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Old 11-26-2005, 07:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default AMD Opteron Machine Freezing - Help!!

Help please!!.....

I have a long term issue with my dual opteron machine that I need to sort out, or else I’ll lose my mind completely…

In short, it’s freezing under windows, rather than giving the blue screen and rebooting, it freezes with keyboard, mouse etc unresponsive. Num-lock doesn’t work and the sound card locks. Doesn’t come back to life afterwards.

I bought the bits in one go in April and since then it has had freezing issues on and off, I think I have re-installed windows around 5 times?! Here's what I have tried before....

The first suspect, as always, was the RAM. It happily completed several tests on a memtest86 boot, so I have assumed this to be fully functional.

Originally I had the Raid0 raptors on the internal VIA Raid controller with the 160gb on the separate silicon image pci controller, changed all of it to the silicon image controller - still freezes.

Following this it would occasionally freeze during boot, when the xp bar is moving. Also it went through a phase of progressing past this and when the xp boot logo disappears (waiting for the login splash), it would never come, screen would remain blank until reboot.

Thought it could be overheating?..2x Opteron 246's in an ATX case, they were running at 60-65 degrees each. Pumped filtered air via external ducting into the case on the side. Both CPU's run at 45 degrees now, still crashing.

Originally had an Akasa 460W SilentMAX PSU, good quality PSU, not as good as the new Enermax. Anyway, it still freezes.

I have installed a fresh copy of XP sp2 on a CD with no scratches at all, still crashes.

I have used the machine without an internal PCI USB controller and PCI wireless card and during this time it froze, so it’s not these components.

disabled/enabled many things within the bios as experiments e.g. video shader, still freezes.

Notable: When I put it together I made the mistake of connecting the sata power connector and the molex connector to each drive. I did not know the hdd's only required one psu connection, last week I realised this and connected only the sata one. Then the crashing was worse than ever. Transferred to the legacy molex connector - a lot better but still the occasional crash.

What I shall be trying is the following…

I have ordered a set of 3x WD Sata ‘Secure Connect’ cables, I have had issues with sata cables being rubbish, so spent a little on new good quality strong cables. These will arrive next week.

I have bought some new RAM, again arriving shortly which I will try.

I will try totally removing the silicon image controller and running only the VIA, possibly without Raid0. If I use raid0 I will expand the stripe size from 64kb-128kb. This seems a slightly better figure for my average sized file. It will mean leaving out the 160GB drive.

Can ANYONE recommend any course of action? Please?!
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