Troubleshooting Guide V1.0

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New member
Mar 24, 2003

Here is a guide to help solve some problems with K7N2 motherboards.

Problems arise in systems because some components do not work as they should.

Typical issues found with these boards consist of Non-nForce2 Approved RAM & a weak power supply. Other issues could be a cpu won't run at its rated fsb speed or an incorrectly mounted cpu cooler.

Sound problems - too many or incorrectly placed metal standoffs, bad drivers.

Windows won't install or you get a file read error - Incorrectly mounted CPU heat sink, RAM or power supply (PSU).

So I've listed some instructions below to help those users that need a basic comprehensive guide to troubleshoot their systems with. Please read through the entire guide prior to posting for help on the forum.

Before you start doing anything, remove the power cord and make sure that you have touched the metal case of your system. This is called "Grounding yourself" and if you don't you could damage your system due to static discharge!
Thanks to Arioch and Dragon60 for comments on this.

1) BIOS/Startup POST reports wrong cpu or frequency

Check if jumper j10 and j11 are set to safemode and also check fsb settings in bios. If the jumpers are set to safe mode set them to normal, this is found in your motherboard manual. The jumpers vary with motherboards and manufacturers.
SafeMode sets cpu and memory to 100mhz.

Both memory and cpu are double pumped.
Data is sent twice each clock cycle.
that means that 100mhz real frequency is 200mhz virtual frequency

Non-Delta supports all cpu up to fsb 333
Delta supports all Socket A cpu
Duron upto 1300MHz = 100MHz (=200DDR)
Duron from 1400MHz = 133MHz (=266DDR)
Athlon B type = 100MHz (=200DDR)
Athlon C type = 133MHz (=266DDR)
Athlon XP - C type = 133MHz (=266DDR)
Athlon XP - D type = 166MHz (=333DDR)
Athlon XP - E type = 200MHz (=400DDR)

The following boards support them:
(If a board is not on the list then it's not supported!)
-K7N2 6570 V1.0
-K7N2G-ILSR 6570 V1.0
-K7N2 Delta 6570 V1.0
-K7N2GM-L 6777 V1.0
Thanks to DeathStalker

The best way to identify a processor is by using the OPN (Ordering Part Number) which can be found on the processor (E.g. AXDA 2700 D K V 3 D).

How to check which cpu you have:

2) Over temp CPU

Is the Heat Sink and Fan rated for the CPU?

The CPU Heat Sink could be mounted wrong! Carefully remove it and check it. It can and will fit 2 ways but ther is only 1 right way. ?Examine the installation very carefully!

The Heat Sink has a recessed edge that has to be installed over the ridge (higher part or bump) of the socket. If installed backwards then it won't cool the entire area of the processor 'die' and could cause it to burn, thus killing it, or give you trouble as outlined in this guide.
Make sure that you use a QUALITY Thermal Compound/Paste and DO NOT reuse old compound! Note that some Heat Sinks are shipped with Thermal Pads, these are ok for some but will not give you the best heat transfer that a quality paste will.

top 2 are the wrong way to do it

lower is the right way

If you use too much Silver based Thermal Compund you risk shorting the bridges on the CPU. This could cause damage to the CPU itself so use sparingly! If you feel that you've used too much then clean the die and substrate (the brown or green fiberglass material that the die is mounted on) and re-apply. Orange Clean TM is excellent for cleaning any type of thermal compound from a processor. Isopropyl Alchohol is ok but may leave traces of silver on the substrate. Using a 10X eye loupe will ensure that no traces of silver are shorting any bridges together after cleaning. DO NOT clean your processor while it rests in its socket on the motherboard. You run the risk of cleaner mixed with compound and dirt settling into your socket and that will cause further problems.

Last but not least. DO NOT use acetone to clean anything inside your PC. (or outside for that matter) It MAY not do any damage BUT it may dissolve some parts.

Silverbased compounds are not recommended by most manufacturers and if any traces are detected by them from an RMA'd processor they will usually void the warranty!

