Freezes with NForce 4 and AMD X2

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I am having some very annoying problems with my computer. Sometimes my
freezes completely. What happens is that the video will freeze and the sound
will falter for a second and only silence after that. Nothing works
after that.
I cannot move the mouse pointer or use ctrl-alt-delete. I can only use the
reset button to restart my computer.

The frequency and moment of these freezes are quite random. Sometimes I have
no problem for days and sometimes it happens several times a day. Also the
moment it happens can be in the middle of a game, but also in normal windows
usage such as starting my browser and email client or browsing the internet.
At the time of the freeze my computer could have been switched on for 12
already without a problem, but sometimes the freeze happens 5 minutes after
starting windows xp. The only similarity between these freezes seem to
be that
at that moment I am actively using the mouse. For example clicking my
units in
a game or clicking on many things while using windows application.

To exclude the possibility that my temperatures were too high I configured
ntune monitor and played a game (Dragonshard). After about an hour the
froze. I checked the monitor logs and saw that my CPU was 50 degrees and
the GPU
65 degrees at most. With this information, including the fact that the
also happen during normal windows usage only 10 minutes after starting,
I think
it is safe to conclude that overheating is not a problem.

Things that I have tried before googling was:
- Disabling CoolNQuiet (no effect)
- Running memtest86 for hours (0 errors)
- Running 3DMark 2006 (no problems)

Then I have done some googling and read that there were more people that
identical problems that I have with similar hardware.
Especially on the abit "NVIDIA chipset socket 939 AMD motherboards" forum
I found multiple threads about freezing issues.
Two such a threads are:
Semi-convinced - nForce4 chipset problem - LONG
USB 2.0 & X2 Hard Freeze

 From these threads there seems to be a problem with a combination of
AMD64 X2, nforce 4 and USB onboard.

For some people the problems have seem to gone away by using an PCI USB card
That's nice for them, but I just don't find this a satisfying solution,
especially considering the number of extra USB ports I would need.

What I would like to know if there is some real solution currently
Which hardware is exactly at fault for these freeze problems?
Is it AMD, because the X2 drivers are not good enough?
Is it Nvidia, because the nforce drivers are not multi processor safe?
Is it Asus and Abit, because they need to fix the problems with a new bios?
Someone else?

Are all or any of these companies aware of these problems and working on
a solution together or seperate? From which company can I expect new drivers
or other software that will fix these problems?

The current drivers that I am using are:
nForce4 AMD/Intel X16 version 6.85
ForceWare Release 84.20
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor Driver for Windows XP

Computer specifications:
Windows XP SP2
Elan Vital Greenerger 500 Watt
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+
Asus A8N-E version 2 (nforce4 ultra), bios revision 1010
2x1GB Corsair CMX1024-3200C2
Asus VGA Extreme N6800GT 256MB (Nvidia GeForce 6800 GT)
2x Samsung SpinPoint P120 250GB (in raid0)

Re: Freezes with NForce 4 and AMD X2

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If a passing ship throws you a life preserver, do you turn it down
because it isn't color-coordinated with your deck clothes ? Of course
you slap a NEC based USB2 PCI card in the machine, if there is a
reasonable chance that the issue is actually USB related. The card
will only cost 10 bucks, and how many prevented crashes would it
take to pay back the 10 bucks ?

And you've already made Asus aware, by posting in their forum.

One thing I see missing from all of the previous experiments done
by people. No one is including info such as the first part of
the serial number, which has the date of manufacture in it. It
could be that a certain batch of Nvidia chips do it, for example.
Knowing when the boards were made, might show a correlation between
the boards that work and the ones that don't.

I would not hold my breath for a fix. There are other outstanding
Nvidia issues that have existed for longer, such as the "6800 family
stutter versus Nforce3" issue. In the teflon-coated computer
industry, don't expect any admissions of guilt.


Re: Freezes with NForce 4 and AMD X2

Robert wrote:
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This may be totally irrelevant for your problem, but I was experiencing
exactly the same thing until recently. After a while I could tell when the
freeze was about to occur, the system would basically stop working but the
mouse pointer continued to move. Everything I tried to do within Windows was
ignored. Then a few seconds later the mouse pointer stopped too, and the
only way out was a reset.

This appears to have been resolved (five weeks and no freezes so far) by
reinstalling the nForce4 drivers, and selecting to install the SATA
controllers that are included within them. I hadn't originally installed
these due to them not having been signed by Microsoft, but thought what the
heck, I was being driven nuts by the system freezing up.

Perhaps you've already installed them, perhaps your freezes are nothing to
do with this at all, but that certainly seems to have fixed the problem for
me. My system is using an AMD64 3500+ rather than an X2, but you never know.

Good luck with it, I know just how frustrating it is...



Re: Freezes with NForce 4 and AMD X2

Oenone wrote:
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Thanks for your suggestion.
However I have already installed these drivers that were included with
the nforce4 drivers.

Re: Freezes with NForce 4 and AMD X2

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You can break it into 3 main areas. Weird things wrong with your PC in
general.  This includes the usual memory problems which you said you
checked. Temp problems which you can check with the usual free temp
monitoring software. And other general problems like power supply,
drivers and hardware conflicts. Ive never heard of this affecting
boards that drastically but there are X2 drivers from AMD and some
updates from MS that people are using with the dual cores. Im using
them now for my dual core.

