From: Matt on 12/08/2002
I'm having a problem with random system lockups, each requiring a manual reset. My system specs are:
Epox 8RDA+ (nForce2)
Athlon XP 2700+ overclocked to 200mhz x11
1x512mb DIMM (Corsair, PC3000, DDR)
Radeon 9700 Pro
Western Digital hard drive w/ 80gb capacity, 7200rpm, 8mb cache
Cooling is a Thermalright SLK-800 with an 80mm fan providing airflow
It's not obvious why these lockups are occuring. It doesn't appear to be correlated with running certain applications or performing certain tasks. The only common thread I know of is that they only occur during system activity (though again, it seems nonspecific).
I've pretty much ruled out Windows itself as the problem. My 98 install is fresh, using the same CD that I've used in the past on other computers with no problem. In addition the same pattern of lockups occured with Windows XP (I reverted to 98 when I decided I didn't want to have to call microsoft again). I therefore assume that it's a hardware issue. I've also ruled out a bad hard drive.
The first possibility I looked at is that my CPU is overheating. I find this unlikely since I have a pretty good heatsink and I'm not OC'ed all that much (running at 2200mhz, default is like 2.16ghz, or 166x13). I usually check the temps after I lockup in the BIOS setup, and I've never observed a CPU temperature higher than 50 Celcius (usually more like 46). I've got it set to shutdown automatically at 70 degrees, but that's not being triggered unless the CPU cools 20 degrees in five seconds or so. I haven't been able to record temperatures while my OS is running since all the monitoring tools I've tried seem unable to get any temperature information from the mobo.
Second possibility I suspect is bad/old drivers for the mobos onboard NIC or sound, or an outdated BIOS. I know for a fact that the Epox drivers on the CD are not up-to-date, nor is my BIOS the latest version, however I've been unable to update the drivers (the file I get from the Epox and nVidia websites appears to be corrupt - I get a generic error message when I attempt installation) and I don't want to flash the bios since I'm overclocked. I'm getting some weird sound performance as well so I'm becoming more and more convinced that the Epox drivers are to blame.
A quick search on the Net revealed that this sort of behavior has been observed before and attributed to the mobo, but only in VIA chipset boards (that I could see).
Does anyone have any advice?