FIC VA-503+ IDE noise problem

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computerpartshunter
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FIC VA-503+ IDE noise problem

Post by computerpartshunter » Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:18 am

One annoying problem I have been dealing with is the IDE interface stability issue of my FIC VA-503+ mainboard.
When I use both Primary and Secondary IDE channels simultaneously (i.e., Primary IDE for a hard drive and Secondary IDE for a DVD-RW drive), both with 40 conductor IDE cables, I always get disc errors when I check the disc integrity of Ubuntu CD or DVD (8.04 LTS CD-ROM or 10.04 LTS DVD-R).
I always used to think of this as the optical lens problem of the DVD-RW drive I tried, but when I test the same unit with other mainboards, it will not give the same error.
So, one day I decided to use the Ultra ATA/66 80 conductor cable for either the Primary or Secondary IDE channel, and the disc integrity problem went away.
Also, I discovered recently that if I don't use the other IDE channel (i.e., use only Secondary IDE or Primary IDE to hook up the DVD-RW drive), then I no longer encounter the same disc integrity problem.
In other words, this happens only when I use both IDE channels simultaneously with both 40 conductor IDE cables.
Are the 2 small electrolytic caps near the IDE channel pin headers on the FIC VA-503+ going bad, or did this mainboard always had signal integrity problems with IDE channels?
Let me know what you think about this.
I prefer to use two 40 conductor IDE cables personally, but I am surprised of the noise reduction capabilities of an Ultra ATA/66 80 conductor cable.

computerpartshunter

Jim
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Re: FIC VA-503+ IDE noise problem

Post by Jim » Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:41 pm

It was my experience when working with this type of mobo, (FIC VA-503+) that this type of board requires VERY high quality RAM in order to function properly. Not sure what is causing your problem, but you could try using top quality RAM in it if you have any, and see if that solves your problems.
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

computerpartshunter
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Re: FIC VA-503+ IDE noise problem

Post by computerpartshunter » Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:52 am

Hi Jim,

Actually, my FIC VA-503+ mainboard's RAM is very stable.
I have used various 256 MB PC100 SDRAM DIMMs, and none that I know will not work with this system.
I have ran Memtest86+, and it simply won't give me memory errors even if I use the most aggressive settings I can think of FIC VA-503+ memory related settings.
Personally, this is surprising considering that I used to think of that era Socket 7 VIA Technologies/ALi/SiS chipsets had variety of compatibility issues.
That being said, the IDE channels (now called PATA) do have serious issues as described in detail in the first post.
I am wondering if the small TEAPO electrolytic caps have dried up, and maybe I should replace them.
Speaking of issues with RAM, I am having real problems with GA-5SMM, but I will discuss that on that thread.
If you know any known issues with the IDE channels, let me know.
I mainly use this to play around with fairly "recent" Linux (Ubuntu 8.04 LTS, Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, and Lubuntu 10.04) so I have no idea how this boards handles on Windows 2000/XP.

computerpartshunter

computerpartshunter
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Re: FIC VA-503+ IDE noise problem

Post by computerpartshunter » Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:57 am

Does anyone have experience (position or negative) of the mainboard's onboard IDE provided by VIA Technologies VT82C586B southbridge?

computerpartshunter

Jim
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Posts: 1745
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Location: Toronto

Re: FIC VA-503+ IDE noise problem

Post by Jim » Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:24 pm

There are a number of posts about FIC VA-503+ boards at this forum, including one by the author of K6 Speed, (a program designed to allow you to reset the speed of your processor from a window on your desktop.) Do a search for FIC VA-503+ and see what you can find.
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

James
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Location: N37° 54.0553', W121° 25.3657'

Re: FIC VA-503+ IDE noise problem

Post by James » Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:45 pm

I will have to check my FIC VA503+.

I had done a recent rebuild using only a 10GB drive and an AOpen DVD drive. Windows 98SE was running fine before I got bored and decided to change the hardware by adding a 2nd disk to install FreeBSD.

I had a hard time for it to recognize all 3 devices. I had wanted to have DVD on 2nd IDE master, with the 2 hard drives on the primary, with the WD 240MB as master for MS-DOS 6.22 and the 10GB for Windows 98SE.

The only way I could get the BIOS to recognize all 3 devices was to have the DVD drive on primary as master (ugh) and then the 2 IDE drives on secondary.

Tried the FreeBSD install wich completed, but after reboot, did not suceed.

I then decided to only connect the 240MB drive and installed MS-DOS. Next is to connect DVD drive tonight now that I have driver downloaded. I'll check on Ubuntu memtest.

James
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Re: FIC VA-503+ IDE noise problem

Post by James » Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:36 am

Hi,

I got my rig with IDE HD on primary master and AOpen DVD IDE on primary slave and then booted the Ubuntu 8.04 and ran the memtest and saw no issue. When I have chance today, I will try the disk integrity. This disk is a "known good" as I have used it to install Ubuntu to my old IBM T30 laptop.

James
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Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:51 am
Location: N37° 54.0553', W121° 25.3657'

Re: FIC VA-503+ IDE noise problem

Post by James » Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:08 pm

Just completed disk integrity test on FIC VA-503+ with WD 240MB HD on Primary Master and AOpen 16X DVD on Primary Slave and it passed without issue. Always best to use high quality cables, etc. Mine are rounded clear ones from web site (no idea where, been awhile). So, thumbs up to FIC VA-503+. Note: I am using high quality Hynix RAM as Jim mentioned to me in post awhile back.

James
Junior K6'er
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:51 am
Location: N37° 54.0553', W121° 25.3657'

Re: FIC VA-503+ IDE noise problem

Post by James » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:09 am

I wanted to follow-up to my post as I had issue with more than 2 devices. I now have IDE HD on master primary and IDE DVD on primary slave. the 2nd disk is on secondary and as a single drive, I needed to use carrier select and not master. Ooops. It all works. I ran test again and same good results. No issue with FIC VA-503+.

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