The PC that I built last year around Christmas time died this past Friday. At the time built it I wanted a compact computer so I had purchased the Antec Aria case. It’s a tiny case that only fits a MicroATX motherboard. I named it “Cuberon”. Consequently, due to its size, it runs hot.
After I finally got Windows Vista x64 successfully installed I started to get random lockups and reboots. After much troubleshooting I found that my two 1GB sticks of Rosewill DDR(400) memory were the cause of the errors. Both sticks had gone bad. So I ordered some more memory, this time some quality PNY memory with the nifty looking head spreaders. I didn’t want to spend too much so I only got two 512MB sticks. After I installed them I ran some stability tests and everything seemed good. Then I started running the Prime95 torture test, I ran it all night, then gave it an hour break while I checked email in the morning and then set it to run all day while I was at work.
Unfortunately when I got back home my computer wasn’t responding. I rebooted and all I got was a black screen staring back at me.
I blame part of the problem on my motherboard manufacture, Jetway. They are a small company that puts out decent boards but have crappy support. There has been no BIOS update posted on their website since March of last year.
Then when I had my problem installing Windows Vista I recieved very poor support as you can read from these emails:
I have the A210GDMS-PRO motherboard and recently purchased Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate. After installing Vista my display would only output 16 colors at 640×480 resolution. I checked the device manager and got an error (Code 12) Which states that the built-in video (ATI 200) isn’t able to run due to lack of resources. I checked around on the internet and found that other people have had this problem. Every solution that I have come across stated that they updated their BIOS to fix the problem.
When I installed Windows Vista I had the most current version of the BIOS already installed. Today I downloaded and reinstalled the BIOS you have posted on your website (A1GMPA04.BIN) and still have the same problem.
I am hoping that you will have a solution to this problem.
Jetway Support Guy
Please fill the form for me.
Please keep in mind that we have to recreate the problem with the information you have given us. Incomplete information will cause delay on solving your problem.
Ok, Here you go.
Jetway Support Guy
1. Please refer to the latest VGA driver for Vista:
2. BIOS Setup > Power Manager Setup > AMD cool ‘n’ Quite Contro > Disable
Please let me know if you still get the same problem.
Good Morning Jetway Support Guy,
I’ve found the problem. In the BIOS There is a setting for enabling UMA, Hypermemory, or both. I had both selected. It appears that I am able to enable one or the other, but not both.
Is this something that Jetway will fix with a BIOS update? I hope so.
Jetway Support Guy (2.5 hours later)
1. Go to BIOS setup \ Advance chipset features \ PCIE Timing Settings > Internal Video mode > change UMA+Hyper Memory to UMA mode
2. Remember to disable cool and quiet function.
Please let me know if you need any further assistance, thanks.
So, yeah, I wont be buying a Jetway motherboard anytime soon (read: Never!)
Instead I’ll be doing what I promised myself several years ago, to buy ASUS. My first few computers I’d always buy Abit motherboards, which were good at the time, their biggest competitor was ASUS. ASUS was second to none for reliability. But my Abit boards were more customizable and generally reliable enough. This was back in the day’s of Pentium 266MHz (for one build), Celeron 466MHz for my second, and an AMD Thunderbird 1.0GHz for my last Abit.
But when I started looking at motherboards again a lot of new comers had come into the market and took a lot of Abits marketshare, from what I can tell. But ASUS still seems to be at the top. This last time I took a gamble and lost with Jetway. But I now have on the way a new ASUS M2A-VM with a dual-core 2.0GHz Athlon and 2GB of high-end Kingston 1.8v DDR2 RAM with ECC. Things should be running much smother for me once I get my new baby up and running.
But all is not lost with the old parts. Christi’s computer will be getting some serious upgrades. She has an Emachine with an Athlon X64 with 512MB of memory. I swapped out that single stick with my new PNY fancy pants memory. Also I RMA’ed my Rosewill memory so once I get that back I’ll probably throw it into her PC also… she’ll be running with 3GB of memory! Then I’ll see if my trusty old Opteron 2.4GHz single core runs in her machine. That should keep her more than happy for a while.