getting my PC to function…

Ok, back from vacation, had a good time, now I think I’m sick, sore throat, sinus drainage, coughing (tried to text that word earlier and my phone thought I wanted to say “coffeeing”), stuffy head (more like someone tried to stuff me for thanksgiving dinner…). will give some updates on my vacation sooner or later, but for now I shall utilize the World Wide Web for what it does best… Immortalizes information. As I can never find the settings for my Motherboard, I will post them here, so I can always find them, I hope…

Right, so first off, I have my replacement MB and I am trying (still) to get it to work. The first issue I am having is that the MB will not POST if I place my ram in either Dual Channel Configuration. (slots 1&2 or slots 3&4, per the MB instructions using slots 3&4 provides the best performance for a 2 DIMM setup, and this is how it was before I sent the MB back to ECS as an RMA). no matter what I do, with 2 DIMM’s installed it will only POST if and only if I place the RAM in slots 1&3 or slots 2&4. No ifs, no ands, and no butts.

So I am dealing with that, I just want the dumb thing to work at this point. I’ve had it since the end of May and it has never worked correctly, so this is a minor inconvenience. I am using slots 1&3 currently.

After setting the date and time in the Standard CMOS setup page (American Megatrends v02.62 BIOS), I skip Advanced setup and go to Advanced Chipset Setup and change the third option for Shared VRAM from “Auto” to 128MB. I do this because it has a 256MB Dedicated Sideboard, and I doubt I need more than that, but just incase… Also (forgot this the first time), I need to change the default startup video “Init Display First” to “OnBoard” from PCI, as I am currently only using the onboard video.

Next, I’ll skip Integrated Peripherals, Power Management Setup, and PCI/PnP Setup, as there are no features in there that I wish to mess with. So, I’ll head on over to PC Health Status and go to choice numero uno “SMART Fan Function” and set “SMART Fan start PWM” value to 50 (I think this is the percent of max RPM the fan will start at) and set “SMART Fan start TEMP.” to 55C, this should allow my CPU fan a chance to stop spinning at some point… maybe. Escape out to go to the second option there “Shutdown Temperature) and change the default setting “Disabled” to “70C/158F” (the minimum) because I want this thing to shutdown quick if something happens, and since it normally runs around 51C/123F CPU and 31C/87F System temp, I have determined that a 20C/35F temp spike is not a good thing and the PC should kill it before it gets any higher. Except when I was messing around with AMD’s Overdrive software for overclocking from within Windows, I have never seen the CPU break 53C so I did base my choice off a researched value, not just at random…

Next victim… “M.I.B. II (MB Intelligent Bios)

this is where I will have to do some trial and error… first off (already been at this for 1.5hrs, fyi) I am not going to change a thing and see if the PC will reboot with the above changes only, then I will stop changing them and just do this part till I can get a reboot again… after which I’ll combine the two parts and try to boot up again, as every time it fails to boot, I have to reset all back to default and start again…

Save and exit… system restarted fine… oh one more thing I am using the HDMI out AND the VGA outputs currently to 2 different TV’s (this is what it would not do before and is the primary reason for the RMA, the HDMI out would crash the PC if the cable was connected to the PC). A quick check shows that everything is exactly as I set it, except the current CPU temp is 50C and the CPU fan is running at 2335RPM…. oh well, maybe I’ll get around to that later… now to play with the MB and RAM settings…

so the PC Health Status page shows my CPU Vcore at 1.344V and the VDIMM at 1.520V. over in the MIB II page it is correctly displaying my processor as a Phenom II x4 955 running at 3200MHz with a NB Clk 2000Mhz. (different than before, but still automatically detected…) it shows my RAM as 533MHz,7,7,7,16,4,27 (previously it showed 533MHz,6,6,6,14,4,20) but this is good, as previously I had to manually change it to 9,9,9,24 in order to get the PC to boot, so I think I will leave it be. ****edit**** the RAM is supposed to be set to 667MHz change made at the bottom****

CPU settings, as most OC websites show this CPU running significantly faster when OC’d (up to 3.8GHz per core), all without special cooling systems or changing the voltage, I think I will bump it some.

first try
x18.5 3700MHz at 1.350V with NB @2000MHz (default). save and exit… reboot successful, I think I’ll leave it there, I don’t need to push it, and if it works, well then it works…

But… I will try bumping the CPU/HT Reference Clock (MHz) from the default of 200 to 225 (based off the results from this review where they bumped it to a whopping 240MHz, they say when you up the HT Ref Clock, it also increases ram speed, HT link speed, and NB (IMC) speed) again, no voltage change was made… and time to reboot… fail to POST

2nd attempt on the HT Ref Clock, (utilizing information from AMD’s employee blogs and this overclocking reviewat AnandTech) 220MHz and +.75mV on the NB, I also bumped the NB Frequency to 2400MHz… time for a reboot… well, the power light came on, but the system did not POST.

setting a base again…
x18.5 3700MHz at 1.350V with NB @2400MHz (default 2000MHz). save and exit… reboot successful, so it would appear that the HT ref clock is killing me…

I set the HT ref clock to 215 and saved and reboot… no good that is… ok then, back to my base (with 2400MHz NB) If I feel like it, I’ll play more with the AMD Overdrive proggy… right now I want to see if my Video works… well failed to boot this time… I did not change any settings from the base, so…

New settings… 3.7GHz, 2.4GHz NB, +80mV to DIMM, +50mV to the NB, and I manually configured my RAM to 667MHz (remember the multiplier…) at 7,7,7,24 lets try that… and we have windows booting… although I think I forgot to set the other BIOS settings… doh!

I also got a BSOD (pre-login screen)… Stop: 0x0000007E (0xFFFFFFFFC0000005, 0xFFFFF80002CDDDA7, 0xFFFFF880037706D8, 0xFFFFF8800376FF30)

Best results I found was a forum post over on Tom’s Hardware… could be the new board?

well, back to 3.6GHz, 2.4GHz, 667MHz,8,8,8,24, +80mV, +50mV…. failed to POST.

trying:  3.7GHz, 2.4GHz, 667MHz,9,9,9,27, +80mV, +50mV… as it is obviously the ram.  I know the voltage is too low, as the BIOS reports it as 800MHZ, not 1333 AND claims the voltage is 1.6, but should be 1.75.  Now if I try to set the voltage above 1.72 it goes red and tells me I am exceeding the safe voltage level for the system… failed to POST.

 

I am beginning to wonder if the dual channel issue may be the culprit at this point…  I am just going to try and get the system to start now and see about a BIOS update… then see what happens… guess I should have held off on OC’ing until I knew it was all working…

settings are at 3.5GHz, 2.2GHz all else default, PC booted, allowed Win7 to go to startup repair mode, pulling a system restore now.  Very confident message… “If system restore was successful, Windows should restart successfully”  well, it’s sitting on the “Starting Windows” screen… and I have a login screen…

 

more later…

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