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Motherboard or Hard Drive?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by MajesticJG, Jan 31, 2009.

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  1. MajesticJG

    MajesticJG Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Messages:
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    I'm having trouble with my new system.

    The system is as follows:

    Asus P5N-D (nForce 750i)
    Intel E8500 (Core 2 Duo @ 3.16 ghz, not overclocked)
    4 gb of Ram (2 x 2gb)
    XFX nVidia 9800 GTX+ 512mb - Latest Drivers
    Samsung 500gb SATA HD
    LG Optical Drive on ATAPI port
    Corsair 650w PSU
    External 750gb HDD on USB interface
    Vista x64 SP1 w/ all Updates

    I'm getting these errors in my system log (from disk or nvstor64):

    The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Harddisk0\DR0.

    A parity error was detected on \Device\RaidPort1.

    Reset to device, \Device\RaidPort1, was issued.

    I don't use a RAID - I'm running the Samsung 500gb drive that came with the system, but this sounds like either a bad motherboard or a bad hard drive. I'm not willing to go out and buy a motherboard and/or a hard drive to see if that's the problem so I'm hoping you can help. Please let me know how we can work this out, ASAP. I bought a nice, new fast gaming PC, so I'd like to actually play a few games.

    I've ripped out and reinstalled the nForce drivers several times, including using DriverCleaner in Safe Mode to really get rid of them. I've installed the previous version of the nForce drivers. I've disabled command queing and write caching. I've tried another SATA port on the motherboard.

    I've opened a topic on the iBuyPower forum (where I bought the system recently) in case there's more info there that might help:

    http://www.ibuypower.com/ibpdri/tm.aspx?m=12050

    I don't want to run out and buy a hard drive in the hopes that that's the problem, and I -really- don't want to swap out a motherboard for the same reason. I need to nail down what the problem is, or if it's just a software issue I somehow can't seem to trace.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
     
  2. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    39,168
    Just some things you might want to try;
    1 Download the diagnostic for the hd and run that. See if you get any errors.
    2 Download and install HWMonitor. This can save a log of temps and voltages. You can upload that here for review.
    3 Have you run memtest on the system?
    4 What ram do you have and if it is high performance ram, have you set the correct vdimm [ram voltage] in the bios? Failure to set correct vdimm often results in errors.
     
  3. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

    Joined:
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    I know it is a little late now however I always recommend an intel chipset board for an intel build and an amd chipset board for an amd build.
     
  4. MajesticJG

    MajesticJG Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    I'm starting to recommend Intel chipsets, too...

    1. I ran the Samsung tool. It passed without issue, but I did not complete the full surface scan. I'll do that overnight. (Ultimate Boot CD includes the util)

    2. I ran HWMonitor and have attached the output.

    3. I've run the Windows memory diagnostic and it passed. I have not run Memtest86 yet, though it's probably on the UBCD so I can probably do that.

    4. Neat idea. CPU-Z says I'm using Corsair VS2GB800D2. I think they call it ValueMax or something like that. I haven't check the BIOS yet, but CPU-Z says these sticks want 1.8v. I'll confirm that we're at 1.8v in the BIOS. GOOD CATCH on that one. I hadn't thought to look at that at all!

    Thanks again for your help. I'm usually good at tracking this stuff down, but this particular time, I'm baffled.
     

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  5. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

    Joined:
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    The value line of ram does not usually need any more voltage. Your board should default to 1.8V so it should be fine like that. It does not hurt to check however I doubt it is causing your problem.

    I do not really see anything out of the ordinary in your log other than a low cmos battery voltage. They are usually 3.3V and yours is around 3.1V; again that should not cause your problem.

    Do you get any errors when you run prime95? If you download prime95, make sure it is one of the latest builds. Only the later ones support quad cores.
     
  6. MajesticJG

    MajesticJG Thread Starter

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    Messages:
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    The memory voltage was correct (1.8v) but I bumped it up to 1.9v because I've heard some modules like a little over-voltage. Memtest86+ completed with no errors.

    I'm inclined to say, "It's not the RAM."

    As far as the HD goes, I can run the surface test overnight. Otherwise, I think we're narrowing it down to the motherboard. Does that sound correct to you?
     
  7. MajesticJG

    MajesticJG Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Prime95 hasn't found any errors - I'd run that previously when this started and I confirmed it again tonight. Looks okay.

    And CRJ, I'm in the aviation industry, too. Thanks for chiming in and trying to help.
     
  8. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

    Joined:
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    Corsair ram can generally go to 2.0~2.1V without problems.

    I tend to agree with you that it most likely is a board problem however I have had hard drives that passed ALL tests [quick and long] and still were the cause of problems.

    A number of months ago, I did an install and was having problems with corrupted files. Ran the WD diagnostic on both short and long tests; passed no problems. Zero filled the drive and did another install. Still problems. Finally got mad and pulled a seagate drive out of my parts closet and installed that one. No problem at all.
     
  9. MajesticJG

    MajesticJG Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Yeah, I don't usually trust the diagnostics all that much because they're somewhat artificial anyway.

    I'm not opposed to buying either a HD or a board. I am opposed to buying BOTH.

    So I'm going to bug the company I bought this rig from and see what they'll do.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  10. MajesticJG

    MajesticJG Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Messages:
    6
    I plugged a second HD into the other SATA controller, cloned my data off my original HD and then disabled the primary controller, so the system could see only the new hard drive.

    That didn't help. So I'm inclined to think it's not the drive.

    I went to the nForce drivers that shipped with the motherboard (a moldy 2007 version) and that didn't help, either.

    The system manufacturer can send me a new mobo, but for some reason I'm not inclined to think that'll fix it. Here's why:

    1. The problem only happens under stress, ie gaming or really REALLY ganging up on it in windows, like running two large installation routines at the same time.

    2. The drive passes every diagnostic and chkdsk I can throw at it. If the SATA controller on the board were at fault, wouldn't they fail, too since the data has to pass through that controller?

    Any thoughts? I've posted on a few forums, but this is the only one that's had anything useful to say on the issue.

    Thanks again for all your help.
     
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