Basically I'm trying to figure out if my Asus P5KC board is broken. I'm running Windows XP, with a Q6600 processor, 2Gb of RAM, and a Nvidia 8800GT video card.
I wasn't in front of the computer when steps 1 and 2 happened, but here is the story:
1. Sound window came up several times indicating that something had been plugged into the Line Out sound output on the motherboard without the plug being touched at all.
2. Some time later, the computer blue-screened without any warning and would not start up again, complaining about a missing/corrupt system file.
3. Solutions on the net about the system file issue recommended running chkdsk, which seemed to fix the system file, and Windows was able to start up again.
4. The computer immediately complained about the firewall not being active, apparently due to the fact that the driver for my Ethernet controller were invalid, and no programs were able to access the network at all, not even being able to use an internet browser to access the router's config page.
5. Several solutions from the net later (registry fixes, resetting different network based things), the computer is still not able to access the network.
6. Video will not play (not a specific type, I tried several different video files on my computer).
7. Sound will not play (even in the standard Windows volume control, all devices are greyed out except for the Sound Recorder).
To me, this just screams a hardware problem, although I don't quite understand about the video not playing, unless that's symptomatic of a larger motherboard failure. I can still open different random files, and get files off the harddisk using usb drives and such, so at least that's still working.
I did clone/backup my hard drive when it happened a couple of weeks ago before I tried fixing it, so even if everything goes south, I've still got all my files.
Is there any way to determine if this is a hardware problem? I mean, it could still be a software problem, fixable only by re-installing the OS, or I could need a replacement motherboard. Is there any way to tell which? And does anyone know what kind of manufacturer's warranty Asus gives on the P5KC?
All the controllers that I can find in the BIOS are enabled.
Oh, and another problem, the computer doesn't seem to be able to turn off anymore, via the Windows shut down window. Every time I tell it to shut down, the computer keeps running and just seems to reset itself. The only way to turn it off is to manually hold in the power button until it shuts off.
Okay, well I've re-installed WinXP straight over the top of the old windows install, and I installed all the required motherboard drivers, including the ethernet drivers, but it comes up with the New Hardware Found wizard, and says it's found an Ethernet controller, but can't find any drivers for it, even when it searches the net.
So, what does that mean? Does this mean it's confirmed to be a hardware problem?
Okay, more problems. Since the WinXP re-install (just a test), I haven't been using the computer much (turned on once or twice a week), intending to re-format the hard drive and re-install everything from scratch.
Today I decided to start doing that, so I copied a couple of things from the WinXP fresh install hdd across the network to my laptop and shut down the desktop.
1. I shut down the desktop, and plugged in the internal extra hdd so I could copy some things to the backup hdd before doing a complete format of my main hdd.
2. When I turned the desktop on again, Windows couldn't start up because hal.dll was missing or corrupt.
3. I checked, the hdd boot order, it was booting from the main hdd, so somehow that file became corrupt after/while shutting down the computer.
4. While checking the hdd boot order in the BIOS, the whole screen went grey (the main background colour at the time).
Seriously what the hell? I was having what I thought were motherboard problems, but a WinXP re-install fixed, so then I assumed part of my OS became corrupt, so I try to do a full re-install to get my machine back up and running, and all of a sudden I get what look like more motherboard problems?
I have no idea what is going on. Has anyone seen anything like this before? Is it worth it to just try and get another motherboard off ebay or something and try that?