Motherboard problem, replacements?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Martin Fontaine, Dec 29, 2002.

  1. Martin Fontaine

    Martin Fontaine Supporting Actor

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    Recently, my Windows XP has had a lot of weird problems. Blue Screen while copying files, burning CDs (euh, coasters hehe) and in many cases won't even boot. Some "Missing Entry Points in [...].dll" errors were popping up and just trying again sometimes worked.

    Now I try to reinstall Windows and I always get problems. I tried a fresh install which reformats the partition (I have a 4 Gigs part for Windows itself, 2 Gigs for the swap file and 2 25 Gigs for my progs, docs, games and others)

    Almost all the time, while copying files, it will say that some files are incorrect, retrying sometimes works but after it finished installing, all the problems I had were still there.

    Thinking it was my disk (burned copy) I tryed with 2 other different copies and also another drive. I even tried installing Linux (On a spare 27 Gigs HD I have) and I get a similar error during installation. To further test, I tried installing XP on my other computer (The one I'm currently using - put the 27 Gigs instead of the 6 (Which has Linux on it)) and the installation worked fine.

    So my CD-ROM drives (24x and 40x Burner) are fine, all my Win XP copies (Although not legit ones) are not causing this. I suspect my Motherboard is the problem (Well, the on-board IDE controller) which is a Gigabyte GA-7ZXE with a recently flashed BIOS. A few months ago, I had a weird error while rebooting that caused me to reset all my CMOS settings so I flashed the BIOS. It didn't help (What if it caused all this?)

    Since I want to recover my credit card from Christmas, I'd like to spend the least amount of money as possible to get my computer up and running again. Should I get a new GA-7ZXE (100$ cdn) as it seems to be the only one that would take a Duron with SDRAM that my local computer store has. Or if it is just asking for trouble to take the same thing, what would be best between a Gigabyte GA-7VAX (145$) or a Asus A7V-333WA (180$) These last 2 would also mean buying DDR Ram which makes it a bit too expensive.

    Or is there a chance it might be the CPU? Or the Power Supply?
     
  2. Duane R

    Duane R Second Unit

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    Download a copy of Memtest30 (google search) and let it run a few loops. Bad RAM can cause these types of errors.
     
  3. Martin Fontaine

    Martin Fontaine Supporting Actor

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  4. liana

    liana Agent

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    scan your HD. look for errors. Sounds like a dying drive. If that checks out ok, then i would check the IDE controller.
     
  5. Brendan B

    Brendan B Extra

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    Were you having any problems before you flashed the BIOS?

    Did you follow all the steps correctly in doing this?
     
  6. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    Sounds like the same MOBO problems I had. After swapping ram, buying a new power supply, upgrading the processor, and spending an hour on the phone with Maxtor, it ended up being the MOBO.

    Although the MOBO is nearly 2 years old I will be sending MSI(K7t-pro2a by the way) a letter explaining how upset I am with the short life of one of the best KT133 boards around at the time, and how I am leaning towards an ASUS board Now.

    I was looking at buying a new MSI KT3 Ultra2 Mobo and hooking both computers up so when my nephew visits we can play head to head.

    Brent
     
  7. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    The graphics card should be high on your list of suspects. I've had problems installing Windows 95 and Windows 2000 and each time it was the graphics card that was the problem, even though it appeared to be working OK. A new graphics card fixed the problem on both occasions.

    If it does turn out to be the motherboard, I personally think ASUS are the best.
     
  8. Martin Fontaine

    Martin Fontaine Supporting Actor

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    Update: Like I said previouly, I ran Memtest86, after 2 hours, no errors. Woke up the next day (31st) still no errors after 10-12 hours... Went to work (Half-Day) and came home and there it was, at least 10-15 errors... All with the Test #3, with similar addresses: xxxxy544 where xxxx would be different for all errors found, y would always be an odd number (1,3,5,7,9,b,d or f) and the last 3 Hex Digits were alway 544. And the pattern that failed was the 20202020 where the first 2 wouldn't work. All error occured around the 102 MB and 78 MB range.

    Since I have 2 128 Megs DIMMs, I took one out and still got the same errors after just half an hour. So I put back the one I just removed by itself and then even after 30 Hours, still no errors. So I proceded in reinstalling Windows and all worked fine.

    Tonight I went and bought a new DIMM since 128 Megs is not much anymore. I first bought a 256 MB one (A 16-Chip 2-Sided as they were out of 8-Chip 1-Sided 256 Megs ones) and for some reason it didn't work. Windows would BSOD right after login and running Memtest revealed errors right in the 1st test pattern in the 320 or so MB range. So I took it back and exchanged it for a 128 Megs, just like the one I already have.

    So now I'm back to normal and it only cost me 35-40$... I'm so happy I didn't need to change the MoBo (Which would mean new RAM too since new MoBos are DDR)

    Someone mentionned the Video Card, well, I'll be changing that soon since the one I'm using now (ATI Xpert 128 16 Megs PCI) was actually lent to me almost a year ago by a friend who called me yesterday to inform me that he wants it back. So now I'm looking at the ATI Radeon 7500 64 Megs AGP wither the "Standard" or the "All-In-Wonder" version (I'll check my Credit Cards Balances as soon as I got Excel reinstalled to make my final decision.)
     

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