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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been dealing with this issue for quite some time. When playing a DVD in PowerDVD, watching TV using MyHD, or watching videos with Windows Media Player, the computer would reboot.


My original setup was as follows:

Asus P4S533

P4 2.0

512meg Generic RAM

MyHD

Aopen GeForce 4 MX440

Sound Blaster Live! with Hoontech Adapter

60gig Maxtor 7200 Drive

80gig Maxtot 7200 Drive

Pioneer Slot Load DVD

WinXP

PowerDVD XP


I would get a blue screen of death, and the error would be, IRQ_NOT_EQUAL_OR_LESS, and the file associated is portcls.sys.


I thought the case was overheating. I took the case off, and ran several temp utils. Temp is fine even with the case on. Then I suspected RAM after reading a few forums about different errors and such. So I shelled out the money and bough 512meg of Samsung ram that is certified to work with this particular board. Didn't work. Then I read that AOpen's GF4 cards have IRQ issues. I checked and made sure that no cards were shared with the AGP slot, and that none conflicted in WinXP, no good. I then purchased an ATI 9000 PRO. Still didn't work. I sent the motherboard back to the manufacturer, and they sent it back and said nothing is wrong. I finally formatted the drive, did a fresh install of WinXP and Powerstrip ONLY. Opened up a mpg, and 20min later it reboots (no blue screen, just reboot, I think I need to change the setting in XP to see the error). I have replaced damn near everything in the setup. I believe the portcls is an audio associated file. The sound onboard is disabled. Could the SB Live! be the problem? Could someone recommend another card with internal SPDIF input, as well as External SPDIF input and a digital audio output (the square one)?

This is driving me crazy, it's intermitten, and my wife is about to kill me. Any and all help is greatly appreciated!


Dizzy
 

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From the information I've gathered from MSDN's portcls.sys page it looks like a sound issue either with the Creative card or some other sound card/driver you may have installed.


"PortCls is an audio port-class driver that Microsoft includes as part of the operating system. PortCls is implemented in system file portcls.sys as an export driver (a kernel-mode DLL) that provides kernel-streaming functionality for ISA/DMA and PCI audio device drivers. The portcls.sys file contains the following:


A set of helper functions that can be called by the adapter driver

A collection of audio port drivers

The hardware vendor for an audio device is responsible for providing an adapter driver. The adapter driver includes initialization and miniport-management code (including the DriverEntry function) and a collection of audio miniport drivers."
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you very much for that. I had put together that it was an audio file of some sort. I am downloading updated drivers for XP right now, and what do I find. "Fixes issues with WinXP compatibility"

I was going mad trying to figure this out. Thanks.


Dizzy
 

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Another possiblity is an overheating problem. The CPU dissipates much more heat when it's chanking out the MIPS compared to just idling.

Recently a friend of mine had a similar problem, the CPU would overheat when he was trying to compile a big program but ran normally otherwise.

Try a program like Motherboard Monitor to check if your CPU is getting too hot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
gdubois1,

That was one of the first things I checked. Ran a few probe programs, and I actually have a LCD displays I can hook up as well and monitor without the software.


I ran it for 10 hours yesterday without it rebooting. PowerDVD blew up on me, but the system didn't reboot! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Figures, I let my MyHD run all day the other day and it's fine. I turn if off, and let the MyHD scheduler start it to record CSI and Without a Trace last night. It rebooted 50min into it with a IRQ_NOT_EQUAL_OR_LESS in a pretty blue screen. Lovely STOP error, no files associated though. It proceded to do a memory dump and sit there until I got home.

Anyone have any other suggestions? Please?


Sean
 

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I get exactly the same thing in my desktop system, which is a P4 1.9GHz, Asus P4S333 mobo, and Gainward GF4 MX440 video card. My error is exactly the same IRQ error as you describe, and Win XP always reports that the problem is with the video display drivers.


I'm using the latest NVidia drivers (40.72?), but have tried countless versions of the NVidia and Gainward drivers, all with the same result.


It only happens when playing back video on an overlay surface.


Regards


John
 

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Some general comments...


There are two types of reboots; those caused by a software request (normally by the OS) and those caused by the mobo.


