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Thread: Advice on disk config on EX38-DS4




  1. #1
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    Default Advice on disk config on EX38-DS4

    I first setup my EX38-DS4 build about 9 months ago with a WD 36GB raptor as system drive, a 250GB Seagate SATA drive and an older 80GB Seagate with IDE type interface. I've had problems with this build after 9 months of stability and I'm going to rebuild it.

    During my initial build I installed both the Intel chipset drivers and the Intel ICH9R Sata RAID drivers. I had the raptor on Sata0, a DVD drive on Sata1, the Seagate Sata drive on Sata2 and ofcourse the Seagate IDE drive on the IDE interface. I'm not sure if this is an ideal setup and would like some advice on the best way to set up these drives when I rebuild.

    I do not want to use RAID but it was my understanding that I needed the ICH9R RAID drivers to get full functionality out of the SATA drives, even though I was not actually using RAID. Is this not the case? Would I be better off just setting up the SATA drives as PATA (SATA/AHCI Mode in BIOS set to disabled).

    Also, I've read somewhere (but can no longer find) that it's best to have certain drives on certain Sata ports. I think the recommendation was to have the system drive on Sata0 and that's why I put it there. Some advice on which ports to use for which drives would also be appreciated.

    The reason I ask this is because I have a feeling that my stability problems may have come about because of the way I had the drives configured.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Advice on disk config on EX38-DS4

    Maybe stability problems could be caused by something else? E.g RAM.

    I dont think the port number for each device matters anyway. Plus, there is no point in setting AHCI mode so IDE mode is ok. [Dont worry your not getting robbed of performance just because your using IDE mode]

    Try to unplug random things and see if it still has problems, try running a memtest.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Advice on disk config on EX38-DS4

    Thanks. Yes, memory is the most likely culprit and I haven't ruled it out completely. I did run 4-5 full memtest86+ passes on it without any problems but I'm still not convinced. The reason I mentioned disk config is that one of my disks was giving "An error was detected on device \Device\........ during a paging operation" in event logs. This was very intermittent, like 3 times in the past 9 months. but about 50 entries each time. This may not be the disks, just something holding the disks up, but it was always on the same disk.

    I also run 2 gfx cards in this build to drive 3x24" monitors, Nvidias 7300le and 7600gt. They have always run really hot and I thought over time that may cause problems. One of the PCIe slots is right next to NB and NB gets very hot on this board. Don't laugh but one of those cards at idle was at about 65 degrees from memory, and the other at about 80. When I was checking everything I found one of the cards was running at 121 degrees!!, the one next to the NB. I took it out straight away and the system actually stabilised for a bit but then started rebooting about an hour later. So problems may have been caused by this gfx card too. Think I'm gonna have to put a fan on the NB as was recommended to me in this forum 9 some months ago.

    As an aside, any idea why these gfx cards are running so hot. They are not overclocked and they don't do any heavy graphics work (this machine is a trade station).

    Anyway, I've just re-installed XP Pro running all disks as IDE and and with only one gfx card, running Ok so far. Will just have to take it one step at a time, just hope it's not the motherboard. Getting rid of RAID drivers also means the machine boots much faster.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Advice on disk config on EX38-DS4

    Does it tell you which hard drive was causing the paging errors? And how old are your HDD's?, I'd imagine the 80GB IDE is pretty old.

    Which graphics card did u say was overheating? Are they passive graphics cards or do they have a fan?

    As long as the case has enough cooling [i.e case fans] then overheating shouldnt be a problem, and as i recall the PCI-e x16 slot closest to the NB is in slot 2/7 on the motherboard. Try checking the fans on the gfx cards if they have one, its probably failing.

    That 120C card definetly has a problem! most cards usually run at 80-100C load but its not very common now.
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    Default Re: Advice on disk config on EX38-DS4

    The IDE drive is a few years old now (maybe 5) but it never did much work. I've run Seatools tests on it and it tests out Ok, but it is one of the components I will take out of the equation. It was the drive with the paging errors. Its only use it to backup data.

    The 7600gt was overheating, it has a fan but to be honest I never checked to see if it was working before I pulled the card out and I haven't put it back in yet. The 7300le card only has heatsink but it runs at 80 degrees idle which seems hot. I guess these cards are getting on a bit too.

    I have gigabyte aurora case which has 3 case fans so airflow is pretty good. I have zalman 9500 cpu cooler and it is oriented correctly (fan towards the front of the case). I also have a ram cooler as I have PC8500 ballistix from crucial and they run pretty hot too. I have Xeon 3110 processor and according to RealTemp the temps are 42 and 34 degrees at idle (TJmax at 105) with ambient temp of 23 degrees, so I think CPU temps are OK. (There is that temp difference between the 2 cores but this is a known issue with these processors).

