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Xonar STX defective?

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by Decane, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. Decane

    Decane Ancient Guru

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    Hey guys,

    I received my Asus Xonar Essence STX yesterday, but I am having problems with it. When I cold-boot with it in my PC, regardless of which of my three available PCI-E slots it is in (two are 1x and one is 8x), I frequently get either (i) no signal to my monitor, which stays on standby indefinitely until I reboot or (ii) sometimes the PC will automatically reboot in scenario 1 although this has only ever happened with an OC, after which my bios tells me that my overclock caused system instability (yeah, right; I just tested my OC a few weeks back and it was rock-stable). (iii) If not the previous, then a BSOD after a short hang at the Windows 7 boot logo. After I have cold-booted though, I can usually get into Windows and install the driver, and once the driver is installed, the card works just fine in Windows... But even with the driver installed, it will often exhibit the above symptoms if I cold-boot (i.e. if I disconnect and reconnect the power plug into the wall socket and then boot). Occasionally, my PC will also BSOD or not give a signal to my display if I simply reboot from Windows.

    I first thought it might be a bios problem, so I reverted my bios settings to defaults (which included removing my CPU OC) but that did nothing to resolve the issue; even without an OC, this behavior still happens. I then thought that maybe it is due to a bad power connector or something so I switched around my cables and that, too, did not solve the issue. I also tried re-installing the ASUS driver four times after each PCI-E slot change (did I mention that I tried every available PCI-E slot?), but that did not work either. Finally -- and this next part is what makes me almost certain that the sound card is defective -- if I remove the soundcard from my PC, then with or without the driver still installed, none of the 3 problems described above occur. In other words, if I take the Xonar out of my PC, everything works exactly as normal (although I haven't tried with the OC).

    Is my STX faulty?? I just want a second opinion before I request an RMA because I bought it from an online store and the RMA process will take a long time if I send it away.

    Any suggestions for further troubleshooting or is this pretty clear?

    Below is a screenshot of BlueScreenView. The crash address is always the same and so is the bug-check code and the faulting address. However, I don't know how to read minidump files so I can't interpret the information I'm seeing in regards to pin-pointing where the physical fault lies if anywhere.

    Direct: http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/4695/bsodd.png

    PS: These problems started happening when I installed the sound card. And before anyone asks, yes I connected the 4-pin power connector to the card, and yes, I have uninstalled every other audio driver from Windows (incl. ATI HDMI audio) and disabled Realtek ALC889A from bios.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  2. nikavelli

    nikavelli Master Guru

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    Try using a different 4-pin power connector, try every available. Try testing the card in another machine. If it works without issue, there's no point in RMA'ing.
     
  3. Decane

    Decane Ancient Guru

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    I have tested every 4-pin connector inside my PC. With each one I experience the issue of the loss of a display signal or a BSOD upon loading Windows. Can't test in another PC.
     
  4. Decane

    Decane Ancient Guru

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    Just as an update, I have contacted ASUS and am awaiting a reply shortly. Basically, since my PC does not emit any beeps when it hangs indefinitely without a display signal, it seems very likely that the Xonar is faulty. I have also tested one of the PCI-E slots I tried installing it in, just to make sure that this is not simply a case of three faulty PCI-E slots (as extremely unlikely as that would be). Also, all the phase LEDs on my mobo stay lit indefinitely when the above symptom occurs, further confirming that my PC is repelling the Xonar for some reason.

    I will update this thread when ASUS responds to me.
     

  5. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Looks like some type of addressing conflict on the PCI-E bus.
    Are all your GFX card and other drivers up to date?
    I am having trouble reading your post because the pic is too wide.
    I would try another PCI-E port if you can. I would also try the card in another system just to rule out the card as having a hardware failure.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  6. Decane

    Decane Ancient Guru

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    What is an "addressing conflict"?
    Yes, all of my drivers are up to date, but I don't think it is a driver problem, because my PC often doesn't even get past the POST sequence with the Xonar installed. I receive no beep codes from my system speaker or anything. Nor is there any power to my keyboard, although my mouse sometimes gets power and sometimes not (the middle button is sometimes lit when this happens, but sometimes it isn't). Nevertheless, all of my system fans speed up, and my mobo's phase LEDs stay lit. Maybe my PC is having trouble identifying the Xonar during the POST sequence and then freezes before supplying power to other components / peripherals?
    Sorry about that; I removed the hotlink and just kept the direct link.
    Yep, I have already tried that; in fact, I have tried three, one of which (the 8x slot) I have confirmed to be non-faulty because I tested my GPU in that one and everything was fine.
    Unfortunately, I do not have another system I can test the card in. If you have any other suggestions though, I'm all ears. This problem has me stumped.

