Is that the time? Well, I'm up late beating my desktop into some sense of behaviour. So far I've learnt that VIA 686Bs are cursed, Creative Live sound cards are cursed, nVidia GeForce 4's are cursed, and inserting a Promise Ultra133 TX2 into the mix seems to trigger all of the curses. I've pulled the Creative and dealt with *its* curse, but of course the others have just got more powerful in response.
And I'm fresh out of goats, too.
So, it's time to head deep into the mines of Moria, where few dare to tread... deep in the land of the BIOS, where the shadows lie...
Apparently there's this PCI Latency setting (which appears to be how long a PCI device is allowed to hog the bus for), and some devices default to rather naughty values (like 248 when everything else is at about 32). From what I've gathered a good setting is 64, but obviously that's no good if the graphics card has set itself to 248 (the max). So I've gone and set it to 64, and dealt with a few more ringwraiths in the form of such settings as Video BIOS shadowing (a big no-no with modern systems) and a couple of PCI tweaks. and now I emerge, but am I victorious? Or have I merely managed to stave off the attack for a time? Even worse, with my forary into occupied terroity have I incurred the wrath of Saruon and his pet wizard Saruman?
Hmm, seems like my tweaks have improved but not fixed it. Some googling seems to show that the model of motherboard above (the 8KTA3, I've got an Epox 8KTA2) has fixed this in the BIOS/hardware. So at some point I'll swap the motherboards over, as it happens that I've got one of those in a case (as it happens, the same case) going spare. Should be reasonably painless, shift the cards over, swap the CPU and PSU, shift the drives over (mounted on rails, so easy), and swap one disk cage for the other. About the only annoying bit is this will mean I'll have to deunk CPU and heatsink, and dig out the sillicon grease or whatever it is you use to stick them together.
Ah well, later on I'll have another bash at this. I have my suspicions as to where the problem lies, and am gathering the Rohhirm. To Helm's Deep we shall go, to prepare a small welcome party for the Urak-hai of the White Hand... (okay, I need sleep...)