10 Replies Latest reply on Feb 4, 2010 6:25 PM by DetailsGuy

    D875PBZ motherboard 4gb memory issues HELP

    Jimbeau39

      I have a D875PBZ motherboard with a 3.4 hz P4, XP Pro sp3, latest BIOS. I built the systems when it was bleeding edge; always runs flawlessly. When I tried sometime ago to upgrade from 2gb memory to 4gb, it causes a conflict of the most peculiary type. Using 4 sticks of the proper and approved Kingston Memory, the system boots fine, the bios and the op sys recognize all the memory. The machine runs fine at first, then first indication of a problem is the sound output starts getting flaky. Eventually the system will crash and not reboot to the op sys if you keep using it. I have reseated the memory multiple times, moved the sound card to a different pci slot, etc. I even suspected the memory might have been bad, sent it back, recieved new from a different production lot, and same exact problem. Manisfests itself identically each time I go from 2 gb to 4. I even tried putting 3 gb using 2 1gb sticks and 2 512 sticks, proper slots, same problem. This machine doesn't want to work with more than 2 gb of memory. All this memory is of the correct ratting as per intel and Kingston. The machine runs beautifully with 2 gb, wether I use 4- 512 sticks or 2- 1g sticks. I would like to use the 4 gb since I have it. I have built many machines over the years, but never ran into this particular conflict. Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.   Jim

        • 1. Re: D875PBZ motherboard 4gb memory issues HELP
          DetailsGuy

          I have the same desktop board (a D875PBZ) but a Pentium 4 2.40C processor and non-integrated audio; I've been using it for about 6 years with Windows XP.  I started with 512 MB RAM in dual channel mode (2 x 256 MB modules) and subsequently upgraded to 1 GB RAM (4 x 256 MB modules); also in dual channel mode.

           

          With memory prices very reasonable I am now looking at upgrading to one of the following levels:

           

          AmountDual Channel Configuration
          2 GB2 x 1 GB
          3 GB2 x 1 GB + 2 x 512 MB
          4 GB4 x 1 GB (if possible)

           

          I am unclear whether the 4 GB can actually be achieved with 32-bit Windows XP.  I am getting conflicting information about whether you can actually go to 4 GB with 32-bit Windows XP or if you have to settle for 3 GB.  From the D875PBZ Desktop Board Product Guide, the board definitely does support up to 4 GB of RAM.

           

          So I am very interested in the solution to your problem.

           

          I have read independently about a "/PAE" switch that you can set in the Windows XP boot.ini file that will allow you to enable Physical Address Extensions (PAE).  Apparently this enables 36-bit memory addressing (versus the standard 32-bit addressing).  You can read more about it here:

           

          http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/platform/server/PAE/pae_os.mspx

           

          As a sidenote you comment about your system running flawlessly.  I have issues whereby my USB-connected external storage devices (supporting USB 2.0 @ 480 Mbit/s) are periodically mis-recognized as low speed USB 1.1 devices after I resume the computer from standby/hibernate.  Apart from that I would say it's a fairly solid board.

          • 2. Re: D875PBZ motherboard 4gb memory issues HELP
            CoronaBVW

            DetailsGuy wrote:

             

            I am unclear whether the 4 GB can actually be achieved with 32-bit Windows XP.  I am getting conflicting information about whether you can actually go to 4 GB with 32-bit Windows XP or if you have to settle for 3 GB.  From the D875PBZ Desktop Board Product Guide, the board definitely does support up to 4 GB of RAM.

            You can indeed install 4 GB of RAM, however you cannot *use* all of it. This is because your hardware (video card, sound, raid, usb controllers, etc) occupies some of the same space as your RAM does.

             

            If you install 4GB, the best you can hope for is to have about 3.5 GB useable RAM, probably less. Unfortunately, there is really nothing you can do about it. The /PAE switch in BOOT.INI won't help you, nor will any other switch. Still, 3 GB is better than 2 GB.

            • 3. Re: D875PBZ motherboard 4gb memory issues HELP
              CoronaBVW

              My first guess would be either heat issues or a faulty BIOS.

               

              When the sound starts getting flaky, take a peek at Task Manager and see how much RAM you are using and the size of the paging file.

               

              If you keep using the computer and it crashes, and it won't reboot to the OS, what *does* it do when you try to reboot?

              • 4. Re: D875PBZ motherboard 4gb memory issues HELP
                Jimbeau39

                If I install the 4gb of memory (4 X 1gb sticks) the machine boots fine, recognizes the memory in bios, and the op system reports all the memory installed. Machine works fine. The audio system works fine the first time you initialize it. If you close one app, such as a video with audio, then try to open a different audio track, you get choppy sounding audio. The system will still operate ok otherwise. When you shut down the system, typically on the startup I get the initial splash screen, then the machine just keeps cycling/rebooting, as if you kept hitting the reset button. At this point I have to power down the machine and pull 2 sticks of memory out. Then it starts up and runs beautifully. Even with 3 gb of memory properly configured memory, I get this same errant behavior. I have tried to move PCI cards to different slots, different memory, different memory slots, etc. The behavior I get is very predictable each time I try to add more than 2gb of memory. When you mentioned a defective bios, are you talking about the chip itself or the software? I believe I have the lates bios revision. I flashed it a couple of years ago.

