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Old 05-29-2006, 01:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Motherboard upgrade - no experience

My computer has been dying on me lately, giving me the message "No boot device detected". I discovered that to resolve the problem I have to open the case and re-seat the IDE cable connecting the hard drive to the motherboard. This gets repetitive now that I have to do it daily to use my computer. So I think the problem is in my motherboard, not my hard drive (especially as this hard drive is less than a year old, while the motherboard is about 2+ years old).

Rather than buying a new computer, I want to instead replace my motherboard. But this is a pretty daunting prospect, since the motherboard is the resting place of all my computer's componenets, and any mistake will mean the end of my computer. I have absolutely no experience with this, besides having installed a new HD last year, so I'm hoping that someone can help me with the following aspects:

1. How can I tell which motherboard will be compatible with all my components?
2. What are your recommendations? (I'm hoping to spend no more than $175-$200.)
3. Eh....I'm having a bit of trouble getting my specs.... I only know my CPU specs, but I don't know how to get my hard drive name & type, etc....
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Old 05-29-2006, 02:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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1.First you have to find out what type of socket/slots your component uses.
CPU(amd/intel socket type)
GPU(AGP/PCI-E type or On-Board graphics)
RAM(184-Pin DDR SDRAM/240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM)
HDD(PATA/SATA/SATA-2)

2.You can get a good motherboard for that price.(need to know specs before recommending)
3.You can usually just look at the lable on the hard drive, it should show what it is.
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Old 05-29-2006, 02:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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first of if the mobo is still under warranty (and i mean manufacturer warranty) better rma it and save some $$

download everest click here , get into motherboard-->motherboard and take a screenshot

1) basicly by the current mobo specs , youll need to get a mobo of the same socket so the processor will fit , also if you have a graphic card and its not onboard it will need to have an agp slot , also it should support the same type of ram, all other parts should fit without issues as all mobos have ide slots for the hd/optical drives & floppy slot & pci slots for expansion cards , you probably have an ide hd but if its sata thats fine too cuz nearly all modern mobos have sata

2) will be able to recommend only after youll take that screenshot ^^ , it will cost much less than that

3) just use everest ^
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Old 05-29-2006, 02:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Wow! That Everest program is exactly what I've always needed!

Thanks for the quick response guys, let me just get my specs for you...

EDIT: Okay, here goes:
CPU: Intel Pentium 4, 2.00 GHz
Motherboard: I don't know what information you need, so here's a screenshot of all of it (except for the ID): Screenshot
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 6200, 256 MB
Sound Card: Sound Blaster Live, Type PCI
Hard Drive: Hmmm...it displays "WDC WD800BB-53DKA0" as the name, and that's all.

Do you need more information?
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Old 05-29-2006, 02:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That hard disk is IDE

The Processor is socket 478

The graphics are AGP

The motherboard needs to be micro ATX

Is your PC a prebuilt computer e.g dell since they use custom connections for the front pannel of the case (making it hard to fit a new motherboard) ?
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Old 05-29-2006, 03:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yes, it's a Dell 4400. :/
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Old 05-29-2006, 03:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Before you consider getting a new motherboard thry getting a new cable.
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Old 05-29-2006, 03:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You mean a new IDE cable?

EDIT: Well, maybe you can help me indetify the problem by listening to my problem.
I took a microphone recording of the sound my computer makes when it dies. (Yeah, I'm weird.)

Small sound file

Ignoring the loud humming in the foreground, in the background you should hear a humming sound that dies, clicks, rises, clicks, dies, rises, clicks, dies, about three times.

...The computer then restarts and displays the words, "No boot device detected: system halted".
Reseating the IDE cable resolves the problem for about 40 minutes, and then the computer freezes and dies spontaneously, making that sound again.

Based on all that, do you think I need to replace my HD, Motherboard, or IDE cable?
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Old 05-29-2006, 04:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It will be difficult trying to get a new motherboard to fit the dell.

So i take it your using a diferrent hard drive than the one that came with the dell, or is your new hard disk just for storage?
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Old 05-29-2006, 04:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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yeah that most likely what he meant , anyway sounds like its losing power and then powers up again , could be the psu or the hd itself , check the hd with dlg diagnostic
http://support.wdc.com/download/inde...id=999&swid=30 , also in everest get into computer-->sensor and if it shows the voltages take a screenshot (very unlikely in dell oem mobos) , if it doesnt show the voltages then get a digital multimeter from some local electronics store it will cost only 8-14$ adjust it to 20 DCV if its a manual one or DCV if its auto ranging and use it to measure the psu voltages , have a look at these guides
http://www.ochardware.com/articles/psuvolt/psuvolt.html
http://www.driverheaven.net/guides/testingPSU/

edit and when taking screenshots its best to save as PNG also if youll press alt+prtscn it will capture only the active window
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