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Need advice troubleshoting this computer problem

Last response: in Systems
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November 12, 2007 11:50:05 PM

I have a machine I built aprox a year ago:

Core2duo 6300, AsRock mobo775Dual-Vsta
2x512 simpletech ram, an AGP 6800GT GeForce Graphic board.

Recently it started developing some problems. Booting slowly then normal,
some freezing or crashes. In th e last few daysthe computer was starting loading the Os and freeze.
Switched the memory, same result.
Now it is not possible to use it anymore.
I formated the HDD, reinstaled windows, got some issues doing that, so I reformated again, installed
Ubuntu Linux. It works but very slow. After some tests and exchanging hard drives I decided the problem is not from the HDD.

It run MemTest but freezes at 96% first time then at 65% second time, and it do not started again until next day.

Also something else hapened, an USB mouse and an external HDD conected to the computer stoped working, even in another computer. I belive it is an related issue.

After this event I belive is something bad going on with the motherboard, but I dont have finances to just go buy one and try a new mobo and a new CPU.

Please advise how I could check more and what you belive is the problem.


November 13, 2007 2:10:33 AM

Could be a powersupply issue. Try using another powersupply.
November 13, 2007 1:06:40 PM

What's the spec of your psu? Voltage ratings from the BIOS?
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November 13, 2007 1:57:56 PM

My first suspect would be the Power Supply, and especially so if the USB ports blew a mouse and external drive. It is very likely the PS has damaged the motherboard beyond ressurection. My first step would be to test the PS or take it to a reputable computer supply (outlet) and let them test it for you. (I have seen power supplies test OK but still have problems, as some testers use only cursory methods.)

Remember that even if you buy a new PS, you may still have issues with your motherboard that may or may not be damaged.
November 13, 2007 2:19:29 PM

Hi ocimpean,
If I had to guess, I would suggest the motherboard is bad. It could have all started from the PSU so I would recommend having this tested and OneStar suggested, Or just throw it out and buy a new one?

Unfortunately there is no easy way to verify each part is working. I would strongly recommend taking one part out at a time and testing it in another system. If you have a friend with a simlair setup, I would ask for their help. I wouldn't expect any of your components excluding the Powering Supply to damage someone else system, so don't test your PSU on their system.

After you have run memtest and CPU load test on your friends box one part at a time, you can then assume those parts are working fine. Also test GPU, sound card, etc.

Once this has been done, look to RMA your current bad parts or buy new/used.

Hard Drive failure are also common, have you run chkdsk? Did it find alot of bad sectors? There are hard drive diagnostic tools available from Seagate and Maxtor for their HDDs, I am sure most manufactures have them.

Good Luck
November 13, 2007 2:23:57 PM

All I can say is "I'm sorry".

It sounds like your Power Supply or possibly your voltage regulators on your motherboard are bad. Unfortunately 1 could have possibly damaged the other, so the only solution might be a new computer. This is a case of using tight controls and using a second computer to determine which parts are good and bad(and hoping you don't damage the good system).

Good luck. I do not envy you your work. I love problems like yours, unfortunately I'm betting you don't live in WA state.
November 13, 2007 8:29:43 PM

Gentlemen, I like to thank you very much for your answers and sugestions.
No, I don't live in WA, I am in IL :) 

I did CHKDSK, before I reinstaled OS, when I still belived is the system HDD failure, then I used another 2 HDD, with fresh OS installs, just to make sure, SCSI, one for Linux one for Windowz, so the issue of internal HDD going bad is out.

The PSU is an Enermax 3in1 24P, EG651P, 550W, 650W Peak. Strange, I used this PSU before in a Dual Xeon system with an Asus mobo, wich also went bad, before I built this Core2Duo. The failure was due, I assumed at the time, to overclocking, the components the old xeon worked for about a year then expired, mobo an ASUS p4t if I remember corectly went dead. Now, with the sugestion that the PSU could be somehow at fault, I have to rethink all...
Another question comes to me, is it possible to have this problems due to a power spike? I was thinking that in case of a power spike the PSU would fry first, then the MOBO, but now I am not so sure, and I have just basic power surge protection.
The external HDD was a nasty blow to me cause it had aprox. 500GB of backups... :( 

The swap and try method of diagnostic would work, I am sure, but unfortunately I dont have a second computer with similar characteristics, the other desktop is realy old and use a 300 PSU.

How much is now an entry level PSU for a core2duo?
Also, is there another mobo than AsRock that has support for the older DDR and AGP, all I see in stores like Microcenter are the one suporting PCI express, no AGP? I really like to be able to reuse some of my all components cause I see no point in upgrading the graphic card, 6800GT
has plenty of power for what I do with this machine.

If I have to change all the components, then I will have to spend much more then I am ready to do today, and going to a Quad core would be on the top of the list.
November 15, 2007 7:06:47 AM

Thanks for the links!
!