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WinXP SP2+Atheros Chipset PCI Wireless G Adapter+VIA MB = Freeze...

Posted on 2005-04-22
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Hi All,
    I'm really hoping someone out ther has an answer to this dilema I'm facing... I'm trying to re-setup my girlfiriend's computer, and am hitting a wall with the Wireless G adapter. Below are the specs:

        Athlon XP 2000+
        MSI KT4V (MS-6712)
        512MB PC3200
        ASUS 9200 AGP
        Plextor PX712A DVDRW
        Lite-On LTR-52327S CDRW
        Hitachi 60GB Hard-Disk
        Canopus ADVC 1394 Video Capture Card

Setup of the above has gone well, so now I am installing the following:

        D-Link DWL-520 Wireles G Adapter

It seems to install fine and is working, until I plug in either of the following:

        USB external Hard-Drive
        WACOM Tablet (USB)

    The system now runs unstable, with frequent pauses and regular freezing up (The USB devices did not cause any trouble when running them prior to installing the wireless adapter). I have looked this up on-line and have found many discussions on forums about people facing similar issues with various brands of wireless adapters, and the one thing they all seem to have in common is the Atheros chipset.
    One interesting bit of news that I ran acros today seems to point to a latency problem of the PCI bus on the VIA chipset (she has the KT400) (See the link below at the section called "VIA PCI Latency Patch"):

http://www.usbman.com/Guides/VIA%20Tips%20and%20Tricks.htm

Any help would definately be appreciated!

Sam
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Question by:will_scarlet7
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15 Comments
 
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Author Comment

by:will_scarlet7
ID: 13846413
PS. I'm installing Windows XP Pro with SP2
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 13849174
Have you already tried using a different pci slot for the wlan adapter?
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by:will_scarlet7
ID: 13849478
Hi rindi,
I tried switching PCI slots with no improvement :-(
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 13849534
Did you also try more than one other slot? Some share the same hardware resources (they usually are paired, but the pairs don't necessarily have to be next to each other).
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by:will_scarlet7
ID: 13849787
I've tried it in 3 different slots...
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 13849897
What about adding an external, powered USB hub or changing the powersupply for a higher powered unit? Did you test your RAM with memtest (http://memtest.org)?
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by:will_scarlet7
ID: 13850253
I've just installed the generic Atheros driver, and it seems to be an improvement...
I'll have to let it run for a while to see if it works long term...
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 13850407
I thought you had tried all types of drivers allready. Anyway, of course you'll have to let it run for a while...
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by:will_scarlet7
ID: 13851503
ThanX for your patience rindi... I had tried several of the D-Link drivers, but only figured out how to get the generic Atheros working until this afternoon. Umfortunately, it did not solve the problem. The performance was greatly improved with the Attheros driver, but the machine still froze up whenever I had any intense hard-drive or USB activity.
The power supply is 500Watt and the external hard-drive is self powered. I'm nearly ready to give up on the PCI wireless card as just an incompatibility with the current configuration (VIA chipset and heavy bus throughput), and either figure out a way to run a wire or go USB...
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rindi earned 1500 total points
ID: 13851522
If you can get hold of another PSU, I'd still try that, The PSU's are products which belong to those which break more often than others in a PC, and they are often rather difficult to pinpoint as the power "seems" to be enough.
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Author Comment

by:will_scarlet7
ID: 13851544
I'll see if I can find one...

For now I'll leave the question open in case I do get ahold of a power supply in the next couple of days, and if I can't test that by Tuesday I'll close this with a grade of "B" if you agree that it is fair. I do appreciate you taking the time to try and help!

Sam
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by:rindi
ID: 13851555
No problem, keep it open as long as you like.
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by:will_scarlet7
ID: 13860833
well... The power supply just blew up, so tomorrow I'll go out and buy a new one and test it out.
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by:will_scarlet7
ID: 13916091
   I tried a new power supply, but unfortunately it made no difference. I therefore had to resign from my effort to get that set of hardware to function together, as I had to leave (I was visiting my girlfriend for the week). My current assumption is that the motherboard while not defective, was particularly susceptible to the VIA chipset weakness of PCI bus latency, which when combined with the Atheros chipset (which does not have the highest compatibility reputation) made for an unworkable combination.
    I am now closing the question, and awarding you rindi a grade of "B" for your time and help. I am grateful!

Sam
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by:rindi
ID: 13916179
Thanx, and better luck next time!
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