Athlon64 up, & running... Kinda... Advise needed.


L

Larry Roberts

Here's my system:
Biostar NF4UL-A9 (Nforce4 Ultra)
Athlon64 3800+ Venice
2 x 512MB Corsair ValueSelect DDR400 (Dual channel using BIOS
auto-settings)
Nvidia GF4 Ti4400 128MB AGP (installed to XGP slot)
Western Digital Caviar SE WD800JD 80GB SATA II


After fighting, & muscling the stock HSF onto the CPU (clip
fell apart under stress, and had to use pliers), the system powered up
fine with only a GeForce4 Ti4400 (installed XGP slot), and a FDD. I
flashed the BIOS to the latest version without problems.
I then added my 80GB WD Sata II HDD. It's jumpered to SATA II
speed, and I have my PSU's SATA power connector plugged into the drive
instead of using the IDE power connector.
I then booted the system with no problem. So I shutdown, and
unplugged it to install the CD-ROM drive. When I rebooted with the
CD-ROM installed, it made it to the end of the boot cycle, but then
shutdown. I pressed the power again, and each time, the boot cycle got
shorter (about 3 reboots), then it wouldn't power on. After I unplug
it for 10 sec., or so, it powers back on, but does the same.
This seems to me to be a PSU problem. I am using a $30.00
ChiefMax 680W PSU. I've been using the 650W ChiefMax PSUs on 3 other
systems with multiple HDDs, and on my AthlonXP 3000+ with 2 HDD, 1
CDRW, 1 DVDRW, and a power hungry 6600GT AGP for over year, and all
have never flentched. 2 of the machines run nearly 24/7. Since these
are not high priced, it could be a hit, & miss situation, but from the
user reviews I've seen, most think the ChiefMax PSUs are the best of
the cheap.
I bought the 680W a few months back, and may be able to get an
exchange, but they will problably test it on a test system with only
minimal componants, and it will power it fine, which they then ship it
back as working. I can buy a new PSU, but the only ones that I could
be sure to not have problems cost $100.00, or more. It's gona take me
3 to 4 months to get the 7600GT I want. Paying that much for a PSU
would set me back another 2 months (half a year away) before I'd have
a full potential system. I've been working on this system since last
August.
I don't want to buy a PSU that cost $100.00, or so to find out
it wasn't the PSU. I don't have income to troubleshoot with. Are there
any BIOS settings that may cause this. I have the shutdown temp, and
fan speed setting disabled from the BIOS. Should I install the CDROM
to the secondary IDE Master instead of the primary IDE Master? Should
I use the IDE power connector on the HDD instead of the SATA power
connector? WD website says not to use both at the same time. I remeber
reading a post that someone had a problem similar to mine, and it
turned out to be a feature of the Nforce4 chipset that needed to be
disabled, but I can't remeber.
 
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M

Mike T.

Larry Roberts said:
Here's my system:
Biostar NF4UL-A9 (Nforce4 Ultra)
Athlon64 3800+ Venice
2 x 512MB Corsair ValueSelect DDR400 (Dual channel using BIOS
auto-settings)
Nvidia GF4 Ti4400 128MB AGP (installed to XGP slot)
Western Digital Caviar SE WD800JD 80GB SATA II


After fighting, & muscling the stock HSF onto the CPU (clip
fell apart under stress, and had to use pliers), the system powered up
fine with only a GeForce4 Ti4400 (installed XGP slot), and a FDD. I
flashed the BIOS to the latest version without problems.
I then added my 80GB WD Sata II HDD. It's jumpered to SATA II
speed, and I have my PSU's SATA power connector plugged into the drive
instead of using the IDE power connector.
I then booted the system with no problem. So I shutdown, and
unplugged it to install the CD-ROM drive. When I rebooted with the
CD-ROM installed, it made it to the end of the boot cycle, but then
shutdown. I pressed the power again, and each time, the boot cycle got
shorter (about 3 reboots), then it wouldn't power on. After I unplug
it for 10 sec., or so, it powers back on, but does the same.
This seems to me to be a PSU problem. I am using a $30.00
ChiefMax 680W PSU. I've been using the 650W ChiefMax PSUs on 3 other
systems with multiple HDDs, and on my AthlonXP 3000+ with 2 HDD, 1
CDRW, 1 DVDRW, and a power hungry 6600GT AGP for over year, and all
have never flentched. 2 of the machines run nearly 24/7. Since these
are not high priced, it could be a hit, & miss situation, but from the
user reviews I've seen, most think the ChiefMax PSUs are the best of
the cheap.
I bought the 680W a few months back, and may be able to get an
exchange, but they will problably test it on a test system with only
minimal componants, and it will power it fine, which they then ship it
back as working. I can buy a new PSU, but the only ones that I could
be sure to not have problems cost $100.00, or more. It's gona take me
3 to 4 months to get the 7600GT I want. Paying that much for a PSU
would set me back another 2 months (half a year away) before I'd have
a full potential system. I've been working on this system since last
August.
I don't want to buy a PSU that cost $100.00, or so to find out
it wasn't the PSU. I don't have income to troubleshoot with. Are there
any BIOS settings that may cause this. I have the shutdown temp, and
fan speed setting disabled from the BIOS. Should I install the CDROM
to the secondary IDE Master instead of the primary IDE Master? Should
I use the IDE power connector on the HDD instead of the SATA power
connector? WD website says not to use both at the same time. I remeber
reading a post that someone had a problem similar to mine, and it
turned out to be a feature of the Nforce4 chipset that needed to be
disabled, but I can't remeber.

