Memory Problem or Graphic Card Problem

  spencer boy 11:13 15 Apr 2004


Having problems with my P4 XP Medion PC freezing/crashing/rebooting.

Initial 'error reports' indicated problems with device driver for my display device. Had a stream opened for this and have updated device drivers fro my SiS 651 chipset (graphic card passes the directx diagnostics checks). But problem persisted - this time error message (had the 'restart' option switch off - to get the blue error screen)pointed to low memory problems and asked to check BIOS upgrade. Upgraded BIOS from the Medion web-site. This still didn't work.

The problem is still freezing/crashing and but it either distortes the screen by messing up a few lines or causing the whole screen to become a multitude of flashing little squares (no error message is produced). Sometimes it just reboots. This happens frequently often during boot up, booting up in Safe mode, logged on in normal or safe mode.

The symptons seem to suggest problems with memory or with the graphics card. But running various memory diagnostics utilites don't pick up any problem with the memory. And would the graphic card cause problems during boot up or when in safe mode.

Have restored the pc to a previous state and run spybot sd but to no avail.

Anyone any ideas/suggestions????

Info: Motherboard CPU Type Intel Pentium 4A, 2800 MHz (5.25 x 533) Motherboard Name MSI MS-6533EG/XG (3 PCI, 1 AGP, 1 CNR, 2 DIMM, Audio, Video) Motherboard Chipset SiS 651 System Memory 480 MB (DDR SDRAM) BIOS Type Award (11/12/02) Communication Port Communications Port (COM1) Communication Port ECP Printer Port (LPT1) Display Video Adapter SiS 650_651_M650_740 (32 MB) 3D Accelerator SiS 315 Monitor Proview 772 (FAQC2A0423601) Multimedia Audio Adapter SiS 7012 Audio Device


  AndySD 11:28 15 Apr 2004

I suspect it may be the memory timings in the bios. I will see if I can find out what you should try.

  AndySD 11:45 15 Apr 2004

First thing I found at MSI

Due to the High Performance Memory design, motherboards or system configurations may or may not operate smoothly at the JEDEC (Joint Electron Device Engineering Council) standard settings (BIOS Default on the motherboard) such as DDR voltage, memory speeds and memory timing. Please confirm and adjust your memory setting in the BIOS accordingly for better system stability.
Example: Kingston HyperX DDR500 PC4000 operates at 2.65V, 3-4-4-8, CL=3.
For more information about specification of high performance memory modules, please check with your Memory Manufactures for more details.

Try using Lavalys EVEREST Home Edition (free) and go to Motherboard then SPD and give us some info on your RAM.

Some RAM timings to try in the bios though are

CAS Latency 3

RAS Precharge 4

RAS-to-CAS Delay 4

RAS Active to Precharge 8


CAS Latency 3

RAS Precharge 4

RAS-to-CAS Delay 3

RAS Active to Precharge 8


CAS Latency 2.5

RAS Precharge 4

RAS-to-CAS Delay 4

RAS Active to Precharge 8

  AndySD 11:46 15 Apr 2004


Lavalys EVEREST Home Edition click here

  spencer boy 11:49 15 Apr 2004

Thanks AndySD,

At work at the moment so i will have to wait till tonight to get the info/ try the settings.

  spencer boy 13:28 15 Apr 2004

Extra bit of info:

Sometimes when it crashes and i reboot - i get the 'beep' from the motherboard (PRO-AWARD PG) - and it takes a number of attempts to actually reboot the system. Does this mean anything - is it trying to contact the video card or access some memory. This may be a different problem or linked to all the other problems.

  spencer boy 22:00 15 Apr 2004

Here's the info:
Memory Module Properties
Module Name Samsung M3 68L3223DTL-CB0
Serial Number 08078556h
Module Size 256 MB (1 rows, 4 banks)
Module Type Unbuffered
Memory Type DDR SDRAM
Memory Speed PC2100 (133 MHz)
Module Width 64 bit
Module Voltage SSTL 2.5
Error Detection Method None
Refresh Rate Reduced (7.8 us), Self-Refresh
Highest CAS Latency 2.5 (7.5 ns @ 133 MHz)
2nd Highest CAS Latency 2.0 (10.0 ns @ 100 MHz)

Not sure what this means - hope this helps.

Under the chipset option in motherboard -

Chipset Properties
Motherboard Chipset SiS 651
In-Order Queue Depth 12

Memory Timings
CAS Latency (CL) 2.5T
RAS To CAS Delay (tRCD) 3T
RAS Precharge (tRP) 3T
RAS Active Time (tRAS) 6T

Memory Slots
DRAM Slot #1 256 MB (DDR SDRAM)
DRAM Slot #2 256 MB (DDR SDRAM)

Integrated Graphics Controller
Graphics Controller Type SiS 315
Graphics Controller Status Enabled
Graphics Frame Buffer Size 32 MB

AGP Properties
AGP Version 2.00
AGP Status Enabled
AGP Aperture Size 128 MB
Supported AGP Speeds 1x, 2x, 4x
Current AGP Speed 4x
Fast-Write Not Supported
Side Band Addressing Supported, Enabled

This shows the memory timings.

Thanks for your help.

  spencer boy 09:17 16 Apr 2004

Well - my PC is right screwed up now. I was on it last night and it froze as usual - but i could not reboot it . It doesn't even get to any booting drives - it's dead!!!!! Looks like a hardware problem so i will have to get it looked at.

  AndySD 10:57 16 Apr 2004

Did you change anything before it froze?? Is the pc giving out any beeps?

  duckers 11:20 16 Apr 2004

It sounds like a motherboard or BIOS problem from that,, crashing then loses all drives..
Go into the BIOS and make sure your disk drives are listed.

  spencer boy 11:44 16 Apr 2004

Nothing was changed before it froze. I did re-installed the AGP 1.17 driver for my Sis grahics card (done that many of times before to sort of anotyer problem - with 3dacceleration for directx 8) and also downloaded some anti-virus software pc-cillin 2003. But after this the pc was working fine for a while. When i try to re-boot now no beeps from the pc and it doesn't even attempt to boot up (previously it would re-boot ok or crash whilst re-booting with screen distortions).

Can't access the BIOS as nothing is displayed on the screen and no pressing of the keys works.

Think i will have to look inside it and test the hardware.

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