I'm having major problems!

Discussion in 'Computers' started by jimnyc, Sep 30, 2003.

  1. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    I'll be scarce here until I can get my PC problem fixed! I'm on my wireless laptop now. I'm "reposting" my problem here that I outlined in another forum seeking assistance. I'm ready to throw the damn thing out the window! Any advice/tips would be greatly appreciated at this point.

    **************************************************

    My system specs are outlined at the bottom of this post.

    I had no problems with my computer until last night. I went to login to a message board, and after entering my username and password my machine froze solid with no errors. My only option was to power off. The system came back up ok, but then started to reboot randomly for no reason at all. It got worse this morning when it would run the POST test and then reboot again just after it listed all the currently installed devices. I assumed it was memory, so I went and bought a new chip and swapped it. No luck. I then tried swapping my hard drive and the same problem existed.

    I then tried to re-format my XP machine using the bootable CD. It boots on CD, loads all the drivers, then just as it starts to get to the main screen where you hit enter to install XP I get the following error: "DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL". I booted on a diskette and used fdisk /mbr, fdisked the entire partition and reformatted. It seems as long as I was on diskette, no problems ocurred. I then tried to load XP again and then same error keeps popping up.

    I swapped out the cooling fan and power supply next, and it didn't help at all.

    Here is what I have done so far in a nutshell:
    1- swapped out memory AND tried different slots
    2- swapped hard drive
    3- formatted and *attempted* to load XP
    4- removed video card and used onboard video
    5- swapped NIC card
    6- removed sound card (leaving no cards installed)
    7- swapped power supply
    8- reset bios to factory (also cleared with jumper on MB)

    Here is the best I can do with my specs:

    Motherboard make & model - All I know is Asus
    Bios - AMI bios rev 1.21.06 dated 2/26/2002
    Cpu speed - 1.8ghz
    Ram - PNY 512 SDRAM PC133
    Disk drive - Western Digital 800 80gig
    Video card - Nvidia Geforce 2
    Sound card - Creative SB Audigy
    NIC manafacturer - 3Com
    Power supply - 300W ATX
     
  2. janeeng
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    janeeng Guest

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    You want the one you built for me back? $500.00 hahahahahaha! you can always try calling the hotline you told me to call
    1800-g0-f*ck-yourself! :)

    Ok, just kidding! sucks to be you!
     
  3. eric
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    eric Guest

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    Jim, memory was an excellent assumption, this is what normally causes this error. In fact we usually see it when the memory is bad or not compatible with the chipset. Now since your system was working fine compatiblity can be ruled out. What bothers me is when you said it keeps rebooting after the post. This is the time when the bios enumerates the devices in the system and sets up the Interrupt tables and vectors.

    Step one would be to clear the NVRAM, which I believe you did with a motherboard jumper. Also you might want to run the bios setup and make sure "Plug and Play Os" is set to yes or enabled.
    I have seen this sneaky little setting cause major problems.

    I think a good way to start would be to take every board that is not absoulutely necessary out of the system (Nic,sound,etc) and try again, this has worked many times in the past. Also check the memory timing in the bios as well as the bus multiplier, defaults are not allways correct.

    Another idea would be to reflash the bios. Just be careful not to cycle the power during the flash.

    I will look into it a little more and get back to you.
     
  4. eric
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    eric Guest

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    Jim, one more question. You said it happen just when you get to the screen where it says hit enter to intall xp. Does it actually display this or do you get the error before this. Could you give a little more detail on the error message itself. There should be more than just :

    DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

    There should be a stop error code and memory dump listed along with this message.

    Oh, I forgot one more thing, make sure NO usb devices are plugged in. I have had major problems with them.

    Let me know what happens.
     
  5. eric
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    eric Guest

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    Jim, sorry to throw more crap at you, but I called one of my hardware engineers, and he said we are on the right track. Normally these errors are cause by device drivers, even when you boot from the CD rom windows still needs to load a basic set of drivers. One question he asked, was the video card installed after the current xp installation that worked ? Some video cards cause problem with the basic driver set. He reiterated the importance of removing the SOUND, NIC, and any other cards not ABSOULETLY necessary. He said this is first thing that should be done.

    If this does not work the other error information I requested is crucial for futher diagnosis.
     
  6. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    Eric, thanks for all the great info!

    Her's the exact stop code I was receiving:

    Stop: 0X0000007E (0XC0000005, 0X807D9E5F, 0XF89F9934, 0XF89F9634)

    That was all I got. Here's the *good* news though, I think I have my machine up and running.

    I tried turning off and on every setting in my bios and kept having the same results. I have a category called "CPU PNP" it was set to 1800mhz (I have a 1.8ghz AMD Athlon). I changed this to the default which is 1100mhz and it appears to have fixed the issue.

    No errors on bootup, no freezing yet, no reboots yet. I'll keep monitoring it and utilizing it as much as I can.

    You think it's most likely the CPU going on its way out, and it can handle running at a lower speed?

    Thanks again for the help, Eric, much appreciated!
     
  7. eric
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    eric Guest

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    Anytime my friend. I'm glad you got it going !
     
  8. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    Been 2 hours since the system came up, and so far no problems. I've been hitting it hard and using as many resources as possible. Hopefully thats the end of it.

    You think maybe the CPU is dying, and thats why lowering the speed helped? Just strange that would happen as it's been pretty much the same configuration for well over a year now.
     
  9. eric
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    eric Guest

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    Of course that is a possibility. Before I jump to that conclusion let me ask you a couple of questions:

    Did you ever check this config before? The reason I ask is sometimes these speeds are not directly related to processor speed, but rather to base clock speed, and a multiplier is used. This can be very tricky to figure out.

    As stupid as this may sound, when is the last time the motherboard battery was changed ? I have seen a bad battery cause systems to lose their IDE config data, amongst others, and you get messages like "No operating system found". Like I say allways start simple.

    It's funny we had to reinstall an OS on a medical records scanning system. After the reinstallation of the OS and all programs, we could not get the scanner to operate from the multidocument feeder, only the flat bed. We dug for hours into the driver, we even downloaded older drivers thinking they made some crazy change in the latest one. Man we went thru everything low-level we could think of. Long story short we called the manufacturer and to our surprise the setting was right on the first window that comes up after you click scan. One of our guys just overlooked it. Instead of someone else just rechecking we went right into techie mode. Costly lesson for us.

    Just thought I'd throw that in.
     
  10. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    I've seen the config before, but never really thought much about it. It doesn't have an explanation near it, so I just assumed it was directly related to the actual processor speed.

    The Battery has never been changed before. It's been in the system since I got it new between 12-16 months ago. FWIW - My system is usually up and running 24/7/365!

    Think I should change it? There's really know good way to test it that I know of.

    Also, I can't find the literature on my motherboard, and I'm not sure of the exact make and model. Do you know of any utilities that when ran will tell me this info? Should I end up replacing this CPU, I just want to know what the max is that my system can handle. The AMD Athlon is fairly cheap. The chip I have is 64.99 and I can get a 2.4 for 84.99!

    Thanks again!
     

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