Ah the joys of finicky hardware!

After spotting a good deal on PC3200 RAM I finally broke down and upgraded my desktop from it’s lowly 1GB of RAM (2x512MB) to a slightly more roomy 2GB (2x1GB). The RAM itself is from the OCZ folks who also made the 512MB sticks I was using previously. The motherboard is a DFI Lanparty UT NF4 SLI-DR Expert (whew!) which means it’s a performance board which means it’s finicky as hell. Using the stock BIOS settings it wouldn’t boot into Windows at all, but I managed to get out to the Official OCZ Support Forums and found that they do an excellent job of listing off how to get their RAM to work with various motherboards. They had a listing of BIOS settings for me to try specifically for the DFI NF4 motherboards and that particular model number of RAM.

And it works, mostly. Windows boots up and will run, but it gets upset anytime it feels there’s too much sustained or heavy hard drive access. Which means there’s a 50/50 chance immediately after the desktop appears that the system will crash to a warm boot. If I start a large file copy, such as backing up folders in preparation to restage because it’s been awhile since I’d last done it, that’ll go for a short time and then a crash to a warm boot. If I try to play WoW it’ll load up and run for a bit and then when it does some heavy disk access, say when I enter the city Shattrath which has a lot of people in it, it’ll crash to a warm boot. For standard stuff like browsing the web or writing blog posts it seems like as long as it makes it past the initial start up of Windows it’ll run fine. It’s been crash free for the past hour and a half. But I know if I try to backup those files it’ll die within minutes.

Obviously I’ve got some tweaking to do, but I’m having trouble figuring out which setting needs the tweak. So I registered on the OCZ forums after doing much searching there without success (most folks can’t get their machines to boot at all) and I posted about my unique situation in hopes someone can offer some ideas. In the meantime it looks like I’m limited to lightly disk intensive applications.

Today was a long and rough day at work.

In total the power outage last Thursday caused issues with some 53 motherboards in total and I had to touch each and every one of them today. When I got lucky it took nothing more than a reboot to get them back up and running and when I wasn’t lucky I had to replace the motherboard.

I wasn’t as lucky as I’d have liked to have been today.

By the end of the day there was still a good 9 or so motherboards I wasn’t able to get to. Afternoon shift should be able to whip them out, though, and hopefully tomorrow will be a little closer to normal. I was on my feet most of the day and I am a sore puppy as a result. With any luck I’ll be back to regular blog posting tomorrow. For now, I’m going to go relax.