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Old 07-01-2008, 11:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bad motherboard? I have replaced everything..

Ok.. I know this sounds bad, but I have been doing this for 13 years, so Im not a dummy... but I think my motherboard is broken.. haha

a month ago my pc started freezing during games and whatnot.. I chalked it up to overheating, so I added a case fan and cleaned it out very well... still locked up and would restart itself out of no where... even during movies now.. my 1st instincts were "hey, my PSU is f***ed".. so I bought a very nice 630w PSU.. still locked up and froze, but noticeable difference..

next, I bought RAM, new HDs, and DVD burner (I needed one).. still locked up and froze and restarted.. I was playing fable, and it froze, so I felt the heat sink, and it was so hot it **** near burned my finger.. so I bought a huge badass heat sink and fan.. still locked up and restarted.. replaced my graphics card.. still did it...

here is what WAS in my pc...
P4 3.2 HT with stock fan and heat sink
ECS p4m800 mobo
512mb ddr1 400
AGP geforce fx5500 gfx card
WD 80gb HD
380w PSU

NOW it has
same CPU with BIGASS heat sink and fan
same mobo
1gb ddr2 533
AGP geforce 6800 GS gfx card
WD 250gb HD
630w PSU


Sooooo.. yeah.. last night, I went to mess with the new distro of MythBuntu on another HD.. so I took all my other HDs out, and put this one in, installed the OS, and when it boots, it boots to some weird command prompt that IS NOT the regular *nix type of cmd prompt.. so I just said "hey, I will just install 8.04, and upgrade to mythbuntu.." wrong.. I used my other CD, that worked just fine on the same pc before, and it booted the same way.. tried a different HD, and it did the same thing..

so Im to the point now where Im 99.9999% positive that my motherboard is messed up physically.. but I am trying to figure out exactly WHAT is doing it.. any suggestions?

and no, its not the processor, because the PC wouldnt even function...
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Old 07-01-2008, 12:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bad motherboard? I have replaced everything..

Have you tried formatting and reinstalling Windows? You never listed that so I just thought I would ask. Also, your CPU could be going bad, and the PC would still function. It doesn't have to go from "working" to "dead" but can sometimes gradually degrade until it ultimately fails. Most of the symptoms could be a bad motherboard, but the stuff you mentioned towards the end seems like it may be an OS issue or even faulty cables/broken pins. Are you using SATA or IDE?

What does this command prompt look like?
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Old 07-01-2008, 12:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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yes.. i did list it.. different hard drive.. tried ubuntu.. it shouldnt matter which OS..

and yes.. when I did 1st start having the lock up issue, I have reinstalled, formatted, updated, etc.. like I said.. its a hardware issue.. not a software issue

No bad cables.. sata and ide.. tried them all... its not the installation that makes me mad.. its the locking up of the pc.. again.. NOT software.. lol.. different OSs, different HDs, different installs.. everything but the mobo and cpu have been changed..

the command prompt is a linux program of some sort that comes up.. called BusyBox..

and CPUs do usually go from happy to dead instantly.. I have never had one gradually get sick and die...

So, yeah... its NOT and OS issue.. im just trying to figure out what could have happened to make the pc lock up and restart all the time.. I KNOW its the mobo.. im just trying to figure out why..

and I usually dont use windows, and I already know about formatting and reinstalling my os's for issues like this.. I just want to make it clear, that its not software, because everything is acting screwed up with different HDs and OSs..
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Old 07-01-2008, 01:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bad motherboard? I have replaced everything..

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJYoshaBYD View Post
and CPUs do usually go from happy to dead instantly.. I have never had one gradually get sick and die...
Usually, but not always. I have had processors gradually wear down.

Have you disabled the onboard video after adding the new card? I'm sure you probably did or else it may not even boot to the new video card.

Which Motherboard model is it? The ECS p4m800-M7 or ECS p4m800 PRO?

The only reason I asked about the OS is because it can very often be software issues. Especially when swapping hard drives out a fresh install is almost always needed.

In the bios is everything recognized and set properly?

You never mentioned that you Linux OS's froze, just that they don't boot properly. You only said that your Windows froze.

It just "freezes", not Blue Screen? What version of Windows had you been using, what were all the different times it would freeze? You may want to run HWMonitor to see if your temps are indeed getting high, as you never mentioned if they actually were recorded high, but just that you "thought" it might be heat and that the heatsink felt hot (which it always will because even 50C, which is a high but still safe temp, is over 120F).

I don't think a motherboard would be the main cause of lock ups. It's just not likely. The most likely causes would be software, heat, RAM, or even Hard Drive, so I would check for your actual temperatures first.
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Old 07-01-2008, 02:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bad motherboard? I have replaced everything..

