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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,


The Background:


I posted a few weeks ago, but that thread concerned only DVD menu navigation and I've discovered that my problems are deeper than that. Plus, I didn't get many suggestions then... I am getting really, really frustrated and am beginning to rethink this whole HTPC thing for now. Except that the picture through my LT155 looks soooooo darn good! And the HTPC with TheaterTek works great for aspect ratio stretch to work with my ISCO II lens.


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The Problem:


I'm still having some menu navigation lock-ups. I'm also getting stuttering and pauses after I skip forward a chapter. Instead of playing, the movie frequently remains paused. Sometimes, the mouse cursor still works and I can Ctl-Alt-Del to the task manager. When that happens, it shows that

CPU usage is at 100% then it'll drop to 35-40%. Many times, however, nothing works except cutting the power to the PC.


I was, for about 15 attempts, unable to get past the main menu in the new Behind Enemy Lines I just bought. Maybe because the menu's graphic screen has continuous motion? The Play option is selected, but I can't progress to play (nor can I select any other option, such as Languages).


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The Equipment:


I've got a fresh install of Win2K on a re-formatted drive. I've got no cards installed except the M-Audio AP 2496 and the Radeon 7200. I'm afraid to install my Pinnacle or NIC cards until I've got this figured out. Here's my setup:


ASUS P4B with P4 1.6

Win2K SP2

512 megs Crucial RAM

Barracuda 60gb HD

Toshiba 1612 DVD ROM (I've also tried my Hitachi)

M-Audio 24/96 with the version 26 driver

Retail Radeon 7200 with 6025 driver

IR-Man with Girder 3.1 (no Evation stuff loaded)

TheaterTek (build 78)

DirectX 8.1

I'm using Logitech cordless keyboard and cordless optical mouse on USB, through a USB hub placed near the seating position. I don't, right now, have the Logitech software installed since I'm trying to eliminate potential conflicts and keep this thing simple.


The Barracuda's on IDE 1 as a master. The DVD's on IDE 2, also as a master. Both have DMA enabled. HW acceleration on the ATI seems to be working and is enabled in TheaterTek.


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The Plea:


Help! If anyone has any suggestions for me, or sees anything I did wrong, please let me know. I'm about willing to try anything now!


Thanks much,


Ross
 

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Can you chapter switch the DVD?


What is consuming all the CPU power - TT?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by RossVTaylor



I'm still having some menu navigation lock-ups...


The Play option is selected, but I can't progress to play (nor can I select any other option, such as Languages)....


I've got a fresh install of Win2K on a re-formatted drive...


Help! If anyone has any suggestions for me, or sees anything I did wrong, please let me know. I'm about willing to try anything now!
I had most of the same issues. During my installation I missed 2 very important drivers for my MB that control ACPI and ATA. I was also not installing things in the right order. You may need to check your MB site and see if there are any drivers.


Check out this thread. It really sounds like the same thing. Sure was frustrating for me as well.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=140714
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ramick and Scott,


Thanks for responding. I can't, when frozen, switch chapters. I hadn't seen the thread about the ATA driver and I've not done that, so now I've got a project when I get home. I'll re-install a fresh OS and load those drivers first.


This sounds promising! Oh, the light!


(Thanks also to xcel for providing that info in the other thread.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay, I'm about to try the suggestions but I've got a couple of questions:


Not that I want to cheat, but can I delete the ATI and M-Audio drivers I've got and then install the Intel drivers. Or, must I nuke and pave with a fresh Win2K install?


Scott mentioned installing the ATA drivers, and so did the Intel link he referenced in the other thread. But, reading the Intel link they seem to suggest that I install the Intel Application Accelerator instead of the ATA storage driver. Is the IAA the better way for me to go with Win2K?


The Intel site warns that IAA isn't compatible with the older version of Active Monitor and urges that I install the new version. If I don't plan on running it at all, do I still need to install Active Monitor? Is it worth doing? (I'm not familiar with that tool)


Am I correct in presuming that I need to install the Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility first? Could that be the source of my troubles thus far, because I've not done that before? What does it do, exactly?


Thanks!!!