    PS: Thanks for moving my thread. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  7. heymian

    heymian Master Guru

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    Where did you receive your STX? Do you still have an exchange/refund policy on it? If you do, I would just return it if you think there's something wrong with the card. I can't speak for ASUS's international support but over here in the states, it is just awful. I RMA'ed my card and they sent me a lemon. How could that be possible? Check this link out:

    http://consumerist.com/2008/07/10-secrets-to-getting-better-tech-support-from-asus.html

    "10. Merchant refunds and returns are your special friend

    If you do have a problem with a new Asus product and are within the return or exchange window offered by your reseller (often 14 to 30 days), don�t waste your time calling us. Simply return the defective product for an exchange or refund. Generally speaking, returning a product to Asus (motherboards in particular), can mean a 2-3 week wait before you see your board returned to you. In addition, it�s likely a refurbished motherboard which likely underwent no extensive testing before being dropped into a Fed Ex box and sent back to you. There is a separate department on the repair floor to handle 2nd and 3rd time returns, and once you�ve reached that level, you r chances of getting a tested board improve marginally. However, these boards won�t be cleaned, and may have thermal paste, grease, smudges, fingerprints, etc on them. It�s no fun to invest $300 in a new top of the line board, only to have an issue with it and get one back that looks like Timmy kicked it down the street for half a mile before putting it in your box. Not fun."


    They don't even test first time RMA products. It's only after your 2nd or 3rd RMA when they actually start testing. My situation is PROOF of this. They sent me a Xonar ST that doesn't even work. I tested it in two computers. Device Manager does not recognize it and drivers will not install. Plus the card gets REALLY hot, almost burning my fingers.
     
  8. Decane

    Decane Ancient Guru

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    I ordered from okobe.co.uk.

    I already contacted them for a return but they said I need to have ASUS confirm that there is a fault with the product before sending it to them. Below is the interaction I have had with them:

    The reason I requested a refund is because okobe's return policy when they are out of stock for a product returned to them is to issue a refund, and they are not currently stocking the STX.

    I contacted ASUS via the link above, but I think I will give them a call tomorrow if they still haven't responded by then. Unfortunately, their hotline is only open Monday to Friday so I can't call them today.
     
  9. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

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    It's a TDR error (Timeout Detection & Recovery).


    Question: in your BIOS, is Plug and Play OS option yes or no?
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  10. nikavelli

    nikavelli Master Guru

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    This is why you always examine a retailer's return policy before purchasing. Where I buy, it's "No questions asked returns".

    I still think your best option would be testing the card in another system. Can't you go to a friend's house and test it on their machine? Brother/sister's computer?

    And don't bother e-mailing ASUS, your best option would be to call them. Read the link I posted earlier if you wanna know why.
     

  11. Decane

    Decane Ancient Guru

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    Thanks.
    There is no such option in BIOS.
    Well, I do have another desktop in Finland, but that isn't exactly helpful in this situation.. And no, none of my acquaintances have desktop PCs, only laptops.
     
  12. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

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    The BSOD is caused by your graphics card (display driver stopped responding). Can be be triggered for various reasons... possibly a conflict between the soundcard and display drivers...
     
  13. Decane

    Decane Ancient Guru

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    Okay, but how does this explain the other problem? Namely, that with the Xonar installed, my PC will not even clear the POST sequence? Surely that can't be caused by a driver problem since no drivers are even loaded before Windows starts to load, which never even happens when the PC hangs before clearing POST? It just hangs indefinitely before it even has time to emit a beep signal from the system speaker...
     
  14. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    It can be caused of the card itself is freezing/tieing up the bus.
    Needs to be sent back. I wouldn't keep it in my system either as there is a possibility it can damage other components if it is preventing a POST.

    I only have a second so I cannot read through, have you tried this card in another PCI-E slot?
     
  15. Decane

    Decane Ancient Guru

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    I am not currently using the card in my PC, precisely for the reason you outlined.

    I have tried several PCI-E slots, one of which I can 100% confirm to be non-faulty. Same story with each one: often doesn't clear POST, or BSOD's.
     

  16. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Bummer you have having such a hard time as they are great cards.
    Perhaps a repair got mixed into the refurbed cards?
    Don't put it back in your system as it is causing a major system error which is why it will not post.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  17. Tacoboy

    Tacoboy Master Guru

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    Sound defective to me

    Sounds like a defective card to me, it lock up your system.
    What make and model motherboard are you using?
    Get in contact with Asus as soon as possible.
    Have everything that has happen and all things you tried to do do to fix the problem written up and ready to send to Asus.
    Do not say anything about any overclocking, it would just work against you.
     
  18. gamerk2

    gamerk2 Ancient Guru

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    Wait a second:

    Bug Check 0x116: VIDEO_TDR_ERROR

    Basically, the GPU display driver is crashing and not recovering. Looks like a GPU problem to me...

    Might be PSU related if the GPU isn't getting enough juice though; maybe the 4-pin is putting the PSU under too much strain?
     
  19. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    A faulty card can cause all types of issues if it is interfering with normal bus I/O.
    I am pretty sure he tried it on another system and it gave the same issues.
    the card needs to be replaced.
     
  20. Decane

    Decane Ancient Guru

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    It is not a PSU / GPU problem; my PSU can handle the 25% OC on my Q6600 just fine without the Xonar in my system, but the second I pop in the Xonar and remove the OC, problems start. Surely the Xonar cannot be drawing more power than my 25% OC? And even if it were, my PC isn't drawing maximum power from the PSU during the POST sequence anyway; it only does that in games, but my system handles games just fine, even with the aforementioned OC. If my PSU were under so much strain that it couldn't handle the extra power draw from the Xonar during POST, then surely it should also not be able to handle the peak power draw during games..?
     

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