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Solved: Replacing motherboard with identical motherboard?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by s.haulk, Sep 14, 2008.

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  1. s.haulk

    s.haulk Thread Starter

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    I just started running a home business for PC Repair and Tutoring. My first customer has a malfunctioning motherboard I believe. She has an old Gateway with Win ME. I believe that it is the mother board because nothing works on bootup during the gateway splash screen. It says that it has detected the keyboard and mouse but also to consult the user manual if a further problem exists. The keyboard and mouse won't work with it anyway.

    It goes on to say that there is no hard drive detected and there is no CD-ROM drive detected. I am left with a blank black screen with a flashing cursor at the top left hand corner. The whole time that it is booting there is a continuous ticking noise. I thought that it might be the hard drive for that but it is fine. I suspect a bad capasitor. My question is this: If I find an identical motherboard will a swap go seemlessly or not? I am also inviting any other advice on this.

    The only drive that does work is the A: drive but when I put a disk in it I get a message saying to take it out and strike any key. Well you can't strike any key if the keyboard doesn't work. Plus I can't find the any key. Just kidding I'm not that dumb. I knew it was going to be an adventure getting into this business but didn't know how hard it would be to troubleshoot something that was originally a simple issue.

    When I first looked at her PC the Goback utility wouldn't let her onto her desktop because that clock was set for a time that hadn't yet come to pass. The ticking noise was present at that time and her original usb keyboard and mouse wouldn't work with the computer either. I opened the computer just to see what she had inside it and I changed out the clock battery thinking that this may have had something to do with it. I closed it again and the next thing I knew it wouldn't even boot far enough to get to the GoBack screen that was poping up just before the windows startup. I doubt that changing out the clock battery would have caused the motherboard to crash. That is why I'm hear I guess. Anyone want to take a stab at it? Many Thanks
     
  2. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge

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    Yes, if all other components are good; but, you probably will never find an identical board of that vintage.

    Try a non-USB keyboard and non-USB mouse. Disconnect drives and other peripherals and see if it will boot with a Windows 9x or ME startup disk..

    How do you know the drive is good?

    Can you access the BIOS?
     
  3. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    If you changed the cmos battery on the motherboard, you also reset the bios to defaults when you did this. Here is what I would do.
    1 Disconnect or pull the pw connectors from ALL drives; both hd and optical
    2 Pull out any add-in cards like sound, nic, etc; leave your video card installed
    3 Disconnect ANY usb device; ie keyboard, mouse, scanner, hub, etc
    4 Connect a standard ps2 keyboard
    5 PW ON and see if you can enter the bios. If you can enter the bios, set the correct day, time, etc. Also enable usb support for the keyboard. Save settings and restart. Now shutdown and connect your hd, optical drive and floppy. See if it will boot now.
     
  4. s.haulk

    s.haulk Thread Starter

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    You would have thought that since it was a dinosaur that it would have had that type of connection on it. I wish it did so that that I could enter the BIOS. I know the HD is good because I slapped it into another pc with an IDE connection and it booted into the OS. I found an identical motherboard through these two sites:

    http://store.luluusa.com/4000785.html
    http://www.wiredparadise.net/4000785.html

    I am trying to save my customer as much money as possible but yet I just feel like telling her that it is time for a new pc. I also am trying to find a way to get my hands on a Win ME 31/2 floppy boot disk so that I can try that method. Although I don't think that will work either unless it executes without needing any external commands.
     
  5. arknorth

    arknorth

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    Tell me, is this that tiny little Gateway that's about the size of a PlayStation2? If it is, then the motherboard is very suspect, as I had a customer with one that fried its board twice, and it was mostly because of the way they built that beastie. Just to get to the board you actually have to unfold the machine's guts - a very strange system indeed.

    A-N

    Oh god, it's a Flex! Yup, that's it!
     
  6. s.haulk

    s.haulk Thread Starter

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    It is a little bigger than the PS2 Fat system. It looks more like an XBOX in shape. Yeah you have to slide the whole outer case off and unfold the drives to get to the MB. I will give my customer a heads up on frequently fried MB's on that model of PC. Thanks
     
  7. s.haulk

    s.haulk Thread Starter

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    The only other thing that I would like to know is this:

    I got the model number Ms-6312 Pga370 Ver.1 from off of the motherboard itself. I googled that and that is how I got to the links that I posted above. What I would like the know is if this MB will have the correct BIOS. If it would be exactly identical to the original so I can do a seemless swap. Thanks.
     
  8. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Well it has the same part # As to the bios version, no one can tell you what bios version is installed on the replacement board until it posts and the bios ver will show.

    If it is the same part # then you should not have a problem swapping boards.
     
  9. s.haulk

    s.haulk Thread Starter

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    Thank you very much for the advice everyone. I am going to advice my customer a motherboard swap might work for her but in reality the easiest road is to purchase a whole new pc since there is almost never a such a thing as an easy fix. I am going to shop around for her to see if I can find a good pc that is affordable for her. I am also going to instruct her that another tech had a cust with the same pc and had to replace the motherboard twice because the pc was pooly build/designed by Gateway. Plus it doesn't help that she has Win ME which to my understanding is the most unstable OS by Microsoft ever.
     
  10. arknorth

    arknorth

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    Well just as another heads up - the REASON for the constant fried motherboards (at least in this one I worked on) was - 1 - Overheating (not surprising in a system so compacted) and - 2 - those folding sections have some wires running along them that short out at times (make sure you've discharged this beastie before playing with it as I had it spark at me once).

    Nothing like a computer built like a TacoBell grilled fajita!

    A-N
     
  11. s.haulk

    s.haulk Thread Starter

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    Thanks for that last tip Arknorth. I will keep that in mind with this type of desktop pc.
     
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