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Old 03-02-2009, 07:32 PM   #1
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Question Mobo failing

I built a computer in November. Ever since then I have been getting, at periodic intervals, the blue screen of death for something like failure to restart video card after timeout. So I figured it was my video card. I have tried a few different drivers so I'm pretty sure that's not the problem.

Now my computer is not recognizing my DVD-R's. I have 2 of them and the computer now has started regularly recognizing only one of them. When this happens, the BIOS doesn't even recognize them so I know it's not just Vista being stupid. It also switches which DVD-R it recognizes. Sometime it will be one and then the next day it will be the other and then the next day it will recognize both. I can always eject the drives though so I don't think it's them not getting power.

I'm thinking my mobo is failing but I thought I'd ask here and see if any of you have any other ideas for what could be causing this. Any opinions or ways that I could check different things?
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Mobo failing

Sounds like a flaky bios programming or eprom chip acting up on you a little there. If both drives are known to be in good working order besides seeing the drive trays open the bios or even power cables are suspect since power comes direct from the supply with the board simply switching through the data cable by way of the onboard controllers.

I had one stubborn drive recently replaced that would only boot from the Vista dvd when it wanted to. It refused to detect any rw media until simply changing the data cable. That helped for everything until the drive itself suddenly started making rubbing sounds. bye bye drive!
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Old 03-02-2009, 11:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: Mobo failing

falty bios programming? lol. What kind of mobo are you running, that would give us a little more information, graphics card...actually could you give us your whole setup? average temps? etc.
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Old 03-03-2009, 12:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: Mobo failing

System specs are as follows:
CPU: E8500
Mobo: Biostar TPower I45
VGA: Palit Radeon 4850
PSU: PC Power and Cooling 610W continuous
RAM: G Skil 240 DDR2 800
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F1

The 2 DVD-R's in question, one is an LG and the other is a Samsung

Here's a screenshot showing my system specs as of when I'm typing this post. Someone told me that some of the voltages seemed a little low but I can't remember what exactly they told me.

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Old 03-03-2009, 12:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: Mobo failing

As I thought both are sata dvd drives. It still seems to point to the bios seeing a problem if the cables are good.

The drive that quit here however was always seen at post even with the first cable replaced suggesting another problem. Check the cables to make sure those are plugged in fully on the back of the drives as well as into the ports on the board.
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Old 03-03-2009, 01:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: Mobo failing

i really dont think its a faulty bios...biostar is usually pretty decent when it comes to there bios..
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Old 03-03-2009, 06:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: Mobo failing

So are a lot of boards. But that doesn't stop one from seeing a bad eprom chip or some other faulty board component.

The one thing to add here for luca5371 is to pay attention to any information seen on any further blue screens since that will usually point out a driver or some hardware code. That wouldn't resolve the lack of detection your drives are seeing at post however.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:55 AM   #8
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Default Re: Mobo failing

Update:

I'm continuing to get the BSOD every once in a while. The error I get is “Attempt to reset the display driver and recover from timeout failed.” Then it has a bunch of numbers and other stuff “STOP: 0X00000116 ATIKMDAG.SYS – ADDRESS FFFFFA6002413C24 BASE AT FFFFFFA600240100 DATESTAMP 49345149” I don’t think those are important but just in case…

I'm also continuing to have times where I boot up the computer and one or both of my DVD drives is not recognized. Unlike before where it seemed each time this happened the drives had power, I had it happen the other day and the affected drive could not open and so it was not getting power. I shut the computer off and disconnected then reconnected the power cord and it worked.

Now I'm getting all kind of issues. My wife was working on it the other day and anytime she left it long enough for the screen to go black, it would be completely frozen when she got back to it. Nothing would respond at all. Then she would hit the reset button and the computer would get stuck in the boot-up process saying that she needed to put a bootable disk in the boot drive. Sounds to me like the hard drive kept getting stopped during operation and then wouldn't get recognized again upon reboot. This happened to me the other day as well and I learned that if I simply did a hard reboot where the computer was actually off for a little bit, it would boot fine. However if I simply rebooted it so it didn't really shut off (at least as I understand things), I would always get the boot error.

Basically, I'm now thinking the whole thing might be the power supply. It could explain things if the hard drives is losing power randomly or the dvd drives don't always get power during boot-up or even if the video card is losing power randomly. It then requires turning the power completely off and restarting the computer for the PSU to work correctly. The one thing that gets me is that sometimes when the dvd drives aren't recognized, I can still open them meaning they are getting power. Could it be something where during boot-up the drive doesn't get power right away and so the BIOS ignores it but then later it does get power? In this case, why wouldn't Vista recognize it as a newly installed hardware and try to add it?

Got home today and the wife told me it was constantly freezing on her this afternoon so she finally just shut it off. I turned it on and updated the BIOS (well, not an actual update since there was no new version but I downloaded it and reinstalled it). However, now every time I start-up the computer I get an error that says "Pri. Master Hard Disk: S.M.A.R.T. Status BAD, Backup and Replace". This has continued after I updated the BIOS. While I know this probably means the hard drive is going caput, with all the other problems, I'm thinking this may just be an effect. Ran checkdisk and it found no errors.

I'm going to try to get it to fail for me and then take a voltmeter and measure the voltage to the hard drive to see if it's getting any juice when the comp freezes. If it is and things keep going badly, I'm thinking it's a bad mobo and will probably get that replaced. Any other ideas?
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: Mobo failing

Sounds like the power plugs were out a little or are seeing a loose contact on the inside of each one there. The freeze ups while sitting idle could well be a need for a clean install of Windows if not tracked down to the video drivers there since that minor BSOD is actually an ATI driver being pointed to.

A bad install of an update for video where you need to remove one Catalyst for a fresh install or newer release often clears up that type of problem! I've run into that a few times multi-booting 7 with Vista and XP with all 3 having seen it at some point.

For a failing hard drive you can expect a list of problems there as well. In fact on a friend's build recently Windows kept locking up where a reformat and attempt at a clean install was pointless!

The drive was replaced fast there. But one other thing not to rule out would a shaky supply since you could open trays while the drives weren't seen in Windows suggesting the demand is larger then what the supply is now able to provide.

You can look in the bios at the voltages there to see if you are seeing on the plus side of 12v. If you see something like 11.6v that spells problems. Test the 12v leads coming out from it.
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: Mobo failing

Did you try flashing the BIOS with the latest release?
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