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THICKO!! needing Help Probs with my K7S5A??

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  • THICKO!! needing Help Probs with my K7S5A??

    Before we start can I just say
    1.) I am new to this Forum, in fact the whole computer scene so PLEASE go slowly and bear with me!!
    2.) I have very little computer knowledge but am attempting to learn fast??? So if you do have it in your heart to help a poor mindless dimwit like me, then please remember to explain things very easily and if possible in step by step instructions (or email me).

    Any my problem is as follows - I had a computer built for me at Xmas and it comprises of a K7S5A board, Athalon 1200mx proc, 256SDR Ram, 20Gb hard drive, SM56 Motorola Modem, and a Nvidia Geoforce 2, MX100/200 32MB graphics card. Not the most impressive I know but hey I aint loaded and it's not a ZX81 either!!.

    Now I had windows ME running on it and everything was going splendidly and I could play all my games, software without problems. However then I downloaded a Microsoft patch for WIndows Office 2000 premium called SR1a and thats when it all went pearshaped. It caused the office progs to crash and I couldnt find anyway to un-install it. I spoke to a couple of techy guys who said it had happened to them and that the only way to get rid of it proper was to bite the bullet and re-format your hard drive which after much deliberation I decided to do.

    I then re-booted using the ME start up disk and re-installed ME o/s and then the drivers for both the Nvidia graphics card (utilising the latest driver from the Nvidia website as before) and built in audio driver from the MOBO CD disk. However since then it been nothing but problems. Some of my games dont work, most noticeably Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Mickey Saves the Day (3D adventure) -hey I've got a 7 year old give me a break. I've tried everything but nothing worked and the screen kept freezing and locking me out. EVentually I scrubbed the lot again after multiple re-format and installs and loaded up using a WIndows XP professional.

    On this system being installed I installed the latest XP detenator driver from Nvidia along with the Sis7012 driver for the Audio system. I also installed the latest driver for the Modem from Motorola's site for Win2000 according to the instructions. Again all appears fine until I attempt to play some games. I have managed to get Ret to Castle Wolfenstein working but I've had to put the acceleration down 2 notches and lowered to 16bit colour which before I had all these problems I never had to do. Sometimes though the screen just freezes and the machine re-boots without warning. On booting up and going to the desktop it tells me that the graphics card driver for the Geoforce is unstable and had a drawing problem. It provides technical data but that means nothing to me!!!

    Can anyone PLEASE help me, I've tried un-installing -re-installing the card drivers etc. Have I not done something in the setup phase or not changed something in the BIOS setup fields. ON that note is it worth me upgrading my BIOS system, I havent touched the MOBO since I got it and if so where and how do I go about it??

    I appreciate this is very long winded and probably very low tech for you guys but your help would be greatly appreciated!!!!!

  • #2
    It could be a couple of things with that mobo such as did ya install the SiS AGP driver? That is one that must be installed sperately. Also with mine after months of trouble free running it start corrupting data which boiled down to the power supply had degraded enough over that time to stop supplyin' enough power to it and they are very particular about power supplies.
    A lot of info and help for that particular board can be found at this forum with a couple of FAQ's linked near the top of the page. :smokin:


    • #3

      I havent installed the AGP driver from the CD that comes with the mobo, I've tried to do this as I thought this might be the trouble but I cant seem to find how the o/s will let me do this. It always seems to revert to the Geoforce card!!!


      • #4
        Sorry one last thing, when I try to install the AGP driver using the install wizard and clicking on the Windows 2000 driver (only 2000 and 9x supplied as far as I can see) it wont let me saying severe warning, this is for Windows 2000 only ????


        • #5
          The driver is so the OS comunicates with the AGP not the video card but here is their page on driver installation. :smokin:


          • #6

            I know I know, your thinking why did I bother!!! but please bear with me here. In relation to installing the AGP driver the manual says I should install the first before I install the graphics card driver. However I'm running XP Pro which as soon as it boots up instantly installs the G/card using one of its own installed driver. It doesnt give u the chance to install the AGP driver first no matter how quick you are. Also you cant default to the on-board graphics display cause 1 I have no other means to connect to a monitor if I take the card out and 2 XP just wont let you.

            SO !!! I installed the AGP driver after booting up and used the Programme Compatlibilty WIzard running it as Windows2000. Tnis allowed me to do so and from what I can see?? installed the driver. I then installed the latest XP detenator driver from Nvidia 28.32 which I got from their website re-booted. Will this work or am I basically just p*****g in the wind here????


