Find the answer to your Linux question:
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
Hi All, Thanks for reading. I've been having freezing issues with my desktop. I have an older rig with a DFI Lanparty nfII ultra motherboard and AthlonXP 2800+ CPU. At ...
Enjoy an ad free experience by logging in. Not a member yet? Register.
  1. #1
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    25

    The Death of a Motherboard?


    Hi All,

    Thanks for reading.

    I've been having freezing issues with my desktop. I have an older rig with a DFI Lanparty nfII ultra motherboard and AthlonXP 2800+ CPU.

    At first it froze only when I started a browser...it frezes in Mepis, Slackware and Win XP BTW.

    I ruled out viruses and other malware, tried unplugging all USB devices, tweaking BIOS etc...but the problem is getting worse. Now I can get to a desktop only once in about 20 attempts, sometimes the computer diesn't even make it to post, just powers up the case and fans but the HDD's don't even spin up...sometimes they do but it still doesn't boot.

    and every once in a while it boots up like nobody's business but freezes soon after doing anything on the desktop or in xfce/kde.

    I looked at the physical condition of the mobo and it seems okay, some capacitors are a little bulged at the top but that's it.

    My next steps are to try to flash the BIOS with the latest version (hopefully it doesn't freeze during this) and other than this I'm at a loss.

    Any ideas here? Is my motherboard on it's deathbed or is there anything I'm missing?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    7,864
    It sounds like a Motherboard or power supply problem, If you are able, take the case covers off and have a look around, it probably needs to be cleaned out anyways. (unless this is a laptop) Look at the MOBO for any defects, check the little capacitors on the MOBO for signs of bulging or oozing capacitors, they look like frozen beer cans when they go bad. (Shoutout to waterhead for this tip). Smell the inside of the case, do you smell any burning smell? As for the power supply, try switching it out with another, if you have one laying around. Sometimes they appear fine, but as soon as you put a load on it, it craps out. You could try MEM test for the RAM, and make sure all your cables and ribbons are getting good contact with the MOBO connectors.
    Good Luck and do let us know how it goes.
    EDIT: I just noticed that you mentioned bulging capacitors, I just had to replace my own motherboard for this very reason, this is not looking good.
    I do not respond to private messages asking for Linux help, Please keep it on the forums only.
    All new users please read this.** Forum FAQS. ** Adopt an unanswered post.

    I'd rather be lost at the lake than found at home.

  3. #3
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    4,205
    Howdy petemartin, Bulging capacitors and if any are leaking are a sure sign of a dying motherboard. Unplugging everything but one stick of ram and booting up should give you some beep codes through the speaker. Your motherboard or Computer Manufacturers site might have a way of interpeting beep codes.
    Bios Central

    Also the problems you are having could be ram related.

    Also PSU related. Real hard to trouble shoot on a forum.
    Use the eXtreme PSU Calculator Lite to determine your power supply unit (PSU) requirements. Plug in all the hardware you think you might have in 2 or 3 years (extra drives, bigger or 2nd video card, more RAM, etc.). Be sure to read and heed the notes at the bottom of the page
    eXtreme Power Supply Calculator Lite v2.5

    Or try another working Motherboard or some different stcks of ram. Ram is the easiest thing to check first. I forget id Mepis has Mem Check in the grub boot menu but if it does I suggest you use that to check it first.

    Also a lot of good tools on this free bootable cd.
    Ultimate Boot CD - Overview

    You can use the above cd to check hardrives, ram, a ton of stuff.

    Edit: MikeTBob beat me to it.

  4. $spacer_open
    $spacer_close
  5. #4
    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    7,864
    But you went more in-depth, you win!
    I do not respond to private messages asking for Linux help, Please keep it on the forums only.
    All new users please read this.** Forum FAQS. ** Adopt an unanswered post.

    I'd rather be lost at the lake than found at home.

  6. #5
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    4,205
    Just did some searching is all I did, shucks I'm Blushing.

  7. #6
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    25
    Thanks for the quick replies. Mepis has a memtest in GRUB. I ran it over and over one night while i was asleep and it passed 12x

    I'll try a power supply since the one i have is 4 years old. No leaking caps yet but some are defiately bulging at the top...the "x"'s haven't ruptured though and the heat shrink on them still rolls over the top.

    I'll try a power supply tomorrow and post back what I find when I get into work.

    In all honesty, would it be even worth my time flashing the BIOS? I have had no problems for about 4 years until the last few weeks and the last time I changed anything was to add some memory about 5 months ago.

  8. #7
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    4,205
    I see no reason for a bios update. I know on the newer Lenovo Desktops, a bios upgrade can cause more problems than solve them. So I would leave that part alone till you try all other options first. The Ultimate boot cd link I gave you has a bunch of Hard drive testers on it for all the major brands. They are diagnostic tools for Hardrives from the Manufacturers site. Its a good tool to use. kinda like a crescent wrench in a tool box.

  9. #8
    Just Joined! questio verum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Adrift in an ever-expanding universe, quietly contemplating the wondrous and the inevitable.
    Posts
    82
    Have you tried booting from a live CD? If so, did your system still freeze? If you're answers were yes, then no, you may have a bad drive, or a bad signal cable.

    The bulging caps are not a good indication. They don't need to be leaking to fail. Have you removed and reseated everything, including cables? Every card, every cable, every component that plugs into the board contains signal paths that, if interrupted in just the right way, can cause the symptoms you're describing. If you find a cable that looks suspect, try running with it unplugged if that's possible. Or replace it. (After replacing a component, I never throw away any known good cables, just because of scenarios like this.)

    You have tried all of Mike & Roky's suggestions except for the psu, right?

    I think you may have already ID'ed the source of your problems with the bulging caps. If none of the other steps gain you anything, it's probably time to replace old faithful.

    qv

  10. #9
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    25
    I did the calculation for the size of PSU I should have...I need about 285W and I had a 400W power supply so it hasn't even really stretched it's legs out at all.

    But it was old so I replaced it anyways today to no avail. The computer doesn't even boot now...HDD's don't spin up at all even with 20+ on/off cycles.

    I did take a closer look at those bulging caps while I was digging the PSU out though. Two of the caps that are bulged also have some crusty brown stuff at the bottom. It seems as though they have been leaking and it also seems like I have my answer.

    R.I.P. motherboard. I'll be getting a new mobo/CPU and re-installing win XP, Mepis, and Slackware...at least I have a shiny new 500W PSU.

  11. #10
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    25
    Please forgive my rudeness...I was so distraught about my dearly departed motherboard and excited at the prospect of shopping for computer parts again that I forgot to thank everyone for their helpful suggestions and friendly support

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •