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Lockup on Video Reset

Posted on 1997-07-06
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Last Modified: 2013-12-16
This question is very hard.  Stupid answers will not be accepted.  This is for the BEST experts only.
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My system locks up whenever I shutdown, the system comes back from monitor powerdown, or coming back from some directx games.  It is intermitent, lockup on shutdown was about 80%.  It seems to happen on video reset according to the logs.  I've tried almost everything in the microsoft knowedge base regarding shutdown problems; the only thing that worked is turning off the accelerated video functions.  That is an unacceptable solution, but I'm using it for now.  I'm not sure if its hardware or software and I'm not sure how to troubleshoot the problem from here.
I tried a clean windows 95b setup, still locks up.
I tried basic video diags, all ok(diags were a few years old and did not test accelerated functions).
I tried 3 different versions of directX(2,3a,3b) same problem.
I tried 5+ different video drivers same problem(some microsoft, some diamond, some s3)
System is: 486/133 (AMD 5x56), windows95b, 32meg ram, 2.5gig hd(fat32), diamond video 2001 /w 2meg(s3 trio64V+) PCI.
The system was working fine for over a year, and then started to lockup; and it seemed to get more frequent over time.  There was no new software or configuration changes that I can recall at the time when it first appeared.
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Question by:n3mtr
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by:smeebud
ID: 1749277
Well, was it ok before DIRECTX. You probably know that X and Video problems are related. let me just start from there.
Oh, have you ran the mskb directx trouble shooter?
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by:smeebud
ID: 1749278
Sorry, I didn't mean to mark that as answered. reject it.
See http://www.microsoft.com/support/tshoot/mmdisplay.htm
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by:n3mtr
ID: 1749279
I just tried the Multi-media troubleshooter, it was no help.  I've already tried those things.
I suspect directX or a hardware problem, but I don't know how to narrow it down from here.  It was working without directx, but it was also working with directx for many months.
I haven't been able to find a video diagnostics that supports my chipset(other than basic video functions).
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by:Ikon
ID: 1749280
i have been having a similar problem with a 2meg(s3 trio64V+) video logic i set the drivers to trio32 & they stopped. you could try it. Does generic S3 work?
I think it is driver/chipset implementation.
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Expert Comment

by:jhutto
ID: 1749281
Seen this a few times.

Seems you have eliminated all the normal software solutions.

It's usually the Video card, or drivers.
Drivers are the easiest to check, but I'll bet it's the board. You can always go to a computer store (CompUSA, Computer City, etc.) and try another board, and return it.


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by:n3mtr
ID: 1749282
I'd like to be more sure that its the video card, before I drive over an hour to the nearest compUSA.  It could also be the motherboard, because I have had trouble with the PCI bus before and thought it was the video card.  I need a way to narrow it down.
Update: Turning off the accelerated video functions did not stop the problem, but it happens less often now(5-10%)(lockups on shutdown that is).
Ikon: The s3 drivers didn't work either.(from www.s3.com) I'll try the trio 32 drivers.
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by:smeebud
ID: 1749283
I have a real good AMI diags utility, not the demo. I'll send it to your if you give me your address.
or go to http://www.megatrends.com/ and D/L their demo. You might want to get it for about $30.00, with a manual, Good to have a manual because some thing are dangeriousto run if you don't have the instructions. HD stuff. Video will be fine.
Oh Yea,
Once again, go to http://www.microsoft.com/kb/default.asp
and on the left hand side of the screen is Trouble shooting wizards. Different from mm. Starts right off with DirectX.
I think you ought to look at it.
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by:n3mtr
ID: 1749284
Nothing worked! Trio 32 drivers did not stop the problem.
AMI diags checked out ok(couldn't check video in demo, but pci ok).
BTW AMI jacked up the price on the diags(I don't think they are worth it)
Nothing new in the knowledge base(that I haven't tried)
And some things I've tried on my own:
I put my video card in another machine, works fine.
Put another video card in my machine, didn't work at all(I think the problem was a bad connection, the monitor connector was very loose in the card; so I would not put too much weight on this)
Tried a fairly clean install of win95b on my machine, still locks up.(only win95, drivers, netscape, and few other programs)

I think it might be the motherboard, what do you think?  I had a problem with the pci bus before.  The ISA bus and the onboard PCI hard disk controller worked, but not the slots.  The diags also reported PCI ok then.  I sent the board back and they repaired it(can you beleive it an actual board level repair?).
Is it possible for the PCI bus to be causing this problem?

PS since I've turned off the accelerated video functions the rate of lockup seems to be increasing to about 30+% (weird isn't it)
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by:smeebud
ID: 1749285
After you video card experiment, I'd say you do have a motherboard problem. Also/or the PCI bus. A lot of variables. but I believe your on the right track.
Do you have access to another MB you could swap.
You probably know that all MBs will run 95 either smoothly, or at all.
I used to have a list, i'll try and find it.
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by:Ikon
ID: 1749286
what BIOS ur motherboard got, known problems with Award BIOS & Win95.
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by:smeebud
ID: 1749287
I meant to say:
You probably know that all MBs will *not* run 95 either smoothly, or at all.  I used to have a list, i'll try and find it.
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Expert Comment

by:jhutto
ID: 1749288
Still say it's video card..    odds still with it...
I give 3:1 on motherboard and 5:1 on ram or processor. 1.2:1 on video card..
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by:n3mtr
ID: 1749289
My motherboard is made by Biostar Microtech of Tiawan; the microtec model no is: mb-8433uud.  Its distributed by Quantex in the US their model no is: mbd-4pb2.  Their website used to be www.quantex.com
I do have award bios but I don't know what version; I'll try to write it down on next reboot.  Maybe I should see if quantex has an upgrade I can flash in.
Its a major operation to swap a motherboard, I'll see if I can talk someone into a temporary transplant.
I hope it is the video card; its still under warrenty.  But with my luck it will be the motherboard, the warrenty just ran out. O'well I could use an upgrade anyway(486/133 to 586/166).
Thanks for all the effort.  We are getting closer.
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by:Ikon
ID: 1749290
" do have award bios but I don't know what version"
Probablt 4.05G, the bios is melded to the motherboard so it is possible to upgrade it, but not to change it. If you cannot get it updated you will have to change motherboards.
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by:Ikon
ID: 1749291
PS microsoft or award don't admit there are problems with Win95 & Award BIOS.
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Expert Comment

by:henrie
ID: 1749292
I hope you have tried another monitor! I've seen problems in combinations of monitors/videocards. It seems everytime you switch modes on your monitor, your system responds to that.
Could be the TTL levels of certain pins on your VGA connector somehow leak through to your card/bus.
Maybe it's a dead end, but I thought I'd mention it...


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Expert Comment

by:smeebud
ID: 1749293
This *might shed all the light on you problem. I just ran across this. it works
This may interest you:
http://www.shetef.com/wxi.htm
Win-eXpose-I/O
wxi95-20.zip
Read what it does anyway, oh hell, here's what it does"
------
Win-eXpose-I/O® is a Windows file I/O Tracing/Debugging/Monitoring SHAREWARE utility, that
lets you examine in real time what files each running application is using or trying to use.
Win-eXpose-I/O® for Windows traces all file activities in all the applications, and in all the different
VM (even DOS boxes), and gives you a clear picture on problems troubleshooting (like where and
what the hell is the help file / INI file that the application is using or complaining that is +missing).

Win-eXpose-I/O® for Windows is a MUST HAVE tool for anyone who is installing windows
software on the computer or just trying to make sure the current software is working properly,
Win-eXpose-I/O® saves those HUGE amount of hours trying to configure new or existing software,
by letting you know in real time what files each application in using or seeking.

Win-eXpose-I/O® for Windows applications, has a very intuitive and simple to operate user
interface, yet a very powerful one, that lets any user novice to guru use the program in just a meter of
seconds, just run it and then activate the other applications and you will see on the
Win-eXpose-I/O® screen a real-time logging of all the file activities and their results.

Win-eXpose-I/O® for Windows is also used as a GREAT performance improves by letting you
know for each application all the file seeking failures (like searching for a file on the path) and then
just by changing a few system settings like PATH or working directory you will gain a performance
improvement.
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by:n3mtr
ID: 1749294
Sorry smeebud, but the program does not track shutdown problems. It looks like it would be pretty nice for tracking other problems though.  Norton crash guard doesn't do shutdown problems either.  The person who writes a program to track shutdown problems could become a millionaire.
My Award bios is version 4.50pg and there is no new version from quantex or biostar.(It seems motherboard manufactures only support their boards for a few months, after that they make a new one and forget the old ones.)
I haven't had time to try all the other suggestions yet.
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Expert Comment

by:smeebud
ID: 1749295
I found a site with a ton of utilities for diags,
It sounds like you still need a good video check.
http://corp.jkr.gov.my/jln/sbhtm/share3.htm
share and freeware.
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Expert Comment

by:Ikon
ID: 1749296
or you could always get an ATI graphics card, they're good.
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by:n3mtr
ID: 1749297
Did some more testing:
Did another video check(different program) all ok.
Tried another video card in my computer again. System thinks there is a video card(goes to boot with no errors), but no video on the monitor(blank). Tried two different monitors.
Tried turning the external cache on the MB off, no help.

