Unstable motherboard


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Old 10-23-03, 09:02 PM
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Unstable motherboard

A motherboard becoming unstable a result of time and use? In the past two weeks or so, my computer has become unstable. That is, it will shut down without regard to what is happening. I have pulled all the cards and memory and reinserted them, blown out everything with compressed can air, replaced the CMOS battery, replaced the power supply. I ran for one week with one stick of memory, then one week with the other, and got the same results. This motherboard is over three years old. There are no error messages, it just stops. The dmesg and syslog show nothing. They just stop. When it crashes while booting, there are no messages. When it crashes while booting, it does not do it at the same point. I cannot reproduce the crashes, they just happen. I was able to get it to crash twice in a row by trying to zip a 1 gigabyte file. Everything works like it is supposed to work, otherwise.
Iwill k200 motherboard
AMD Athlon 850
512 MB RAM
Nvidia Geforce MX400
built in audio CMI
Realtek NIC
Maxtor 40 GB HD
Maxtor 10 GB HD
Plextor CD burner
Crashes equally well in Windows XP and Mandrake 9.1

Suggestions or TigerDirect?
 
  #2  
Old 10-24-03, 10:36 AM
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with all the stuff you've done, i would make sure the mem slots were cleaned, then maybe redo the heatsink, and finally, put a stress test on the hard drive. Do your os's boot from different drives? If so, i would eliminate that. Does your board have a temp monitor? Check that. A board can go bad. You might try touching the tops of the caps on the board, and see if any are very hot. Maybe run with the case off if you dont already,with a little fan blowing through it,making sure it has good air flow.Do you have a chip you can swap?
 
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Old 10-24-03, 11:43 AM
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I boot the OS from separate drives.

I have a temp monitor. I thought it might be heat at first. I ran Seitathome, a number cruncher that always keeps the processor running at 100%, fired up Quake, and opened a browser. I ran all this for long periods of time, and never got temp above 140 degrees F on the chip. All this time the computer never crashed. The mobo temp stayed well within range. I have three fans, the large copper fan heatsink on the processor, and run the case open.

When I cleaned the other day, I cleaned everything. Included the fan on the video card.
 
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Old 10-24-03, 02:32 PM
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Guess you got a good reason to spend some money and get a new one!
 
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Old 10-24-03, 04:37 PM
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Are you sure it's the Mobo and not the Power Supply or CPU?
That's about the only other thing left

I'm with Tea, spend some money
 
  #6  
Old 10-24-03, 05:41 PM
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I replaced the power supply the other day. If it is the cpu then might as well get a new mobo at the same time.

Right now whatever it is will be competing with a new fuel pump.
 
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Old 10-25-03, 05:35 PM
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Before you start spending some big bucks, try a new surge protector and check the wall socket to make sure it's not loose.

They both can go bad.

Good Luck
 
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Old 10-26-03, 04:48 PM
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I have a computer that someone gave me witht the same problem. I'm sure I hvae posted here before about it, but never got anywhere productive with it. I still have the machine, but do not use. it. I went through all of the mothions you did Chris, and I have narrowed it down to the MB or CPU. (AMD K6-2 400Mhz, on a PCChips board) It has had several other problems, but this reboot thing is consistent. 98SE is the only OS that is truly "near" stable on it, although it will reboot at least once every several hours with 98SE. 2000 has been a mixed blessing on it, it used to work perfect, but once this random reboot bug started, 2000 and XP Pro are fighting words. I say spend some dough, a AthlonXP1800, 256MB PC2100 RAM and MB that doesn't have the absolute latest chipsets will cost less than 175.00.
I'm going to either salvage the parts out of the machine I was given, or wait until I learn how to identify the problem (or meet someone who can).

gj
 
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Old 10-26-03, 06:07 PM
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Green jacket,,,you can find motherboard/chip combo's for that chipset on ebay for as little as $10.00. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=51116
If you got that, you could figure out whether it's the mobo or chip. A cheap way just to know. local computer shops might have something simular for cheap also.
 
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Old 10-28-03, 08:49 AM
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If it is just locking up, I would suspect the video card (maybe even VGA drivers) or problems caused by heat, myself. I would not want my computer to make it to 140 degrees. I try to keep my temps below 50 C (122F) if I can.

If you can, try to download a copy of linux that boots and runs off of just the CD-ROM you could eliminate the hard drive or OS installs. Are you able to run it with a different (maybe borrowed) processor?

You can also download a program called memtest86 that will boot/run off of a floppy to check your memory.

If you can tell exactly what it is doing when it locks up that will help too.

Also, Windows XP has a startup method that will show the command line you may be able to tell the last thing that loaded before it froze. To get this to show hit F8 before the OS loads and select that startup option.

Troubleshooting is my favorite part of working with computers, I wouldnt dump this board quite yet.

* Edited - Added link *
 

Last edited by SafeWatch; 10-28-03 at 11:01 AM.
  #11  
Old 10-28-03, 08:52 AM
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By the way Green Jacket, I had the same problem with a k6-2 board, and solved it by increasing the voltage for the processor +0.2V. Ran stable after that. (watch the temps)
 
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Old 10-29-03, 08:27 PM
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The motherboard finally went south today. It trashed one drive completely, the other was unreadable. I had to make a fresh install of XP from scratch. The other drive is ruined.

What a drag.
 
 

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