MSI 745 Ultra question

  drexdrex 10:09 23 Apr 2008

HI folks,

I've just created a bodge of a system based on a MSI 745 ultra motherboard:-

MB: MSI 745 ultra
graphics: Geforce 5700 AGP
processor: Athlon 1100
memory: PC2100 128MB
CDROM, floppy.
IDE hardrive 40GB

There is no extra PCI sound card installed as i'm trying to get it working first.

Initially (by pressing del) i set up the system, selected 133 FSB and 8.5x multiplier and 1/1 FSB/RAM ratio for my PC2100 ram.

I clean installed XP and SP2 but it takes ages to boot up and runs very slowly. Seems to be processing stuff from the hard drive all the time (light on). I checked the set-up but all seems ok. I installed the MSI drivers for SISAGP and IDE successfully but this didn't speed it up.

Thinking that maybe there was something wrong with the hard drive i tried the same with a smaller harddrive and clean installed etc but it still ran awfully slowly.

I changed cables to check that. Removed the CD drive to check that. Still to no effect.

I'm unsure what to do now?

It seems that it must be either a MB problem or a set-up issue.

The HD is set to Auto in bios and seems to be recognised ok (mode 4). The FSB and multipliers are all ok. Is there something else i've missed in bios set-up? What could be causing the slow boot-up and running?

Could it be to do with the lack of sound card? I'm not sure.

Have a missed any drivers (other than SISAGP and IDE)?

Any advice would be welcomed.

  Eric10 10:47 23 Apr 2008

From what I can find on the Internet the Athlon 1100 CPU seems to run at 100MHz with a multiplier of 11. click here for more info.

The one thing that really stands out to me is that 128MB of Ram is the minimum that XP will run with so it will obviously struggle with only this amount fitted. The hard drive activity is probably due to paging out to the hard drive due to the lack of memory. Fitting more memory will improve it.

  drexdrex 11:00 23 Apr 2008

Hi Eric,

Ok - i'll try running it at 100Mhz this evening, but i did do that initially (minimum settings when creating system) and it was still slow. For some reason i was sure this chip ran at 133!

I also tried with a 256MB PC2100 memory but it didn't boot (maybe i'll try this at 100MHz fsb later!!!).

Cheers for your help

  drexdrex 13:50 23 Apr 2008


I've changed the FSb to 100 and the multiplier to 11 but the system exhibits the same very very slowness.

I changed the memory to 256Mb and this didn't change the symptoms.

I also changed the power supply to check it wasn't that. It wasn't.

I noticed it was particularly slow (and often crashed windows explorer after hanging for ages) when using the CD drive, so i changed that. But it still exhibited this behaviour.

I changed the order of the IDEs Master/Slaves but it didn't do anything.

What else could it be? I'm still suspicious it might be a set-up issue in bios or a problem with the MB, but running out of options to test!


  DieSse 14:00 23 Apr 2008

128MB is far, far too low.

256MB is potentially useable, but will still be slow if you've got all XP bells and whistles running. You can change that in Control Panel - System - Advanced - Performance.

But also check on Control Panel - System that Windows is seeing all the 256MB - as a wrong module may make it see less.

You could use this as an opportunity to try Linux - there are a number of distros which will run like the wind on this configuration. Puppy Linux can run in 128MB with no paging or hard drive - just out of RAM, for instance.

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