The latest AMD XP CPU's (XP-2000 and above) require a copperbased heatsink because their die are smaller and generate far more heat per square centimeter than the "old" CPU's did.

a)How to check the Heat Sink before taking it off:
There is a simple way to check the Heat Sink without taking it off. You do this by first checking your idle temp with SpeedFan or MBM, it should be below 50-55C.
Download Prime95 and run torture test for about 10 minutes while monitoring the temps, after about 1 minute or so it should stabilize and your temp should have gone up about 10-15C (max).
If it still goes up or the system crashes, there is a chance that you've mounted the heat sink incorrectly.
If your system can't run this check, (i.e. freezes or crashes) try setting your ?FSB to 100. Try to run the test again. If it still fails to run ?it could well be that the heat sink is mounted wrong or your power supply doesn't have enough power.

You cant check if the heatsink only has partial contact with the CPU die by looking on temperature monitor programs. The heatsink needs to be removed to see that.

If, after reading the guide regarding CPU Heat Sinks, you don't understand what we are talking about, then refer this link: AMD CPU & Cooling guide

3) Power Supplies

Most common cheap 300-350W power supply units (PSU for short) can't handle an XP-1700 or above, try a better one to be sure.

Make sure your PSU has 200W combined on the +3.3v & +5V rails and that the +3.3V rail is rated for 20A (A = Amps or Amperage) or above. This should be enough for most systems.

On the latest boards the +12V rail has become very important too, expecially with AMD ThunderBird & above CPU's. Make sure your PSU can supply 16A or more.

Alway's make sure you have a decent PSU, it never fails to spend a bit more on that part!

Borrow a bigger one from a friend if you are not sure.

Here's a good post on choosing the right power supply:

This is the bare minimum that you should see on a PSU running an AMD processor. Intel is a bit more forgiving in some cases but with the amount of devices we use these days this minimum is a good guidline:

+3.3V - 28A or better
+5V - 35A or better
+12V - 16A or better

Watch out!! Cheap PSU's like Q-Tec come nowhere near these figures!! Do NOT trust the 300W or 400W rating on them!!! Q-Tec is about the worst of them all!!

4) Metal Stand-offs

Sometimes we are all a bit careless when it comes to changing a motherboard and forget to look at the layout of the stand-offs (those little silver or brass pieces that the screws screw into to hold the motherboard in the case) that are left from the old motherboard. Some motherboards use more than others thus some overlook the 'extra' one and mount that new board and never know the difference. Until they try to start their new baby up!

Remove the board and check for to see if you have too many of them by counting the holes or screws that you took out and then count the number of stand-offs you have in the case. Remove any uneeded stand-offs then remount your motherboard. Having 'extra's' can short out circuitry and cause all sorts of problems most of which are audio related.

Here are what typical stand-offs look like:

5) Sound

Two types of audio chipsets are used in these boards:

a) The -ILSR version uses Soundstorm and has drivers supplied from MSI or nVidia.

b) The -L version uses RealTek sound and has drivers supplied by MSI and Realtek.

There have been a lot of issues regarding the -L board and its drivers supplied by MSI. Realtek drivers seem to repair these issues and can be found here:
Follow the ALC650 link.

6) RAM

Most of the issues involving these boards have been memory related. For various reasons cheaper generic memory doesn't run with nForce2 chipsets well and you should get nForce2 Approved RAM. Here is a link to nVidia's compatibility list as well as a list of what has worked for some:

It's not a good idea to try to run DDR266 RAM when you have a 333FSB CPU, get DDR333 ram of decent quality.

If you think that you're having RAM issues then replace the ram with another brand to see if it fixes it or borrow some from a friend to check. Make sure it isn't cheap quality RAM or what you borrow isn't cheap quality. You can run to the local CompUSA (if you live in the USA that is) and buy some better quality RAM and return it later if you find that it isn't the problem.

