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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12th April, 2008, 11:34 PM
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Problems getting everything stable.

I started having problems with my rig (below) recently. I used to have it OC'd to 3.2 Ghz without any problems at all. As a matter of fact, on my first attempt of OCing it, i took a guess as compared to what other people have gotten up to with similar rigs and guessed right. It was completely stable in all 3 types of tests in orthos and prime 95 for 24 hours each and memtest86+. I recently made some changes to my rig. I took the whole rig apart and installed MOSFET heatsinks, installed DIMM heatsinks on 2 my memory sticks, reseated my CPU heatsink, and installed a new fan and cold cathodes for a little visual boost. I put it all back together, and on my first boot, it didn't post. On the second one it did (I'm guessing because of the C.P.R. special feature of the MB), so i reset all the settings in my BIOS to default. It booted the OS and while it was working I checked to see if there was a new version of the BIOS. I had been running version 0801 and updated it to 0901. I tried setting all my settings back to the ones I had previously set on my last OC and it wouldn't post again. I decided to retry the OCing process. I have the clock mode set to linked and the ratio set to sync mode. I stepped it up from 1333 Mhz in 20 mhz increments. The highest I can get it to (stable as of a half-hour of prime 95 blends, testing longer now) is 1450 mhz. At 1475 mhz, 1.35 vcore, memory and NB voltages at auto, all auto memory timings (tried at 5-5-5-12 and 5-5-5-18 also), the computer freezes after 30 seconds of blend testing on orthos and prime 95. If I try stepping up the vcore to the next increment, It fails a prime 95 test after one minute with the message "FATAL ERROR: Rounding was 0.5, expected less than 0.4" and then freezes. I cant understand what the problem is. I didn't make any hardware changes, I reseated the DIMMs multiple times, and checked all the plugs. Does it seem pretty odd for my whole OC to go out the window over just taking the rig apart and putting it back together with minimal (no actual hardware) changes, or is it just me? Could it possibly be because of the BIOS version? Any help will be greatly appreciated (I just bought Assassin's Creed! I wanna play it soooo bad!). Thanks.

CPU
Intel E6750 Core 2 Duo
Motherboard
P5N-E SLI 650i
Memory
Mushkin 2GB & A-DATA 1GB DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
Graphics Card
G80 GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB
Power Supply
COOLER MASTER eXtreme 600W
Sound Card
Creative SB Audigy SE
Hard Drive
SAMSUNG 320 GB SATA II 7200 RPM + WD Raptor 150 GB 10000
OS
Windows XP Pro SP2
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Old 13th April, 2008, 02:55 AM
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Arrow

Change can be a good thing, or a bad thing sometimes...
I'm not really familiar with that board, but I am familiar with updating the bios and having everything go to hell in a handbasket.
I recently updated my bios to the latest version only to find that the only way my system would boot was with all the setting at stock!!!
So sometimes it's a bad thing instead of a good thing...If you have a bios version that's working well with your system, leave it...
I'd rollback to the last bios version you were using and start over again.
There are good & bad bios versions for overclocking...and the old adage applies here. "If it aint broke, don't fix it!"
I just think you needed to give your system a little time to stabilize after messing with it.
But this is just an educated guess. There's others here that would know the Best Bios version for that board and overclocking.

"and installed a new fan and cold cathodes for a little visual boost"
Prey tell, what did this involve and where was this hooked up to the juice?
This is the only thing you really changed that I can see by what you wrote besides the bios version....
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Last edited by MUff1N; 13th April, 2008 at 03:23 AM.
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Old 13th April, 2008, 03:48 AM
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BTW welcome to AOA.

Try to flash back to the old bios to see if that helps.

Keep us posted.
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Old 13th April, 2008, 04:15 AM
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Get a can of air and blow out any dust you might have in your power supply. Try taking off the light you got and give it a shot again.
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Old 13th April, 2008, 04:36 AM
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Quote:
"and installed a new fan and cold cathodes for a little visual boost"
Prey tell, what did this involve and where was this hooked up to the juice?
Cathodes hooked up directly to the power supply, Fan hooked up to my fan controller system. I have an NZXT Zero case. The new fan was a 120mm Scythe (68 CFM) like the rest of the fans in my system.

Quote:
Try to flash back to the old bios to see if that helps.
It says I can't revert to an old bios version when I try to revert back.

Quote:
Get a can of air and blow out any dust you might have in your power supply. Try taking off the light you got and give it a shot again.
I cleaned out my whole rig with compressed air when I installed those parts.