Ross
 

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You don't mention your power supply in your systems description.


Todays computers (P4's and Athlon's) usually need something better than that old generic 300 watt PSU.


One important consideration is the *Total Combined Output (TCO)* of the 3.3 and +5 volt rails.


Generally these rails have an effect on each other. Draw loads of current on the 3.3 rail and that leaves less on the 5 volt rail and the reverse is true also.

A sudden voltage drop on either rail can cause all kinds of problems. Lockups and freezes being common.


Check the PSU's mfg's website and see if they list the combined output of the 3.3 and 5 volt rails, like Enermax does .

If your PSU doesn't have a minimum of 180 watts TCO, try another one.


Hope this helps

Trik
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Trik, I should have mentioned the PSU, you're right. I've got a 350W Enermax Whisper. I have another Sparkle that I can swap out if I get desperate for solutions. Thanks for the great info, though!


I installed the Intel chipset software installation utility and IAA this morning. I tried a new movie and had no troubles at all! I'll try some of the others later today. If I still have issues, I'll pull off the USB keyboard and mouse as hard_eng suggests. Could those really be a likely cause of my troubles? That'd be a bummer.
 

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Ross:


You can use Motherboard Monitor to keep track of your voltages.

If your 3.3 drops below 3.28 or the 5 drops much below 4.95 you might want to consider upgrading to a 400 watt (or greater) PSU with a minimum TCO of 220 watts.

More would probably be better.

You have a pretty loaded system and all those devices draw some power off the 3.3 and/or 5 volt rails.


OCWorkbench has a psu faq that they put together for people having problems with the ECS K7S5A motherboard, but the information in it can be applied to any motherboard.


GL with your problem.

Keep us posted!


Trik
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by RossVTaylor
Scott mentioned installing the ATA drivers, and so did the Intel link he referenced in the other thread. But, reading the Intel link they seem to suggest that I install the Intel Application Accelerator instead of the ATA storage driver. Is the IAA the better way for me to go with Win2K?


Ross
When I was chosing which to install, I chose the ATA drivers since I have a 1.13 Pent III and Win2k. I didn't see the benifit. Since you have a P4, you were right in chosing the IAA.


Hope that worked!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
> You have a pretty loaded system...


Wow, I sure don't think of this as loaded right now! I'm trying to strip away all the extras and I'd have thought a 350W PS would be fine. If I can't fix the freezes, then I'll certainly look at bigger. Bigger is better, I guess. :)


After installing the Intel IAA and UDMA drivers, I was all hopeful when I went through an entire movie freeze-free. But tonight, during Eraser, it locked up after skipping ahead a chapter.


The movie's frozen, TheaterTek won't respond at all, CTL-ALT-DEL has no effect, but the mouse cursor still moves. This seems sooooo strange to me!


Off come the USB keyboard and mouse, then...


Ross
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by RossVTaylor
> You have a pretty loaded system...


Wow, I sure don't think of this as loaded right now! I'm trying to strip away all the extras and I'd have thought a 350W PS would be fine. If I can't fix the freezes, then I'll certainly look at bigger. Bigger is better, I guess. :)
350W Enermax PS has enough wattage for your system and it is not causing problems unless it is broken.


Try to run some good test program in a loop, like 3Dmark2001. If it runs without problems for hours your hardware is ok.


Problem cause is more like operating system, drivers or s/w player related.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
TK, I downloaded 3Dmark2001 this morning and I'll give it a try if I need to.


I'm pretty optimistic right now, since I unplugged my USB 4-port hub and took off my Logitech Cordless Freedom Optical mouse and keyboard. I've got a standard keyboard and PS2 mouse installed and I ran through Eraser again. Last night, this disc froze after a chapter skip. In fact, I've had to be careful with all my discs to not skip quickly through chapters. Now, without the USB keyboard/mouse, I couldn't get Eraser to stutter or freeze up even though I abused the pause/skip/FF functions. I spent half an hour doing this, using both the keyboard and Girder/Pronto keys, and never had a glitch.


I've got more work to do, and more time to spend, before I declare this *the cause* but it sure looks good thus far.
 
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