Fails to (re-)start PCI board - aging Mobo?

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Fails to (re-)start PCI board - aging Mobo?

Postposted on Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:03 am

Hi gents,

I have a tv tuner card (DVICO dual digital 4 - two DVB-T tuners through a USB - PCI bridge) in my Linux PVR box, built on an Asus M4A785T-M. I have it set to sleep (S5 - off, but waking on RTC alarm) and wake up to record shows, then sleep again if no one is using it. Randomly, but maybe every 3rd - fifth time lately, the tuner fails to start during boot and the computer just sits there instead of recording shows. To fix this, I disconnect the power for ten seconds, which works every time.

Is it fair to assume that this is a piece of dodgy hardware on the motherboard (the notorious capacitor aging)? If I reboot into Windows there is no improvement - the hardware shows up as unstartable. I guess it could also be the tuner card, although that's simpler device.

My first look at replacing it found the cheapest AM3+ mobo is an ASrock 980DE/US3, which looking on NewEgg, is OK for some people, quibbly for a few and is sometimes DOA (assuming I can get it replaced this is not a deal breaker). I couldn't find a good guide on its power characteristics - is 10W a lot for a system that is off? /it seems like a lot to me.
Athlon 620e, Asus 7790 (1GB), 8GB KVR 1333, Asus M4A785T-M, Samsung 830 256GB, WD Green 1TB, WD Green 2TB, E-mu 1212m, Dvico HD Dual Digital 4 TV tuner, Hyper 212 Evo (mounted ironically), Antec Earthwatts Platinum 450W.
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Re: Fails to (re-)start PCI board - aging Mobo?

Postposted on Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:51 am

I was about to say "dodgy Linux drivers" until I hit the bit about it not restarting properly in Windows either. The M4A785T-M isn't *that* old, and was released long after the worst of the capacitor plague; unless it has been operated at very high temperatures I would be a little surprised if the capacitors were failing (though anything is possible, so it can't be ruled out entirely).

When you say you're using a USB - PCI bridge, do you mean one of those adapter cards that allows you to connect a PCI device via a USB port? That an unorthodox setup; there's a lot that could go wrong there during a sleep/wakeup cycle.

Some other things to try before replacing the motherboard:

- Flash your BIOS to the latest revision.

- If you have a spare PSU, try swapping that in.

- Try the tuner cards on another system and see if the problem still occurs.

- IIRC the USB ports on the AMD SB710 have known issues; have you tried an add-on USB card instead of the built-in USB ports? You could also try using a powered USB hub.
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Re: Fails to (re-)start PCI board - aging Mobo?

Postposted on Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:01 am

Sorry - the tuner card is a PCI device with two tuner chips which are governed by a usb chip. There is a Kworld device with a similar approach. Temps in this system are generally pretty low, but every summer here we get half a dozen days where it is over 40C/104F, and then the internal temp will be that +20 or thereabouts. Sometimes I turn it off, sometimes I don't. I have a USB MCE remote, not running through the tuner card or the IR header. I recently replaced the PSU to an Antec Earthwatts Platinum and the problem has not changed significantly. The BIOS is at the last revision issued by Asus. Although I said its random, it does seem like to grow more likely the longer it has been since I did a full power cycle (down to unplugging).

Thanks for your advice, JBI. I don't really have another system to try it in - the only thing I've got with PCI is an Athlon XP 2500+ machine still running (last I checked) Windows ME, but that system has no network and Linux would be a chore to set up. I will probably just try replacing the motherboard, as there are some advantages in terms of Sata3 points, FDD header, extra PCI slot for even older tuner card (reduncancy) and maybe upgradeability if there is an AMD Christmas miracle of some worthwhile AM3+ CPUs for my porpoises. Also I can use the spare motherboard for this absurd project for my son (racing car sim - viewtopic.php?f=29&t=93450) with all the other hardware I've replaced over years.
Athlon 620e, Asus 7790 (1GB), 8GB KVR 1333, Asus M4A785T-M, Samsung 830 256GB, WD Green 1TB, WD Green 2TB, E-mu 1212m, Dvico HD Dual Digital 4 TV tuner, Hyper 212 Evo (mounted ironically), Antec Earthwatts Platinum 450W.
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Re: Fails to (re-)start PCI board - aging Mobo?

Postposted on Sun May 04, 2014 10:23 pm

One other thing you may want to check is dust and furries working their way into the PCI slot and making it have an intermittent connection. I have had enough problems with dusty slots in old mobos not recognizing cards, and now I make sure they get hit with duster cans before hours of cursing. :D
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