I'm going to try playing around with voltages. Any other ideas? Any way I could force my mb to revert back to the stock bios version and then update it back to a working one?
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Old 13th April, 2008, 08:09 AM
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I'm thinking you're pulling too much juice off of one rail.
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Old 13th April, 2008, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbie View Post
I'm thinking you're pulling too much juice off of one rail.
Thanks for the tip. I moved my whole fan system to its own rail and put everything else on the other. Im still not able to get it stable above 1475 mhz. I really think it might be because of the bios version. Ive tried reverting to older bios versions but every time and way I try, I cant get it to downgrade. I also noticed that I cant even get the system to boot using the AI 20% overclock option (kinda like an auto overclock setting, worked for me previous to my upgrades). Is it possible that a peice of hardware was damaged?
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Old 13th April, 2008, 01:04 PM
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I think it might be worth running the RAM at its set speed. And then upping the CPU frequency gradually to get your OC that way - maybe with your old OC you didn't run the RAM and CPU linked?

Also, check your load and idle temps - you may have mounted the cooler badly by accident, causing instability.

But yeah, let us know how it goes!
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Old 13th April, 2008, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Also, check your load and idle temps - you may have mounted the cooler badly by accident, causing instability.
Depending on how far into the overclock I get the temps go up, but I am careful to not let them get above 60 degrees Celsius.

As of this morning, I'm starting to completely redo my overclock. I defaulted all the bios settings to stock and went and turned off everything (speedstep, speed spectrum etc.), Turned my FSB speeds down to 1333 Mhz for the processor and 800 Mhz for the ram (unlinked), Set the ram at stock timings (5-5-5-12-2t), Set all the voltages to auto, used everest to check those voltage levels and set them all manually after knowing what they're at ( Vcore=1.47, NB voltage= 1.25, Memory voltage=1.8). After I get off work today, I will step up the FSB on the cpu in increments of 20 and will go smaller if I face instability. Any other recommendations?
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Old 13th April, 2008, 04:48 PM
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Sounds like the source of your problem is the new bios does not agree with your combination. There are good and bad bios's.

To flash the bios back to an older bios you have to use an older version of Afudos and flash it from a dos bootable floppy or pen drive. I've uploaded the version of Afudos you will need, you can grab the driver free dos bootdisk from bootdisk.com or scroll further down the page on bootdisk.com for instructions on how to make a pen drive bootable.
Attached Files
File Type: zip AFUDOS207.zip (18.0 KB, 8 views)
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Old 14th April, 2008, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccperf721p View Post
Sounds like the source of your problem is the new bios does not agree with your combination. There are good and bad bios's.

To flash the bios back to an older bios you have to use an older version of Afudos and flash it from a dos bootable floppy or pen drive. I've uploaded the version of Afudos you will need, you can grab the driver free dos bootdisk from bootdisk.com or scroll further down the page on bootdisk.com for instructions on how to make a pen drive bootable.
I made the bootdisk and put afudos.exe on it, but I have come into a problem. The syntax that you enter looks like this:

Code:
a:\>afudos /i(bios filename).rom 
I understand this all completely, but the bios version file that I downloaded from Asus's website is a .bin file. Should I jsut rename the .bin file a .rom file? Is there a way to convert it to a .rom file or something?
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Old 14th April, 2008, 12:26 AM
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renaming is all that is required.
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Old 14th April, 2008, 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by ccperf721p View Post
renaming is all that is required.
That didnt work. When I try entering the syntax with the file renamed to 0801.rom, I get the error message "ASF Signature not found. ERROR: BIOS has no flash information available. I dont think renaming it is enough. Even when you look at the file properties in windows it says its a BIN file even when it is renamed to .rom. I'm regretting updating the bios now soooo bad.... Would jumping the CMOS reset the bios version? Anything else? Thanks to everyone that's helped me so far btw, I've gotten alot more help here in a day than I ever did at the overclock.net forums.
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Old 14th April, 2008, 01:42 AM
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Just to make sure I wasn't giving bad info I flashed my P5N32-E with the same method.

Only thing I did different was rename the file with .ROM in caps (AFUDOS /ixxxx.ROM . It flashed without issues. Always something that will work on my 3 Asus boards but not on another..
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Old 14th April, 2008, 03:18 AM
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I have had to do this a couple of time on other boards. Both Asus.

I did as Cliff is instructing and it worked fine. The flash program is very picky.
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Old 14th April, 2008, 04:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccperf721p View Post
Just to make sure I wasn't giving bad info I flashed my P5N32-E with the same method.