                • 5. Re: D875PBZ motherboard 4gb memory issues HELP
                  CoronaBVW

                  I was thinking specifically of the BIOS firmware revision. The latest version of the BIOS for your board is a few years old, but you might want to check to see if you have that one. Although, the "latest" version might not always be the one that "works right."

                   

                  Your system runs fine for a while, then begins to exhibit weird symptoms, then crashes, then won't even POST unless you remove some RAM.Are you giving things time to cool down before you try to reboot? Sounds like there could possibly be some overheating going on.

                   

                  Check the RAM settings in your BIOS screen (F2) and make sure the timings are correct for the sticks that you have.

                   

                  If it were my machine, I might also try downgrading the BIOS to an earlier version. Bugs get introduced sometimes, and I would imagine that few people run 4GB with XP 32-bit so the issue would go virtually unnoticed in the field.

                  • 6. Re: D875PBZ motherboard 4gb memory issues HELP
                    Jimbeau39

                    I will check my BIOS revision number tonight. As far as overheating, the system gums up pretty quickly after installing the 4gig. I'm not quite sure what could be heating up. I have tried shutting down the machine upon the initial problem when the memory is upped, let it stay down for a good long while, restart, and it still exhibits the same behavior. In my experience the one thing that could make one think overheating, is the consisten/predictability of the problem. The machine itself runs pretty cool, with an excess of cooling fans. I have gone through the BIOS screen to verify all settings match the memory and system. I think I will try a different BIOS version at some point.   Jim

                    • 7. Re: D875PBZ motherboard 4gb memory issues HELP
                      Jimbeau39

                      It is about time for me to give up on trying to get this system to operate with more than 2g of memory. I tried an older bios version, same exact result. At this time I would bet it is a conflict issue with the sound card. Don't know why or how, but it can't be anything else that I can isolate. I have even tried moving the card to a different slot, NG. I am not going to change the sound card at this point. I paid too much for it when it was new. I can live with the 2g. I even tried flashing a different bios with the memory installed, same result. Since this is an obsolete and unsupported board, the mystery will remain just that. Some day I just may take out the sound card and try the 4 sticks to test this theory, but not today.    Thanks for all your suggestions,  Jim

                      • 8. Re: D875PBZ motherboard 4gb memory issues HELP
                        Jimbeau39

                        It is about time for me to give up on trying to get this system to operate with more than 2g of memory. I tried an older bios version, same exact result. At this time I would bet it is a conflict issue with the sound card. Don't know why or how, but it can't be anything else that I can isolate. I have even tried moving the card to a different slot, NG. I am not going to change the sound card at this point. I paid too much for it when it was new. I can live with the 2g. I even tried flashing a different bios with the memory installed, same result. Since this is an obsolete and unsupported board, the mystery will remain just that. Some day I just may take out the sound card and try the 4 sticks to test this theory, but not today.    Thanks for all your suggestions,  Jim

                        • 9. Re: D875PBZ motherboard 4gb memory issues HELP
                          DetailsGuy

                          Hey Jim - sometimes it can be good to leave things for a bit and then come at them again from a different angle and with a different mindset.

                           

                          Anyway I will probably be trying to upgrade mine from 1 GB to 2.5 GB by taking out two of my four 256 MB modules and replacing them with 1 GB modules.  It will probably be next week sometime.  So please stay tuned to this thread - I'll let you know what happens.  I did have a guy at a computer shop tell me this probably would NOT work because the 256 MB modules would have a completely different memory architecture than the high density 1 GB modules.  So in all likelihood I think I will probably wind up upgrading from 1 GB total to 2 GB total and be satisfied with that.  Based on your experience, I doubt that I will attempt 4 GB.

                           

                          I wouldn't mind knowing the exact make & part # of the modules you're using (e.g. Kingston ValueRAM part #whatever).  I will probably be getting this kit:  Kingston Value RAM KVR400X64C3AK2/2G  (2 x 1 GB modules in a matched pair).

                           

                          I would also like to know what the make / model of the sound card you're using is.  FYI I have a SoundBlaster Audigy 2.

                          • 10. Re: D875PBZ motherboard 4gb memory issues HELP
                            DetailsGuy

                            Just an update to let you know that I was successful in upgrading from 1 GB to 2.5 GB of RAM.  I took out two of my 256 MB modules and replaced them with two 1 GB modules.  The kit I used is:  Kingston Value RAM KVR400X64C3AK2/2G  (2 x 1 GB modules in a matched pair).

                             

                            So now I have the following:  2 x 256 MB + 2 x 1024 MB.  I am still running Windows XP Professional SP3 (32-bit).

                             

                            The 150% increase in the amount of RAM made my computer somewhat more responsive, given that my Page File Usage has now dropped from > 60% to less than 30% (before I load any applications; I have a lot of services - e.g. SQL Server - installed).  I notice in particular that my hard drive does not spin as much / slave as much when I switch between applications / start a new application.