The second area ---Abit specific bugs. You know bios updates may or
may not fix those. You know quirky things that affect only Abits
especially your specific board. You have to read up in the abit groups
for that. I had to upgrade my bios to the latest to accept my dual

The 3rd concerns general general complaints about the nforce4
controller. There have been vague and continuing complaints about data
corruption and freezing etc from people who own various boards and its
blamed on various things especially if you had it raided. Some have
posted some "fixes" disabling some features etc while others have
switched to other hardware --- hard disks etc which fixed the
problems. Others none of this  fixed the problem. Others say nothing
fixes it.

Im having this problem myself and looked into this area. There are
threads in the Nvidia forums about it. The strange thing is others
dont have problems with the same gear. Some complainers have tracked
it down to something else like a bad stick of memory. There are others
who say they are still plagued by the problem.

In my case I had an early nforce4 board that was passively cooled a
trend since the nforce2 since the tiny fans on the MBs tend to die out
easily after a year and theres also the trend toward making things
quieter.  My nforce2 Asus came with a large heatsink thats it and it
worked great. I thought it was great idea. But then reviewers started
complaining with the nforce4s I noticed they might not be able to OC
as much with passive cooling. So Chaintech and others came out with
passive cooling later. They gave away free heatsink and fan the
generic types used on all the active cooled boards nowadays.

My chaintech worked perfectly with passive cooling until I raided my
HDs. Since there is so much speculation in the Nvidias forums about
data corruption , freezing , reboots and other problems caused by
large data transfers going through the MB chip --- I tend to think
overheating of this chip and the problems are related. No one is
pushing this idea though so I may be wrong. See - raid = more data
throughput with maybe more heat? I dont know. Anyway I found one
review where they had tons of rebooting and freezing problems and
traced it back to a poorly seated MB heatsink/fan. After they reseated
it with arctic silver paste the problems went away.

In my case strangely enough after I got my free heatsink/fan from
chaintech the problems got much worse. I unraided my system but then
even without it raided it hung and crashed and did all sorts of weird
things.  Part of it can be traced to two things. One is --- the data
was corrupted (windows) from the time I had it raided and passively
cooled. Also I later found my graphics card heatsink was crammed with
dust causing it to probably overheat. I reinstalled Win and cleaned my
graphics card --- I have a new card now anyway , and the problems
lessened but they still are there to a far lesser degree.

Just last week my 200 seagate disappeared from view and wouldnt be
recoginized and some data was corrupted on it. Its fine now. It has
started crashing again and blue screening once in a while. Sometimes
when I boot up it takes a long time to recognize my hard drives.
Sometimes it freezes. Im actually RMAing my MB this week.

Ive reseated my active fan and heatsink on the MB 5 times and each
time it did get better but theres still this problem. Its got to be
related to it as it started after I changed the setup though I had
other problems too and after correcting for the other problems its
still there. Also each time I reseated it , it improved. I also notice
that the same type of spring clip attachment for the MB fan is much
stronger on two nforce3 boards I just bought vs the chaintech nforce4
one where there is a lot of easy movement  if you put your finger on

The big question youll ask is --- how can it be a MB nforce4 chip temp
problem since everyone can get their temps read from software and no
ones reporting big problems?  I posted some links that suggest that
the temp readings are very inaccurate -- some people have compared
while using temp probes which showed far higher readings. Is this
actually the case? I dont know since no test site like Toms Hardware
or Anandtech has done a big test on it showing its true or false.

The whole PCI express thing is sort of suspicious though. Some DAW
music sites were all in a tizzy when nforce4s came out because they
said they had really bad latency with their setups. They tried
everything and were actually recommending using INTEL or NFORCE3
boards until they found if you use a dual core that fixed the problem.
Also why are there no PCI express cards? A year later and we are still
stuck with 3 PCI slots and 2 PCI express slots that are useless. Ive
read Creative was having all sorts of problems coming up with a sound
card for the PCI express slot. Dont know if this is true or not.

Some of the fixes if you  think it falls into this latter category.

a) Dont use the Nvdia IDE drivers. These have been blamed for problems
ever since Nforce2 while others say they use them with no problems.
But its still widely claimed they cause problems and to avoid these.

Disable tagged cueing.

I would check your MB temps too just for the heck of it. Try running
it with no side panel on.

c) Could try another HD if you are desperate.

Obviously if it is an ABIT specific problem where you have some weird
problem with your USB ports than this latter stuff will have no effect
on that problem and you should either get USB card, RMA the board or
look for some other fix.



Re: Freezes with NForce 4 and AMD X2

On Sat, 11 Mar 2006 14:41:33 -1000, ""

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Make that ACTIVE cooling not passive.

Re: Freezes with NForce 4 and AMD X2

Rob, could u also try to switch the fan on for your power supply by default
power supply u have is not designed to turn the fan on until needed, you can
do this at the back og the PSU(switch it on).

Re: Freezes with NForce 4 and AMD X2

Are you using a USB hub?
If yes:
    Unpowered?    You may be exeeding the power supplying capability's of
the port.
    What other devices are connected?

If no:

got nothing.

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