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K7S5A - Good Reviews - What about Failure Modes?

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December 1, 2008 2:24:43 PM

Many forums addressing K7S5A motherboards include comments about what a good board this one is.

Occasionally one hears about failures (e.g. capacitors) but has anyone found a diagnostic for a seemingly dead mobo?

Advice on repairable boards - and listings of non-repairable failure modes would be helpful.

How bad has it got to get before such a good board must go to meet its maker (or breaker)?
Sadly, Elite Group are no longer contactable, maybe they are not in business any more?
December 1, 2008 2:39:44 PM

Four or five years ago I bought a K7S5A motherboard from Novatech, they claimed to have replaced the CPU, but I never got it to work. No sign of life at all.

Several reviews praised the K7S5A, so I dug mine out of the cupboard, and I am interested to find out if there is something faulty with the motherboard or CPU size.

I have been trying to run it "barebones" with 550W PSU,256MB SDRAM, video card and 2.1GB hard drive. No sign of life after implementing loads of advice from various sources.

Having worked for many years with a Railway Signalling company, I am familiar with manufacture and testing of PCB's. So what I am asking is if you know of anyone who has a test facility which checks every component on a motherboard for correctness of component characteristics and polarity where appropriate? (Assuming that was done by the Elite Group's manufacturer when the board was made).

As Elite Group are not contactable I have been unable to put the question to them directly.
Related resources
December 1, 2008 2:44:34 PM

To evongugg,
Thanks, I already read the lengthy discussion and have noted for reference.
a b V Motherboard
December 3, 2008 7:28:09 PM

fistral13 said:
Having worked for many years with a Railway Signalling company, I am familiar with manufacture and testing of PCB's. So what I am asking is if you know of anyone who has a test facility which checks every component on a motherboard for correctness of component characteristics and polarity where appropriate? (Assuming that was done by the Elite Group's manufacturer when the board was made).

You're kidding, right? You could buy your own computer shop for the billable diagnostic hours you are going to pay for this kind of service. Any board schematics, Gerber files, and other technical engineering collateral that Elite Group might have created for this board would never make it out of the manufacturing or engineering department, unless you were willing to buy them. So any facility other than ECS would be working only by general knowledge of PC motherboards and have no unique knowledge or data on this particular motherboard.

That board sold for $35 ~ $45 brand new. Toss it in the trash bin and get this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Same manufacturer (ECS = PC Chips), same chipset vendor (SIS), newer chipset, supports all the same technology except for 168-pin SDRAM, only 184-pin DDR SDRAM. Just be sure to check the CMOS jumper position. ECS/PCChips has a tendency to ship boards with the CMOS jumper in the clear/reset position, which needs to be moved to the normal (default) position before powering the system.

Commodity open-market computer components are entirely a different ballgame than highly specialized, custom designed and manufactured boards costing thousands of dollars each, produced in quantities of hundreds or thousands rather than millions. Boards like this are not approved for use in any kind of equipment that would come with statutory or regulatory requirements to supply this kind of information, beyond the usual consumer electronics safety and EMC compliance stuff (e.g. UL, FCC, CE, TUV, et. al.).
December 4, 2008 12:19:19 PM

To tcsenter,

Thank you for your contribution.

My having chosen to study the six versions of K7S5A motherboards is no joke.

During eleven years of retirement I have used computers practically every day to "keep the grey cells active". My current project is to understand motherboards and my time is not "chargeable".

What I have found most trying is the study of motherboard failure modes.

I have to admit to contributors to this thread that I was misled into thinking that ECS (EliteGroup Computer Systems) were not contactable because another totally different organisation "Elite Group" has it's web site up for sale.

The ECS site at http://eu.ecs.com.tw/ECSWebSite/ is very much alive and kicking and it is from that site I have been able to get manuals downloaded for each of the six versions in the K7S5A range of motherboards.

My thirst for motherboard knowledge continues unabated.

Call Me Old Surfer - Wet or Dry
c/o Fistral Beach, Newquay, Cornwall, UK
January 4, 2009 4:02:53 PM

fistral13:

I have an old K7S5A based system and have had the lock-up problems described here and other forums. My system is as follows:

- Athlon 1800+
- 1G DDR
- Seagate 250G
- nVidia 5300

I changed out my SDRAM a few years back, but the problem did not go away. I recently upgraded the PSU to a 550W unit. So far so good.

Question: What combination of components and revision levels
have you found to be stable - i.e. no lockups at 133/133?

Thanks.

MJ
August 2, 2009 3:42:11 AM

I have a K7S5A board on my hang it up shelf among other failed socket A boards by abit, asus and gigabyte. I am diving into motherboard repair myself and dusting off my old boards in hopes to bring back to life. The K7S5A has the most and only visible sign of bad capacitors out of 4 of my old boards. More than half of the capacitors are expanded at top and a few of the capacitors show leakage. This board is my first canidate for a replace the capacitors and see if it works board. I honestly am having a hard time finding failed capacitors on my other motherboards. A sign to me that some brand of capacitors may have more quality than others.
!