Only thing I did different was rename the file with .ROM in caps (AFUDOS /ixxxx.ROM . It flashed without issues. Always something that will work on my 3 Asus boards but not on another..
I went and followed your directions to the T. I downloaded a fresh version of the 0801.bin bios file directly from asus's website, I renamed it from 0801.bin to 0801.ROM (caps), I copied it to the boot disk with the version of afudos you posted, entered the syntax "afudos /i0801.ROM" and I still get the same error. I tried different combos of caps and lowercase on the file and in the syntax, I tried making the file a read only, and I even tried a different bios version (0608), all resulting in the same error I'm going to fill out a technical inquiry form (gonna be a boring next couple of weeks waiting for that....) and ask them what they suggest. I guess I will try their forums too. I can't believe that ASUS doesnt just add support for downgrading the bios with the ezflash utility. Any other possible ideas? Verbally threatening my mb maybe?
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Old 14th April, 2008, 04:50 AM
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When you installed the bios did it ask you if you wanted to back up the old one?
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Old 14th April, 2008, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by robbie View Post
When you installed the bios did it ask you if you wanted to back up the old one?
Can't remember... probably though. But of course, I didn't I didnt know it would be this hard to downgrade, otherwise I would have.
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Old 14th April, 2008, 10:57 PM
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I'm not sure it this will help you or not...hopefully you'll find some answers in here and be able to flash back to the earlier bios...
In this guide, it shows how to use the Asus Awdflash Flash utility. He says with this you can flash whatever version you want with the flashCD you create using the bin files you download...OK
Hope this helps...

Paragraphs from the guide:

First off go to the Asus P5N-E main webpage and download all of the bios revisions you want to a folder on your machine. Extract the .bin (bios files) from the zips into the folder. Download as many or as little as you want. Next download the Asus Awdflash Flash utility and extract the awdflash.exe into the same folder as the ####.bin files. And finally, download a copy of Flash CD and unzip the FlashCD.iso into the same folder.

Now you need to open the ISO image and add the bios files and AWDFLASH.exe into the existing list of files. I use UltraISO as its real easy and the free trial should allow you to do this task quickly. Once you have added the files to the ISO you can save it for use later and burn with your favourite CD burning software or burn with the included option within UltraISO. You should now have a bootable CD with all of the required files to flash your P5N-E


3ghz Q6600 OC on P5N-E SLi - Page 6 - Overclock.net - Overclocking.net
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Old 15th April, 2008, 02:04 AM
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Originally Posted by MUff1N View Post
I'm not sure it this will help you or not...hopefully you'll find some answers in here and be able to flash back to the earlier bios...
In this guide, it shows how to use the Asus Awdflash Flash utility. He says with this you can flash whatever version you want with the flashCD you create using the bin files you download...OK
Hope this helps...

Paragraphs from the guide:

First off go to the Asus P5N-E main webpage and download all of the bios revisions you want to a folder on your machine. Extract the .bin (bios files) from the zips into the folder. Download as many or as little as you want. Next download the Asus Awdflash Flash utility and extract the awdflash.exe into the same folder as the ####.bin files. And finally, download a copy of Flash CD and unzip the FlashCD.iso into the same folder.

Now you need to open the ISO image and add the bios files and AWDFLASH.exe into the existing list of files. I use UltraISO as its real easy and the free trial should allow you to do this task quickly. Once you have added the files to the ISO you can save it for use later and burn with your favourite CD burning software or burn with the included option within UltraISO. You should now have a bootable CD with all of the required files to flash your P5N-E


3ghz Q6600 OC on P5N-E SLi - Page 6 - Overclock.net - Overclocking.net
When I tried using awdflash, I made one boot disk. Then on a seperate floppy, I put the awdflash.exe and the 0801.bin file. I booted it up with the boot disk, popped the awdflash/bios file disk in, in the command line i typed in awdflash.exe. The bios flashing utility opens. It tells you to enter in the name of the bios file. I typed in 0801.bin and it reads the disk for awhile, then it asks me if I want to save my current bios, then it says press Y to program or N to exit. I press Y and it says " !!You Can't Update this Image File!! The Image file was older version, and it was not suitable for the system. Please get the last image file to update."

I think my way and the way you said are different means to the same end, but I will try it that way. I have a problem though. What is Flash CD? I never heard of it before. A google search of flash cd and flashcd.iso turn up nothing. I looked on Asus's website and found nothing. Where can i download it?

EDIT: Nevermind, I found it. I'm going to give it a try right now. Thanks!
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