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Author Topic: MSI P35 Platinum - BOOT problems  (Read 1772 times)

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RWG29

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MSI P35 Platinum - BOOT problems
« on: 26-February-08, 08:15:35 »

I have had a very similar problem, but after even less of a change. After removing the rubbish stock cooler of the 8800GT and replacing it with an Accelero S1, !PANIC!, system won't even POST. Hangs on error that LEDs identify as a RAM problem. Automatically restarts every few seconds to face the same problem.

After an hour or two, a reference to the manual suggested allowing it to restart a few times. Just as I was about to do this, it actually came up with the error on my monitor that my "overclocking attempt" (huh??) had failed. I then went into BIOS, changed nothing, and Windows loaded fine. I stress tested the GPU - no change, except now much cooler and quieter. Restarted to change a fan cable, and fine. Restarted again to change fan cable back, and suddenly the original problem shows up.

I've had no success since then, after clearing CMOS, changing RAM modules around - stupid thing is that this was all working fine before and the VGA card obviously still works. BIOS is giving me no chance to recover from my "overclocking" anymore either.

It's funny - the board has given me two RAM problems already. At first it incorrectly read the SPD as 800MHz, which is easily fixed. Then after flashing to BIOS 1.8 a few weeks ago, it incorrectly read it again as being 1066MHz and made Windows think it was corrupted until I manually clocked it back (it wasn't). In my attempts at overclocking, also a couple of weeks ago, the FSB would only hit 365MHz (only +22MHz) before losing stability. Even with memory and CPU multiplied back to standard, the FSB did not want to go over this. I should also note that the RAM has never managed to run at its rated settings at its rated voltage, which I will test soon with my friend's kit, which is identical and works fine on his machine.

This is my first experience with MSI, and I have to say I'm not too happy with these problems (possibly all caused by FSB / Memory?). Fixes, anyone?

Intel E8400(Zalman CNPS9500)
MSI P35 Platinum (BIOS v1.8)
G.Skill DDR2-8000 5-5-5-15 2x2GB
4xSG 7200.11 500GB in RAID 10 (onboard RAID)
Palit 8800GT (Accelero S1)
Enermax Liberty 500W
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Jack

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Re: MSI P35 Platinum - BOOT problems
« Reply #1 on: 26-February-08, 10:10:57 »

Hello RWG29,

have you tested if the same problem occurs with just one stick of RAM installed?

Try setting memory speed to 800 MHz for testing and see if the problem still occurs.

Another idea:

Tweak your sub-timings a little.  Try these:

CAS Latency 5
RAS Delay 5
RAS Precharge 5
RAS Activate 18
TRFC 52
TWR 8
TWTR 11
TRRD 3
TRTP 4

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Sharp

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Re: MSI P35 Platinum - BOOT problems
« Reply #2 on: 26-February-08, 12:54:45 »

Hello,

If it is the G.Skill PQ series that you have, the standard JEDEC SPD timings/memory clock is 800Mhz.
After that you need a board that can read the EPP SPD settings.

And depending on what memory ratio it used when you flashed the BIOS it may have come out with 1066Mhz.
333FSB with a 1:1.6 ratio = 1066Mhz DDR

Overclocking it not just about changing the FSB/memory clock.
What about the voltages?

Quote
Restarted to change a fan cable, and fine. Restarted again to change fan cable back, and suddenly the original problem shows up.
What happens if you change it again?
What happens if you unplug everything that is not required, all hard drives, all CD drives + power cables.
Clear the CMOS, hold down the button for 2 mins or remove the battery for 2mins. (Then put it back).
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RemusM

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Re: MSI P35 Platinum - BOOT problems
« Reply #3 on: 26-February-08, 13:54:49 »

G.Skill DDR2-8000 5-5-5-15 2x2GB

First of all, DDR2-8000 does not exist.
If you're talking about these modules http://www.gskill.com/en/f2-8000cl5d-pq.html , the same answer:
PC2-8000 does NOT (officially) exist! It's just a marketing "trick" and nothing more.
In fact those modules are DDR2-800 (high-quality PC2-6400 modules).
You have these options:
5-5-5-18 at 1.8V
5-5-5-15 at 1.85 - 1.9V
5-5-5-15 at 2.1V

The 3rd one is the EPP "setting", in other words the "factory overclocked" setting.
If you're lucky to get a good system stability, using the 3rd setting you can reach approx. 1000MHz DDR2 speed.
In any case, a DDR2 running at 1000MHz is about 3% faster than a DDR2 running at 800MHz
So ... it's up to you.

cheers
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Mainboard: HC85
Processor: Zilog Z80 3.5MHz
System RAM: 48KB
Video RAM: 16KB (only 6912 bytes are used for Pixel Shader effects)
Video Card: integrated (16 colors)
PSU: 5V/3A
OS: BASIC Spectrum Sinclair

note: NO overclocking!

RWG29

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Re: MSI P35 Platinum - BOOT problems
« Reply #4 on: 27-February-08, 06:16:39 »

Well, thanks for all the quick replies!

