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Unstable Win7 64-bit with GA-P55A-UD7 and F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ

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  • Unstable Win7 64-bit with GA-P55A-UD7 and F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ

    I have been trying to build a Windows 7 64-bit system based on the GA-P55A-UD7 motherboard and some GSKILL memory and have been unsuccessful. I wanted to tell you my story and see if you have any suggestions, because I am on the verge of giving up and starting over with a different MB or different RAM.

    Here is the list of components I am using, purchased from NewEgg:
    • GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD7 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    • Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750
    • G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ
    • Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
    • Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
    • CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
    • Antec P183 Black Aluminum / Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    • ASUS Black IDE DVD-ROM Drive Model DVD-E818A4/BLK/B/GEN
    • SAPPHIRE TOXIC 100282TXSR Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card


    The system went together easily enough. But during the installation process for Windows 7 64-bit I got a series of random Blue Screens. There were various STOP codes, the most common of which was BAD_POOL_HEADER and BAD_POOL_CALLER. But every time I tried, the installation process was aborted by one BSOD or another. They all generally seemed to be various kinds of memory access failures in different drivers, mostly doing file IO, but also some for the video card and others in ntoskrnl.

    I tried pulling out all but one memory stick (so there was only 2 gig instead of 8) and that seemed to at least delay the BSODs long enough to let the Win 7 install complete. But after Win 7 was running it was still plagued with a series of random blue screens. Here's what I tried at this point:
    • Installed all the drivers from the CD included with the MB.
    • Switched to different memory cards from my set of 4.
    • Switched to a completely different video card.
    • Switched to a completely different disk drive.
    • Ran memory diagnostics all night (no problems were ever found)


    None of these things fixed the problem or shed any light.

    On a hunch I tried installing Windows XP 32-bit instead; it worked perfectly!

    I also tried installing the 32-bit version of Windows 7, and that worked perfectly.

    The only common denominator left was Windows 7 64-bit, the CPU, the GA-P55A-UD7 and the F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ sticks. (Oh, well and the PS, I guess.)

    I thought the problem had to be a flaky motherboard, so I exchanged mine through NewEgg for another GA-P55A-UD7 and then put the system back together. Still having the same basic problem: random BSODs in 64-bit mode.

    I have explained this situation to the folks at Gigabyte Tech Support and I am (slowly) interacting with them. So far nothing useful has come from that.

    I have started to wonder if the memory I am using is actually compatible with the motherboard in 64-bit mode. On the G.SKILL website you don't list this memory as compatible with my motherboard, although it is supposed to be compatible with all the previous versions (such as GA-P55A UD5, GA-P55A-UD6, etc.). The UD7 model is relatively new, and I have been assuming you just haven't updated the compatibility list yet. Is that a stupid assumption?

    Should the F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ memory be compatible with the Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD7 motherboard, and running Windows 7 64-bit?

    I have not tweaked any of the BIOS settings, so I am running with all the defaults (1.5V 9-9-9-24-2N, as far as I know).

    I have never had such trouble getting a stable system built, but then this is the first time I have tried to build a 64-bit configuration.

    At this point I do have a "running" Windows 7 64-bit system with all drivers and updates installed (just by patiently retrying installs until I got them all to work), but it is still unstable and unusable. If I use if for very long it will lock-up or blue-screen.

    Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Definitely should not have any problems. Do you have the latest BIOS for the motherboard? Try enabling the XMP Profile. Keep me posted on the results.

    Thank you
    GSKILL TECH

    Comment


    • #3
      The BIOS is version F3, which is not the very latest but the one newer version didn't sound like it had any relevant changes.

      When you say "enable the XMP profile" I think I know what you mean - I went into the BIOS setup and went to a page called "Advanced Memory Settings", where there was an item called "Performance Enhance". It had three settings: Standard, Turbo and Extreme. (It came preset to Turbo.) I changed the setting to Extreme and rebooted.

      Things seemed to be working pretty well at this point. We attached a disk with World of Warcraft on it and ran for a while to see if we could stress the system and make it crash. We tried it with 2GB of memory (1 stick) and then 8GB (4 sticks) and things seemed okay. (The system did lock up once in WoW, but with the Turbo settings. We never saw a problem with Extreme.)

      So then I tried the thing which drove us crazy in the first place; I tried to do a clean re-install of Windows 7 64-bit. It blue-screened in the middle of that process, as before. (Unfortunately I couldn't get the STOP code because by default Win 7 autorestarts. There's a way to get it by catching when the installer restarts and changing a boot option, but I haven't done that yet. In the past when I had done that the STOP was usually BAD_POOL_HEADER, but not always.)

