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BIOS hang with P5N32 and watercooling

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I've posted here before asking for advice and everyone was really helpful. But I'm starting to regret working on the machine I'm building... I have a problem that I really need advice on.

Here are my specs:
mobo - Asus P5N32-SLI deluxe
GPUs - PNY's Nivida 7900 GTX (2 of them in SLI)
CPU - Pentium D 930
Memory - Mushkin PC2 5300 3-3-3-10 (2 sticks 1 gig each)
Case - Koolance PC3-725 (no flames please, I'm new to WC and don't have a workshop area)

Here's the problem, and then I'll give some relevant details. I can post, and everything is detected alright. The very first time I posted it said "CMOS checksum error" which troubled me. On subsequent reboots, that error message is not there.

At any rate, I can go into the BIOS and twiddle settings, etc. I can get throught a good portion of the windows install too. However, after a minute and a half or so, the screen either freezes or goes sort of haywire and shows artifacts of the BIOS screen (or whatever) that I was looking at. I believe that something is overheating. I believe this because if I reset right away, the freeze/display weirdness happens sooner.

Now, I have a watercooled system here. I have both GPUs and the CPU connected in series. I used a swiftech MCW-60-B on each GPU, which was a real ***** to get on considering I hooked up all the hoses/waterblocks and then connected them to the cards. The MCW-60 covers only the GPU, and I had to thermal-epoxy ramsinks onto the ram modules on the video cards. (The sticky paper on the ramsinks adhered like a moist kleenex by the way.) This has voided the PNY warranty of course. Are the ramsinks somehow a horrible solution and I just didn't know? Should I have coughed up 80 bucks more and gotten the waterblock that covered the whole video card like the stock heatsink?

I am using a swiftech apogee on the CPU. I do not suspect that. The temperature sensor on the CPU waterblock reads 21 celsius. I'm sure it's fine.

My real concern is the motherboard. This board (Asus P5N32-SLI deluxe) is notorious for being cranky. Reading up on their forums tells me perhaps I should upgrade from bios 0308 to 0310, however most places say that the 0308 should work just fine for the Pentium D 900 lines (mine's a 930). I'm about to flash over to the 0310 tomorrow anyway, just to see if that fixes my problems. However, I suspect the real problem is that the the chipsets on the mobo do not have fans. It does the obnoxious aluminum tubing around with heat fins thing. (See picture: Picture from newegg

The board came with little fans to stick on the two fin arrays next to the CPU socket, which I am using. However, I also have the side of the thing off right now which should be sufficient cool air. (In addition to 2 other huge case fans). But when I touch the NB/SB heatsink things, it is very hot. I can't keep my fingers on it, it's that hot. However if I touch the CPU or GPU waterblocks, they are nice and cool.

Water is pumping along just nicely, in case you were wondering.

This scares the bejeezus out of me. I've never watercooled before and I've spent more cash than is good for me. What could cause that BIOS instability? Should I take off the GPU blocks and reapply thermal paste? I might try that and if that doesn't work, try another SLI-enabled intel motherboard.

Thanks.
My System
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Pentium D Gigabyte "Quad Royal" Two NVidia 7900GTX (x16) DDR2 
OSMonitor
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post #2 of 18
can you get to the bios ?? If you can then I would check the tempatures in there to see if it's overheating, if everything seems alright & you still cant install windows then chances are one of your ram stick is bad, I had this issue before . Try to test your ram 1 by 1 to see which one is bad & go from there.
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post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by phiken
can you get to the bios ?? If you can then I would check the tempatures in there to see if it's overheating, if everything seems alright & you still cant install windows then chances are one of your ram stick is bad, I had this issue before . Try to test your ram 1 by 1 to see which one is bad & go from there.
With memtest 86 http://www.memtest86.com/ If you already have not done
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post #4 of 18
I had the same problem, make sure when you were installing your waterblock, you put the peices in the right order, for instance the bolt goes first, then the plastic washer, then metal etc. It made a huge diffrence, check the directions for the block on the gpu for this. The dots were blue right?
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post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chopes
I had the same problem, make sure when you were installing your waterblock, you put the peices in the right order, for instance the bolt goes first, then the plastic washer, then metal etc. It made a huge diffrence, check the directions for the block on the gpu for this. The dots were blue right?
Blue dots? What do you mean?

I was pretty careful about the order of the bolts, washers, etc for the waterblock mounts. But like I said, it was a struggle because I had already filled/bled; all the blocks and hosing was hooked up already. Trying to hold up a video card while getting the block on one side and the stupid 'X' bracket on the other, and get screws in was a real pain. I might have smeared the thermal paste too much or something. I just didn't want to fill/bleed with video cards attached in case of a leak. In hindsight, I should have coughed up another 80 bucks per waterblock and gone with those larger dangerden waterblocks. It would have been a nicer fit and easier install.
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Pentium D Gigabyte "Quad Royal" Two NVidia 7900GTX (x16) DDR2 
OSMonitor
Windows XP 1080p TV 
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Windows XP 1080p TV 
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post #6 of 18
I went thru the same thing but only when overclocking, to get the best overclock out of this board you have to water cool you north and south bridge, I did that and I am runninig a p930 @ 3.75Ghz stable thats with only my northbridge being water cooled I'm going to do my southbridge this weekend I will post the cpuz once I'm done. These are my specs.


