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Shuttle SD37P2 and Vista RC1 update

September 23rd, 2006

As I posted a few weeks back, I built a Shuttle SD37P2 with an Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 processor recently.  I decided to go straight to Windows Vista RC1 instead of installing XP and then later upgrading.

So far it’s been an interesting time, not quite as easy as I’d have liked.  I recently got a BIOS upgrade that handles having the proper microcode update.  Basically Vista and my BIOS weren’t both recognizing the new processor properly and this was leading to BSODs.  I like that you can now update the BIOS from inside Windows using the WinFlash utility.

My cousin works at Microsoft and analyzed the DMP file created by the BSODs I was getting and here’s what another colleague told him about my problem:

Well, while you are at it, you need to ask him to get an up-to-date BIOS on his machine…  Note that the BIOS did not supply any microcode update, so the processor was running out of spec until the new Vista update dll provided the latest one available. 

Below is my standard blurb on single bit error (and other hardware related) problems:

You might try running the Windows memory diagnostic tool which can be installed from http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp, but a failing memory location may be marginal and thus may not show up as a problem during the memory testing.  If you are running Vista, you can also bang on F5 at boot time to get to the memory diagnostics selection.  Vince Orgovan says that the memory diagnostic should run without any errors.  If errors are found, try re-seating your DIMMs, then re-run the memory diagnostic.  Many “hardware memory problems” can be resolved by simply re-seating the DIMMs.  If you still get errors after re-seating, you should replace the DIMM(s).

Make sure there are no temperature problems (like fans failing or skins removed), no low power issues (like being on end of daisy chained power strips) and that the BIOS is up to date.  Make sure the memory sticks and PCI cards are all seated correctly. Then if strange problems continue you may have to try swapping memory and/or other components…

Also, as you’d expect many of the drivers for the devices I use are either rather unstable betas or not available at all.  There is no support for my wireless logitech keyboard under Vista so I’m using wired right now.  The XFX 7900 GT (Nvidia) card I have seems to be running well under Vista.  The overall response of the system is so much better than my current box (2 Ghz P4) that even with Vista being RC1 it’s a better experience!

I haven’t fully migrated over to the new box, I’ll wait for more drivers to come out before doing that.

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