DDR ram speeds:
Duron up to 1300/Athlon-B = 100FSB = PC-1600 = DDR200
Duron from 1400 = 133FSB = PC-2100 = DDR266
Athlon-C/XP up to 2600 = 133FSB = PC-2100 = DDR266
Athlon XP D-type and above = 166FSB = PC-2700 = DDR333
Athlon XP E-type and above = 200FSB = PC-3200 = DDR400

Set Fsb / Dram Ratio to 1:1 that means that the memory is working at the same speed as the fsb does.

Higher DDR speeds are only a must if you try to overclock. You can use faster RAM on a slower system and the motherboard bus will switch down in speed accordingly. The speeds given above are what should be used as a minimum, otherwise you're creating a serious bottleneck of data from the RAM.

Use a decent RAM testing utility such as Memtest86 if you suspect RAM is faulty. Typical failures of RAM include but are not limited to:

a) BSOD (Blue Screen of Death!)

b) Data Corruption

c) Machine won't cold boot

Try your system always with 1 RAM module at a time to see if you have a bad module. Swap modules if you have more than 1 to see if one or the other is bad. When upgrading remeber that adding more modules can give you trouble too. Especially if you mix manufacturers. Some sticks just won't work in pairs and some fail when you put 3 or more in the system. When you want to use 3 sticks, make very sure you use the nVidia tested and approved modules, they are your best chance that they will work without problems.

If still nothing try to seat the ram in another slot, sometimes they work better in another slot.
Thanks boost

Or raise the RAM voltage a little but be careful doing this! Sometimes this works when you have a lot of ram in the system.


Sometimes when we play with our BIOS settings and set something wrong in it or set something incompatible with our hardware this causes the motherboard to not boot up. Sometimes they come from the factory that way as well. If so then clear the CMOS and start with the default settings. If it works try setting ONLY A FEW SETTINGS at a time and nothing more! If it works then go further from there a couple of settings at a time.

8) Clearing the CMOS chip

Disconnect the system power cord and push the case power button to drain all remaining power in the psu for approximately 15 seconds
Then move jumper jbat1 and wait 10 seconds and move it back to the original position. You should ensure that the jumper has metal inside of it when removed, sometimes (rarely) they don't. This process resets or clears the CMOS chip and is shown in most motherboard manuals.Now connect the power cord and restart your system.

Some motherboards require that the battery must be removed for 20 minutes before putting the battery and jbat1 back for the CMOS chip to be cleared.

9) Harddisks

If your hard drive is giving you problems:

Western Digital (WD) drive's are jumpered somewhat strange compared to others:

No jumper = Stand-Alone drive with no other drive attached to the cable.
Jumper master = Use this setting on your main drive if you have a slave drive installed in your system.
Jumper slave = Use this setting if you have a second hard drive installed in your system.
Cable Select - the preferred jumper setting

If your Hard Drive is doing weird things:
Make sure you have connected the color-coded connectors to the color-coded connectors on the motherboard and connect the other END of the cable to the hard drive. The middle connector can be left unattached without problems if not needed.
Not all motherboards have color-coded connectors.

IBM harddisks seem to fail a lot, try Drive-Fitness-Test on it, see if it has problems.
Run drive fitness test (DFT)

Maxtor also has its own version of hard drive check for their drives and is available from their website.

Any brand of hard drive can have problems so check the manufacturer website to see if there is a testing utility to use to make sure they are ok. Hard drive failures can cause some of the strangest problems with computers and should be checked via the Event Viewer of your Operating System or using the mfg's utility. Sometimes the Event Viewer will give you clues that you have bad sectors leading you to a potential hard drive failure. You could also find IDE/SCSI controllers that are suspect by looking there as well. Win9x and ME DO NOT have Event Viewers.

Alway's be sure your harddisk is in tip-top shape! If you suspect that it's not, replace it to verify.

