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View Full Version : New Motherboard (And cronically ill PC diagnosis)



The Pink Ninja
23-09-2011, 07:01 PM
EDIT: Currently trying to find a suitable motherboard so recommendations please.


So computer has been blue screening, crashing and freezing since late may. A long period of trying to fix it has probably ruled out software problems and the ram. So we're onto replacing components.

First up, my motherboard is an MSI P45C Neo-FIR - Motherboard - ATX - LGA775 Socket - P45 - FireWire - Gigabit Ethernet - 8-channel audio

My components are:

Two sata hardrives and an old ata (It runs better on the ata)

ATI Radeon 4800 Graphics card

Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q6600 2.4ghz processor

I have Vista 64 bit and both the 32 and 64 bit versions of Windows 7

Some old network card that fits in the standard slots you got before PCI-E (Plain PCI?)

OCZ 500 watt Power unit

Corsair XMS2 DDR2 Ram (Two sticks of 2GB each, at least when the replacements get here)

History: I put the PC together in late 2008 and it worked perfectly until this May (Barring the failure of the corsair power unit which I replaced with the OCZ). Replacement corsair ram, replacing Vista with windows 7 and some jiggery pokery got it working for pretty much exactly a week in late June where I played Fallout New Vegas for about 50 hours with two crashes of the game before the PC failed again (Compared to when I played FO3:GOTY in 2010 and it crashed every 15 mins sometimes). It also played GTA4 perfectly when before it was too buggy for words or progress past a certain point.

Since then it has been wierd and inconsistent, refusing sometimes to run some hardrives but running others, letting games play but freezing on the desktop, working fine and then refusing to work again after being turned off for the night. Last weekend I got it to play Hitman Blood Money smoothly on high for three or four hours then ir crashed while I was browsing. It's currently got two sticks of 2GB Kingston value ram in it but I doubt they are up to running a demanding PC.

Any thoughts?

The Pink Ninja
23-09-2011, 10:33 PM
What I think is most characteristic of the bugs is its problems starting up:

A few hours ago I turned the PC after not trying it for several days. It constantly froze or bluescreened before it could reach the login screen. Even safemode caused it to freeze before it reached the desktop. Then using the "System repair option" it repaired, restarted and worked and I installed Call of Duty 2 and played it for two hours or more without problem. However, I tried the system repair option before trying safemode and it crashed when doing so.

I turned the PC off, came back to it twenty minute later, same problem: Crashing and bluescreening befoe getting to the log in page, system repair not working, then after a few bluescreen and freezes and choose system repair and it works again.

I'd suspect the operating system but this problem is pretty consistent despite using different hard drives and different operating systems. It's usually not systems repair that does it: If it does work I usually have to start in safe mode then restart.

It really annoys me but maybe you guys can make sense of it.

Draakon
23-09-2011, 11:18 PM
Heating issues, memory issues or motherboard issues.

Best way to do in this given circumstances is to test each hardware part on a different computer. For example, take out all your RAM from the motherboard and stick them to another compatible computer. Keep doing so until you find a hardware part that causes any anomily.

-OR-

Do a CMOS reset.

Kablooie
24-09-2011, 03:48 PM
Look for the specs for the motherboard. Look for any new BIOS updates.

Very unlikely it's a heating issue, the computer is simply not on long enough to reach that point on the initial bootup-crashes ( I assume you're not overclocking, either). If the RAM tested fine using Memcheck (you let it run overnight?), little point in replacing it or testing it in another system, although that wouldn't hurt. I assume you've the correct timing settings for the RAM in the system BIOS.

Last gasp is to correctly pull out the CPU and check for bent pins, and eyeball the socket also. Follow proper procedure (clean, apply new thermal paste, etc) and reseat it.

Given your symptoms, my best educated guess is the mobo's gone south. Intermittent HD access is particularly worrisome.

soldant
25-09-2011, 01:24 AM
I'd concur with Kablooie, it sounds like the mobo is starting to fail given the HDD access symptoms you're describing. I was going to suggest that it might be the primary HDD failing because that could account for the problems as well as a failure to detect by BIOS in POST, but if you've installed the OS on different drivers to the same result then it's most probably the motherboard.

I doubt it's heat. I'd expect the fans to ramp up to worrying levels prior to the system crashing, and like Kablooie said unless the fans are failing and can't cool the system the time frame is too short.

The Pink Ninja
23-10-2011, 10:49 AM
(Sorry I haven't thanked you, been away and unable to work on the PC)

Good news it has stopped bluescreening, bad news is it is freezing.

Well the replacement ram arrived and the PC worked, even playing Far Cry 2 on high without problems.

I left for uni for the week, came back Friday. Nothing had changed but when I turned it on it kept turning off and on.

Took the Corsair Ram out, worked again.

Set it to download Deus Ex: Human Revolution overnight (Limited bandwidth, free between midnight and 6) but the PC froze during the night.

Worked Saturday (Barring one freeze in the morning starting up SMAC which worked fne both before and after that freeze).

Set it to download again during the night. DLed everything but froze on the desktop. Worked again after a restart and fiished downloads. Turned it off and went to bed.

Woke up in the morning, turned it on, freezes before it gets to the login screen.

This confirm mobo problems?

And if so, what is the best mobo for someone with an Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q6600 2.4ghz processor, PCI:E graphics card and DDR2 ram?

EDIT:

1) To be compatable with my processor
2) Fit my case
3) Have a PCI:E slot for my graphics card
4) Have a PCI slot for my network card
5) Used DDR2 ram

Kamikaze-X
23-10-2011, 11:05 PM
get an Abit motherboard if you can find one. An IP35Pro or QuadGT. best of the LGA774 generation. They use the older P35 chipsets, but theyre great. Heck, even an AB9 Pro would be good. The built in fan control features alone are reason to consider them.

The Pink Ninja
30-10-2011, 07:25 PM
Well thanks for all the suggestions so far, I'll get back to you when I have more news.