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Time for a new CPU?

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Old 08-11-05, 08:11 AM Thread Starter   #1
F*up
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Time for a new CPU?


I've been having intermitent read/write errors on my rig for the past month. I've RMA'd the motherboard, bought a new boot drive, replaced the IDE cables, and replaced the PCI IDE card. The errors have been occurring on all three of my drives, even the new one. This problem has caused me to re-load Windows XP more times than I can count and run disk check constantly. At this point, about the only thing left that I haven't replaced is the CPU. Yesterday, the BIOS informed me on start up that the CPU had been replaced, which was news to me because I hadn't touched it. Now I'm thinking that my stability problems might be caused by a bad CPU.

HISTORY:
I bought this CPU brand new in January, and by March I had it overclocked and very stable (tested using 3DMark) at 247 MHz FSB. I was always carefully monitoring the CPU temps, and they were never above 50C, and it idled at 37C, so I thought it was doing pretty well with my aftermarket cooler. When the trouble started last month, the first thing I did was reset the FSB to the stock 200 MHz. Is it possible that there was permanent damage to the CPU that will allow the system to boot on some configurations but not others?

PROBLEM:
Until two days ago, I thought the problem was with one of my Maxtor 250GB SATA drives. I removed that drive and the system seemed fine. Then it started giving my "Hard Disk Read Error" after the BIOS had successfully completed the post. The motherboard is Intel 925XE chipset and only has one IDE connector, so the boot drive is connected via a IDE PCI card. When I disconnect the optical drives from the Mobo, and replace them with the boot drive, the system fully boots into Windows. If I connect the optical drives to the PCI card, which is a SIIG ATAPI compatible card, after the BIOS post, I get "SYSTEM DISK ERROR". Basically, the system won't boot if anything is connected to that card. I tried a different card, a different cable, and I tried the other PCI slot, same results.

Is it time to give up and just buy a new CPU$$?

Abit AA8XE motherboard
530J 3.0GHz Pentium 4
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7
SIIG IDE PCI card
ATI X700 Pro 256MB PCIE
Maxtor Diamondmax 200 GB ATA 133 (Master)
Hitachi 250 GB SATA
Western Digital 60 GB ATA 100 (Slave)
Media Stor 52x CD-RW (Master)
MicroAdvantage 16x DVD-RW (Slave)
Antec Neopower 480
Raidmax 668W
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Old 08-11-05, 08:25 AM   #2
larva
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Although it's hard to say with finality until you change all components, I would say this has to be CPU, memory, or power supply, with the supply being only a remote possibility. Have you tried different memory? It may well be CPU, but changing to a different one and seeing the problem cease is the real proof. Running a different (non-Raidmax) power supply and trying different RAM and noting no difference would point to the CPU being the culprit, but is not as conclusive as a CPU change.

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Old 08-11-05, 09:08 AM   #3
batboy
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While it could be about anything, it sort of sounds like a conflict with the IDE PCI controller card. Have you locked the PCI bus to 33 MHz in the BIOS? Why not get a SATA harddrive and plug into the SATA channel and use the IDE channel for the optical drives? That's what I use on my AA8XE and it works fine. Not sure why you are going through the extra hassle of using a controller card.

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Old 08-11-05, 09:32 AM Thread Starter   #4
F*up
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SATA Boot Drive


When all this trouble started, the Hitachi SATA was my boot drive. The first sign of trouble was a lot of read/write errors. Windows would give me a message like: "File xyz was lost due to a hardware issue, it cannot be recovered"
After a couple days, the OS on the SATA drive was corrupted and unrecoverable. My first thought was a defective hard drive, so I bought a new one and the IDE drives were on sale, so I went with the older technology for a new boot drive. However, I'm still having the read/write problems, so I guess it wasn't the drive.

Something I forgot to mention in the first message is the BIOS gave me a message during one of my many startups yesterday that the CPU had been changed, but I had not touched it.

Is there a good CPU diagnostic utility that could detect an erron on the chip?

Abit AA8XE motherboard
530J 3.0GHz Pentium 4
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7
2x 512MB Kingston Hyper-X PC4300
SIIG IDE PCI card
ATI X700 Pro 256MB PCIE
Maxtor Diamondmax 200 GB ATA 133 (Master)
Hitachi 250 GB SATA
Western Digital 60 GB ATA 100 (Slave)
Media Stor 52x CD-RW (Master)
MicroAdvantage 16x DVD-RW (Slave)
Antec Neopower 480
Raidmax 668W
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Old 08-11-05, 09:44 AM   #5
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That message "CPU changed or unworkable" is a standard message that you get when you O/C too far or some BIOS option is messed up. First thing I would do is clear the CMOS by moving the jumper. If you can get it to run stable at default speed and you haven't updated the BIOS yet, then try doing that. I'm not completely ruling out a flakey CPU, but from my expeience, it will more likely be the mobo screwing up. Perhaps the on-board controller, although that don't account for why the PCI card won't work. Guess you might have to do what Larva said and plug in a known good CPU and other components one at a time to trouble shoot it.

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FS020 case, OCZ SSD, Sapphire HD 6950, Acer X241W 24" widescreen
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