I'm a professional game developer from Wakefield, England, working for TickTock Games.
I'm a married father of five and I am also the director and lead programmer of Retroburn Ltd.
Martin 'Bytrix' Caine
All round web guy, games programmer and musician.
emailfacebooktwittermessengersteamxboxliveretroburn
Tags
2013 3d alphalabs amazon apple archivirtual asynchronous battlefield bad company 2 ben 10 bepu beta blackmagic design blog blue marble bootcamp borderlands bsp calibration charity charvel childsplay comments competition content tracker counter-strike crash csgo css3 cycling dear esther deferred deus ex develop conference direct x discipline documentation doom 3 bfg dr bott eidos elite force email deliverability eurogamer expo facebook focus fresnel game development game horizon game republic games gaming geoip global offensive grid guitar half-life 2 hawken hd7 hobbyist htc humble indie bundle imac indie indie trials indietrials intensity pro ip-countryside iron man 3 jamulus rift jquery kids kinect launch conference left 4 dead live lost mac mac osx manhacks mass effect 2 matrox maya minecraft mirrors edge montreal morrowind movies museum of the microstar music mxo2 mini mysql nausea network networking nokia normal mapping obj oculus rift omnitrix ouya pedal for pounds php physics playstation suite port25 portal portal 2 positron posters powermta project aedra project euler promotion properties proton pulse ps vita ps4 psn racer reddit rendering retroburn game studios reviews rift racer riftracer roadkill roller coaster shadow racers sharks shoct skyrifters snds space cadet spam trap star trek steam storage super stock sd1 fr team fortress 2 tesselating tesselation texture editor thunderbird thunderclap ticktock games tiga track builder track bulder trials tv twitter uk ultimatrix usergroup vequencer video vireio visual assist visual studio vorpx voucher vr vr cinema war thunder warren web windows 8 windows 8.1 windows phone 7 workbench wp7 wp7dev xbla xblig xblig network xbox xbox live indie games xna xnaukug xperia play zombies on the holodeck
Archive
Links
Web
XNA
Games
Email Deliverability
Sunday, January 27th 2013 / Blog

PC Hardware Troubleshooting

This whole process has annoyed me so much that I decided I'd make my first proper blog post of the year about it;

The Kids' PC buggered up about a month or two ago and having had a quick look at it I came to the conclusion that one of the sticks of RAM was bad (Damien kept turning the PC on and off one day as it wouldn't boot).

I took out all the insides of the PC, disconnected all the drives, the HDMI capture card, the (HUGE) 8800 GTS graphics card and then took out all of the RAM (4x 1GB Crucial Ballistix DDR2-800).

One by one I placed a stick of ram in and booted from a USB stick with Memtest86+ on it. Left it to run two full passes and found no errors.

So, I put all four sticks in and ran the tests, an error popped up about half way in to the first pass.. So I swapped sticks 1 and 2 to see if I could try and identify the bad stick. This time it completed pass 1 with no errors and hit an error part way in to pass 2. This had me thinking that the RAM perhaps wasn't getting enough voltage (knowing that these old sticks were rated at 2.0v).

I booted up again and went in to the bios, found the settings for setting the FSB, the DRAM frequency, manual timings and all the usual stuff but couldn't see the voltage settings.

So I swapped the sticks round some more (who knows) and left Memtest86+ running over night. In the morning it showed it had completed 17 passes and errors had occurred 241 times.

Again I googled for the VDIMM adjustment and found a few people saying the motherboard didn't support it (but I could've sworn it did since this used to be my gaming PC for taking to LANs and wouldn't've worked with the RAM running less than 2.0v). I then went looking through the bios again and finally found what I was looking for. There was a setting 'AI Overclock Tuner' which was set to automatic. By changing this to manual it appeared to make no difference what-so-ever, but if I then scrolled all the way past the bottom of the screen two new options were available, CPU Voltage and RAM Voltage.

After then setting the RAM Voltage back to 2.0v the PC has been sat for a good few hours on Memtest86+ and has found no errors.

Can't believe that's all it was, somehow the BIOS must have lost it's settings but then with it crashing and my Son turning the PC on and off it seems to have broken the Windows installation so have it re-installing Windows right now.

All together I think I've spent 4 or 5 hours trying to fix this problem which just turned out to be a hidden settings in the BIOS! At least now the kids will have a nice fresh install of Windows on their PC (and will be able to use it again) and I might be able to get back in to recording some gameplay for my XBLIG review site IndieTrials.com (since this is the PC with the HDMI capture card in it).

Hopefully it'll be a while before I need to try and fix any more broken computers!

If you found this post helpful please leave a comment below:
 
Comments
Tags:   blog
0