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USB port shorted. HD died a month later

Hello.

I bought this kit PC in about 2004, and replaced the power supply once in the last four years.

AMD Sempron 2400
Asrock K7VM3 Motherboard
Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot - Have run Ubuntu since V8, and love it.

About a month ago, I shorted the side-mounted USB port and the machine shut off. Everything seemed fine after waiting a few minutes and rebooting, and has seemed fine since.

Until two days ago when the hard drive started the click-of-death, and booting showed Sector 0, 56 and 24 errors.

Yesterday, I replaced the HD with one that I knew was fine, but it almost immediately started the click-of-death and Sector 0 errors, too.

Here's my guess after some internet research: The shorted USB port has corrupted the MOBO voltage regulator which is ruining drives I put in the machine.

I figure I'll take the opportunity to replace the machine, but I want to have several machines in the house such as a web server and a Myth TV server.

When it ran, this machine would have been a fine web server.

My question is: Given the described scenario, is it worth paying someone to find and repair the problem? I have never used a voltage tester, so I would have to hire the job out.

Thanks
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  1. chrissugden said:
    Hello.

    I bought this kit PC in about 2004, and replaced the power supply once in the last four years.

    AMD Sempron 2400
    Asrock K7VM3 Motherboard
    Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot - Have run Ubuntu since V8, and love it.

    About a month ago, I shorted the side-mounted USB port and the machine shut off. Everything seemed fine after waiting a few minutes and rebooting, and has seemed fine since.

    Until two days ago when the hard drive started the click-of-death, and booting showed Sector 0, 56 and 24 errors.

    Yesterday, I replaced the HD with one that I knew was fine, but it almost immediately started the click-of-death and Sector 0 errors, too.

    Here's my guess after some internet research: The shorted USB port has corrupted the MOBO voltage regulator which is ruining drives I put in the machine.

    I figure I'll take the opportunity to replace the machine, but I want to have several machines in the house such as a web server and a Myth TV server.

    When it ran, this machine would have been a fine web server.

    My question is: Given the described scenario, is it worth paying someone to find and repair the problem? I have never used a voltage tester, so I would have to hire the job out.

    Thanks


    That is a very likely cause, but could also be a PSU problem that caused the USB failure in the first place, unless you know otherwise. Even if you did find the problem on the mobo, it's unlikely you can fix it without some serious skill or luck. With the current prices of hard drives, it's probably better to buy another cheap mobo rather than risk losing another hard drive. If you want to keep the rest of that system for a web server, just replace the cheap mobo.

    Linux does make the world better!

    Edit: ASrock is probably part of the problem. They use crap components.
  2. Thanks for the prompt response, Wyered1.

    That was my first thought, too, but I guess I'm like the next guy - always wishing and hoping I can fix it.

    I like the huge case, and I'm guessing the Sempron chip is okay - no indication otherwise, yet, anyway.

    Maybe I'll salvage the chip and case with a new motherboard.

    Anyone have any suggestions?
  3. Oh, and part of my research showed that MANY people have had problems with USB ports shorting - especially ports that are extended out from the motherboard to the front or side of the machine.

    Using a USB port hub seems like a fine solution so long as the hub would take the shock and insulate your motherboard.
  4. Best answer
    chrissugden said:
    Oh, and part of my research showed that MANY people have had problems with USB ports shorting - especially ports that are extended out from the motherboard to the front or side of the machine.

    Using a USB port hub seems like a fine solution so long as the hub would take the shock and insulate your motherboard.


    In reality, the front and side USB ports are essentially a USB port hub in themselves. They are just build in to the case vs externally, there isn't really a difference in plugging the hub into a USB port vs plugging them in to the USB pins on a mobo. I've had a few of those modules short out, but the mobo connections are left fine on the mobo and can be used with a new case USB module if replaceable.
  5. Best answer selected by chrissugden.
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