Bad Soyo Motherboard

About a year and a half ago I put together a computer with a K63 processor and a Soyo 5EMA+V1.1 MB. Unfortunately, I didn't do nearly enough research on the MB and I'm pretty sure I made a huge mistake. If you are thinking about buying a board made by this company, make sure you read this first.

I have had minor problems with it since I got it. Some of them I have to chalk up to Windows 98, but I also had a problem with a patch from Soyo that I loaded for the IDE controller. Then about a month ago I started having serious problems. It all started when I took both of my hard drives (in removable bays) and put them in another computer to transfer some files. When I put them back in my computer and booted it, Windows 98 couldn't access the secondary IDE channel and I ended up having to reinstall Windows. At the time I just figured that I was experiencing another one of Windows' <b>Random Features</b>. That is, after all, why I keep it on its own partition.

About a week went by and I noticed that the hard drive activity light on the case was on all the time, but the hard drive wasn't running all the time (or having any other problems that I noticed). After about a week of this, Windows started having problems accessing the secondary IDE channel again. The last time I was able to get to it I was burning CD's and the last 2 I burned have about equal numbers of good and garbage files on them. Finally that channel stopped working entirely.

Before I tried reloading Windows again, I decided to do some other work on the computer. I moved the primary master hard drive out of the removable bay since it is an ATA66 drive and the bay doesn't support that. I also added some heat sink compound and a fan to my Voodoo3 3000 so I could overclock it. I put it all back together and tried to boot it. The drives and fans all came to life, and nothing happened after that.

I still wasn't sure that it was the MB since it has never given me any beep codes when the video card wasn’t properly seated, I tried reseating the video card several times. When that didn't work, I tried booting a friend's computer with my video card in it. It didn't have any problems. I even went so far as to swap out the processor and memory with some I had in another computer and that didn't fix the problem. The way I figure it that only leaves 2 possibilities. Either the MB or the power supply is bad, and given the overall poor quality of the MB, and the fact that the power supply doesn't seem to have any problems powering everything else, I am fairly sure that it is the MB. I also recently talked to somebody who is having the same problem with a computer they built at about the same time with the same MB. Everything else except the OS is different.

Unless I can think of something else to test, I will probably have to put the PS in another computer and find out if it works. Unfortunately I don't have another computer to plug an ATX PS into, so it will have to wait until I can take it to a friend to look at it.

If anybody else has any suggestions or has had similar experiences to this, I would appreciate hearing about it. I don't want to have to find a Super7 MB with 4 PCI slots and I don't really want to throw out a perfectly good processor because I don't have a MB for it.
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  1. Don't get me wrong. Sometimes it's just not worth the trouble. A year and a half with the same system is probably about average. This may be an opportune time to upgrade. You could upgrade to an Asus CUSL2-C with a Pentium III 1G CPU for around $300. Or an Athlon system of comparable speed for something less. You will be impressed with the increase in performance...and it's always good to spend a little money on something you will enjoy.

    I wonder...what is the speed of gravity?
  2. Actually, I am planning on putting together a new system later on this year, but I am planning on waiting until I can buy one of the new Athlon 4 CPU's and an MB with the new Nvidia chipset. Besides, I have 4 kids and a wife who all use the computer and I really need to have machines for them to use. Otherwise, I agree completely.
  3. I also have the same issues. We've bought 3 of them in the last 9 months and all 3 of the boards have toasted out on us. Come to find out, I can send them back to SOYO in CA for repair.... at $20 plus $15 for S/H... Given the track record of these boards however, I question the worth of it...

    You might be doing like I am... Put that money into something more stable. There are places that still sell "lagacy" boards like these. Find something other than SOYO and you'll probably have the thing for a good 3 or more years. I have a couple boxes that have ole FREETECH boards in them, and they're still cranking out like gangbusters... Not a problem at all...

    I hear good and bad about Asus... If you get a bad one, good luck getting it taken care of... We bought one from a local distrib. and he bankrupted on us. The board crashed and they don't have any way of getting the board serviced except through distributor. So... we're left with a board, 3 months old, in warranty, but no way to get it serviced... This even after speaking with several people on the phone at Asustech...

    I have better luck with Aceropen stuff... But if you have laptop... stay away from Acer laptop stuff... Desktop stuff though seems great. One machine we have is 3 years old and only minor problems with it, and none of them related to the Acer board inside it.

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