For anyone who likes to troubleshoot mainboards, here is a good one. I have spent days trying to resolve the problem, but to no avail. Any insight or help will be appreciated. BTW, my brother gave me this board as he said that it became unstable. I would have to agree with him. My plan is/was to put the board into my secondary desktop system.
It is my conclusion that the board hates Windows XP, however loves Windows 98/Me, but the chipset is not even designed for the old O.Sís. For what itís worth, there are no problems, no instability at all if I connect a drive running Win 98 or Win Me to the board.
Mainboard - Gigabyte GA-K8NS Rev 2.0, AMD Socket 754, nVidia Chipset (circa 2005)
Note that the actions listed below are not in any particular order.
The first thought was that because the Gigabyte had several domed top (one leaking) capacitors (3300uf/6.3v), that it was the cause of the instability problem. So with a solder tool in hand, I went to work and replaced them all. The surgery was successful in a sense that the board is still fully functional. And the same problem that existed before, still exists afterwards. Gigabyte boards (from 2002-2006) were apparently plagued with many bad capacitors.
Used 4 different DDR memory modules of different sizes in different slots - all had passed using MemTest86.
Flashed the BIOS chip to the latest 21a version (10-2008).
Must have changed the BIOS settings a hundred different times.
Replaced the 3-volt CR2032 mainboard battery with a new one.
Used 3 different graphics cards, including one old PCI S3 to bypass AGP.
No other cards were installed on the board.
The processor is an AMD 754 - 3200 - pulled and inspected, but had no replacements to use.
No shorts on the board as it was mounted on a heavy piece of cardboard.
Tried 3 different Power Supply Units.
Most of the time it would boot using Safe Mode, but always failed if a Normal boot. And after 5 or 6 attempts of Normal booting which would fail at the Desktop screen just after the icons were displayed, it would blank the screen and reboot itself, and eventually it would corrupt the MBR which I had to restore - last count 4 times.
Did a complete, fresh reinstall of Windows XP Pro and no problems were encountered during the installation, but no change in behavior. The ntbtlog.txt reveals little information at least to me. Left the board running overnight in Safe Mode, still fine the next day.
Downloaded and installed the latest nVidia chipset drivers for the board - didnít expect any change and didnít get any.
Oh, used two different hard drives. Chkdsk gave them a clean bill of health. Then I took one of the drives with Win XP and reconnected it to my other system, booted just fine and Iím using it now to compose this text.
A guess would be a memory address error.
Thatís about it for the highlights. Any assistance will much appreciated.