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Are these things related or just coincidence?

post #1 of 8
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(sorry for the long post. I have had a hell of a week with my PC and it seems like one thing after the other)


OK, since I have had my DFI, I have fried 2 sticks of RAM (both ballistix, one single one double sided) and a GFX card. Not to mention random shut-downs, power fail post beeps, NTLDR error, unable to acces BIOS and long windows load times.

The first issue I had was a beeping that I think is the code for power failure. When I restarted, it booted up just fine. When I went to go into BIOS to mess with RAM timings, I found out that it would hang. I reset CMOS only to realize I had screwed myself. i couldn't get into BIOS to enable RAID, so XP wouldn't load. After this, I tried different RAM sticks and found one of my 4 1gb sticks of ballistix was bad. I was happy as it is always nice to find a direct problem. Once I removed it, I was able to get into BIOS and booted up fine. Thinking I was OK, I let it go. Well, I wasn't out of the woods yet. I came home to a dead PC and it shows the same symptoms when I tried to reboot, a high pitched beep code. (although I was still able to get into BIOS, so one problem solved)

When I took the mobo out to bench test it, I noticed that under the mounting plate I was using for my D-Tek (Big Typhoon mounting plate) two pins from the vreg area of the mobo (has the little cooler on it) were worn through the foam and shorting out on the plate. I removed the plate and installed the stock cooler to do some tests.

When i first booted, I still got the fast, repeating beeps that I believe is the code for power failure. I reset CMOS and booted and it was fine. After reinstalling my loop and putting it back into the case, it seemed like I was OK. Well, i was wrong again. I came home to the beeping again.

I rebooted and it was fine. At this point I was convinced it was the board. It would run fine for a while, but always shut down and/or give me the power failure beep code.

The last thing that happened was the day before yesterday. I came home and has a message on the screen, "NTLDR is corrupt". I made another post here and did some reasearch. I figured that was due either to the mobo or a corrupt XP install. After reading some responses, I decided to start testing some items. I started with RAM (the newer 2 sticks of ballistix as the old 2 were in the mail) and it turned out that I had another bad stick. Now, for some stupid reason, I never memtested the sticks when I had the first problem of not being able to get into the BIOS


So, here I am running one stick of RAM and things seem to be OK. I started up the PC this morning before work and when i went home at lunch, I was still folding away. Good sign.

My question is this: What are the chances the the shorting vregs cause the RAM to go bad? Is it a coincidence as there seems to be a lot of failing ballistix throughout the forum. I am assuming the NTLDR error was due to faulty RAM as well, but what about the power failure beep code? Could i have damaged the mobo when the pins were shorting out and that is what is frying my RAM? I suppose it could have been RAM all along an the shorting pins was coincidence. thinking back, although I found them, it still had some of the same symptoms after I removed the backplate.

Basically, I want to know if you were I, would you RMA the mobo or assume that the RAM went bad, caused all the errors and will be fine once I get my new RAM in. I don't want to put new RAM in and have that fry as well, but at the same time, I am getting sick and tired of RMA's and don't want to go through another if I don't have to.
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post #2 of 8
If there was a short you should look for "burned" places on the pcb.
say near a resistance or capacitor/mosfet.

I could also suggest you check the stability of your psu (as that would be the first thing, i'd check after a "power failure"

I'd definitely rma the board + test the psu before something else goes with it
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlan View Post
If there was a short you should look for "burned" places on the pcb.
say near a resistance or capacitor/mosfet.

I could also suggest you check the stability of your psu (as that would be the first thing, i'd check after a "power failure"

I'd definitely rma the board + test the psu before something else goes with it
Well, the pins were contacting the backplate, but the vregs are fine and also, I am not 100% sure it was an actual short. It could have been 2 grounds or something as I still had the same problems after I fixed it.

What is a good PSU stability test? besides checking voltages with a MM, what should I check?


edit: Also, just to clear it up, the power failure code is due to a power delivery error on the mobo or somethuing like that. it does not correlate directlt to a power outage or anything like that. It could be caused by the PSU, but it could also be caused by the mobo or a component. It doesn't mean the PC lost power from the wall socket.
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post #4 of 8
the ballistics seem to fail very frequently , according to yours and others posts just
this week in fact.

Either people are overvolting / overclocking them to hard or they are not that great.

either way something is happening , also I have read way to many compatibilty issues
with them.

I hope you get some better results with the rma'd stuff
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post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by D.J.S. View Post
the ballistics seem to fail very frequently , according to yours and others posts just
this week in fact.

Either people are overvolting / overclocking them to hard or they are not that great.

either way something is happening , also I have read way to many compatibilty issues
with them.

I hope you get some better results with the rma'd stuff

Its funny. I was running the older, double sided sticks in my DS3L at 1095, 5-5-5-15, 2.3v. I moved them to the DFI and added 2 newer, single sided sticks and ran them all at 880, 4-4-4-12, 2.2v. It wasn't until I down clocked them that they failed. granted, the timings were tighter, but my older set would have been fine at these settings. It is hard as I changed a few things at once, so I can't narrow down the single factor.

This is also my first DFI. I assume there is always the possibilty of Crucial not getting along, but that wouldn't make much sense. It is still a P35. I think I will be much better with 2 sticks running stock. At least if something goes awry this time, I can rule out the RAM. I am also planning on memtesting them right away just to be sure they are stable.
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post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by dralb View Post
Well, the pins were contacting the backplate, but the vregs are fine and also, I am not 100% sure it was an actual short. It could have been 2 grounds or something as I still had the same problems after I fixed it.

What is a good PSU stability test? besides checking voltages with a MM, what should I check?


edit: Also, just to clear it up, the power failure code is due to a power delivery error on the mobo or somethuing like that. it does not correlate directlt to a power outage or anything like that. It could be caused by the PSU, but it could also be caused by the mobo or a component. It doesn't mean the PC lost power from the wall socket.
When i'm short of one of those handy PSU test thingy's
I stress test it by making the PC draw alot of power (make it sweat) and then instantly returning to idle.
If you find no stability probs + the voltsges remain fairly stable the whole time your psu should be fine.

Hope you find your prob
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post #7 of 8
DFI used to have RAM compatibility issues with the NF4 boards, it was very common and could be read about all over DIYstreet.com (Used to be DFIstreet.com), perhaps you are having a RAM issue as well. You might post over at DFIclub.com and see whatg they might have to say. They are quite knowledgeable and have helped many with our board.
    
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have been running with one stick and have had no problems so far. I think I fried a stick of each set. I am getting new ram tomorrow, so I am hoping it was all a ram problem.
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