Strange problem needs brainstorming!!

Okay guys, I have a pretty strange problem for you! I have two recently built systems, first the specs:

Note: Parts in bold are the same on each system

My comp:

2 GB Crucial Tracer Memory
BenQ 19"
MSI Geforce 8600GT
Windows Vista 32 Bit
PC Power and Cooling 610 Watt PS

Folks comp:

2GB Crucial Ballistix Tracer Memory
BenQ 19"
EVGA Geforce 8800GT
Windows Vista 32 Bit
Antec Earthwatts 430 Watt PS

Now to the problem. I have two different cases for these builds. When I plug in headphones OR USB to the front panel on either system, 50% of the time, my monitor will just lose the signal. I noticed it on my computer first, however after gutting it and rebuilding thinking it was a short, it still happens.

Then, after plugging a camera into my folks system, the same thing happened! Now the ports do work and like I said 50% of the time, this problem will not happen, 50% it will.

I narrowed it to either the chipset drivers or the vista drivers but I really am not 100%. Any thoughts?
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More about strange problem brainstorming
  1. i had some issues on one of my motherboards with bad grounding, you would literally get a shock if you touched the case and the usb cable at the same time.

    my guexss would be an electrical issue, not software related. double check you've got some metal screws in between the motherboard and your case, double check you've got a grounded plug, double check you're plugging into a grounded socket.

    good luck
  2. Could be static build up from walking to the computer. Winter makes air dry which cause lots of static. Happened to me over the weekend.
  3. It's not static, I ground myself before plugging anything in and I feel no shock. This is happening on two separate systems with similar hardware too. The case connectors have a 4 pin + 1 ground which are hooked up correctly. I did gut one system in case it was a short, but to no avail.

    For example, I touch the metal case and I get no shock, then I plug i in. I really think it is a driver issue but not sure if it is vista or the chipset...
  4. Some cases have crappy front panels and have grounding issues in the panel its self. Maybe the child labor in China got sloppy with solder and created a short.
  5. I had no problems with the same cases before though. The only things that changed were vista and the mobo that I can think of. I had an asus board before in my system and it never happened, but that was with XP SP2.
  6. On two different machines that otherwise work, it is unlikely to be a hardware fault.

    I suspect a problem in connecting the front panel headers. Question your assumptions about the polarity of the connectors. If the usb devices do not cause a problem when connected to the rear mobo usb ports, that is more evidence of a front panel connector problem.

    Some cases have been known to ship with miswired connectors, or incorrect documentation.
  7. it is hardware issue more than software issue.

    n as geofelt said, try fixing it right to the case.
    n valis said. make sure things are grounded.
  8. I did try toying with the connectors, but they only work one way. It is setup like this

    usb_2 usb_1
    .... ....
    ..... .....

    grounds are the non-bold. The other is a 4 pin connector that only works one way. I'm not sure what happens if I connect the 4 pin to the top instead of the bottom but both of the case connectors are 4 pin+1 ground.

    Like I mentioned, this worked fine with the same case and an asus A8N5X chipset.
  9. Weird!
  10. I could understand if this happened every time I plugged it in, but to only happen half the time and to two separate computers screams of a driver conflict. I tried searching to see if anyone else had this problem, but I cannot find anything :(
  11. Are they both the same kind of case. Its possible you got some cases that got the wires on the front panel crossed. If it dont do it on the back USB then its not driver related and would have to be something with the front panel.
  12. Nope, different cases. AFAIK back USB does not do it. However I have not plugged anything in the rear USB while the computer was on, just the front. I could test this, however.
  13. meadowlands what those system properties device manager say.also you have two connector on mobo (hd ) and (ac97) you could try other one that you haven't tryed yet.sense it's happening on both ga p35 ds3l mobo ,I would think that is likely the problem,not that the boards are bad .also check manual page 28? it just sounds like a cable in wrong place.hope this helps
  14. I tried the HD and the AC97, both no dice. All cables are in the right place. It effects the F_panel and USB_1 and USB_2. The F_panel only goes one way, the USB works just one way as well. There is a diagram above which shows how the USB headers are set up.
  15. Did you try the back USB? If the back one works a Chineese worker probably soldered the ground wrong on the front panel. If not is a mobo issue. I dont remem, do you have the latest bios?
  16. meadowlands try this place see if it helps.

    also did you check usb controller in device mgr.
  17. Ok, from what I can see, I have two of the 4 joined pins +1 extra ground. On the mother board the USB's are laid out like this:


    I have the 4 joined connected to 8642 and the extra to 10. Both ports do work in this setup, so I am assuming it is correct or should I not have that extra ground hooked up?
  19. No, I did not get it working, but like I mentioned, they way I have it hooked up now, it does in fact work, however 50% of the time my monitor loses signal.
  20. meadowlands have tried loading xp sp2 on either of the pc ?

    also when you say the monitor loses signal the light on monitor goes yellow!how do you get a signal back,by reboot or turn monitor off and then on.and also it only happens when you hook usb device.if you plug up usb devices first before booting up does this happen.
  21. Yes, the monitor light goes yellow and only comes back as if rebooted. This happens with anything connected to the front panel of either machine.
  22. I had a similar problem with my system. Even though I couldn't feel it, it turned out to be static-induced, but proper case grounding would likely have prevented it. Rebuilding my system (all same parts) in a different case completely resolved it. Even though you have two different cases, if they are cheap and/or cheesy, this could still be the problem.
  23. Try installing XP and see if the same thing happens. Vista is not that great of a OS and still has to many driver issues.If everything works with XP you will know that it was a vista problem. I do not think its a chipset problem.

    Stans Custom PC's
  24. meadowlands if you unplug front usb connectors from motherboard and front audio connector,and use only back audio and usb connection does it still happen.
  25. AFAIK it does not. I have 3 things plugged in the back:

    - Keyboard
    - Mouse
    - UPS

    I'm thinking that loose ground I have hooked up in the #10 slot according to the manual is the problem, but I'm not 100%
  26. meadowlands it has two seperate grounds try the oughter ground if that don' work leave both unplugged .it want hurt it.and you can be riht about the ground.
  27. I've been talking to a guy at Gigabyte and he told me those loose grounds do not need to be connected. I will take them off tonight and test this weekend to see if it solves the problem. Will report my results!
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