is my mobo bad?

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is my mobo bad?

Postposted on Fri Nov 02, 2007 3:40 am

There is a gremlin in my system and i can't figure out what component is giving me trouble. I am getting several different types of BSOD's, somtimes a stop error, telling me a device driver caused the problem, sometimes a memory failure, telling me to check my RAM or GPU.

My system: Windows XP Pro SP2

AMD Athalon 64 FX-55
ASUS A-8NE mobo (socket 939)
Crucial Ballistix 2 GB DDR1 dual channel memory kit
BFG Tech GeForce 7600GT
SeaGate 250 GB SATA2 HDD
RaidMax 450W PSU

It would never Blue Screen when under load, it was usually while idleing or doing a simple task like browsing the web. I ran Prime95 on it, maxing out my system resources for a day straight with no problems. I'm positive that it's not a software conflict because BSOD's would occur outside of Windows XP, like at the user accounts logon screen, or when I boot from the CD and reinstall windows, it blue screened. It also just lost power and rebooted a few times when I was trying to reinstall windows. For that reason, I thought it was the PSU, so I replaced it with a really nice 430W one from Thermaltake. Also, whenever it would Blue Screen or I would restart the computer, it would not boot. It gave me a BIOS beep code with one really long tone and two short ones. I could get it to boot again if I cut the power and then tried again. Then every time i would get into Windows, it would give me the error reporting window, saying the system had recovered from a serious error; sometimes it would give me several of them.

I got so many BSOD's that the data on the HDD would get corrupted, and i kept having to repair and reinstall Windows. One time, it began to boot and it had to do an automatic check disk, and it had to rescue all of my files, which had become orphaned.

After I replaced the PSU, it does not lose power randomly. It looked like it was working fine for a little while and I didn't get any BSOD's, but it would still fail to boot after restarting, and give me the BIOS beep code. After I cut the power and tried again, it would get into windows and give me the same error reporting messages. But then it began taking longer and longer to get into or out of Windows, and then it stopped being able to load Windows at all. It would just sit and do nothing when I hit the shut down button in the start menu for several minutes, and then the logoff screen would come up and i would hit shut down, and then it would take another few minutes before it even tried to shut down. Getting into windows was the same way. It would sit there, not even trying to load windows for several minutes, and then it would engage the hard drive and load Windows. As the problem got worse, it wouldn't even make it to the loading widows screen. It would say something about an error with a .dll on a black screen. So I booted from the disk to try and reinstall AGAIN, but now it makes it past the BIOS detections, and i "hit any key to boot from CD" and it goes to the screen where it's loading the files to do a Windows installation, and it freezes on one of the drivers... It can't even load the boot disk OS.

I've tested my Seagate hard drive several times using SeaTools HDD diagnostic through DOS, and it passes all the tests, I've also tested it as a slave drive on another computer and it worked great.

I've tested my RAM using memtest86 and windows memory diagnostic, and it passes all of the tests. It also held up fine to extended Orthos and Prime95 tests. tomorrow I am going to borrow my friend's dual channel kit, but i'm pretty sure the RAM isn't the problem.

I know my OS disk is good, it has been verified.

I've swapped out my GeForce 7600GT with a friend's 7600 GS and nothing changed.

I'm positive that there is nothing wrong with my new Thermaltake PSU

It seems to me that the problem is in the Motherboard, but I want to be sure before I rip it apart and send it in to ASUS, or buy a new one (I think it's still under warranty; I bought it retail in november 2006). Any input or advice would be very helpful.
Gerbil In Training
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:18 pm

Postposted on Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:28 am

It is possible that the previous PSU damaged the motherboard. You've done excellent detective work. It sounds like a frustrating problem. Here's just some random thoughts that may do nothing to help you.

Chipset temps too hot?

Motherboard shorting to something - try running out of case on piece of wood or cardboard.

Could be hard drive controller - if you're using SATA switch to an IDE drive or if you're using IDE try a SATA drive. This is starting to sound like the most plausible explaination......
Gerbil Khan
Posts: 9215
Joined: Thu May 08, 2003 12:42 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Postposted on Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:37 am

I had similar problems like you're describing last summer.
(not as critical as yours)
I was blue screening all over the place.
After trying mobo inside/outside of case.
Testing each stick of memory.
Running HDD diagnostics.
Swapping out CPU's.
Mine turned out to be the PSU.
After going through 2 Antec's and awaiting a third I switched to an Enermax and my problems disappeared.
Have you run your .dmp files through windows bug checker?
Some times it will point you in the right direction.

MSI K8N Neo4-F
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HIS X1950Pro 512Mb IceQ3 Turbo
Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 | AMD FX8350 Black Edition | Samsung 840 EVO 500GB | Corsair XMS3 16GB DDR3 | XFX Radeon HD 7950 3GB | Win7 x64
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Gerbil Elite
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