Could this be a software problem or a hardware issue ?

Manish Jain bourne.identity at
Wed Nov 2 12:21:46 UTC 2016


I am on my second box which 'died' a while ago on account of a defective 
SSD, which I have now replaced with a brand new SSHD in place of the 
defective SSD. This system is a dual boot machine with XP and FreeBSD 11 

XP is working very nicely. But FreeBSD is giving me a syndrome : If I 
set the X driver to vesa, I get normal X display (with no drm, of 
course). But if set the X driver to nvidia (which should be the correct 
default for my NVidia GT 710 card), I get a strange screen with 'startx' 
: mostly black with patches of colours spread across the screen. 
Rebooting with the driver reset to vesa solves the problem.

Further (with the X driver set to nvidia), I spotted that my ttyv0 gets 
filled up with :

ata0: FAILURE - odd-sized DMA transfer attempt 5 % 2
ata0: setting up DMA failed

There are 3 components that I suspect could be the root of my problem[s] :

1) the motherboard (Gigabyte GA970)
2) RAM (Kingston DDR3 8 GB x 1, 1600 MHz)
3) the graphics card (NVidia  2 GB, GT 710)

All of the above are just 2-3 months old, the RAM probably the newest.

I would greatly appreciate any help trying to find out whether the 
syndrome I see in the system is a software problem or a hardware issue. 
Of course, if it is hardware, I request a hint what component is the 

Thanks & Regards
Manish Jain

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