I'm about ready to buy a new motherboard, but I'd hate to get one and then still have this problem.  Any other suggestions?
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by:smeebud
ID: 1749298
I've written a few newsgroups on this. The same answer keeps coming back.
Try dis-abling you APM, from control panel and from your bios.
If this does not work, how about editing your question, it was very complete, but with where exactly we stand now. Unless i missed it in the thread, we have not tried the APM.

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Expert Comment

by:Ikon
ID: 1749299
"Unless i missed it in the thread, we have not tried the APM." !!
Right on smeebud!, I'm kicking myself here for not thinking of this one.
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Expert Comment

by:smeebud
ID: 1749300
You would never know how many times I kick myself Ikon.
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Author Comment

by:n3mtr
ID: 1749301
Kick yourself again, its not the apm(its off in both places).
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by:n3mtr
ID: 1749302
I'm pretty convinced it is the motherboard. What do you think?
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smeebud earned 400 total points
ID: 1749303
I will kick myself again.
And I'm pretty sure you are right now that we know that it's not APM. If your board was ready for 4.00.950, it might not have been ready for OSR2.
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by:smeebud
ID: 1749304
n3mtr,
Go here for OSR2 MB information: OSR2 Price List
http://204.212.128.223/price.html
It's very comprehensive and the boards are OSR2 compatable.
I do a lot of research here, for my own small Computer Company.
The right chips sets, the right bios ect; i think you'll like it.
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Expert Comment

by:henrie
ID: 1749305
Don't forget the system worked fine for a year on OSR2 (as stated in your question), it could be defective, but not incompatible.

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Author Comment

by:n3mtr
ID: 1749306
Not for a year on osr2; only a few months.  The rest of the time was win95a.  But it was working on OSR2 for a few months.
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by:smeebud
ID: 1749307
henrie brings up a very good point.
Most people reject this idea on ram checking. but it's the best way I've found to find defective ram modules. Even Ram checkers dont do this good as they don't read and write as a computer does. We have found 4 bad chip this year with this method, where the ram checkers passed them as OK. Please take this to heart.
------------I don't like the Ram Drive methed mentioned here:
There are two methods you can use to identify whether defective memory chips are causing the
problem:

Remove or replace memory chips in the computer to see if the problem is resolved.
Try limiting the amount of memory that Windows 95 uses. To do so, follow these steps:

1. Use any text editor (such as Notepad) to edit the System.ini file.

2. Add the following line in the [386Enh] section of the file

MaxPhysPage=<nnn>

where <nnn> determines the amount of memory you want Windows 95
to use.

To limit Windows 95 to the first 16 MB of memory, add the following
line:

MaxPhysPage=FFF

To limit Windows 95 to the first 8 MB of memory, add the following
line:

MaxPhysPage=7FF

To limit Windows 95 to the first 4 MB of memory, add the following
line:

MaxPhysPage=3FF

3. Save and then close the System.ini file.

4. Restart your computer.


For more information on troubleshooting memory, please see the following article(s) in the Microsoft
Knowledge Base:

ARTICLE-ID: Q142546
TITLE     : How to Use a RAM Drive to Troubleshoot Memory


MORE INFORMATION

Defective memory chips may not be detected by memory checking tools. Some memory checking
programs are not adequate tests because they do not test RAM in the same way that Windows
uses RAM. Most memory checkers use read/write cycles when scanning memory. Since Windows
is executing code from memory, it uses execute cycles. Execute cycles are different from read/write
cycles and are more vulnerable to parity errors. It is possible for memory checking programs to find
parity errors if the memory is extremely faulty. Bad memory chips can also cause the following
situations:

Fatal Exception errors
Himem.sys load failures in normal or Safe mode
Random lockups
The computer may stop responding (hang) as soon as you turn it on

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Expert Comment

by:smeebud
ID: 1749308
By the way,
I prefer thr 4mg at a time method. More time consuming, but mor thorough.
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by:n3mtr
ID: 1749309
I'm giving you a b for effort; I still have the problem, but I'm pretty sure its the motherboard.  I can't afford a new one yet.  I am going to test the memory before I get a new one, but I don't think that is the problem.
Thanks for all the help.
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Expert Comment

by:smeebud
ID: 1749310
n3mtr,
Thanks for all those points. I hate to stop before the problem is fixed though. I'm glad you are going to actually take a little time to check you ram. Most people I suggest that to just don't do it. I.ve been in contact with another fellow about your problem, here's a short excerpt of his suggestions:
-----------
I use to spend hours trying to fix my video, modem and weird
happenings, all the pain went away when I bought Matrix
Millennium Video card and Asus motherboard, also the two
modem I bought for $125 each runs better than any name
brand modem sold, but still had to modify the .inf to get it
going, has been running for a year and a half now.
----------------------
I've heard very good things about Asus, and, you may already know this but not all motherboards will run 95 well. Don't know why.

if i can help down the line.
bwil@erinet.com
good luck
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