Windows XP Home and 2GB RAM


J

J Jones

Hello,

I have a client that has been having problems with her machine for many
years now. She finally brought the computer to my shop and I diagnosed the
problem to a faulty bios on the motherboard. I updated this and her
computer was working very well. She decided to upgrade the computer some to
get rid of the MB that she no longer trusted. and I purchased an ASUS
p4s800d-x Socket 478 P4 MB for her along with two new sticks of Kingston
512MB DDR400 RAM. I installed everything and all seemed well except for
some timing issues between the new Kington RAM and the generic DDR400 RAM
she had before. This was fixed with a BIOS tweek for RAM timing on the
ASUS.

The years of trouble she had included hard locks and reboots on an almost
daily basis. After installing the new equipment she began to have reboots
when she left her computer on over night and running a virus check. This
would happen about once a week. It never locked or rebooted while she was
using the system.

I figured that the memory timing may have been the culprit for these new
errors and when we pulled her generic RAM the reboots stopped, but having
only 1GB of RAM and dealing with Photoshop she complained about the system
being slow.

I purchased some new matching Kingston RAM and installed this on ASUS. No
timing issues the board ran smooth and very fast.

She called and said that the computer had rebooted and she was now having a
blue screen error about Windows missing the user file. She had this happen
once before and that was fixed with a repair install of XP. Hopefully a
repair install will fix it again, but my questions are these:

Has anyone seen this issue before or dealt with this motherboard?
Is there a known issue with XP Home and 2GB of RAM?

Thank you,
Jon
 
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P

philo

She called and said that the computer had rebooted and she was now having a
blue screen error about Windows missing the user file. She had this happen
once before and that was fixed with a repair install of XP. Hopefully a
repair install will fix it again, but my questions are these:

Has anyone seen this issue before or dealt with this motherboard?
Is there a known issue with XP Home and 2GB of RAM?

Thank you,
Jon


XP should have no problems with 2gigs of RAM

In vary rare instances though I've had to slightly underclock RAM to have a
stable system...


Even though the RAM is all new...it would not hurt to run a RAM test anyway
 
J

J Jones

I may check the RAM later, but I have found on Asus' forums that this board
seems to have issues with filling all the RAM slots or 2GB of RAM configured
with four 512MB sticks. Still checking with Asus for either a BIOS update
or some other suggestion to get this to work.
 
J

J Jones

I finally got through to Asus download page (very slow today). The only
BIOS update that is shown is the same one that was up there when I installed
this MB four months ago. There has been memory issues discussed on this
MB's forum at Asus, but they seem to have dropped any sort of support for
it. I do not think I will ask her to go to the expense of purchasing two
sticks of 1GB DDR400 RAM on the chance that it will give us a stable system.
I will recommend that drop this one back to 1GB and reconfigure it for her
husband's Internet usage and building her a newer computer.

Either Asus is stuggling as a company or they have decided to drop support
of any hardware that is not cutting edge, but either way I do not bellieve
that I will be supporting their products any further.
 
P

philo

Either Asus is stuggling as a company or they have decided to drop support
of any hardware that is not cutting edge, but either way I do not bellieve
that I will be supporting their products any further.

That's too bad...
I;ve always found Asus to be a good company...
but there are plenty of other good mobo mfgs out there.

Heck, with the exception of PC Chips and whoever makes the mobo's for
emachines...
I;ve had few problems, even with many of the lo-cost brands.

Before you cut back to 1 gig of RAM you might want to try underclocking the
RAM slightly

it's possible it will help...
 
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P

Paul

J said:
I finally got through to Asus download page (very slow today). The only
BIOS update that is shown is the same one that was up there when I installed
this MB four months ago. There has been memory issues discussed on this
MB's forum at Asus, but they seem to have dropped any sort of support for
it. I do not think I will ask her to go to the expense of purchasing two
sticks of 1GB DDR400 RAM on the chance that it will give us a stable system.
I will recommend that drop this one back to 1GB and reconfigure it for her
husband's Internet usage and building her a newer computer.

Either Asus is stuggling as a company or they have decided to drop support
of any hardware that is not cutting edge, but either way I do not bellieve
that I will be supporting their products any further.

But at least some of the discussion on the vip.asus.com forums, centered
on the BIOS using the wrong timing values. One issue with the SIS chipsets
was getting all the RAM to be recognized. At least you aren't having that
issue. What I'd check, via using CPUZ, is that tCAS, tRCD and the like
are as specced for the RAM, bump the command rate to 2T manually on each
channel (which is typically necessary on any chipset, when using four
sticks). Then run memtest86+ from a floppy or CD, to see if you have basic
stability. If memtest86+ is clean, boot into Windows and run Prime95, as
that is a good test of memory as well. Prime95 can error out in 10 seconds,
if the memory is not working well, or can run for hours, if you get lucky
with the tweaking.

Another invisible issue, would be Vdimm. While in the feature section
of the manual, it mentions the ability to adjust the voltage to the
DIMMs, I think that may be a copy/paste error from another SIS
based motherboard. I'd be curious whether the Vdimm voltage was
at least 2.6V or not. A voltmeter could tell you that. If you only
got the occasional single error in memtest86+, sometimes a voltage
tweak can help. But without the BIOS option, there is no legit
way to do it.

In this review, they used 2.65V on a P4S800D-E to be error free. The
-X probably removed the voltage adjustment, but I hope they made
the default a decent voltage (because the voltage value they use
doesn't cost them any money - they could make it 2.65 or 2.7V without
a problem, as they've done that on previous motherboards).

http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=1930&p=6

Paul
 
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