View Full Version : G400 Wierdness in HL

11th December 1999, 19:18
Hi, I've been battling with my G400 for awhile now. A little background, I built this sytstem about a month ago,

G400 32MB DH (non-max)
Powerdesk 5.41.008 (Though I've tried 5.3x as well)
Abit BP6 with dual celeron 366's. (now overclocked to 550, but the problems with the G400 occured before I overclocked it)
AWE64 Gold
3com 3c5905b PCI 10/100 NIC
Western Digital 13 gig Expert drive (7200 RPM)
Pioneer DVD-104 DVD Drive
Lots 'o fans. (a global win FEP-32 heatsink/fan combo on each chip, 2 80cm case fans, 3 fan hard drive cooler)

Originally, I installed windows NT and 98 (dual boot). Under 98 and NT, the graphics got corrupted (rainbow colors and system freeze, sounds like the plaid screen of death I've heard mentioned). Occasionally just doing "normal" windows tasks, using netscape or IE. The only time I could reproducably get it to freeze was by trying to go into halflife. The menus were fine, but as soon as I went into the game, it would freeze. In openGL mode, it would plaid-screen and freeze, in DirectX, it would just freeze, but no screen corruption.
So I re-installed 98 and NT. This time, everything worked fine. I had it this way for a month, no errors at all, running HL in OGL mode looked great. I had 98 and NT on the same partition though, and I decided I didn't want to do that. So I repartioned and re-installed. No hardware changes, just like there were no hardware changes between the non-working and working installs before. The errors came back. Exactly as before.
Under 98, the g400 was sharing an IRQ with the USB controller, so I disabled the USB IRQ in the bios. Now it's got an IRQ all by itself (except IRQ holder for PCI Steering). Same freezes. Looking at the the Motherboard manual, it looks like it SHOULD have it's own bus master signal. PCI slot 1 shares a signal with the AGP card, PCI slot 3 with the ATA/66 IDE controller. Neither are in use. The 3com NIC is in slot 2.
At any rate, I disabled Bus Mastering, and DirectX mode of HL works. Performance is less than stellar though, obviously. OGL mode crashes out to the desktop with an invalid instruction in kernel32.
I disabled my com and parallel ports, just to free up IRQ's since I wasn't using them anyway. Here are my IRQ assignments:

0 System timer
1 Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural Keyboard
2 Programmable interrupt controller
4 Intel 82371AB/EB PCI to USB Universal Host Controller
4 IRQ Holder for PCI Steering
5 Creative AWE64 Gold 16-bit Audio (SB16 compatible)
6 Standard Floppy Disk Controller
7 Matrox Millennium G400 DualHead - English
7 IRQ Holder for PCI Steering
8 System CMOS/real time clock
10 3Com Fast EtherLink XL 10/100Mb TX Ethernet NIC (3C905B-TX)
10 IRQ Holder for PCI Steering
11 HPT366 Ultra DMA Controller
11 HPT366 Ultra DMA Controller
11 IRQ Holder for PCI Steering
12 PS/2 Compatible Mouse Port
13 Numeric data processor
14 Primary IDE controller (dual fifo)
14 Intel 82371AB/EB PCI Bus Master IDE Controller
15 Secondary IDE controller (dual fifo)
15 Intel 82371AB/EB PCI Bus Master IDE Controller
3 (free)
9 (free)

The corruption occured in NT and in 98, under 5.30 and 5.41 in 98, and 4.34 in NT, which struck me as odd. Exact same plaid corruption in both. I know heat isn't an issue, it's downright chilly in the case. http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/smile.gif (maybe not, but none (cpu, g400, motherboard chipset) of the chips get very warm at all.) And then it worked before the current re-install. (For 3 weeks or so. Plenty of long hours spent playing Halflife)
I've tried many of the things mentioned in the forums here, varying color depths and resolutions. No luck until I disabled bus mastering (which is not a solution). I've been talking to Matrox tech support; I heard back within a day the first time I contacted them, was asked to mail some more info (IRQ's, etc), and never heard back. (2 weeks later). Any assistance would be GREATLY appreciated. I like the features of this card alot, and part of the reason I went with it was because I've had good luck with matrox in the past (i've got a 4MB Mystique PCI in my previous main computer). Plus the xwindows support is pretty good. Thanks for reading this rather long post.


11th December 1999, 19:41
First suggestion would be to get that G400 onto IRQ 9.
IRQ7 is one of the lowest priorities.

11th December 1999, 20:25
Do I manually assign it an IRQ through the BIOS? And before, it was at IRQ 9, and still the same freezes. I'll try and reasign it.

11th December 1999, 20:57
Yes, you would do that in your BIOS, by manually assigning an IRQ to PCI1.

Another thing you might try is visiting 3com's site, and downloading the "basic" drivers for your NIC. Some 3com drivers and diagnostics don't play nice with the G400, and sometimes the basic drivers help...

11th December 1999, 23:00
Also, there have been numerous problems with early BP6's. There are new bios versions to help iron out the wrinkles with it, but there have been a BUNCH of reported problems with the BP6 and any powerful (high current draw, such as TNT, TNT2, G400, V3 3500, GeSpot, etc.) video card. Some people have had limited success with a new power supply to remedy the problems, others (read most) the only resolve was to have the BP6 RMA'ed. Check out some of the Abit newsgroups, there are a ton of "fixes" you can try.


12th December 1999, 11:07
Changing the g400 IRQ to 9 seems to have fixed it. Thanks! Gotta love that Windows IRQ assignment. :P