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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am having some big problems with my MDP-100 card and running Zoomplayer. When I launch ZP to play a DVD, the computer almost instantly locks up. Here's what is happening and what I have done so far.


I can have the computer on all day long and never have a problem. I can watch HDTV via the myHD card with absolutely no problems. But, as soon as I launch ZoomPlayer and try playing a DVD, the system locks up solid.


I first thought that the problem was heat, since I didn't have very good case ventilation. So, I bought 4-80mm case fans and installed them. It didn't make a difference. So, my next thought was that the myHD card was pulling too much power on reserve and when my video card kicked in to process the DVD stream, it was taxing the PSU. So, I went and bought a 600W dual-fan aluminum case PSU. Got everything hooked up and still got the same thing.


Now, if I take the myHD card out of my computer, I can watch an entire movie without a single hiccup. As soon as I put the card back in...whammo! I've tried updating my mobo's chipset with the latest 4-in-1 drivers, updated myHD's software to the 9-17-03 version, downloaded the Omega drivers for my video card and nothing makes a difference. I went as far as to take the RAM out and replace it with another one and also tried my ATI Radeon 9500 dual-out card and got the same exact results. I also juggled the locations of my PCI cards, trying the myHD card in each of my PCI slots hoping to resolve my problem.


Here's my systems specs:
  • ASUS A7V-M Motherboard
  • 128MB PC-133 RAM
  • AMD Duron 900MHz Processor
  • ATI Radeon 64MB DDR VIVO
  • Generic DVD-ROM drive
  • Volcano 6Cu+ CPU cooling fan
  • myHD MDP-100 HDTV Tuner Card
  • Zoltrix Nightingle Pro 6 soundcard with SPDIF daughter card
  • 4-80mm Case Cooling fans
  • 600W AMD-Approved PSU
  • Win2K
  • Zoomplayer (using Sonic Cinemaster video + WinDVD audio + ffdshow)
  • ffdshow
  • Omega Radeon Drivers 2.7.48
  • Powerstrip


Does anyone have any ideas on what is causing my problems? Is the myHD card defective? Do I have an IRQ conflict or some other sort of hardware conflict? I don't want to have another computer in the HT for JUST the myHD card. It would be too much equipment and too much hassle for me to try and teach my wife how to switch between computers.
 

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"the computer almost instantly locks up."


The main reason for lockups is usually IRQ conflicts. Removing the card practically confirms that this is the problem since the IRQ demand for MyHD is now gone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was leaning towards it being an IRQ conflict, but would the conflict only be obvious once ZP is launched and a DVD is trying to be played? As I said earlier, I can watch HDTV to my heart's content and/or keep the computer up and running without a single hangup. But just as soon as I launch ZP (or any software DVD player as I have now discovered), it instantly hangs and I have to hit the big button on the front.


Now, if it does prove to be an IRQ conflict, is there a workaround? I know that IRQs can usually be reassigned, but I'm not sure of the procedure and also not certain that doing so will fix my problem.
 

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bugman-


I cannot 'guarantee' this, but I will sure strongly suggest it... the problem is your Via-chipset motherboard!


If you can afford about $125, buy the Asus A7N8X motherboard (and maybe add $70 or so for a 2-gig+ CPU). It will be maybe the best computer investment you have made since your MyHD, just for the reliability and stability improvements.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think I have figured out what the problem is...it's my NIC card. I ended up taking all of my PCI cards out and trying them one by one until I found the one that caused the problem. I added the NIC card last and sure enough, it caused the computer to lock up. I tried rearranging my cards to see if it made a difference where the NIC card was, but it kept causing the problem.


I have also gone in and disabled my COM2 port along with my LPT1 port to release a couple of extra IRQs. I assigned the NIC card an IRQ address, but it keeps giving me problems. I've heard that the 3Com and Netgear (which is what mine is) cards tend to be quite picky regarding IRQs and can quite often cause IRQ conflicts. The Intels supposedly aren't nearly as picky.


I must have this computer on my network, as I run Mainlobby from another computer to control every function on my HTPC. Is there a USB or Serial adapter that I can use to gain network connection without having a PCI card installed?
 

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Quote:
Is there a USB or Serial adapter that I can use to gain network connection without having a PCI card installed?
Yes, and they're dirt cheap. I got one for $16 at Fry's here in So.Cal. I bought it just to play around with, just in case I needed it for my HTPC, but ended up not having to use it thanks to my ABIT NF7-S's built-in Ethernet. So if you would like to grab it from me, PM me and we'll set something up ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Eswrite, I just PM'ed you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
First, thanks Eswrite for sending the adapter. I will be sending the money today.