            • #7
              Ok soz was half asleep before, after the XP setup did you run siside.exe as this make sure that everything has the correct DMA settings.
              The SiS setup is the opposite of a VIA setup with regards to the agp setup as the video drivers are required 1st before the port drivers.
              But really your probs sound to be more related to bad power supply so check the sticker on your PSU against what's on their PSU FAQ as this is where the biggest problem is with this board. :smokin:


              • #8

                Right I'm beginning to get extremely cheesed with all of this. I know I might be repeating myself here and a lot of what I write here might not be relevant but please help if you can.

                My system-
                K7S5A & AC97 sound
                Geoforce 2, 32mb, 100/200 with TV out
                20gb hard drive
                312 SDRAM
                Motorola SM56 Modem
                Samsung DVD/CD 32x
                Plextor CD 24/10/40A Burner

                First you mentioned about my power source. This is all a bit goobledegook to me, but when I had the side of the case I noticed the power box at the top had 300w on the side, does that help????

                However I would stress that I dont think this is my problem. Until I re-formatted the hard drive I never had any errors or problems with my system. It is only since re-installing (or attempting to re-install) my o/s using both ME and now XP Pro that I've had difficulty. I never had to tweak anything before which leads me to think its something to do with how the card has been installed or setup thats the problem. In addition XP being a bit more smarter than ME tells me once its recovered from a freeze or unplanned reboot that the problem seems to lie with the Geoforce Graphics card drivers. It states that it had a drawing problem and that the card is unstable. This appears to be the case in that I can now play Return to Castle Wolfenstein which was one of the games which I was having probs with since re-install. Now I can load and play it fine for a bit, the graphics and sound operate as they should and then without warning it just freezes. Likewise sometimes I'm just negotiating through files or something in my desktop and without warning the computer freezes for 30 secs or so then reboots, returning with this warning about the graphics card.

                You mentioned DMA, again I'm a bit at a loss here but I checked the system info utility and it says DMA on channel 4. I cant find anywhere that tells me what the card DMA?? is on, all I can find is that the IRQ is set at 5.

                From the sites you gave me I have downloaded the new audio driver which appears fine. The USB detect patch also abd the AGP driver& support which I believe installed correctly. You mentioned running the SIS.IDE. I downloaded this as you suggested and you say you must run this to check the DMA settings (whatever they are!!). Well everytime I double click on this file it doesn't seem to do anything and just sits there.

                I had a look about the system info and found this, does this mean anything -
                In the System Drivers I found the following (everything else said it was ok)- Isapnp PnP ISA/EISA Bus driver at C:\windows\system Type - Kernel Driver Started - YES Start Mode-Boot State-running Error Control -CRITICAL Accept Pause -no Accept Stop-Yes

                It was the only one showing Critical. could this be the problem. Also when I get the error report which XP wants me to send,it provides me the option of veiwing the technical data. Would this help diagnose the problem, again it means nothing to me.

                Finally (I promise!!) another forum suggested to someone that they lower the AGP to 2x in the BIOS, mines at 4x at the mo, would this help or should I leave it alone.

                I hope you can help, in anycase your advice and assistance so far has been greatly appreciated. :o)))


                • #9
                  Yes try dropping the AGP to 2x and see what happens as it can't hurt though the guys at the other forum would probably of of more help as they have been dealing with issues to this board for a long time. I've only ever had the 1 prob with the one here with the PSU but they have had many others. :smokin:


                  • #10
                    I can't help with the SiS motherboard problems, as I haven't had anything to do with their chipsets (except in my testing machine, but that's an older chipset).

                    But I can tell you why Office 2000 Premium crashed after installing Service Pack 1, did you install with the serial begining with GC6J3-GTQ62-FP876..... and so on? If so, then this is a pirate serial number, and Microsoft "blacklisted" this serial in Service Pack 1. About 5 seconds after Office 2000 SP1 opened, it would shut the application down.

                    So at least that may be one piece of the puzzle solved ;)
                    What came first - Insanity or Society?


