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Perplexing Gigabyte Motherboard

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Persist101, Jan 6, 2010.

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  1. Persist101

    Persist101 Thread Starter

    Jan 6, 2010
    For anyone who likes to troubleshoot mainboards, here is a good one. I have spent days trying to resolve the problem, and have more or less succeeded. However, there are still some issues pending (see the last paragraph). Note that my brother gave me this board because it had become unstable, and during my tests, it was apparent. My plan is to put the board into my secondary desktop system.

    Ostensibly, the board dislikes Windows XP (on a NTFS partitioned drive), however loves Windows 98/Me (on a FAT32 partition) during the early testing phase. There were no problems, no instability at all when I connected a drive running Win 98 or Win Me to the board. Of course, the chipset was not even designed for the old O.S’s.

    MAINBOARD - Gigabyte GA-K8NS Rev 2.0, AMD Socket 754, nVidia Chipset (circa 2005)

    The following is a list of actions taken:

    Because the Gigabyte board had several domed top (one leaking) capacitors (3300uf/6.3v), it was assumed to be the cause of the instability problem. So with a solder tool in hand, I went to work and
    replaced all of the defective ones. The surgery was successful in a sense that the board remained fully functional. But the same problem that existed before, still existed afterwards.

    Used 4 different DDR PC3200 memory modules of different sizes in different slots - all had passed the MemTest86 test.

    Flashed the BIOS chip to the latest 21a version (10-2008).

    Tweaked the BIOS settings many times.

    Replaced the 3-volt CR2032 mainboard battery with a new one.

    Used 3 different graphics cards, including one old PCI S3 to bypass AGP.

    No other cards were installed on the board.

    The processor is an AMD 754 - 3200 - pulled and inspected, but had no replacements to use.

    No shorts on the board as it was mounted on a heavy piece of cardboard.

    Tried 3 different Power Supply Units.

    Most of the time it would boot using Safe Mode, but always failed if a Normal boot. And after 5 or 6 attempts of Normal booting which would fail at the Desktop screen just after the icons were displayed, it would blank the screen and reboot itself, and eventually it would corrupt the MBR which had to be restored - last count 4 times.

    Did a complete, fresh reinstall of Windows XP Pro and no problems were encountered during the installation, but no change in behavior. The ntbtlog.txt revealed little information. Left the board running overnight in Safe Mode, still fine the next day.

    Downloaded and installed the latest nVidia chipset drivers from Gigabyte for the board - didn’t expect any change and didn’t get any.

    Used three different hard drives. Chkdsk gave them a clean bill of health. Then I took one of the drives with Win XP and reconnected it to my other system, booted just fine - no problems at all.

    A guess would be a memory address, or Windows driver error, especially because the crash occurred only during Normal boot ups, and rarely with Safe Mode drivers.

    During a couple of the boots, I chose for Windows not to automatically restart after a fatal error, but there was nothing much on the blue screen **STOP: 0x0000008E. I installed the MS dumpchk.exe and had it to analyze the minidump file. Here is the last part of it:

    Unloaded modules:
    f09b9000 f09c4000 imapi.sys Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
    f09c9000 f09d8000 redbook.sys Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
    f09d9000 f09e3000 amdk7.sys Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
    f5062000 f5067000 Cdaudio.SYS Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
    f09f9000 f0a09000 cdrom.sys Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
    f12a8000 f12ab000 Sfloppy.SYS Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
    Finished dump check

    Why does Windows XP attempt to load the amdk7.sys file? The AMD 754 processor is classified as a K-8. It would seem that any attempt by the O.S. to load a processor driver that is not compatible would indeed cause the problem outlined above. Any insights would be appreciated.

    I then made an assumption that the mainboard controller might not like a NTFS partition, so I repartitioned and reformatted the drive using FAT32, reloaded Windows XP with the basics and the same configuration and Voila! it now boots in Normal mode and is running fine. Go figure! I obviously never experienced a similar problem.

    #### Why would Windows XP fail to fully boot because of a partition type issue and especially with the one that was designed for its kernel? Not to mention that the Gigabyte board, controller and drivers were designed for Windows XP too. I realize that there maybe more issues behind the scene than the NTFS vs. FAT32 one, i.e., Windows XP attempting to load the amdk7.sys file and not the k8 one. So, if anyone can shed some light on this matter, it would be much appreciated. Thanks.

    P.S. If someone has a good, solid answer, I might be persuaded to change the partition from FAT32 to NTFS and start the process again.
  2. win2kpro


    Jul 19, 2005
    What service pack is incorporated in the XP disc you are trying to install?
  3. Persist101

    Persist101 Thread Starter

    Jan 6, 2010
    An update - I repartitioned and reformatted my secondary hard drive in NTFS then installed Windows XP in progression, Original, SP1, SP2 and after each installation perform various testing. The results: No Problems! Member win2kpro mentioning what Service Pack I was using triggered the further investigation. I'm holding off installing SP3 because of the following (only if I knew this earlier):

    Some AMD64 systems shipped by OEMs with XP preloaded, primarily from Hewlett Packard but Mesh Computers has also been confirmed, where the preloaded software image was originally created on an Intel based computer then prepped for use on AMD systems by a method that is unsupported by Microsoft. This can affect any AMD64 motherboard used by the OEM, not just ASUS.

    There is a different issue that appears unique to the ASUS A8N32-SLI motherboard, resulting in a critical stop error and BSOD with 'BIOS is not fully ACPI compliant' message. This is completely unrelated to the Intel processor driver (IntelPPM.sys) implicated in the OEM 'preload' issue above. The OEM preload related issue does NOT implicate 'BIOS ACPI compliance' as the problem. It reports a different 'general' stop error due to some unspecified hardware problem, usually 0x0000007E.

    I would conclude that my Gigabyte board is experiencing a similar type of problem. I may need to spend a little time researching this matter further to find a final solution. Also, I have discovered that Stop: 0x0000008E problem can occur because of a third-party driver that may prevent the opening of files successfully on a NTFS file system volume. The NTFS file system volume expects a non-null value for stream control block (SCB). However, this value is null.
  4. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

    Jan 2, 2001
    Did you replace all of the capacitors or just the ones that looked bad?

    When you have failed caps on the board, you replace ALL capacitors on the board with new ones. Badcaps.com sells kits with all of the caps you need for your board.
  5. Elvandil


    Aug 1, 2003
    If you start having problems again, I'd thoroughly test the CPU. Though it is rare for a CPU to have a partial failure, I have had it happen before, and with an AMD, too, though not that one. I also experienced a run of seemingly random, dead-end symptoms.

    The CPU driver is not at fault. I have also seen that phenomenon many times. It is simply a naming problem.
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