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Roger Allott
February 12th, 2010, 10:05 PM
I have a dual-boot WinXP / Ubuntu 9.10 desktop PC that developed a very odd problem last night.

Both OSs worked fine up to early evening, when I went out to play a game of poker. When I returned, I booted up XP and the screen display had a weird type of what I can best describe as static interference, which gradually got worse as my session progressed.

So I rebooted. But each screen, including the PC-specific splash screen that precedes grub, showed some variant of mucked up display. I tried booting Ubuntu, but that just failed horribly, with the monitor displaying a no signal message with a regularity of every few seconds.

I've tested the monitor connected to my laptop, and it works fine.

I've just tried booting the desktop again, and I'm getting the same problem, but this time from the grub options list, I ran memtest.

The output was:

error: too small lower memory (0x99100 > 0x98800)

I'm completely lost as to what the real problem might be, let alone how to solve it, so does anyone here have any ideas?

mhgsys
February 12th, 2010, 10:11 PM
The output was:

error: too small lower memory (0x99100 > 0x98800)

I'm completely lost as to what the real problem might be, let alone how to solve it, so does anyone here have any ideas?

Seems like bad ram , try another ram module.

Edit; uhmz, http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=549429
We're talking asus bios here?

Makes me think it has something to do with the videocard instead.
I can understand why your lost now.

Try running memtest from a (older) live cd, see if the same error appears.

Roger Allott
February 12th, 2010, 10:13 PM
Seems like bad ram , try another ram module.

You mean I've got to buy a new RAM thingy?

Do you have any idea why it would have suddenly gone pear-shaped, ****-up, etc.?

mhgsys
February 12th, 2010, 10:36 PM
You mean I've got to buy a new RAM thingy?

Do you have any idea why it would have suddenly gone pear-shaped, ****-up, etc.?

Well, That's the first thing I thought, but then I came googleing across the error Bug with asus.

http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=549429

try running memtest from a (older) live cd, and see if the same error appears.

Maybe it has something to do with the videocard instead.



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LowSky
February 12th, 2010, 10:52 PM
I had or have the exact same issue... not sure yet, still working on it.

I just udated the BIOS on my MSI 790FX-GD70, which ais a AMD AM3 board and the problem has not occured since. I will say its only been 2 days. Will keep you posted. I too thought it was my RAM, but I actually think its arelated to the video card.

Roger Allott
February 12th, 2010, 11:00 PM
Edit; uhmz, http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=549429
Where talking asus bios here?
Thanks for the link, but the machine is an HP Pavillion.




Makes me think it has something to do with the videocard instead.
I can understand why your lost now.

Try running memtest from a (older) live cd, see if the same error appears.
Good idea. I'm running memtest from Live CD right now. I didn't get the "too small lower memory" error, but what it's actually reporting is a bit of a mystery due to all the screen 'interference'!

Roger Allott
February 12th, 2010, 11:10 PM
I had or have the exact same issue... not sure yet, still working on it.

I just udated the BIOS on my MSI 790FX-GD70, which ais a AMD AM3 board and the problem has not occured since. I will say its only been 2 days. Will keep you posted. I too thought it was my RAM, but I actually think its arelated to the video card.

How does one go about updating one's BIOS? And how do I find out what BIOS upgrade I need?

I hate to be paranoid about Microsoft, but could this problem be related to the updates they released this week for Windows, which apparently went quite 'deep' into the OS hierarchy?

QIII
February 12th, 2010, 11:13 PM
By the way, memory modules do go Tango Uniform eventually...

QIII
February 12th, 2010, 11:16 PM
I hate to be paranoid about Microsoft, but could this problem be related to the updates they released this week for Windows, which apparently went quite 'deep' into the OS hierarchy?

Doubt it. Sounds more like hardware. Things sometimes just spout a whisp of smoke and choke themselves to death.

LowSky
February 12th, 2010, 11:19 PM
How does one go about updating one's BIOS? And how do I find out what BIOS upgrade I need?

I hate to be paranoid about Microsoft, but could this problem be related to the updates they released this week for Windows, which apparently went quite 'deep' into the OS hierarchy?

No I believe the issue to be driver related. I'm thinking it a Nvidia issue, but I'm not sure. by updating my computer BIOS might be a odd fix but it helped.

Updating BIOS is easy, all you need is the motherboard model, usually written on the motherboard. Go to the manufacturer website and download the nest BIOS. some PC can update BIOS using a boot CD or a flash drive, others have utility programs for Windows or need a 3.5" floppy.

QIII
February 12th, 2010, 11:52 PM
Not sure, LowSky. I don't think it's a driver issue.

He said "including the PC-specific splash screen that precedes grub".

That would be before the driver is even invoked by an OS. If it is passing the POST, then it's either the BIOS or the hardware.

But, getting back to the Microsoft update question, I don't think even they would be so arrogant as to take it on themselves to muck with the BIOS. Maybe I'm wrong.

mhgsys
February 13th, 2010, 12:37 AM
Try re-plugging the video card.

Take it out, put it back in again ;

Sometimes hardware slots do weird things.

