I have a system that is around three years old, and I have had various problems with it from the start. All of these problems except for one minor one seem to come in clusters.
Here are my hardware specs
Motherboard: Asus P5B
CPU Intel Core 2 duo 6600 @2.4 gig stock cooling
Ram 4 MB GSkill PC2 6400
Video Card evga Nvidia GForce 8800GTS 640MB
Hard drive 400GB western Digital SATA 3GB/sec
PSU 700 Watt OCZ Game extreme (recently died replaced with a corsair TX650 Watt)
OS: Windows Vista 64 Bit pro
When I got the computer it was DOA. It would turn on but it wouldn't feed any video signal. Sent it back, and when I got it back it inexclipably worked. The PC builder was as stumped as I was. Fast forward six months to late 2007. I started getting periods where the system would freeze/crash along with a few scattered disk read/corrupt windows errors. I took it into the local shop where they said it was a motherboard problem, and replaced the motherboard. No more problems. Pretty much rock solid except for one small problem.
Fast forward two and a half years. Today the computer slows down and just about hard freezes, it wont restart. I click the power supply off and restart it. I get a brief blue screen error and a reboot. Then I get another error about a corrupt windows, and it needing the windows disk. I again restart it and it blue screen with a "disk read" error.
I figure "Hey the hard drives dead" so I pull the hard drive and start the RMA process. I then replace the hard drive and it boots into windows with absolutely no issue. I do a scan disk. And the hard drive seems to scan perfectly. No issue. I am teh stumped! I am posting from the computer now and I have no issue.
One extra caveat that may or may not be relevant. For the three years I have owned the computer, through both motherboards it seems like maybe once every few days, I get no video when the rest of the computer boots. I have to turn the computer off/on at the power supply to get video working again. Its odd. But it doesen't really bother me.
So. Is this the motherboard, the hard drive or something completely else?
If I do have to replace the MB what do you guys recommend that would be compatable with my current hardware yet upgradable in the future as I plan to do?
if you're going to upgrade your board you might as well upgrade your processor because the socket your processor is on won't be worth the money, you're best off upgrading to an AMD Phenom with an ASUS board, Phenoms are a step higher than intel core2 quads and definitely better than waht you've got now. You should feel the dfference. the whole thing should cost you 250$ Mboard and CPU. Your RAM looks like it's good for now, you can eventually buy a newer board when DDR3 hits mainstream.
Slowdown could be:
Failure to boot/bluescreen could be:
bad psu (unlikely with new corsair)
Bad motherboard caused by previous psu failure
Parts not seated well
bad vga card
hard drive problem
cpu heat sink not mounted properly
To help diagnose, try a few tests:
1) Run memtest86+ for several full wasses, you should get NO errors.
2) Run prime95 fft with rounding checking. Run long enough to get the temperature up to it's maximum. You should see NO errors.
3) Exercise the graphics card. There are some stress programs out there.
4) Download WD data lifeguard test suite. Check the hard drive s.m.a.r.t statistics. All should be green.
5) Check that all parts and cables are secure. With power disconnected, does the cpu cooler wiggle if you nudge it?
I would not put much money into this PC at this time.
Is the PC otherwise sufficient for your usage? If not, what do you want to do with it?