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Old 10-27-2005, 10:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
o29
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Default Possible motherboard failure? Maybe? Any help is appreciated.

Let's start with some specs of things that could be relevant to this:

Athlon 64 3400+
1024 RAM
150GB Harddrive set as master
250GB Harddrive set as slave
DVD-ROM
CD-RW

Ok, so here we go.

I bought a new hard drive for my computer. 250GB. The one I have now is 150GB.

So I get it, install it, and all is well. Sort of. I actually broke two ribbon cables while trying to plug them in. Those things are so crappy, and awkward to plug in. I've run out of spare ribbon cables, but as long as the last one doesn't break...

Also, when they broke, the actual part that plugs into the harddrive got stuck both times, so I had fun trying to pry it off with pliers. It didn't want to come out.

So I set the 250GB to slave, and boot up Windows XP.

The first thing I notice is that Windows is taking about 2x longer than usual to boot up, but I don't think twice about it. I put on some victory music in celebration as soon as it's done, and I notice that the music starts stuttering from time to time. Only, though, when my computer's loading something. Now, it has to be semi-CPU intensive to make it stutter, but I'm doing things like loading Firefox that's making it stutter, and that's nowhere near what should lag any sound.

So not only does the sound lag, but my mouse will also kind of get choppy for a few seconds while this is happening. My CPU usage seems to spike up to 100% also, which is kind of normal, but not as randomly as it's doing, and not for such long periods.

So I try removing the 250GB and booting again from the 150GB. It's still doing it. I format the 250GB, boot from that hard drive, load XP on it, then try it on a fresh XP install. That should, by all means, solve any software problems. It still does it.

I flash my BIOS and update it, the only thing I could possibly think of left to do. It's still doing it.

Now, just a little earlier my computer stopped detecting my CD and DVD-ROM. I opened up my computer. I figured it might be the slot that it's plugged into, so I tried plugging the ribbon cable from the hard drive into the I/O card on the motherboard where the DVD and CD-ROM plug in...and it didn't detect it. I plug the ribbon from the CD and DVD-ROM into the I/O card where the hard drive was working, and it detects the CD and DVD-ROM.

So, one of the I/O cards on my motherboard seems broken, I guess. If one is broken, what's saying the other one isn't damaged to the point where, say, it has trouble loading data in from the harddrive? This might cause the stuttering, and would also kind of explain why it's taking longer to boot up XP.

Basically, I'm thinking that I'm going to have to buy a new motherboard.

So, my question is, what do you think? Is it logical to conclude that it's the motherboard causing the problem? Is it just a coincidence that one of the slots on my motherboard isn't working, and that fact's not related to the stuttering?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I'd really rather not have to buy and install another motherboard unless I absolutely have to. I also don't want to buy a motherboard then realize after that that wasn't the problem.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-27-2005, 11:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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When working with the motherboard it's possible that you broke it either physically, or with electro static discharge. I really dont see how you broke ribbon cables because every computer I've ever worked with has had no length problem with the EIDE cables. Sounds like you were being a bit rough with this and that could have been what did it.

-My only other guess, and this is a long shot, is that maybe your PSU is having problems.
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Old 10-27-2005, 11:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It might have been being too rough, but I tried to be more gentle on the ribbon cables when I was removing them from the motherboard slot. I was slightly more rough on the side connected to the harddrive, and I seemed to have more trouble unplugging it from that side. It didn't break until after about the 20th time I'd unplugged it, and the break of the ribbon cable was only on the side by the harddrive.

Though it's still very possible.

I thought it was a power issue at first, which was why I disconnected the second harddrive. I also disconnected my video card (Radeon 9800's need their own power supply) to see if that would help either, and it didn't.

I'm not an expert with messing with the power supply, though.

Oh, and another thing I still haven't tried that probably won't work but is worth a shot: when I loaded XP on the 250GB and still had stuttering issues, the 150GB was still connected. I still haven't tried using the 250GB as a master drive, so if anyone thinks that there's a chance that would do anything, I'd be willing to try.
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Old 10-28-2005, 08:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Sounds like the motherboard to me.

Dan
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Old 10-28-2005, 10:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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it's the motherboard, but i'm wondering, did you turn off your pc when you connected the hard drive?
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Old 10-28-2005, 01:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah, I made sure to turn it off and disconnect the power chord and all of that.
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Old 10-28-2005, 04:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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new mobo or get a pci raid card
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Old 10-28-2005, 04:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm not too familiar with the PCI RAID cards, would anyone care to explain what exactly they do? And would that be as likely to solve the problem as a new motherboard would?

And another, probably completely unrelated problem that I've been having is that I can't see any icons on my desktop. I'm betting my windows user profile got corrupted somehow.
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Old 10-28-2005, 04:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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they let you hook up 4 extra hard drives to your computer. my ide slots was killing my hard drives on an old computer, putting a raid card in fixed it
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Old 10-28-2005, 06:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well, about an hour ago, my computer randomly started crashing. The second time it happened, it wouldn't even really start up. I had to press the power button about 5 times before it actually booted up.

I ordered a new motherboard, so that should be coming soon. If this doesn't fix the problem, the only other thing I can think of is power supply...but I'm hoping I don't end up buying a motherboard for nothing.
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