                    • #11
                      Here's the important part for you to check on with your PSU.
                      Look into the AMD Recommended/Approved list of PSU and choose the brand that is available in your locality. Choose at least three different brands, and also if possible for two different watt ratings. The minimum is 300W but the desirable is 350W. When shopping always check for the total combine output (TCO) of the +3.3V and +5.0V rails. If you are using a 1.2 Ghz or less CPU you should be looking for a minimum of 180W TCO on the +3.3V and +5.0V rails. Or you should be looking for a minimum of 220W TCO if your CPU is 1.33 Ghz or higher. A note on Athlon XP CPU is that they consume less power compare to the old Athlon Thunderbirds by an average of 15%- 20%. Lower rated Athlon XP 1500+ and 1600+ and sometimes 1700+ have been reported to operate properly with 300W PSU with total TCO of 180W. Why look for two different watt rating? This is to make a comparison of the price. Usually, a 350W PSU of one brand can be purchased at the same price as a 300W of another brand. Or maybe with the price difference between the 300W and 350W
                      Sorry but maybe this will better explain better.
                      Somewhere on your PSU that will tell you details of Manufacturer, model and also the ratings of several votlage rails plus may also have an "Athlon Approved" stick on it. The 1st page here will tell you why need all the details. Then click on the link in the quote to you to AMD's recommended PSU page and see if it's there and if it is check the "Power Combined" column to see if produces a minimum of 180w (that what values in that column) and if it don't then this could be a lot of your problem. You maybe on the approved list but the PSU can only put out 165w, which was what the prob here turned out to be and things gradually got worse in a couple of weeks after 6 months of trouble free use.

                      P.S. You may even have to take the PSU out of the case enough if the sticker is on top of it and the top panel of the case is blocking your veiw of it. If you don't feel up to that part then find someone who can do it for you.


                      • #12
                        Ok first of apologies for the copy postings on the other forums. New to this so wasnt aware about that and just looking for others views given what Wiggo said about others having more experience, no offence meant ;O)

                        Anyway I'll have a look at the PSU and get back to you, but not holding my breath!!. I cant understand why it would be this all of a sudden when the computers been working fine for months now since I got it but hey I aint no expert and take what you say on board so will try anything if its gonna help. If my 300w is not of use should I buy a 350 or 400 and would that solve the problem ?

                        Oh and for your info I changed the 4x to 2x in the BIOS and it didnt make a bit of difference so have changed it back.

                        Cheers for now and keep up the good work


                        • #13
                          Well the one here ran for 6 months here without a problem with agresive settings the all of a sudden it was corrupting data on the hard drive then found that after running some memory loop tests that when I underclocked the CPU down to a 100MHz front bus that it was running agian with no probs so knowing that OCWorkbench had a forum dedicated to this board I was amazed at the number of probs just related to the PSU so I checked the 1 that was in it and found the Total Combined rating on it was only 165w which is 15w below that recommended so I got a 420w Topower PSU which carries a 220w TC.
                          There are also a few probs associated with BIOS flashes among a few other things so it would probably pay you to spend sometime there to get to know that board better and it has a big following over there and lots of ppl that know all the probs and how to fix them. :smokin:


                          • #14
                            Ok I did what you said and opened the box up!!! Understood some of what was said but not all, so heres what I found out and can you tell me if this is ok.

                            Can't find a makers name on the PSU anywhere been all around the unit.

                            The following is printed on a large sticker on the side however -
                            8850 Power - 31 Model LC-300ATX

                            Input - 115v-7A 230v-4A 50/60Hz

                            Output -
                            +3.3v 14A Orange (46.2)
                            +5v 25A Red (125)
                            +12v 10A Yellow (120)
                            +5VSB 1A Purple (5)
                            -5v .5A White (2.5)
                            -12v .5A Blue (6)
                            PS on Green
                            P.G. Grey

                            BSE-0109717LC PO02X

                            I have put what I calculate to be the W figures according to the equation listed in brackets. As far as I see the total comes to 304.7W which I found strange given that its only meant to be 300W!!! However I saw there's something about fluctuating power figures etc. The total for the +3.3 and +5 trails I get as (171.2W). I am running a 1200 AMD Athalon MX processor so is this sufficient or could this be my problem.

                            On that note, if it was the PSU wouldn't that mean its more eratic as to when the computer crashes. whereas I find that whilst it can crash without warning on occasion, there are certain programmes like Ret to Castle Wolfenstein and Buzz Lightyear 3D Adventure where it can be gauranteed to crash within minutes if not immediately. Given this is that not more likely then to be a driver/software problem or could this be its because these programmes need the card to work harder and as such drain power causing it to fail??

                            Any views ? and I know I keep saying it but thanks for spending the time trying to assist me :O)

                            oh one other thing, you mention a forum dedicated to the mobo, can you tell me where this is, I cant locate it ?


                            • #15
                              Yeah its only rated to 170w TC and as they didn't put their name to it maybe an optumistic rating so try underclocking the CPU to 100/133 in the BIOS or downloading Memtest86 and unpack it to a floppy disk then restart the PC and run the test to see if the basic system is causing errors then lower the speeds of memory and CPU if you are till they disappear is a good indication of the PSU not being good enough if errors are being caused. :smokin: