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Sigh - Not another Motherboard Replacement. Strange Boot i..

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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
May 25, 2004 10:53:03 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Weird things going on here and haven't found much to help me:

System is P4 2GHz on an Asus P4P800 running XP SP1, latest updates.
Two hard drives on Primary IDE Channel; Plextor CD writer on Secondary
IDE Channel, and 2 HD's on an IDE ATA/133 PCI controller card.

The PROBLEM

1. Recently, boot-up started to get slow: each stage of the boot
process caused an audible click from the Primary Master;
2. Sometimes get a message: MBR error during boot up, which seems
to be ignored and boot up proceeds;
3. Sometimes get "Disk: unable to find NTLDR error, but not
often;
4. Event Viewer reports: The driver detected a controller error
on \Device\Harddisk 1 (or 3) [Primary Master and Slave]. And: ATAPI:
The device, \Device\Ide\IdePort0, is not ready for access yet;
5. SMART and manufacturer's disk utility failed to find problems
either with Disk 03 (Primary Slave) or Disk 01 (Primary Master;
Windows chkdsk reported no problems either. Also ran up-to-date
anti-virus program (AVG Pro) without finding any problems. Swapped out
IDE Cable - same problems.
6. Bought Acronis True Image 7.0 (www.acronis.com) in
anticipation of a HD failure and used it. (BTW, as an aside - this
program is absolutely first class, and
has a really intuitive interface: and unlike many utilities like
Norton Ghost, which has to operate in PC DOS, True Image 7.0 permits
fast, full disk image backups on the
fly while still using Windows, and it creates the image in a secure
area which can't be touched by Windows or viruses. It also allows
scheduled incremental backups while still in Windows. To say I'm
impressed by this program $38-48 would be an understatement - see
below);
7. Replaced Primary Master drive with a new 120 Gb Western
Digital yesterday and restored the backup of C:\ (40Gb) I did using
Acronis True Image to my new HD in 40 minutes flat! All was well till
I restarted, when the same problems which caused me to replace the HD
started to recur - intermittently, eg MBR error 3 and the NTLDR issue.
Rebooting several times until the BIOS recognises all the Drives
usually solves the problems though, and everything runs OK - like now;

8. Updated my BIOS a few hours ago. Same problems. I'm really
beginning to think this is a mobo ATA controller issue.


Any ideas greatly appreciated.
Anthony
May 26, 2004 2:22:22 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Anthony PDC wrote:

> Weird things going on here and haven't found much to help me:
>
> 8. Updated my BIOS a few hours ago. Same problems. I'm really
> beginning to think this is a mobo ATA controller issue.
>
>


I was having weirdo boot problems with my p4p800, I'd get bios checksum
failures, drives not found etc. Then the next try it would boot right up. I
started to suspect a PSU but the voltage checked OK. Still I had a feeling
the PSU might be the problem and got a Sparkle 350W PSU (the one in the
machine was some no-name-I'd-ever-heard-of brand) and it's been running
perfect since. Someone last week posted they had one acting flakey on 2
PSU's they had (A 400W and a 520W) but ran fine on another 300W PSU. I
think these boards are VERY sensitive to one of the voltages and if it's
off, all sorts of flakey stuff happens. Just what I found ad have noticed
from other posters.

--

Stacey
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