Okay, so annoyingly I was “taken offline” (well, by my own devices) by installing some new RAM. New RAM that should have run fine at the EPP settings, although they don’t automatically activate with my motherboard (Asus PB5-Deluxe), setting it manually makes my system rather unstable:
Downtime number 1…my first bit of debug info
I also installed some new nVidia drivers at a similar time (180.40), and these in fact caused a problem when I didn’t uninstall and remove the old ones, but seemingly had nothing to do with this error. However it did BSOD separately with an nVidia driver error in Fallout 3, so I reverted to the old drivers for now. This is separate but equally frustrating, and I need a fresh XP install to really install the new drivers I guess.
Therefore, this error was my RAM doing something wonky – according to Google anyway. I at the moment have given up on overclocking it to the recommended and slightly faster settings, since I’d prefer a stable system. I can’t even seem to get this tester tool running for more then a few minutes – my CPU gets to 70 degrees celcius after a few minutes out of the hour test. Annoying!
I reseated the RAM, but I suspect it’s some setting or other in the BIOS, since it did it again (and a third unrecorded time):
Downtime number 2 (of many more)
I’ll have to get back to this error later. It could also be to do with my paging file being corrupted or somesuch by my motherboards software RAID, but since I turned off the overclocking I haven’t had the same problems, thus it really rules that out. The RAM is also dandy – ran Memtest a few times on separate occasions just fine, and I overclocked my previous RAM to a similar set of standards. We’ll see if I can get it working when I reinstall, and do things a bit more rigorously. With a lot of rubbish on my XP install, and me wanting to get my RAID sorted out better, it’d be good to test on a clean working install. I also could just avoid the whole issue and, you know, ignore the fact I can’t get the better timings and go for the slightly higher but more stable ones 😉
Also a shame I can’t run the /PAE flag on Windows, it simply can’t recognise more then the 4GB total address space (which, with my audio card and 640MB nVidia card, totals at 2.93GB of space available). Might try disabling a few more non-needed bits from my motherboard, but the extra RAM is welcome, especially since I intend to install a second OS in the form of Vista x64, which will make use of the extra RAM.
At least my PC will keep going for a while longer. Fallout 3 runs nicely on High, and I could probably up some of the settings if I liked – although the amount of times it just crashes is getting exceedingly high to the point of frustration now, with me not knowing why (since it boots back into the game just fine right after a crash…).