IDE devices and hard drive guide (Written by Assaf & Bas)

To enable a hard drive over 137GB in Win2000 edit this registry key:


The K7N2G & Delta -ILSR boards support 2 IDE Devices on IDE 1 & 2, 1 IDE hard drive on IDE3 and 2 SATA drive's on the SATA Ports.
There is a modded bios that allows 2 drives on IDE3. USE THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK!!! Here is a link to it:

Harddisk/power LED not functioning:

If your Hard Drive or Power LED don't work try turning the plug around on the motherboard connector. Some manufacturers don't mark or wire the LED cables properly and the LEDs will only work when + and - is correct.

Hard drive LEDs do not work with SATA drives.

10) Floppy Drives

If your floppy drive doesn't work or the LED stays on all of the time make sure the floppy is set correctly in the BIOS because the BIOS doesn't autodetect a floppy drive.
Check the cable making sure that the twist in the cable is at the floppy-drive side and flip the connector at the around. If it stays on after that or you still can't read a floppy disk try another drive or a different manufaturer type drive.

11) USB Ports

If your USB ports aren't working:
Check in the BIOS if the ports are enabled.
USB 2.0 ports are supported ONLY in Win2000 w/SP3 and XP w/SP1. Update your OS from Windows Update and let the OS install the ports after reboot and they should work.

12) Replacing parts and the system won't boot after

It's never a good idea to replace stuff like CPU and ram without taking the board out of the case. But if you do so please support the board because if you don't you might bend the board a little and cause trace breakage or component connections to the board to crack or break causing a bad contact. Always support the board when you replace components no matter what!

Also make sure your system is compatible with any replacement component. For example your PSU may not be able to handle a video card upgrade from a GeForce2 440MX to a GeForce4 Ti-4600 because the +12v rail is too low or the motherboard isn't rated to output the proper voltage to the AGP port.

If you have parts that work in another computer with a different chipset this DOES NOT mean they will work with the nforce2 chipset.

13) Graphics Card

If there is stability problem and/or can't use agp 8x then update to the latest bios and it should work. Also try to disable the 8x feature of the motherboard in the BIOS. If neither of these work then you may have a PSU that is under-powered and needs to be replaced. You could also have a faulty video card, AGP port on the motherboard among other things. If you have to disable the 8x feature in the BIOS then there is still a problem even if the card starts working. That may mean the motherboard is bad. Also use the latest drivers available from the respective manufacturer and don't forget to uninstall the old drivers first!! There is a sticky post in the VGA forum that details this process.

14) Checking the power supply

Don't do this if you don't know what you are doing!

a) Disconnect the power supply.
b) Orient the 20-pin power connector with the clip up.
c) Locate pin 4 and pin 8 top row, mostly green and black wire. (Usually the PSU manufacturer will have a drawing labeling the pins on their website)
d) Use a wire to short them (or better a 12V test lamp).
e) Now connect the power cord and the fan inside the power supply should start spinning. If it doesn't your power supply might be dead.

15) Windows

a) If you find that Windows2000/XP won't run stable:
Try to disable APIC and install again. Not all drivers/devices like the APIC.
b) Windows2000/XP won't install USB 2.0:
Install the latest servicepack using Windows Update (SP3 Win2000 or SP1 WinXP). Windows should detect the USB ports on reboot and install the drivers for them. They should work now but if not you could have a faulty motherboard.

If you use a current or slipstreamed copy of Win2K or XP with the latest service pack they include these new drivers. This download will no longer be available on Windows Update.

Slipstreaming Win2K with Service Packs and Creating a Bootable CD:

Slipstreaming Windows XP Service Packs and Creating a Bootable CD

16) Good Links

J*A*G'S *Updated* nForce Cooling Guide (written by GlennVidia)

Solution to stuck CPU Voltage on K7N2 Delta (written by RoganJosh)

Suggestions on posting and getting better answers (written by GlennVidia)

Good Memory Choices for K7N2G- IL and ILSR Board (written by Bonz)

ati problem ,post vga card model and bios (written by Wonkanoby)

Powersupplies(Written by Bas)

I am not an expert on computers so i have most likely forgotten a lot of things. Please send me a private message or email me and I will add it if it's applicable. If you feel that something here is in error then please contact me via the above as well.

I also want to thank everyone that helped put this guide together.
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