You've got several possibilities. The most obvious is that you now have a
mis-installed CPU heatsink causing thermal shutdowns that get shorter the
more often you turn the system on.

The FIRST thing you need to do is buy a new HSF for the CPU. You can't run
it with a damaged clip. The following looks like a reasonable replacement,
if you don't want to do any overclocking:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16835185110

Just remember to clean the old thermal paste off of the CPU before adding
new thermal paste and installing the new HSF.

I'd be surprised if that doesn't solve your problem.

Before you purchase a new HSF, you might try disconnecting all cables from
the CD-Rom drive, but I personally think that the CD-Rom drive is probably
not the problem. It was coincidental that the CPU got too hot around the
same time that the CD-Rom was installed.

But I could be wrong. It might not be a CPU thermal problem. If it isn't,
then your symptom would strongly point at the PSU, as you suspect. In that
case, there's no need to spend a hundred bucks. Check out the following:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817104954
(that should handle your system just fine)

Good luck, -Dave
 
L

Larry Roberts

You've got several possibilities. The most obvious is that you now have a
mis-installed CPU heatsink causing thermal shutdowns that get shorter the
more often you turn the system on.

The FIRST thing you need to do is buy a new HSF for the CPU. You can't run
it with a damaged clip. The following looks like a reasonable replacement,
if you don't want to do any overclocking:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16835185110

Just remember to clean the old thermal paste off of the CPU before adding
new thermal paste and installing the new HSF.

I'd be surprised if that doesn't solve your problem.

Before you purchase a new HSF, you might try disconnecting all cables from
the CD-Rom drive, but I personally think that the CD-Rom drive is probably
not the problem. It was coincidental that the CPU got too hot around the
same time that the CD-Rom was installed.

But I could be wrong. It might not be a CPU thermal problem. If it isn't,
then your symptom would strongly point at the PSU, as you suspect. In that
case, there's no need to spend a hundred bucks. Check out the following:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817104954
(that should handle your system just fine)

Good luck, -Dave


Well. The CPU runs at 40c idle... Not sure about load temps as
I haven't loaded the OS yet. The HSF installs fine, but the part of
the clip that broke is the part where you leverage the screwdriver
into to push down, and in, or out to "rope" the tab. I have to use a
needle nose plier to get it on, and off, and it's an ass. I have
ordered another HSF.
I had the SATA HDD connected to the PSU's SATA power
connector. The HDD has both SATA, and IDE power connections, so I
unplugged the SATA connector, and plugged in the IDE power connector,
and it worked. However, I tried to load the OS, and it sta`rted again.
Even without any drives connected, it's still shuting down. I went
ahaed, and switched the 650W PSU from my AthlonXP system to the
Ahlon64, and it works fine. I then tried the 680W in the AthlonXP
system, and it won't even powerup. The system powes for a sec., then
dies.
I am RMAing PSU. The reason I didn't just test the PSU at
first is because I'm disabled, and have lost a lot of function in my
hands, and legs. The simple task of switching the PSUs took me 2
hours. I've done broke a whole system down only to find out a simple
BIOS setting was the culprit. That was a whole day wasted.
 
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M

Mike T.

Well. The CPU runs at 40c idle... Not sure about load temps as
I haven't loaded the OS yet. The HSF installs fine, but the part of
the clip that broke is the part where you leverage the screwdriver
into to push down, and in, or out to "rope" the tab. I have to use a
needle nose plier to get it on, and off, and it's an ass. I have
ordered another HSF.
I had the SATA HDD connected to the PSU's SATA power
connector. The HDD has both SATA, and IDE power connections, so I
unplugged the SATA connector, and plugged in the IDE power connector,
and it worked. However, I tried to load the OS, and it sta`rted again.
Even without any drives connected, it's still shuting down. I went
ahaed, and switched the 650W PSU from my AthlonXP system to the
Ahlon64, and it works fine. I then tried the 680W in the AthlonXP
system, and it won't even powerup. The system powes for a sec., then
dies.
I am RMAing PSU. The reason I didn't just test the PSU at
first is because I'm disabled, and have lost a lot of function in my
hands, and legs. The simple task of switching the PSUs took me 2
hours. I've done broke a whole system down only to find out a simple
BIOS setting was the culprit. That was a whole day wasted.

Well I'm glad you found it. The PSU would have been my first suspect, but
you mentioned the HSF fan clip, so I was thinking that the CPU wasn't cooled
right. But 40C sounds great. No problems there. I wouldn't even bother to
change the HSF. If it aint broke, don't fix it. But save the new one you
ordered. -Dave
 

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