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Motherboard problem? Hard to diagnose...

Last response: in Motherboards
November 28, 2006 3:38:08 PM

I'm having some problems with a pc I built half a year ago.

With an increasing frequency, it's been freezing up while I'm playing games. I didn't think much of it and rebooted when it happened, but after a while, it wouldn't reboot and gave me "disk read error" upon boot.
If I left it off for an hour or so, it would boot again and everything would be peacehs and cream until it happened again. So next time it happened, I ran Samsungs HDD test tools, and the drive failed nearly every test, but again, when I ran the tests again after leaving the pc off for a while, it would pass.
I assumed the disk was faulty, and got a WD drive, and it's been fine for a couple of months, but yesterday I got the exact same error. The game I'm playing will freeze during heavy hdd access (loading a new area, etc), and when I rebooted, I got a Disk Read Error. I just booted again and it worked, but I think I see where this is headed.

Do anyone have the slightest idea what is wrong, or what I could try?

My components:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200
2gb Corsair Value S. PC3200 DDR-DIMM
MSI K8N NEO4-F, nForce4, Socket-939 MB
XFX GeForce 7800GTX 256 mb
400W psu
November 29, 2006 9:00:11 AM

Thanks for the suggestion. I ran the test overnight, and it completed 13 times with no errors found.
I guess this doesn't rule out the memory being bad, but still...
November 29, 2006 9:26:56 AM

It sounds to me like a heat problem - the hard drive is crapping out when it's getting too hot.

Buy a spare fan and see if you can arrange some extra airflow over the drive?

Oh, and back up *everything* now. I mean NOW now, not tomorrow now, not in a few minutes now, I mean *NOW*. Drop everything else. It's not worth it.

It could be the motherboard chipset overheating as well, I suspect. How about trying to add some active cooling to that?
Related resources
November 29, 2006 10:30:01 AM

The PSU is a NorthQ 4775-400.

The chipset has a fan, so I don't think it is that.

I have a cabinet fan, but I guess I could try getting one in front of the cab. to blow over the hdd's.
November 30, 2006 11:12:45 AM

From the specs in this review:

(my psu is the bottom one), it seems it has 2 +12v rails (if I read the diagram correctly), but one at 14A and one at 15A?

Before I go ahead and order a new unit, how sure are you that this is causing the problem?

Thanks :) 
December 6, 2006 7:40:13 PM


I just had an idea to check the Event Viewer for the crash time and turns out I had a lot of errors...

The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Harddisk0\D.
A parity error was detected on \Device\Ide\IdePort2.

Also some crashes I get controller errors on Harddisk1 as well.

Windows help suggests that the cable connecting the device is at fault, but seeing as it occurrs on both SATA disks and a parity error on IdePort2, I have no clue...