MSI6714 problem (long)

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Hi guys,

got some issues with a motherboard, wonder if describing my symptoms
can help me make a decision ...

It's an MSI6714, designed for a PentiumHT CPU. The one it's got is a
3.06Ghz. I inherited it, without memory, HDD, or a power supply. The
Graphics card is an nVidia GE440MX.

I put a 300W PSU in, and 1gB (2x512Mb) of memory I had lying aroung -
it's Samsung DDR200. Machine booted (from CD) fine. However running
memtest caused it to go into a weird power cycle after a few minutes.

After hours of fiddling I found that using just one 512 Mb stick
seemed to fix it - memTest seemed to run all the way through -
although I thought it a little odd the machine was off the next

Installed XP and Linux (Ubuntu) no problems. Been running for 3 weeks
now, seemingly OK. Ubuntu seems a litte unstable, (but that's software
for you).

Yesterday, Ubuntu wanted to do a software update - AFAICT the Kernel,
so I started it off, it downloaded some files and started installing.
Then, all of a sudden, the shutdown box (log off, shutdown, restart
etc) appeared. I quickly clicked "cancel", but it kept popping up.
Then, without warnng the machine shut down.

After that, it wouldn't boot into windows or Ubuntu. Got halfway
through and just shut down. I tried booting into Ubuntu-recovery
console, but that shut down too.

I opened the case, and felt the CPU - it was about 35 degrees Celcius.
I swapped the 512 memory stick for the one I'd left out, made sure it
was engaged properly, and tried again. This time the machine booted
perfectly. I had to reconfigure Ubuntu, and way we went.

How likely is it, that I'm dealing with a faulty or mismatched memory
module(s) ? Three years ago I spent a week at work trying to install
XP on a machine that kept crashing at random points. Even when the
install seemed to go OK, it would lock up, and freeze, or switch off
by itself. In the end "Prime95" and Memtest wouldn't even load, and it
was obvious it was the memory.

Another possibility I can think of is a faulty heat-sensor.
Unfortunately the machines BIOS is very basic, and gives me no access
to the PC health screen, or memory timings. Is there a software way to
access these settings. Failing that, given that *something* made the
machine want to close down, then is there a log file to dig into with
Ubuntu ?

Finally, there's the mobo itself ... however my gut instinct is that
given it's shown itself capable of booting, running XP for hours on
end and burning a DVD, that this is the least likely possibilty.

I guess one school of thought is start with some new memory - you can
save it if you need a new mobo.

In the event I need to get a new mobo, is it work getting a bare one
and re-using my P4 from this one, or is there a much better CPU I can
use nowadays. I'm not religious about Intel or AMD, but wouldn't like
to go for a cut-down one, unless someone can convince me it's better
than a P4

Thanks in advance guys

Re: MSI6714 problem (long)

Although I'm suspicious of your memory, as you are, a borderline power
supply can also produce the effects you're seeing.

Re: MSI6714 problem (long)

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True. I don't think it is the wattage, as 300W is enough for a P4,
even a Pentium D, the graphics card is not a power hungry one, perhaps
there is instability in the power management of the PSU. But memory
does seem the most likely candidate - be careful of storing memory
sticks, if you leave them in a drawer or box without a static envelope
around them, static can slowly eat away at the chips from within, I
found this out the hard way with some old PC-133 I had lying around -
put it in a friend's old Pentium 3 and all of a sudden it did not work
anymore, even though it was perfect before.

Re: MSI6714 problem (long)

Jethro wrote:
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... snip ...
Quoted text here. Click to load it

You should always buy machines capable of handling ECC memory, and
install such ECC memory.  Then you won't get mamory errors,
especially such errors due to cosmic rays, etc.  Remember the
phrase ECC, which means error-correcting.

 [mail]: Chuck F (cbfalconer at maineline dot net)
 [page]: <
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