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Possible Hardware Problem

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by JEBWrench, Jul 8, 2006.

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  1. JEBWrench

    JEBWrench Thread Starter

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    Hey everyone - this is sort of a continuation from my thread in the Win2k forums, since the problem is now pointing more towards the hardware side of things.

    So, some backstory: A few days ago, let's call this magical day "Tuesday", while playing a game of no specific importance, my computer locked up. I thought, well, this is odd. So, naturally, I rebooted. And quickly, my PC locked up again. This repeated for some time, before I cursed and booted into Linux. No problems there, so I assumed that I was having software issues - hence, the post in the 2k Forum.

    Now, it seems that my problems are growing rapidly on that blessed machine. In Linux, my internet connection rarely functions, and when it does, the modem will have to wait through being turned on, hearing a dial tone, and listening to the operator telling me to hang up and try again before dialing. This lead me to suspect that somehow, the Modem - a USR 56.6k Internal Fax modem, forgive me for not recalling the model number specifically at this moment - is faulty. So, I tried uninstalling and reinstalling the driver in Windows. Now, Windows can't find my PCI slot that it's plugged in. And it can't find the driver on the mainboard (PCChips M848A) CD.

    So that leads me to think that the MoBo might be the problem.

    Another thought that originally came to mind was my power supply - an Enermax 300W ATX EG301P-V could be going a bit shaky. That would, I would think, explain the freezing problems, but I was hoping if anyone else had any input on what I might want to look into. After the last explosion (don't ask...) I'm a little leery around testing Power Supplies. :eek:

    The fact that Linux operated fine at first is what puzzles me most. I suppose that's what lead me to think of hardware option 4: The HDD. Unfortunately, I can't recall the make and model of it - I think it's a Maxtor 120GB 5200 RPM dealie, but don't quote me on the manufacturer. If anyone thinks that's important info to have, I can verify it.

    What I'd like to know is what people significantly more knowledgeable in such affairs think of my four possible scenarios, and if possible, toss out any other things I might want to look for. Eventually, if we ever get a good price day for gasoline around here, I'm going to be taking it to my local guru and see what he thinks. Unfortunately, that might be some time, and I'd like to know what options and potential sticker shock I might be looking into.

    Once again, any help is greatly appreciated. :)

    PS: If anyone would like to see an HJT report on said machine, it's in this thread: http://forums.techguy.org/windows-nt-2000-xp/480259-solved-win-2k-freezing-hjt.html

    PPS: The OSes on said computer are twofold - Windows 2000 Professional with SP4, and Ubuntu Breezy Badger (Try saying that three times fast) which is a Debian build.
     
  2. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    I would lean more toward a mb problem than the power supply. Pcchips is the worst of the mb mfg; in short they build junk. Enermax on the other hand is a quality mfg of power supplies. While it is not impossible to have a bad enermax unit, I would tend to think you would find more bad pchips boards than enermax ps.

    If you want to check your hd, just download the utility for checking the drive. You download this from whoever mfg the drive ie Maxtor, WD, Seagate, etc.
     
  3. brite750

    brite750

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    your USR modem is a separate pci card so why are you looking on your MB cd to find drivers? you need to make sure your MB drivers are installed and you need to make sure your USR modem drivers are installed correctly. Your HDD can be tested by the makers utility for it. Not sure how you know your pc cant find the pci slot? try moving the modem to another pci slot. If you do need a new MB please do not buy ECS or PCchips, but there are certainly a lot of cheapy boards out there that arent any better.
     
  4. brite750

    brite750

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  5. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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  6. JEBWrench

    JEBWrench Thread Starter

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    I have the modem drivers, however, I can't get a driver for the port it's plugged into.

    I know this, because when I boot up the PC, I get "Found New Hardware" and then, instead of "Unknown Communications Device", which I normally get with an uninstalled modem, it's "Unknown PCI Port"

    The board has been through a lot (For example, the previous power supply explosion which inspired me toi purchase the Enermax), so I wouldn't be surprised if it went down after these 14 months.

    Actually, I wouldn't mind it being a mobo problem - gives me an excuse to buy a new processor too. :D

    As far as getting HD utilities to run, I can't get online with that rig to download them, and even if I could, I rarely can keep it running long enough to even run a virus scan.

    Edit:
    Addendum: I see that Tigerdirect still has the MSI KT880 in stock - anybody know if it's a good quality board for its price?
     
  7. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    Via chipset? I don't think I would recommend it. there are Biostar boards around with
    nforce2 chipsets that are much more desireable.
     
  8. Rumpo-Stiltskin

    Rumpo-Stiltskin

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    Tough time to be choosing components at the moment.
    VIA mainboard chipsets used to be pretty safe, but who can tell any more?
    Tom's Hardware didn't have anything bad to say about that particular board.

    The safest thing to do (obvious or not) is to see what hardware you can afford and then research it exhaustively on the Internet.
    Search for any problems with chipsets, model numbers, incompatibilities etc. etc.
     
  9. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    There is nothing wrong with the later via chipsets. The problem comes from buying cheap boards in the first place. I had one via board here running for 4 years until it died recently [from bad caps, not via's fault]
     
  10. JEBWrench

    JEBWrench Thread Starter

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    Considering general consensus being MoBo, I should also ask how the differences in OS performance can be explained - while Windows' problems were essentially perpetual, Linux's were a gradual degredation.

    Any ideas?
     
  11. brite750

    brite750

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    Rich dont beg, its not attractive, Believe me out of the other choices that was the best one. Actually back in the day FIC was an ok general purpose mb, personlly know of hundreds of pc that were built with FIC, very low defect rate, now that particular MB I dont know. And please Rich, Gagabyte are a royal POS, I mean I built five and 4 were either doa, dead after a month, or lasted a year for the best one. Anyway thats why I listed the Abit, however it is off of E-bull.
     
  12. brite750

    brite750

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  13. brite750

    brite750

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    Linux just might be a liitle slow on the uptake were as Windows just freaks immediately
     
  14. brite750

    brite750

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    HDD utilites can be downloaded to any pc with a burner or floppy drive to make bootable disk. Dont know about MSI, but Rich spanked me on FIC, however I disagree with him, nothing is as bad as ECS/PcChips, and I say that having never owned or worked with one, its just a rumor here at TSG:D
     
  15. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Looks like a good find brite. Epox makes fine boards; I have two of them here.
     
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