidumps and they again revealed no useful info.

    What's annoying about this is the machine would run fine for an hour or so and then either lockup or reboot. After a time NTFS on the system disk became corrupt so I'm going to re-install XP now anyway. The continuous reboot I was seeing led me to believe the mobo may have developed a problem or the ram had died and as these boards are notorious for these continuous reboots, that's whay I posted here.

    I guess I'm leaning towards some kind of driver problem or hardware problem and I will try and isolate that during the reinstall.

  4. #4
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
    Lsdmeasap is offline GIGABYTE Guru
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    PCB Island

    Default Re: GA-EX38-DS4 continuous reboot after 9 months of stablity

    What were the codes (0x00000000) anyway? If you wrote them down I would like to know all that you know of as the all may point to the same area

    2.2V is what is warranted, not always what is needed and generally not what is needed for stability. They rate them at 2.2v because Some boards may need the full 2.2v and some may not, others of course use memory spec as a overclock guideline which companies also take into consideration thus the warranted spec'd voltage.

    Since you did run memtest, was it memtest86+? If so, great, be sure you are using the latest 2.11 now I think >>>
    Memtest86+ - Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool

    And I would advise you run it again and this time let it run for 5-10 Full passes just to be sure as 4 may not be enough to show problems. You could also just run a hour of test #5, that would show for sure if there was any signs of failure.

    As to failure, it could be settings or the memory itself failing. What are you using for settings, maybe I can see something that looks off or advise of something that needs an adjustment. Also, is this 2x1Gb or 2x2GB?

    This is Just a template I use to ask people their settings, pay no attention to the numbers in it, replace with yours

    Robust Graphics Booster___________ [Auto]
    CPU Clock Ratio ____________ [8] 
    Fine Clock Ratio ____________[0.5]
    CPU Host Clock Control_ [Enabled]
    CPU Host Frequency (MHz)__________ [450] 
    PCI Express Frequency (Mhz)_______ [100]
    C.I.A. 2__________________________ [Disabled]
    System Memory Multiplier (SPD)____ [2.00]
    DRAM Timing Selectable_______ SPD __ [Manual]
    Performance Enhance = [Standard]
    CAS Latency Time________________ ?
    Dram RAS# to CAS# Delay_________ ?
    Dram RAS# Precharge Delay_______?
    Precharge Delay (tRAS)__________ ?
    ACT to ACT Delay (tRRD)_________ ?
    Rank Write to READ Delay________ ?
    Write to Precharge Delay_________ ?
    Refresh to ACT Delay______________ ?
    Read to Precharge Delay__________ ?
    Static tRead Value_______________
    Static tRead Phase Adjust________ [Auto]
    CPU/PCIEX Clock Driving Control [800mV]
    CPU Clock Skew Control [normal]
    GMCH Clock Skew Control [Normal]
    System Voltage Control____ [Manual]
    DDR2 OverVoltage Control__ [+0.300V] 
    PCI-E OverVoltage Control_ [+0.1V] 
    FSB OverVoltage Control___ [+0.1V] 
    (G)MCH OverVoltage Control [+0.1V] 
    CPU Voltage Control_______ [1.25]
    Limit CPUID Max. to 3.....................: [Disabled]
    No-Execute Memory Protect............: [Enabled]
    CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E)................: [Disabled]
    C2/C2E State Support....................: [Disabled]
    x C4/C4E State Support..................: [Disabled]
    CPU Thermal Monitor 2(TM2) ...........: [Enabled]
    CPU EIST Function.........................: [Disabled]
    Virtualization Technology................: [Disabled] Enabled if you use Vmware/Virtual PC
    Integrated Peripherals
    Legacy USB Storage Detect___________________[Disabled] *Note* Must be enabled to flash from USB

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Brisbane, Australia

    Default Re: GA-EX38-DS4 continuous reboot after 9 months of stablity

    Hey Lsdmeasap, thanks for chiming in. It was you who provided some advice on setting up this board 9 months ago. I think my problems might be due to a faulty video card. Do you think that would cause this kind of behaviour. After trying to solve the problem and after many crashes the file system became corrupt on system drive, that's enough for me so I reinstalled XP. Have a look at my other post and let me know what you think.

    The STOP codes from XP crashes were all different, 4e, 8e, 1a, a1, d1, 50 etc etc. so that info didn't get me anywhere.

    I'm running my memory at 2.2v as that's what crucial said I should do when I contacted them. Memory has been running fine this past 9 months and I ran 4 full passes on memtest86+ on them no errors. After reinstalling XP I also ran Prime95 torture test (blend tests) for 4 hours with no errors.

    The machine started rebooting again about 6 hours after I put the suspect video card back in (after I'd done the Prime95 and memtests), I just wanted to run some stress tests on the video cards (I have 2 in this machine). Both cards tested out OK but there seems to be some problem with one of the cards, it reports a temperature (speedfan) of 120 degrees+, have a look at my other post I mentoned earlier. If the video card is not the problem then I will come back here and talk about my other settings.

    My settings are pretty much what you suggested 9 months ago and the machine had been stable during this time. I did run memory at 2.2v though and I did not increase MCH voltage as you suggested. (I have a ram cooler on those tracers too). I haven't put a fan on the NB as you suggested, I think I should look at doing that. Actually the suspect gfx card was in the PCIe slot that is right next to the NB, NB has that massive heatsink on it and it gets really hot. The card sits pretty close to it so maybe this is partly why this card is getting really hot too. Please have a look at my other post and let me know what you think.

    Interesting thing is that I was actually looking at speedfan temps when the machine started rebooting, but I did not notice the GPU temps just before crash. It looks as though the GPU temp on the suspect card spiked (idle is about 65 degrees for this GPU) and that caused the machine to crash and continuous reboot. When I eventually got back into speedfan that GPU was showing 128 degrees!!! Whether the card was actually that hot I don't know, it certainly did not feel that hot when I pulled it out. Seems odd it would go from 65* to 128* in the blink of an eye. I was only web browsing and playing with speedfan.

    I'm going to continue stress testing without the suspect gfx card and see how that goes for the moment.

  6. #6
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
    Lsdmeasap is offline GIGABYTE Guru
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    PCB Island

    Default Re: GA-EX38-DS4 continuous reboot after 9 months of stablity

    Hey, I wanted the whole codes

    Ya, I remember helping you before and I just replied to your other post a little while ago. I think I will carry on over there since I have already replied to some of your same thoughts posted here, on that thread before.

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