SYSTEM SPECS

PENTIUM D 930 WATER COOLED
P5N32 SLI DELUXE
2X XFX 7900 GTX WATER COOLED @ 695/900
2X 74GB RAPTOR RAID 0
250GB WD 16MB CACHE
4X CORSAIR 675 DDR2 STICKS @ 805
CREATIVE LABS X-FI EXTREME MUSIC
SILVER STONE 650WATT
KOOLANCE 400 PLUS SERIES WATER COOLING WITH 3X RADIATOR
2X KOOLANCE NV2 7900 GTX WATER COOLERS
NORTHBRIDE WATERCOOLED
1 120MM REAR FAN
LG 20.1" FLATRON

BIOS SETTINGS

FRONT SIDE BUS OPTIMIZE SET TO ENABLED
MEMORY OPTIMIZE MODE SET TO DISABLED
CPU INTERNAL THERMAL CONTROL SET TO AUTO
SYSTEM CLOCK MODE SET TO MANUEL
CPU VOLTAGE SET TO 1.4V
FRONT SIDE BUS SET TO 1000 @3.75GHZ
MEMORY VOLTAGE SET TO 2.1V
MEMORY TIMINGS SET TO 4-4-4-12-15-2T
NORTH BRIDGE HYPER TRANSPORT SET TO 1000MHZ
SOUTH BRIDGE HYPER TRANSPORT SET TO 1000MHZ
ONBOARD AUDIO DISABLED
NV ARMOR FIREWALL DISABLED
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by phiken
can you get to the bios ?? If you can then I would check the tempatures in there to see if it's overheating, if everything seems alright & you still cant install windows then chances are one of your ram stick is bad, I had this issue before . Try to test your ram 1 by 1 to see which one is bad & go from there.
I'll try your suggestion. I went into the bios and monitored the temps the MB was giving, up until it crashed. The CPU was at 5 degrees and the MB temp was at 26 degrees or so. (However the external sensor on top of my CPU waterblock said it was at 21 degrees, so it makes me wonder.)
My System
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Pentium D Gigabyte "Quad Royal" Two NVidia 7900GTX (x16) DDR2 
OSMonitor
Windows XP 1080p TV 
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My System
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post #8 of 18
LOL...it should be the other way around and even then, those numbers are completely messed up. Have you tried clearing your CMOS?
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post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ok, I have a new development. As I stated in the first post, with the 2 watercooled video cards in, I would sit in the BIOS for anywhere from 2-10 minutes, and then the screen would freeze or get "artifacty". So that raised my suspicions about the video cards overheating. So I just went to an electronics store a couple hours ago and bought the cheapest PCI card I could find. (It's a Geforce2 and cost about 55 bucks, even has a fan). Now when I boot into the BIOS and sit there (as I did with the 2 pci express cards), the computer shuts down after 18 minutes. There's no warning beep, and the motherboard retains power. I can tell because the LED on the motherboard remains lit. It just shuts off.

The temperature sensor on top of my CPU waterblock (the only waterblock over an active piece of hardware in this case) reads 12 celsius in the BIOS and the sensor I have on top of the waterblock is reading in the high 20s.

My question is what should I do next? I'll try isolating the sticks of ram one at a time to see if one of them is a culprit. What else can I try?
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Pentium D Gigabyte "Quad Royal" Two NVidia 7900GTX (x16) DDR2 
OSMonitor
Windows XP 1080p TV 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Pentium D Gigabyte "Quad Royal" Two NVidia 7900GTX (x16) DDR2 
OSMonitor
Windows XP 1080p TV 
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post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamstrings
Ok, I have a new development. As I stated in the first post, with the 2 watercooled video cards in, I would sit in the BIOS for anywhere from 2-10 minutes, and then the screen would freeze or get "artifacty". So that raised my suspicions about the video cards overheating. So I just went to an electronics store a couple hours ago and bought the cheapest PCI card I could find. (It's a Geforce2 and cost about 55 bucks, even has a fan). Now when I boot into the BIOS and sit there (as I did with the 2 pci express cards), the computer shuts down after 18 minutes. There's no warning beep, and the motherboard retains power. I can tell because the LED on the motherboard remains lit. It just shuts off.

The temperature sensor on top of my CPU waterblock (the only waterblock over an active piece of hardware in this case) reads 12 celsius in the BIOS and the sensor I have on top of the waterblock is reading in the high 20s.

My question is what should I do next? I'll try isolating the sticks of ram one at a time to see if one of them is a culprit. What else can I try?
Well at least you know now it's not the $500 video cards with no warranty.
I think you should test 1 stick of ram at a time if that doesn't work disconnect everything you can (sound card, extra drives) and work through it 1 by 1 till you find what's bugging you.
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