Now, I played around with the computer over the weekend and discovered that my problem was NOT fixed, it just took longer for the computer to hang. So, there's still a conflict between the myHD card and something, and the something can only be either my AGP ATI Radeon card or my Zoltrix Nightingale Pro 6 sound card. As long as I take the myHD card out of the system, I can watch a movie just fine. As soon as I put it in, it locks up.


I'm thinking about getting another mobo to try out. This is the only thing I can think of to try. I'm leaning towards a Soyo VTA-Pro, so I don't have to buy new RAM or a processer (I've since moved my 1GHz AMD Athlog T-Bird back into the HTPC). I actually used this board at one time, until my power supply decided to fry it. I really liked the board when it was operational. I can get one fairly cheap ($50).


Anyone know of a really good deal on a mobo or even a mobo/processer combo?
 

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Are you using ACPI? I ended up having to reinstall without it so that I didn't have IRQ sharing conflicts. It's something of a pain (I am right at the limit for devices, and had to go so far as to disable my game port), but it has eliminated many of the conflicts I was having. Oh, and a trick someone told me... make sure not to put anything in the first PCI slot under the AGP. It shares resources with the AGP slot supposedly. Or so I was told :)


-MP
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Dumb question...what is ACPI? I might be using it and not be realizing it. As for the trick, unfortunately I don't have that option. My mobo only has 3 PCI slots on it, so I am forced to use all of them as I have three PCI devices (NIC card, myHD card, and sound card).


I'm also looking at a couple of Chaintech mobos. Anyone had any experience with this brand? The two specific units that I am looking at are the 7AJA2-N and the 7VJDA. The only thing that I see with the 7VJDA is that it uses DDR RAM instead of what I have. It probably wouldn't hurt for me to upgrade RAM, but it's an added cost (I can see my new XBOX and DVD Burner waving bye-bye!)
 

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I would also investigate FFDShow settings. I understand it takes a good bit of horsepower to utilize this and you are only running with a 900 Duron and 128Mb of RAM. See what happens if you disable it.

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I initially thought about that, but I've had this combo up and working for about 6 months now and have never experienced any problems until I added the myHD card. That's one reason why I went ahead and put my 1GHz AMD T-Bird back in.


I haven't tried playing a DVD without ffdshow, so I might try that tonight.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bugman72
Dumb question...what is ACPI? I might be using it and not be realizing it.
Quite likely you are if you just did the default Win2K install. It's the process that let's your software control a lot of motherboard features such as IRQ sharing, powerup/shutdown, etc; A lot of people have problems with HD tuner cards and IRQ sharing. Unfortunately it takes a reinstall in non-ACPI mode to fix it if that's the case.


-MP
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Does the install of Win2K give you the option of doing an ACPI based install or non-ACPI? I guess I could try installing a second hard drive and installing Win2K on it without ACPI and then move over my needed files and programs. Would this work?
 

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At a certain point in the process you have to hit F5 (or was it F6?) to force the install to present you with the choice. There's a couple of threads floating around here on how to do it. You can certainly try a second install to see if it fixes the issue before worrying about moving over everything else.


-MP
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I was reading this site on an "easy" ACPI removal, but it talks more about Win9X, ME and XP. I don't know how much of it will pertain to Win2K, though.


Do you think that I will still experience the same problems if I get a new mobo? It almost seems as though it could be more of a sofware-based problem such as ACPI than the board itself. But then again, I have no idea!
 

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*shrug* Not sure. I'd try reinstalling without ACPI myself before I plunked down the cash for a new MB (which might require you to do a reinstall anyway).


-MP
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I was just reading another article about removing ACPI and one of the suggestions was to remove all the cards and associated software, reboot, then go into the BIOS and change the option to "Non PNP". This, from what the article states, disables ACPI in Windows 2000 and keeps all PCI cards from being assigned to IRQ9 (which mine are). They say to then reboot with all the cards out, then shutdown and start adding cards one by one in a PCI slot that's different from where it was initially installed.


I'm not sure if this information is correct, but it's worth a try!
 

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Sure, give it a go :). In Device Manager you can see if ACPI is installed or not. Again, I'm not sure this will fix your problem. But it certainly did fix mine.


-MP
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I tend to think that ACPI is enabled, as the article that I referred to states that if ACPI is enabled some of your devices may be listed on the Resources Tab in Device Manager as using the same IRQ (IRQ9) and that you can't change the IRQ setting because the setting is unavailable. This is exactly what is going on with me. All of my PCI devices show an Interrupt Request of 9, no matter what I assign the PCI slot in the BIOS.


Yeah, there might just be some light at the end of the tunnel and no money out of my pocket!
 
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