You all seem to be pointing to a problem with the RAM. Here are my replies:

-Either single stick of RAM in any slot does not resolve the issue

-I cannot get to the BIOS to even attempt changing timings. It won't POST or display anything.

-The system was happy to boot thinking the RAM was 1066MHz. Only Windows didn't like it. This time it won't even boot.

-Interesting about DDR2-8000 not being official, but I'm quite happy manually setting the timings and multiplier as long as it works up to and including its rated (and warranted) settings. As it stands, even at 2.1V (it says the test voltage was 2.0-2.1V), I've never seen it run at 5-5-5-15 at higher than about 900MHz. When I tried keeping that same FSB speed and voltage but pushing the RAM multiplier back - to 700-something MHz I recall - it would still BSOD, crash dump and restart under load. That's part of what makes me slightly doubt that the RAM is the problem for any of my issues.

-If I return the fan cable to its position when everything worked, nothing changes. It is a simple voltage adjustment from the 12V line to the 5V line.

I will try removing the CMOS battery as you say. Clearly the little red button did not fix anything. I will post again if successful.

Funny thing is...as far as the BIOS or any system component is concerned, nothing changed between when it was working fine and when it stuffed up. That's what freaked me out until it booted up successfully those couple of consecutive times.

No matter what, the P35 Platinum is a gorgeous motherboard.
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RWG29

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Re: MSI P35 Platinum - BOOT problems
« Reply #5 on: 27-February-08, 07:14:16 »

OK, I've solved the problem. Let me just say - with no insult to your abilities - that it's lucky I figured it out, because you would NEVER have guessed it.  :rolleyes_anim:

It wasn't a problem with the RAM.
It wasn't a problem with the Timings.
It wasn't a problem with the Frequency.
It wasn't even a problem with the motherboard.

Now that I've wound you up....it was the power connector on HDD #3!!!

The little plastic "L" end on the SATA power connector seems to have broken off, shoddy piece of plastic crap. I know it's that HDD because it would boot with everything installed except that one. I don't understand why it's a problem, cause all the terminals seem to connect fine, which they obvious are now that it's up and working again. Something must have been a short circuit in the PSU or something, so I have not idea why the motherboard chose to hang on the RAM check every time.

How did I fix it? I jiggled it and pushed it up a bit.

My explanations:

Why did it go wrong in the first place?
I must have pushed a SATA power cable when I was reinstalling the VGA card, which either broke the connector or moved some terminals on the already-broken connector away from what they should be touching.

Why did it work briefly then stop again? In my fiddlings in the case trying to find a cause of the problem, I must have accidentally pushed the connector back to where it should be.

Why did it then stop? When I went to change the fan connector over, I must have bumped it again!!


I hope this helps anyone who ever has such a bizarre problem. And thanks to everyone who offered a possible solution, especially you, Sharp, your idea got me to figure out what it was.

What a crazy, stupid problem! Still doesn't tell me why it's so bad at overclocking, but maybe I will find that out when I borrow my friend's RAM to test on my machine.
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Sharp

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Re: MSI P35 Platinum - BOOT problems
« Reply #6 on: 27-February-08, 14:26:36 »

I was thinking a power issue of some sort. :)

Good luck with your overclocking.
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RWG29

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Re: MSI P35 Platinum - BOOT problems
« Reply #7 on: 03-March-08, 04:25:37 »

Sorry Sharp, but it turns out you were wrong.

Maybe that HDD is just cursed, but that broken connector was NOT the actual problem.

After the problem recurred and no amount of SATA power jiggling (or even disconnecting the drive) would fix it, I realised that the SATA data cable connector to the motherboard was loose for that drive. It wouldn't quite clip on to the motherboard and always tried to hang half off the connection.

When the system won't start, now I have to hold the connector on until it's up and running. So this is a problem with the MSI motherboard plastic part or the MSI SATA cable plastic part. I can't really fault them for this because, although it's a pain, I should be able to permanently fix it with some tape and minor defects in plastics manufacture are inevitable.
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Mike

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Re: MSI P35 Platinum - BOOT problems
« Reply #8 on: 04-March-08, 07:15:23 »

Are you saying the header on the MOBO won't hold a SATA connector? Can you post a picture? If it is a header on the MOBO, you should RMA the board.
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RWG29

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Re: MSI P35 Platinum - BOOT problems
« Reply #9 on: 05-March-08, 00:15:06 »

It is either the header on the motherboard or the SATA connector that came with the motherboard. I'm not really bothered by that because I can just tape the dodgy one to one of the others (they are all populated) to hold it in the right place.

I will be RMA-ing the board, but for another reason, and fixing the connector is just an added bonus. The major problem that I'm very unhappy with is the ability of it to run decent RAM or FSB. I've already stated how feeble the possible FSB overclock on my board is, but now I've just proven that the problems are with the mobo and not the RAM by changing the RAM out with some that I KNOW work at their rated settings.

Speedfan also reports that the RAM voltage is the same, at around 1.84V, no matter what I set the RAM voltage at in the BIOS. I don't know if this is related. Whatever the fault with the motherboard is, they can sort it out when I return it for replacement with a fully-functional one.
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