    So you think these cards running at around 80 degrees idle is reasonable, a lot of people seem to get around 50 with these cards. I agree 120 is definitely not good. I will have to see if the fan is working on that card. Maybe this was contributing to my stability problems.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Advice on disk config on EX38-DS4

    I had/still have a 7300le which came with a packard bell system,I havent used it in a long time(2 years is a long time in pc land),but I did have it oclocked a little with rivatuner.
    1.from what I remember 80* would be nearthe temp it would start to give errors under load!
    2. It uses the system ram memoryin a big way(turbo le technology or whatever they called it)
    What it came down to was if you want a cheap gx card here you go..we will put 32/64mb on board the rest weel scam off your system ram.Also for all you OE pc manufacturers like dell,etc you can quote your graphics card as having 128/256 mb memory,no need to tell the "sucker.. er customers that most of that will come from the systems own ram".
    3 .nvidia chipset boards(from gigabyte too) now have better cards than this built in for "free" I think.
    May not be your problem,but the card itself is probably worth$5 maybe? and you could get one a lot better brand new for $30.
    The 7600 gt isnt quite as dated but its running too hot as well (mho).
    Last edited by kick; 03-12-2009 at 08:17 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Advice on disk config on EX38-DS4

    The cards are old for sure. My son bought one of them 2nd hand and when he upgraded 6 months later I grabbed it. The other is from an older Dell machine. I know it seems odd building a reasonably high end machine with these old gfx cards in it, but all the cards have to do is drive 3x24" monitors, there is no high end graphics going on, no gamimg or anything like that. Anyway, I have probably been bitten by skimping on the gfx cards so will probably get a couple of new ones.

    I have never stress tested these cards so out of interest I'll do that using ATITools and that other gfx testing tool from Freestone.

    I've been running prime95 on my rebuild for almost 2 hours now without problems.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Advice on disk config on EX38-DS4

    OK, ran the Prime95 blend tests for almost 4 hours with no errors. Then used the Video Card Stability Tester from Freestone on the 7300LE, no artefacts, no errors. Then stuck the 7600GT in and tested that using the Freestone app and again no artefacts, no errors. At idle the 7600GT sits at about 63* and the 7300LE at about 80*. Under full load it's 85* and about 111* respectively.

    But it was the 7600GT that I saw sitting at 120* yesterday and that definitely suggested there was something wrong with it. It was testing out OK though with the Freestone tool. Anyway, a short time ago the machine just started rebooting itself again (1st time in 24 hours, after XP reinstall). After about 4 reboots it starts up with no drivers loaded and in speedfan I see the 7600GT sitting at 128*. I guess this confirms the card is cactus. I pulled it out straight away and it just doesn't feel that hot. The fan on it's heatsink was working all the time by the way, even just before I pulled it out.

    I sure hope this is the cause of my problems, it seems like it might be, but the card tested out OK with Freestone app and like I said it just didn't seem to be really 128*, that is real hot and the heatsink didn't feel all that hot to the touch. Anyway, better post this before my machine reboots again.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Advice on disk config on EX38-DS4

    Ran Prime95 for 6 houyrs overnight without the suspect card in, no errors. Time to get a new gfx card and I hope that will be the end of it.

    Another quick question. My 3 drives are now all configured as IDE drives including the SATA drives. The older 80GB Seagate (with the actual IDE interface) is ofcourse plugged into the IDE interface on the board. This is Channel 4. But it is one of those drives where you configure it as a master or a slave by swapping the pins around on the actual drive. It has always been a slave in the other machine it used to be in, so it is still set up as a slave, I just plugged the drive into the new build. So on the new build it is a slave (as indicated during startup). Does this cause any problems as there is no master on that Channel 4?

    I thought this may have been the cause of those event log paging errors I mentioned in post#3. When this happens I was also getting "The device \Device\Scsi\JRAID1 did not respond within the timeout period", and also "Delayed write failed on drive E:" this only happened 3 times in 9 months but it would lock the machine for about 5 minutes or so. I don't think it ever caused a reboot.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Advice on disk config on EX38-DS4

    Looks like this forum has got a lot busier this past few months and is overwhelmed with problems with gigabyte motherboards.

    Anyway, I left the machine idle for several hours after I shut down Prime95 (see above post). When I came back it had just frozen. Rebooted and it froze at Windows splash screen, rebooted again and it corrupted the file system on system drive, although it did boot into windows this time. No entries in event logs.

    WTF is going on. How can it run Prime95 for 6 hours in both cores without any problems and then freezes after Prime95 is shut down. Does that make any sense to anyone? How the f...... do you troubleshoot a system like this, throw it out the window and start again. I have a business to run.

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