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w2100z keeps rebooting

807578 Member Posts: 13,959 Green Ribbon
I have recently purchased a w2100z Java desktop with dual Opteron 250 CPU's, and 4 GB's of RAM.
I have added to this computer a HD 4670 1 GB DDR3 card and I use two Maxtor 15K SCSI HD's in RAID 0 on a SEPERATE Adaptec SCSI HostRaid card (Don't worry, I'm aware of the HostRaid issues of the on-board controller).

The computer runs beautifully untill certain 3d stuff starts happening on screen, at which point it hangs for a few seconds and then simply reboots the pc.
I say "certain 3d stuff" because it really is a bit of a weird problem where a simple Flash 3d game on Facebook (The missus likes some sort of restaurant game) can trigger the reboot after just minutes or sometimes hours, a 3d Heavy game like Eve Online runs only for minutes usually (very very smooth btw untill it crashes) but when I play Unreal Tournament 2003 it can run for hours and never crashes.

At first it comes to mind that the card overpowers the system's AGP port, but I found that my old NVidia FX5200 does the same thing, but more often!

What I have tried so far:
1. Before even installing an OS I updated the BIOS with Sun's supplemental CD v2.5, this is the very first thing I did on this computer.
2. I have installed Windows XP 64-bit which only reboots with heavy 3d load and Vista 64-bit which is such a graphics hog that just displaying the mouse pointer reboots it with both the 4670 and FX5200.
3. I have switched off Fast Write option in Bios.
4. I have tried several different drivers with or without the Catalyst software from ATI.
5. I have checked 12V power output of PSU and found it at 12.2V while running (measured with multimeter).
6. I have installed Windows XP on a single HD using only the on-board SCSI controller.
7. I did all of this with everything I don't need (like serial ports, parallel port, SATA controller, SCSI controller etc.) disabled in the BIOS.

I am currently running this computer on an old NVidia Viva card with "standard VGA" driver just so I can get online and find a solution.
I did notice that unplugging the pc overnight somtimes resets the CMOS so tomorrow I will try to pry the battery from under the second cpu's mezzanine and replace it, but I don't think that will fix my bigger problems.
Tonight I will do a full pc check with the supplemental CD, maybe that can come up with an issue.

Please.... anybody who has any idea's.... I could sure use the help.

Oh... I don't know if this is important but when counting the RAM during the boot-up it seems to start at about 2000, counts up to over 6000 and then shows 4096 MB's as tested good.

Edited by: Muskiet on Sep 7, 2009 8:57 PM


  • 807578
    807578 Member Posts: 13,959 Green Ribbon
    edited Sep 8, 2009 2:58PM
    Little update:

    Memory test overnight gives me a bad DIMM.
    I took two DIMM's (one of which is the bad one of course) and with 2 GB's left I restart the diagnostic test finding everything good.
    As Windows Vista gives me a hard fault condition by failing within the first seconds of showing me a mouse pointer I use that as a test-bed for the system and on reboot I find myself in the same situation as before... the computer still reboots.

    Edit: oh... I rebooted the computer while having the multimeter hooked up to a 12 V rail and during the whole startup and reboot the voltage never left the 12.2 - 12.5 V range leading me to think that I can rule out a failure of my PSU.
    Also during the diagnostics the CMOS battery tested good... hmmm

    Edited by: Muskiet on Sep 8, 2009 11:54 AM
  • 807578
    807578 Member Posts: 13,959 Green Ribbon
    edited Nov 16, 2009 10:56AM
    In Windows, under System_Properties->Advanced->Startup_and_Recovery, disable automatic reboot under "system failure". The next time you get an unexplained reboot, there may be a blue screen with helpful information.

    I've also have a case of spontaneous rebooting on a w2100z with Vista 64-bit SP1, with behavior similar to what you're describing. Seems 3D applications (eg Microsoft Tinker) and/or video regularly triggered the rebooting. Unexplained reboots continued even when automatic_reboot is disabled. And memory tests show no errors, and no memory ECC errors, nor any other hardware errors, logged anywhere.

    Turns out for now, patching to Vista 64-bit SP2 seems to have resolved the rebooting behavior.


    Vista 64-bit SP2 didn't fix it. Spontaneous rebooting is still occurring with Vista. I'm suspecting power supply, or dirty power on the board (motherboard electrolytic caps), faults.

    Edited by: zs2011 on Nov 16, 2009 7:49 AM
  • 807578
    807578 Member Posts: 13,959 Green Ribbon
    edited Feb 4, 2010 11:46AM
    Found a bulging capacitor on the main motherboard near the I/O board connector:
    Chemi-con KZG 820uF 6.3v.
    This may resolve the rebooting instability problem. Still to do as of this writing; disassemble the entire unit, and replace the defective capacitor.

    The workstation spontaneous reboot instability was degrading over time, suggesting that bad capacitors could be a cause. Here are some of the other diagnostics I tried in case anyone else is running into a similar problem:

    Running with standard VGA drivers seems to result in a stable workstation.
    Swapping the video card with another, no affect (unstable system).
    Powering the video card with an external power supply, no affect.
    Removing the 2nd CPU board, no affect.
    Swapping the main CPU, no affect.

    Area of trouble appears to be AGP slot related, but isn't with the video card itself. Spontaneous rebooting triggered with video or graphics activity.


    Successful repair, after replacing capacitor TC35. The old part is definitely bad, and measured half its rated capacitance.

    Workstation operation is stable again. Need more run time hours to be more certain.

    Edited by: zs2011 on Feb 4, 2010 4:42 PM
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