Dual boot/BSOD hell/page fault/ Driver IRQL error

  • Slainw
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Post 3+ Months Ago

This is a big one, I owe anyone who can solve this many beers.

I’ve got three drives – two IDE (running at ATA 100 and ATA 133), one serial ATA. The soundcard I’ve bought (E-Mu 1820) has issues with the serial ATA – if I want to play back any audio thru Cubase or software that utilises the ASIO driver on the soundcard then I get stuttering and distortion and general digital degradation of the sound (‘pops and crackles’). This can be traced down to the fact that on the A7N8X motherboard the serial ATA controller is separate from the south bridge, and runs through a PCI channel such that it becomes a ‘latency hog’, choking the soundcard. After finding useful forums and suggestions, couldn’t get round the problem so thought… let’s run all the audio and the operating system off an IDE drive so that the serial ATA isn’t competing with the soundcard.

• Attempt #1. Tried two XP’s on different partitions (one for audio, one for work), installed the latest drivers and software on one of them (the work one – configured as ACPI Uniprocessor PC), then moved over to the ‘audio’ version to install latest drivers there, which was set up as advanced configuration and power interface (ACPI) mode – so I could avoid IRQ sharing. Adjusted the performance to favour background applications (for audio), adjusted the virtual memory file sizes appropriately, rebooted and… low and behold blue SOD #1. Page fault in non page area error? Something about problem with NTFS.sys – address F815D266base at F8159000, datestamp 3B7DC5DO. Wouldn’t let me in in safe mode, and Windows XP setup gave BSOD, only way in was to format the entire disc. Microsoft site said something “useful” about this being linked to memory so I checked out the RAM with Memtest and the hard drives with Maxtor’s Utility, both came back ok. Double checked the timings in the BIOS, everything seemed ok.

• Attempt 2. Tried the same thing again (not as dumb as it seems) but used Partition Magic to hide the first version of XP from the second version to make sure that nothing incestuous was happening. And used BootMagic to switch between the two. Everything fine until… all drivers installed on both, put something in the Trash can on ‘audio’ XP, right clicked to empty and… BSOD #2. Same page fault error on rebooting. Wouldn’t let me in.

• Attempt 3. Thought maybe XP was having a problem dual booting with another XP, as I’ve always been able to dual boot with other version of Windows happily. Thought we’d try 2000 and XP. Started by installing 2000 on IDE drive, updated drivers, installed audio software, played back a file from SATA. Heard ‘pops and crackles’ thought best to play that back from the IDE drive, tried to copy it over and BSOD #3. This time changing between the page fault error and various ‘Driver IRQL not less than or equal’ - to what??? Won’t let me in, via any route. Safe mode = blank screen, or various pastel shades, mainly pale blue and green. Tried reserving all IRQ’s in BIOS, just got blank screen.

What next? :roll:

Full system spec.
 Motherboard – ASUS A7N8X Deluxe PCB v.2.0 (silicon image SATA controller)
 CPU – AMD Athlon XP 2500+ Barton core
 RAM – Corsair PC3200 Cas2 512MB DDR
 Graphics card – Gainward GeForceFX 5600 Ultra (760 Golden sample)
 Hard drives – Maxtor DiamondPlus9 120 GB Serial ATA-150 8MB cache.
 IDE 1 – Western Digital Caviar 20 GB ATA-100 2MB cache
 IDE 2- Maxtor Diamond Plus9 ATA-133 8MB cache 120GB.
 Pioneer DVD-ROM 105S. Pioneer DVD-RW 107.
 550W power supply (QTEC- go on, laugh)
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I've read over your post three times, and can't think of a single way I can offer help, but welcome to OZZU. There's many talented folks here and tons of experience so I hope someone can offer you some help shortly. My compliments on the detail you provided. I can't recall that I have seen many new members provide such detail on their first post. You have my compliments.

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