"The most likely causes would be software, heat, RAM, or even Hard Drive, so I would check for your actual temperatures first."

All of that has been changed and is not overheating..

Like I said, it locks up in windows during gaming, and sometimes will just reset.. no blue screen... just lock ups..

Linux doesnt do much.. sometimes it just resets on me, but I only watch movies and stuff on there.. not much load on the system.. on my main HD, its dual booted with linux and windows XP media center.. its worked fine up untill a month ago.. tried just linux, just windows, updated, no updates, all drivers, updated drivers.. still freezes

its the p4m800 pro with the 3.2 HT P4

The BIOS picks everything up perfectly..

Lets just focus on the freezing problem, because the OS install issue is probably related, but confusing the main issue.. I only mentioned it, because its just one of the crazy things my pc is doing since it first started freezing and restarting...

so.. yeah.. just the crashing...

my linux OS boots just fine.. the one I installed a few weeks ago.. but now I take out all of my normal drives, and I put in a test drive... so I can test drive this new version, but it acts weird on boot..

when I have my normal dual booted drive in, both OSs boot perfect and run great, but windows will freeze 1-10 minutes into any game that need 3d rendering.. I have tried both of my graphics cards, checked bios, etc..

what a crazy *** problem, huh? haha

this is why I am saying its the motherboard or the chipset on the board thats screwed up, because I have replaced everything in the PC except the mobo and cpu... and I just ordered another mobo...

would my mobo have gone bad from running my system hard as **** for 3 years with that weak power source? I replaced it, but I could imagine undervolting the whole system for an extended period of time could hurt the board...

I can 100% guarantee that the CPU is not overheating.. not after that huge fan and heat sink thats on it...

Im pretty sure that the gfx card isnt the issue, cause it does the same thing with both fx5500 and the 6800 gs...

I have hella drives laying around.. after the first few reinstalls on one HD, I popped in another and it still locked up during games..

RAM is fine.. Brand new, with a nice dandy heat spreader and a fan blowing on it..

ive tried SATA and IDE drives, and they both do the same...
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Old 07-01-2008, 02:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bad motherboard? I have replaced everything..

Wow. That is quite a problem then. I guess if you have a new motherboard coming, give it a spin. If there is still no luck, I would guess the processor. But at that point, with all the upgrades and things being done, you'd just be better off building a whole new system with better peripherals.
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Old 07-01-2008, 02:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bad motherboard? I have replaced everything..

haha... waaayyy ahead of you.. lol... I just wanted to play some **** video games.. haha.. so I upgraded a bunch of stuff... I have it hooked to my tv, and its my media center (Linux baby!!) Im just so tired of my games not working, and I want to watch movies, but they are on the same machine!! haha

sooooo.. my friend is giving me an old mobo that uses pci-e 16x and ddr2 with a 775 socket, and I have a brand new dual core pentium (e2180), and I just bought a 8600 gt..

im going to take this current system and make it JUST a media center with MythBuntu... I got a bunch of ddr400 (my mobo can use ddr1 or 2) that I can throw in there, and quite a few extra hard drives... so this PC will just sit pretty next to my TV, and be networked so anything I download on the new system is accessible from mythtv, and I just bought a remote..

Now I just have to get it running right, and leave it alone for a few years after I put mythbuntu on it and get it hooked up..

the new system will be my gaming system.. I will still have linux and windows dual booted because I hate MS products, windows xp included (better than vista, though.. haha), because I only boot into windows to play games.. it will be savage for a few years..

I just cant figure out this new system.. I mean, the mobo being replaced should fix it.. I really think something got screwed up in the chipset..

could an overheating or underpowered chipset cause perm damage, such as this?

and you said you have seen a CPU just gradually die out.. what symptoms did you see? anything like mine? it wouldnt bug me, because those CPUs are dirt cheap...
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bad motherboard? I have replaced everything..

Well when my old CPU died it took about a week or two to fully die. I was able to keep using it temporarily (about 10-20 minutes) before the system would crash and give me a processor related BSOD. I tried changing everything out (being a system builder I had plenty of extras ), but nothing would work. Then I switched the CPU which was a Celeron 2.66GHz with a different one and boom, it worked flawlessly.
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Old 07-01-2008, 05:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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yea... im not getting those errors, and it only happens when gaming.. it sucks.. maybe I will just get a cheap dual core to throw in that mobo when I get it...

should I be looking for any messed up caps on the board or something like that? I could only imagine that if those were messed up, then it would cause errors like this... I know it makes cars act funny when caps in the ECU go out or are failing.. (Im into DSM's, and they are notorious for that)
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