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AMD X2 550 BE unlock

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hey folks,

I just purchased a Gigabyte GA-990FX-UD3 motherboard which became home to my existing Phenom II X2 550 BE. One of the main reasons I bought the board was the prospect of being able to unlock the disabled cores on my Phenom.

I use Linux for most of my daily work, booting into Windows when I'm ready to game. So naturally, when I finished assembling the new hardware, my first step was to install Ubuntu Linux 11.04. I unlocked the cores in the Gigabyte BIOS immediately, and it worked like a charm. Ubuntu's System Monitor showed four cores functioning perfectly.

The next step was to try installing Windows... and I could not do it. Every time I tried to boot the install CD, it would blue screen. I was completely convinced that something else was wrong since I had had no problems with Linux, so I adjusting a bunch of other settings, and also resetting to default and only turning on Core Unlock. I finally turned off Core Unlock to see, and Windows worked like a charm.

After the install, I tried unlocking the cores again, no dice. Every time, I would catch a hint of blue-screen right as the Starting Windows screen appeared, and the machine would restart. Even booting in Safe Mode causes this.

Thinking that maybe it was just an issue with one of the cores, I went back into the BIOS and disabled one at a time in turn, no improvement. I then disabled all possible combinations of two, again with no improvement. Every single time I would reboot, Windows would blue-screen at "Starting Windows." The only way to get Windows to boot was to turn off Core Unlock.

The fact that no possible combination of two enabled cores booted Windows, combined with the fact that everything worked hunky-dory in Linux, tells me that there is nothing wrong with my processor and no good reason Windows shouldn't boot.

Has anybody seen anything like this before? Is there some BIOS setting that I 'm missing that I should be tweaking (I know Windows is picky about ACPI)? Also, does anybody know of any good programs for stress-testing the proc in Linux so I can make sure there aren't any defects on the two unlocked cores?

Thanks for any insight.

Full specs:
AMD Phenom II X2 550BE @ stock freq/voltage
Gigabyte GA-990FX-UD3 AMD 990FX motherboard
Gigabyte GV-R685OC-1GD Radeon 6850 video card
8GB (2x4GB) G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1600 CL9 @ stock freq/latency/voltage
Thermaltake TR2 500W power supply
1TB Seagate Barracuda SATA HDD
500GB Western Digital Black SATA HDD
LG 24x SATA DVD burner
post #2 of 6
Try raising your Vcore a notch or two.
The Butthurt Box
(21 items)
 
   
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The Butthurt Box
(21 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel Core i5 2500K P67 Professional AMD Radeon HD 6950 unlock NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 2gb 
RAMRAMHard DriveHard Drive
G.Skill Ripjaws G.Skill Ripjaws Intel X25-V Seagate Barracuda 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD Goflex USB 3.0 24x DVD R/W DL Win7 Ultermate 64 Acer 20in 1600x900 
MonitorMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Compaq 20in 1600x900 17in Dell 1280x1024 19in Gateway 1280x1024 Razer Blackwidow mech w/ cherry MX blues 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
Kingwin LZ-750 HAF 932 + sound activated lights Logitech G500 Rosewill USB headset 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Pentium 4 3.2ghz w/ HT HP Intel IGP 4gb Mushkin DDR2 
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80gb sata WinXP Pro HP OEM HP Small form factor 
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Tried that, no dice.
post #4 of 6
My experience is exactly the same.

Ubuntu Linux 11.04 works great with all 4 cores working.
Installed Windows 7 64 bit (Ultimate) with only 2 cores (as is widely advised.)
Installation went fine. Enabled unlocking of 3rd and 4th cores. Windows locked at "Starting Windows" screen with disk activity stopping. Did much online research and tested every bios adjustment I could find. Finally tried AMD Overdrive. This destroyed Windows. (I restored the system drive from image backup.)

I will continue to learn more in hopes of finding an answer. I suspect it is a bios incompatibility (I am using latest bios) and/or some Windows driver. I am going to remove all unnecessary hardware from system and try again.

ASROCK A780GXH/128M AM2+ 780G RT
AMD Phantom II X2 550 AM3 3.1G RT (BE)
4GX2 G.SKILL F2-8500CL5D-4GBPI
Internal Graphics Adapter ATI Radeon HD 3200
5 hard disks (3 sata, 2 pata)
24x SATA DVD burner
Coolmaster 750W power supply
DIY 2009
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom x2 550 BE MB ASROCK A780GXH/128M AM2+ 780G RT Radeon HD 3200 (igp) 8GB G.SKILL DD2 1066 
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DIY 2009
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom x2 550 BE MB ASROCK A780GXH/128M AM2+ 780G RT Radeon HD 3200 (igp) 8GB G.SKILL DD2 1066 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
3 sata, 2 pata sata DVD Writer Windows 7 64 bit SyncMaster 731b 
PowerCase
Antec 750W Roswell Wind Knight 
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post #5 of 6
It sounds like your CPU is just one of the unlucky ones that don't unlock. I went through 3 myself before I found my X2 560 that can fully unlock.

But before we can disclaim that, raise the vcore a bit, disable all cores except core 1 and core 3, and stress test with mprime (Prime95 eqivalant), CPUBURN (download it off of synaptic) or compile the kernel with the "-j3" make flag. Do the same for core 4. If your noticing that the system crashes during the stress testing either core, you probably have a CPU that doesn't unlock.
post #6 of 6
I have been able to unlock cores 2 and 3 and boot into Windows 7 64 bit.
Unfortunately, it only works as a 2 core cpu, cores 0 and 2 or cores 0 and 3.
I left my prior settings for OC to 3800 (vcore=1.4, cpu-nb=1.1)
I have tried cpu-nb up to 1.25 without success. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
DIY 2009
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom x2 550 BE MB ASROCK A780GXH/128M AM2+ 780G RT Radeon HD 3200 (igp) 8GB G.SKILL DD2 1066 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
3 sata, 2 pata sata DVD Writer Windows 7 64 bit SyncMaster 731b 
PowerCase
Antec 750W Roswell Wind Knight 
  hide details  
Reply
DIY 2009
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom x2 550 BE MB ASROCK A780GXH/128M AM2+ 780G RT Radeon HD 3200 (igp) 8GB G.SKILL DD2 1066 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
3 sata, 2 pata sata DVD Writer Windows 7 64 bit SyncMaster 731b 
PowerCase
Antec 750W Roswell Wind Knight 
  hide details  
Reply
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