asus a7n8x random reboots: could it be the power supply?

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Hmmm. Connie’s machine is now in a strange state. Seems to randomly reboot and now it hangs on IDE detection. I’ve turned off all the overclocking, but basically, it gets blown back to the power up. As if the reset button were pushed. I noticed that if I have the reset jumper in, the machine now won’t start, so I disabled that. And now it boots, but will hang all the time. Why? Well, here’s a good guess…
“Whimpy Power Supply”:http://www.nforcershq.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=266234. Hmm a big source of problems, I have a 350 watt one, but is it enough, check out “JS Calculator”:http://www.jscustompcs.com/power_supply/ to see. My math shows I need 448 watts and I have a 350 watt supply. Found it! Main reason is that I’ve got 4 disks spinning which each require an additional 50 watts plus a brand new video card, so no wonder I have problems. Plus a Promise controller card. And, you have to have a supply with 17% more or so I need a 520 watt supply so I’m off to shop at “Tom’s Hardware”:http://www6.tomshardware.com/howto/20030609/ and also get rid of some hard drives ASAP. I can get rid of the 60GB system drive soon enough and one of the 120GB hard drives, this mean no Promise controller (net savings, 75watts!).
“nForcesHQ.com”:http://www.nforcershq.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=13. apparently, this is the main site for all the nForce based cards. This is the site for the ASUS. ‘They have an amazing list of open “issues”:http://www.nforcershq.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11763 with:
* “Standby”:http://www.nforcershq.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=14905&highlight=standby issues
* “More than 4 seconds”:http://www.nforcershq.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11763&start=30 will reset you to 100MHz so you can restart if you are overclocking
* “AGP drive low”:http://www.nforcershq.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11763&postdays=0&postorder=desc&start=45 resulting in random reboots because the video card draws too much
* RAID controller has lots of bugs with XP. The S-ATA is working though, but with much pain.
* “Uber BIOS”:http://homepage.ntlworld.com/michael.mcclay/. Michacel McClay has taken each ASUS BIOS and tweaked it for better stability and bug fixes. So these are the ones to download. Will try and see if this helps. BTW, he uses the RAR archive format. “ALZIP”:http://www.alzip.com/ has a freeware version for home users to decompress that format.
* “Ben Pope FAQ”:http://www.ben.pope.name/a7n8x_faq.html. Ben’s FAQ.
Hmmm. Makes me wonder if I bought the right board ;-( It got great reviews. Lesson here is look at the reviews *and* then go to the support forums.
Also did random google trolling to find many users who don’t know what is going on:
I’m trolling the web and amazingly, someone at “hardware analysis”:http://www.hardwareanalysis.com/content/topic/17590/ is having the exact same problem. No answers though. Seems like a very low level problem somewhere.
“OCworkbench”:http://www.ocworkbench.com/ocwb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=30;t=000846. Some of the folks their have had similar experiences. On this board, when you overclock, you can actually have all the fans come on and everything works, but there is no BIOS that takes over. They make a point that for this motherboard, it is very particular about clearing, you have to a) remove AC power, b) remove battery, c) flip the reset jumper for 5 seconds, d) put the jumper back, e) put the battery back and f) restore power whew.
Oh BTW. “Pro Cooling”:http://www.procooling.com/reviews/html/asus_a7n8x-x.php had a good review of the board and mentioned there is a utility speedfan that lets you control fan speed very directly. This thing is quite noisy, so maybe I can get both the power supply fan and the cpu fan to work with that utility.
“Motherboard-Forum”:http://www.motherboard-forum.com/asus/A7N8X_Deluxe__Spontaneous_Reboot_556851.html. these folks suggest a bad power supply (I have a nice Enermac 350, so that’s not the problem I don’t thnk, although it was better when I had a good UpS on it, but that didn’t work since the draw was too high hmmm.). also suggests bad ram is a cuase. Maybe I’ll take a stick out and see if it does better. Last suggestion was. Also suggests unchecking System Properties/Advanced/Startup and Recovery/Automatically Restart so at least you can see what happened.’
“ABXZone.com”:http://www.abxzone.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=670652#post670652 has another puzzled user with the same problem. seems to reboot without warning.

2 Replies to “asus a7n8x random reboots: could it be the power supply?”

  1. Hi,
    I read with interest your blog entry of Feb 9th entitled ‘asus a7n8x random reboots: could it be the power supply?’. I’m having similar problems, and just wondered whether you ever managed to get a handle on the problem and/or solve it?
    I too own an Asus A7N8X-X, with Athlon XP 3200+, Radeon AIW 9800 Pro and 1GB of Corsair XMS RAM. I’ve had no-end of problems with random reboots. Running Prime95 was sure to reboot the system after only 5 mins. I’d suspected all sorts: bad memory, overheating, dodgy gfx card.
    But, thanks to your blog entry, I realised it was basically the fact that my PSU was under-rated for the system! I did have a 300W Zalman unit (which now I think about it, used to run flat-out with the fan – a sure sign it was max-ed out), but I’ve now ditched it for a 480W Tagan unit. (BTW, Tagan is much recommended. I’d never heard of them before, but they’ve had great reviews, and it’s excellent quality for a lower price than brand names like Antec, etc!)
    My system is now much stabler than before. I have run Prime95 for hours with no errors. But, I still get the occasional reboot! Notably, it’s only when playing 3D games now.
    I reckon I’m now just suffering from the ‘AGP drive low’ issue mentioned on the nForcersHQ forums. Found any solutions? It seems it would be a no-brainer to solve, if only the Asus BIOS offered an adjustment for it, like some other boards.
    I’m seriously considering getting another motherboard, possibly ditching nForce in the process – I think there’s a decent VIA chipset out nowadays. I’ve been using Asus for years (this is my 4th board) because they’ve been great products in the past, but this issue has kinda soured them for me.
    Regards,
    Basil Hussain

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