      The bottom line is that the system still seems essentially unstable, even with the "Extreme" setting. I can manage to get Win7 installed by removing all but one stick and then things kinda work for while, even if you put all 4 sticks back. But if you can't actually get through the Win7 install with 8GB of memory there must still be something wrong.

      I think I will try to do the install again, this time with only 2GB and the Extreme settings.

      Comment


      • #4
        I tried the experiment of doing a Win 7 install with 2GB of memory (one stick) and Extreme settings. The install got to the point where it does a reboot and I used F8 to set the "don't auto restart" flag.

        The install continued and again got a blue screen; this time it was

        An attempt was made to write to read-only memory
        STOP 0xBE (xxx,xxx,xxx,0x0B)

        Not sure where to go from here.

        Comment


        • #5
          Performance Enhance should be Standard. The setting I am talking about should be Extreme Memory Profile, and that should be Profile 1.

          Thank you
          GSKILL TECH

          Comment


          • #6
            I have been talking to both Gigabyte and GSKILL Tech Support. I think we are getting close to an answer, and I think it's time I hooked these two conversations together so you can see what each other is saying. So I'm posting this exact same message to both Gigabyte and GSKILL.

            GSKILL's last suggestion was to enable Extreme Memory Profile and set it to Profile 1. I was confused by that, because I couldn't find anything in the BIOS screens with that name. After reading the Gigabyte manual I see where my confusion came from; evidently the XMP item only shows up in the BIOS settings if "you install a memory module that supports this feature". That implies either the GSKILL memory I am using doesn't support XMP or the motherboard isn't reading it's capabilities correctly, because that option does not appear. Weird. Why doesn't this memory support XMP? Shouldn't it?

            Gigabyte's last suggestion was to try adjusting the memory to 1.6V, and verify that the memory is running at 1066. It's with that last part that things get stranger. The memory I bought was labeled like this:

            G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ

            It's supposed to have a data rate of 1600. When I check the BIOS screens I find that the default setting for "System Memory Multiplier" (where the memory speed is set) is "Auto", which means "Get the memory speed from the SPD". If that's so, why is the SPD reporting that the default speed is 1333?!?!

            As Gigabyte suggested, I tried installing Win7 with a memory speed of 1066 (far slower that the memory is supposed to be). Unfortunately I still get a blue screen during install; a new one that says SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION.

            So I thought I'd try setting the memory speed to 1600, which is after all what it's *supposed* to be. But the "System Memory Multiplier" field only has settings for "Auto", 6.0, 8.0, and 10.0. At the maximum I can choose, it sets the speed to only 1333. There seems to be no way to tell the motherboard to operate this memory at a data rate of 1600.

            Now I'm really confused. What memory do I actually have, anyway?

            Does any of this mean anything to either of you? If I didn't know better I'd think that the label on the outside of the memory stick packaging doesn't match what's inside.

            And by the way, does either of you know what the "Performance Enhance" BIOS setting does? It has three settings: Standard, Turbo and Extreme, and it comes preset to Turbo. I can't really see what affect it has, so I don't know if the value is relevant to the current problem. I think I've tried all 3 settings at various times.

            In case it turns out to be relevant, here's the label and serial numbers off each of the sticks:

            F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ DDR3-1600 PC3-12800 2GBx2 CL9-9-9-24 1.5v 10100640047611
            F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ DDR3-1600 PC3-12800 2GBx2 CL9-9-9-24 1.5v 10100640047612
            F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ DDR3-1600 PC3-12800 2GBx2 CL9-9-9-24 1.5v 10100640047657
            F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ DDR3-1600 PC3-12800 2GBx2 CL9-9-9-24 1.5v 10100640047658

            By the way, I have not yet tried setting the voltage to 1.6; I wanted to see if we could clear up this latest confusion first.

            Thanks for your persistence.

            Comment


            • #7
              Try the following settings:

              Advanced CPU Features:
              CPU Clock Ratio ................................ [17x]
              Intel(R) Turbo Boost Tech .................. [Disabled]
              CPU Cores Enabled ............................ [All]
              CPU Multi Threading .......................... [Enabled]
              C3/C6/C7 State Support ................... [Auto]
              CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E) ................... [Auto]
              C3/C6/C7 State Support .................... [Auto]
              CPU Thermal Monitor ......................... [Auto]
              CPU EIST Function ............................ [Disabled]
              Virtualization Technology ................... [Disabled]
              Bi-Directional PROCHOT ..................... [Auto]


              Uncore & QPI Features:
              QPI Clock Ratio ...........................................AUTO
              QPI Link Speed .............................. AUTO
              Uncore Clock Ratio...........................AUTO
              Uncore Frequency .......................... AUTO
              Isonchronous Frequency ..................[Enabled]


              Standard Clock Control:
              Base Clock (BCLK) Control ................ [Enabled]
              BCLK Frequency (MHz) ..................... 160
              PCI Express Frequency (MHz) ........... [100]

