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Proving motherboard dying?


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#1
englang

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Hi, I hope someone can help me. I'm not quite a layman but nearly. My gut instinct is that I have a problem with my motherboard or chip. Before I go ahead and spend money replacing them I would like to prove that is where the fault lies.

Asrock K7VM4 motherboard, on board graphics
AMD Athlon XP2500 Chip
1.5Gb DDR RAM (recently upgraded)
Windows 2000 pro

I have an intermitant fault usually on boot up. After the initial screen (which says BIOS is ACPI compliant) goes to a coloured but distorted screen which says error code and that BIOS is not ACPI compliant. Sometimes instead get message saying video is not compatible with screen. Sometimes it just freezes before windows starts up. Sometimes initial screen is distorted with coloured blocks. Usually after maybe 10 attempts at starting up it starts fine and runs as well as ever - except a couple of times I accidently banged the table on which the case sits and the screen froze with distorted coloured blocks - in that case on power off/on it usually starts up ok. So, it seems to be worse when starting up from cold.

Many thanks in anticipation.
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#2
SRX660

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You bang the table with your fist and the computers ON-BOARD graphic's goes haywire? Yeah, i would say the motherboard probably has a problem. The only problem i really see is finding a motherboard that works with your cpu. Those have not been produced for a few years now.

http://www.pricewatc.../socket_462.htm

Looks like only 15-16 different ones left. I have a barton-2500 w a Gigabyte MB that ran very well. I finally stripped it out when a customer needed a 2500 barton processor. Still have the MB i think.

SRX660
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#3
Tyger

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I would open the case and make sure that everything is seated properly, the power connectors, the memory, and that there is nothing loose in the case, like a loose screw. Also you can run memtest86 to see if there are any memory problems.

If you do get another motherboard, if you want to save money you might try getting one that uses that memory. Also you can use an add on AGP card to solve the video problems, which might be the cheapest and best alternative. One of about 128mb should give a big improvement and you could find a used one cheaply enough.
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#4
happyrock

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It's possible that the BIOS setup has been accidentally set to non ACPI mode. Check in the setup to ensure ACPI is enabled.
nojoy
then remove the upgraded memory and just install what you had before
nojoy
try setting the bios to the default settings or optimized settings


how does it work in safe mode

Edited by happyrck, 20 June 2008 - 05:00 PM.

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#5
englang

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Hi guys,

Thanks for the prompt replies.

For it to freeze whilst running it doesnt need me to bang the table, just one of the kids bumping into the table seems to do it - but then as its been running for a while it will reboot 1st time.

The problems occur at different stages of boot up as I have tried to describe, sometimes before windows even begins loading so I don't think that safe mode will help. But I will give it a try and then bang the table lol!

I'm sure that the video problems are all tied in with the big issue - what ever that is.

The BIOS settings must be right (surely?) as usually I can get it booted up ok eventually - the problem is intermittant.

Today at 1st boot up from cold the was an unusual noise (different sound from the fan?) but after the system froze during start I powered down and up and it started ok and sound was normal. Incidently the error message was completely unreadable today when it froze. Is it possible that it is a problem with the power supply that is causing these problems?

Thanks again
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#6
happyrock

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if you have another power supply equal to or greater wattage than the one in now...
by all means try swapping them...just to see if it is...
did you pull out the new ram yet...they may be mismatched which can cause symptoms like your getting...

Bad computer memory is one of the three main reasons for random system failures.. the other two are heat (usually

caused by fans or heatsinks being blocked with dust) or power issues...
first...

lets make sure its not your memory going bad...get memtest +

here....
the lowdown is here..

if you have a floppy drive you can get the 6th one down ...set the bios to boot from the floppy drive A:

first...then the cd drive then the Hard drive C:
or you can get the 2nd one down and burn the ISO file to a cd and then boot it from the cd drive...

if you don't have a burning program that will burn .ISO files go

here and get burncdcc ..a small FAST no frills iso

burning program...

NOTE...do not put a blank cd in until burncdcc opens the tray for you
1. Start BurnCDCC
2. Browse to the ISO file you want to burn on cd/dvd ....in this case its memtest86.iso
3. Select the ISO file
4. click on Start

make sure in the bios the cd drive is the first boot device....put the cd in the cd drive..boot your computer....


let memtest run for at least 2 hours...if it starts showing any errors during that time then you will have

to replace the RAM...no errors after 2 hours just press Esc to end the tests and we will try some other

tests


go here and get everest home...install and

launch it...click the + by computer...click on sensor...get a screenshot and post it so I can check your temps and

voltages...
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#7
englang

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Its been an intermittant problem so I don't want to give the all clear yet, I'm going to keep on putting it through its paces for a while yet so please don't close this yet!

I removed 1 bank of RAM (the old one as it was in slot 2) so now I'm down to 1GB. The problem seems to have gone away.

Happyrck you are therefore a genius, thank you very much. I don't pretend to understand why this worked ok for several weeks then, became an intermittant problem. Fingers crossed, I will let you know....
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#8
happyrock

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:)..... RAM can cause all kinds of weird problems...when upgrading RAM always remember to buy matched sets that are supported by your mobo manufacture...

Edited by happyrck, 23 June 2008 - 11:01 AM.

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#9
englang

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Thanks happyrck, no faults.....all clear.

I'm a logical sort of bloke so I don't get why banging the table could bring about a compatibility problem, but hey its working well now. Lesson learned.

Cheers

Graham
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