(or try another video card)




Thanks for the link, but the machine is an HP Pavillion.


about that BUG and all; .... Some HP Pavillion seem to have the asus Bios....actually... lots of them seem to have asus motherboards/bios

http://www.google.com/search?btnG=1&pws=0&q=HP+Pavillion+asus+Bios

Roger Allott
February 13th, 2010, 01:28 AM
I'm 2.5 hours into the memtest and the 7 passes thus far have shown no errors. How many passes are generally recommended before I can escape to the next bit of checking, which I think is going to be to upgrade the bios?

audiomick
February 13th, 2010, 01:30 AM
I think 7 passes should be enough. I haven't used memtest a lot, but one time when I had errors, they started showing up right from the start.

Bear in mind that flashing the BIOS nearly always voids any warranty that you might still have.

QIII
February 13th, 2010, 05:33 AM
The "gradually getting worse" symptom is more indicative of hardware failure. If you were to have a problem with your BIOS in terms of the assembly code, that would show up at the speed of light. But the hardware that your BIOS operates in could gradually get worse as something heats up and finally poops out.

Keep eliminating possible hardware faults before you move on to the BIOS flash.

Open the case and blow out all the dust bunnies.

Carefully remove the video card and check it for blistered capacitors, scratched, cracked or raised traces, melted solder, etc.

Reseat the card and try again.

If that doesn't work, spend an hour doing the same thing on your motherboard.

Have you noticed if your processor has been running hot or anything like that?

Roger Allott
February 13th, 2010, 09:46 AM
I think 7 passes should be enough. I haven't used memtest a lot, but one time when I had errors, they started showing up right from the start.
I left it running overnight. It did 29 passes - no errors found.



Bear in mind that flashing the BIOS nearly always voids any warranty that you might still have.
Well, other than running memtest, just about anything I do is going to void the warranty. In any event, it's a second-hand computer that I bought only a week ago. I think the original warranty ran out a long time ago.

Roger Allott
February 13th, 2010, 11:55 AM
Would it be sensible to run a test utility such as nVidia nTune (http://www.nvidia.com/object/ntune_5.05.54.00.html) to find out whether it's my graphics card that's fuggered?

That tool is for Windows, but is the a Linux alternative?

Roger Allott
February 13th, 2010, 12:59 PM
Well, I can't run the nTune thingy because now, when I boot WinXP, I'm just getting a black screen.

Roger Allott
February 13th, 2010, 02:07 PM
And I've found the file I need to upgrade my BIOS (http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareDownloadIndex?softwareitem=pv-54458-1&lc=en&dlc=&cc=us&lang=&os=228&product=3214121), but it turns out to be a Windows .exe file, which is also a bit difficult to install when my WinXP just shows a black screen!

mhgsys
February 13th, 2010, 09:54 PM
Try re-plugging the video card.

Take it out, put it back in again ;

Sometimes hardware slots do weird things.

(or try another video card)



about that BUG and all; .... Some HP Pavillion seem to have the asus Bios....actually... lots of them seem to have asus motherboards/bios

http://www.google.com/search?btnG=1&pws=0&q=HP+Pavillion+asus+Bios


QIII
Re: A memtest problem?
The "gradually getting worse" symptom is more indicative of hardware failure. If you were to have a problem with your BIOS in terms of the assembly code, that would show up at the speed of light. But the hardware that your BIOS operates in could gradually get worse as something heats up and finally poops out.

Keep eliminating possible hardware faults before you move on to the BIOS flash.

Open the case and blow out all the dust bunnies.

Carefully remove the video card and check it for blistered capacitors, scratched, cracked or raised traces, melted solder, etc.

Reseat the card and try again.

If that doesn't work, spend an hour doing the same thing on your motherboard.

Have you noticed if your processor has been running hot or anything like that?

:rolleyes:

Roger Allott
February 16th, 2010, 11:45 AM
Well, I've now done the removing the video card and brushing off the dust thing, and there's been no affect at all.

Something I noticed when I opened the case is that there are 2 RAM modules, which means I have to remove one of them to run memtest properly, and then swap them over and run it again.

My big problem is that whichever drongo designed the HP Pavillion doesn't seem to have thought that a user might ever want access to the memory cards, as they are completely inaccessible to anyone without treble-jointed wrists. I think the only way I can get to them is to remove the hard disk.

audiomick
February 16th, 2010, 01:02 PM
Something I noticed when I opened the case is that there are 2 RAM modules, which means I have to remove one of them to run memtest properly, and then swap them over and run it again.
.
I don't think that is quite true as such. I am sure the memtest looks at all the RAM that is there. If you are showing no errors, as you said you were, I think you can take it at face value. Only if you were seeing errors would you have to test the modules one at a time to isolate where the problem is.

I know what you mean about treble jointed wrists though...;)

DawnLight
February 10th, 2012, 07:21 PM
Bear in mind that flashing the BIOS nearly always voids any warranty that you might still have.

As far as I've come to understand in my 18 years of computer nerdiness flasing BIOS doesn't void warranty (https://encrypted.google.com/search?client=ubuntu&channel=fs&q=does+flashing+bios+void+warranty%3F&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8).

oldos2er
February 10th, 2012, 09:39 PM
Closed, necromancy.