              C.I.A.2 [Disabled]

              Advanced Clock Control:
              CPU Clock Drive ..............................[800mV]
              PCI Express Clock Drive ................... [900mV]
              CPU Clock Skew ............................. [0ps]


              Advanced DRAM Features:
              Extreme Memory Profile (X.M.P) ......... [Disabled]
              System Memory Multiplier (SPD) ........ [10.0]
              Performance Enhance ...................... [Standard]
              DRAM Timing Selectable (SPD) .......... [Expert]

              Channel A + B + C

              Channel A Timing Settings:
              ##Channel A Standard Timing Control##
              CAS Latency Time ...................... 9
              tRCD ....................................... 9
              tRP ......................................... 9
              tRAS ....................................... 24

              ##Channel A Advanced Timing Control##
              Command Rate (CMD) ................ 2

              Advanced Voltage Control:

              DRAM
              DRAM Voltage 1.500v .............. 1.50V

              Now to clarify everything...

              Your modules should support XMP, seems like you got a set that does not, so manual settings are needed. Your max memory frequency is DDR3-1333 since you have the i5 750 CPU. You will need to adjust CPU settings to operate DDR3-1600 (settings above include these changes). XMP would have done this for you, but it's missing, hence manual.

              The settings above should fix everything considering hardware is not defective.

              Thank you
              GSKILL TECH

              Comment


              • #8
                Okay, I very carefully changed the settings to match your suggestions; in some cases the option didn't exist in my BIOS, but it didn't sound like a problem. Here's what I was able to do with each setting:

                Advanced CPU Features:
                CPU Clock Ratio ......................... [17x] Done
                Intel(R) Turbo Boost Tech ............... [Disabled] Done
                CPU Cores Enabled ....................... [All] No change required
                CPU Multi Threading ..................... [Enabled] I could not find this option in my BIOS settings
                C3/C6/C7 State Support .................. [Auto] No change required
                CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E).................. [Auto] No change required
                C3/C6/C7 State Support .................. [Auto] No change required
                CPU Thermal Monitor ..................... [Auto] No change required
                CPU EIST Function ....................... [Disabled] Done
                Virtualization Technology ............... [Disabled] Done
                Bi-Directional PROCHOT .................. [Auto] No change required


                Uncore & QPI Features:
                QPI Clock Ratio ......................... AUTO No change required
                QPI Link Speed .......................... AUTO Shows 4.8Ghz
                Uncore Clock Ratio....................... AUTO Shows 16x
                Uncore Frequency ........................ AUTO Shows 2133 MHz
                Isonchronous Frequency .................. [Enabled] I could not find this option in my BIOS settings, although there was a setting called "Isochronous Support and it is Enabled. I assume that's it.

                Standard Clock Control:
                Base Clock (BCLK) Control ............... [Enabled] Done
                BCLK Frequency (MHz) .................... 160 Done
                PCI Express Frequency (MHz) ............. [100] Done

                C.I.A.2 [Disabled] I could not find this option in my BIOS settings; I'm guessing Gigabyte stopped supporting it.

                Advanced Clock Control:
                CPU Clock Drive ......................... [800mV] No change required
                PCI Express Clock Drive ................. [900mV] No change required
                CPU Clock Skew .......................... [0ps] No change required


                Advanced DRAM Features:
                Extreme Memory Profile (X.M.P) .......... [Disabled] I could not find this option in my BIOS settings
                System Memory Multiplier (SPD) .......... [10.0] Done
                Performance Enhance ..................... [Standard] Done
                DRAM Timing Selectable (SPD) ............ [Expert] Done

                Channel A + B + C I just show Channel A and B

                Channel A Timing Settings:
                ##Channel A Standard Timing Control##
                CAS Latency Time ........................ 9 No change required
                tRCD .................................... 9 No change required
                tRP ..................................... 9 No change required
                tRAS .................................... 24 No change required

                ##Channel A Advanced Timing Control##
                Command Rate (CMD) ...................... 2 No change required

                Advanced Voltage Control:

                DRAM
                DRAM Voltage 1.500v ..................... 1.50V Done


                I saved the settings and rebooted. The POST screen appeared long enough to show that the memory speed now was, in fact, 1600. Then the screen goes dark and the system powers itself off. Each time I turned the power back on the system would shut itself off. After a few tries I get back to the POST screen with this message:

                The system has experienced boot failures
                because of overclocking or changes of voltages.

                Last settings in BIOS setup may not
                coincide with current H/W states

                Current CPU speed: 2.26Hz
                Current BCLK: 133MHz
                Current Memory speed: 1333MHz

                When means it switched itself back to factory defaults, I presume.