The mobo (not the BIOS) monitors a line from the power supply unit (POWER-GOOD). If this line is below the threshold value, the mobo latches the CPU into reset (which is how the mobo prevents the Power On System Test from starting before the PSU has come up to speed).


The main characteristic of a mobo reboot is that it is instantaneous and capricious - no error message, no warning; it just happens.


A software reboot occurs when some program logic determines that an error has occurred which is so severe that the system cannot be allowed to continue. Usually, it will attempt to issue some indication of the problem before rebooting, unless it has been instructed not to do so.


The main characteristic of a software reboot is that it is reproducible; if you do THIS (whatever), it crashes.


So, the first question is to determine the type of reboot, which may not be easy. If the problem is insufficient or poorly regulated power, it may cause an error before the mobo detects a dropping POWER-GOOD (memory bit drop is but the beginning; any micro-circuit in some component can fail momentarily to operate). And the problem is made worse by heat; as the temperature of a component increases, so does both its power requirement, but also the minimum voltage it needs for stable operation.


If the problem is random, consider hardware first. Don't forget the PSU (amazingly ignored) and check the temps; when the PSU is being pushed to the limit, a few degrees can make all the difference. If the problem occurs immediately after a component change (including software), consider that it may not be the component per se, but the power load presented to the PSU.


But don't fixate on one or the other; software problems can look like hardware and hardware problems can look like software.
 

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I was experienceing the same thing during DVD playback. Turned out to be bad ram. I'm using a 512MB stick of crucial DDR now and have experienced no such problems.


If you have another pc, try swapping out the ram. Make sure you always use high quality RAM, I've tried cheap ram 3 times in the past and have been burnt every time. Normally not right away, but problems seemed to pop up randomly (no pun intended)


Believe me, I feel your pain, it drove me crazy too!


-datapace
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
jrobbo,

I had a similar issue on one of my other machines. I an an A-Open video card, and the nVidia drivers are not compatible. A-Open actually has their own drivers. So make sure you get your latest manufacturer's drivers.



Here was my thought process as I went... It's a closed desktop case, and a tight fit, so heat was my first thought. I ran ASUS Probe on it, and hooked up an external temp guage. Hottest it ran at any time was about 44C with 100% load. I've got about 8 fans on this thing ;)


Next suspect Ram. Once I turned off the thing to have Windows automatically reboot, I could actually see the error and it looked like a ram error. So I bought HQ Samsung ram that it has listed in the owners manual for the motherboard.


After some research I saw that my video card had issues so I replaced the GeForce 4 card with an ATI 9000 Pro. No help.


Okay, now I'm thinking it may be software issue. I wiped the drive clean and installed WinXP and PowerDVD. Tried playing a DVD and same thing. Tired playing something in Windows Media Player and same thing.


So since the file that it was listing is a sound related file, I upgraded the drivers for my Sound Blaster Live! Value and no good. And to top it off, it stopped passing my Digital Audio through :( No 5.1 sound anymore! :(


So now I'm stuck. Not getting an file with my error anymore though. Might try a new sound card, might just but a new mobo with digital output. Not sure yet.


I don't know how to test the power supply. As for the type of error, if I turn off the option to have windows reboot on error, I get the blue STOP ERROR screen. Otherwise it reboots on it's own.

I'm on the verge of taking to a computer store, and telling them to fix it.


Sean
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, it seems to be happing more often now. I rebooted the computer and went to BIOS and saw the temp was at 130 F. So it may be a heat issue after all. I slapped 3 more fans in it (hard task to do since I have a cramped desktop case) and it's still doing it. So it may not have been a heat issue before, but it may be now...

Sigh.

Will it ever end?!

Anyone know how to cool a P4 2.0 in a DIGN case effectivly?

I've got a Zalman cooler in it now. It may be time to break out the dremel and mod it hell out of it.

Fans EVERYWHERE!!
 

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I have had the same sort of trouble - I have tried everything, new memory, new PSU. Updated video drivers. It has gotten so frustrating that I am abandoning the whole thing and will probably sell my HTPC on ebay!


I really wanted this to work. But when time-warner came out with the Explorer 8000 for 9 bucks a month I decided to through in the towel. It was really looking cool there for a while with the antec case and the lcd screen....


Oh well maybe in a year or two Ill try again
 
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