                I tried this a few times to make sure I was getting all the settings correct, but no luck. So obviously those settings are not working in my machine. (Unless the ones I couldn't find are relevant in some way, and I doubt that.)

                As I suspected, I am responsible for at least one dumb thing here; I bought the wrong memory. I didn't realize that there was no point buying 1600 speed memory with an i5-750. I hadn't intended to overclock, I just didn't realize that was a limitation.

                But it sounds like there are still odd things happening, since your settings aren't working. So what now? Should I be thinking about replacing this memory with the 1333 equivalent? Or do these symptoms suggest something else?

                Comment


                • #9
                  let me ask you one thing or I missed from you posts....

                  Did you install your Win7 OS through that stupid Marvell chip (6gb/s) to your SATA3 drive

                  If the answer is yes.....Marvell chip is the ultimate evil of all your problems
                  Last edited by jojodancer; 05-11-2010, 01:15 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It's true, I did plug the SATA III drive into the Marvell 9128 adapter (GSATA3_ 8 or _9) when I first tried to install. (One of the reasons I bought the -UD7 board was because it claimed to support SATA III 6 GB/sec, and I bought a drive to match.) Because the first set of symptoms was weird crashes in various drivers (mostly file related) I worried about that very thing, and so tried installing the drivers that came with the Gigabyte MB during the install process. That didn't help either, so I tried plugging the drive into the other two types of sockets the MB provides (SATA2_0 - SATA2_5, controlled by the P55 and GSATA2_6 and GSATA2_7, controlled by Gigabyte's SATA2). Unfortunately, avoiding the Marvel 9128 6 GB/s socket didn't seem to help. (I've tried a lot of things, and I'm pretty sure I tried to address the very issue you are raising. But as far as I know, avoiding the Marvell socket didn't seem to make things any better.)

                    Along the way I also tried an old SATA II drive as well, and that also seemed to have no effect.

                    It seemed to make no difference what combination I tried, I got the same results: 32-bit OS's worked fine, 64-bit OS's did not.

                    So are we down to trying some different memory?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It seems like lots of work but I would suggest you to hava a clean re-install OS 64 using Intel SATA2 chip (no Marvell nor eSATA) to your WD SATA3 drive.

                      It sounds like all your problem comes from the OS with all these BSODs.

                      Anyway, as a concrete fact that Intel SATA2 runs much faster than the Marvel chip.

                      Once you have a trouble free, clean installed Win7 64 and you could start to investigate further.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well, as I said I think I have done exactly that already and it did not fix the problem, but it won't take that long to make sure. (I have probably already been through the Win7 install process 20 times or so. Once more is no problem.)

                        Just to make sure I understand you, you are saying I should attach my SATA III drive to one of the SATA II 3 GB/s sockets on the MB, which are controlled by the P55 chipset. Then start a clean Win7 64-bit install.

                        I'll try this a soon as I get home from work tonight, and I'll post the results.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yes, instead of plugging the drive around, connect the WD to a Intel P55 SATA2 connector (forget the stupid Marvell and eSATA connectors) and start to have a nice trouble free OS 64bit installation.

                          Once you are done, read/write speed of your drive control by Intel P55 SATA2 is still faster than Marvell SATA3!

                          Also, you don't need to pre load Intel P55 driver as the Gigabyte manual suggests. Win 7 will take care of everything.

                          Once you have a clean installed 7 64bit OS and plus your newly replaced UD7 board and if trouble still occurs, you can blame all to the RAMS
                          Last edited by jojodancer; 05-11-2010, 03:05 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hope you're right. In case you are interested, here's a link to the manual for my Gigabyte motherboard: http://download.gigabyte.us/FileList...p55a-ud7_e.pdf

                            Go to page 30 and look at sections 9, 10 and 11; those describe the connectors that are available. They all look identical, but depending on where you plug the connector you get a different controller. I'll plug the drive into SATA2_0.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              SATA2_0 is ok.

                              BTW, you need to get a SATA3 certified cable. Those come from Gigabyte are SATA2 I believe.


                              My specs:

                              i7 870 (4.05GHz OC) / Crosair Hydro H50 push pull x 2 Noiseblocker M12-S3hs fans
                              4 x 2GB G. Skill DDR3 2200MHz CL7-10-10-28
                              Gigabyte P55A-UD6
                              Radeon HD5770 x 2 CF
                              Crosair HX750 power
                              2 x VelociRaptor SATA3 6GB/s 600GB in RAID 0 / 1 x WD Green
                              LG 8X Blu Ray rewriter
                              Samsung 22X DVD rewriter
                              Lian Li PC-60FNW
                              Zalman ZM-MFC1 fan controller / Noiseblocker PK-1 fan x 2 / Noiseblocker PK-2 fan x 1

                              Comment

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