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Apoplexy
July 21 2011, 10:22:47 AM
A while back I built an AMD based PC for my Dad to do some video editing etc. but it's never really worked properly and I think the motherboard is shafted. Symptoms are random bluesceens during startup and recently it's started corrupting/not recognising the hard drive on boot, though I've not been able to check it myself yet.

Anyway, he's finally had enough and given it to me so I can fix it instead of just listening to him complaining about it all the time.

His PC was equipped with the following:

1 - AMD Phenom II X6 Six Core 1090T Black Edition 3.20GHz (Socket AM3) - Retail
1 - Antec Sonata III Piano Black Quiet Case - Black (EarthWatts 500W PSU)
1 - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit - OEM (GFC-00599)
1 - G.Skill RipJaw 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-10666C8 1333MHz Dual Channel Kit
1 - Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H AMD 785G (Socket AM3) DDR3 microATX Motherboard
2 - Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB SATA-II 32MB Cache - OEM (ST31000528AS)
1 - Sony Optiarc AD-5260S 24x DVD±RW SATA ReWriter (Black) - OEM

I've already got a Radeon HD 5770 graphics card to use in it, so I'd like to ask if anyone has some advice on a new motherboard (preferably without integrated graphics) and if it would be a good idea to get a different power supply?

Traxio Nacho
July 21 2011, 12:30:12 PM
Could it be a RAM problem?

When I built my computer earlier in the year it worked fine for a day or so then next morning would just randomly blue screen, couldn't figure out why at first thought it was driver problems, but tried updating/changing all the drivers I could think of. Tried taking out one stick RAM but it still did it, swapped out the other still did it tried different RAM completely and it stopped.

Edit: I did do a RAM test and it came back it was okay

Not sure if I had done something to damage both stick or if I just got really unlucky.

Isn't that computer rather over specced considering he just wants it for video editing (especially if its only using onboard graphics)

Apoplexy
July 21 2011, 12:51:49 PM
I did the same kind of testing with the RAM (apart from buying some more) and it passed the tests, but continued bluescreening.

I'm inclined to think it's the motherboard because the cause seems a bit random. i.e. it will work fine with nothing but Windows 7 installed, but trying to patch windows sometimes causes crashes, connecting to a network seems to increase the bluesceens, so does installing anti-virus, and the only work-around he's found is to not switch it off, but leave it in sleep mode most of the time.

I'm going to try and have a look at it tonight, but at the moment it apparently won't start because the Windows install has become corrupted :/

It is a bit over-specced for his current needs, but the thinking was that if he invests in an HD camera then it should be able to handle that too.

Rudolf Miller
July 21 2011, 05:51:58 PM
I did the same kind of testing with the RAM (apart from buying some more) and it passed the tests, but continued bluescreening.

I'm inclined to think it's the motherboard because the cause seems a bit random. i.e. it will work fine with nothing but Windows 7 installed, but trying to patch windows sometimes causes crashes, connecting to a network seems to increase the bluesceens, so does installing anti-virus, and the only work-around he's found is to not switch it off, but leave it in sleep mode most of the time.

I'm going to try and have a look at it tonight, but at the moment it apparently won't start because the Windows install has become corrupted :/

It is a bit over-specced for his current needs, but the thinking was that if he invests in an HD camera then it should be able to handle that too.

If it's random in occurance and covers a lot of different applications, it's always one of two things.

Mobo

PSU

Don't choose wrong.. it'll make you very mad.



Also, I may be pants on head retarded in this suggestion.. but I'd peg a 5% chance the PSU is having issues under load. Just throwin it out there.

Daneel Trevize
July 21 2011, 06:48:52 PM
It could indeed be that a specific power rail isn't coping/stable enough.
You can monitor & tweak such things in the BIOS usually. Also check for overheating in the machine, and stop any overclocking/downclock stuff.
Any spare drives/cards that could be removed to make it more bare-bones?

Edit: ignore something about the board size, nm I was thinking of Nano-ITX.

Apoplexy
July 21 2011, 08:06:21 PM
If it's random in occurance and covers a lot of different applications, it's always one of two things.

Mobo

PSU

Don't choose wrong.. it'll make you very mad.



Also, I may be pants on head retarded in this suggestion.. but I'd peg a 5% chance the PSU is having issues under load. Just throwin it out there.

This is my thinking.

He's got fed up with it not working properly, so he said to just buy both and save any messing around.

The machine's not overclocked and I've already tried having it bare bones, but it still crashes even with nothing but the HDD and one stick of RAM. I even tried replacing the CPU cooler, but no change.

Stoffl
July 22 2011, 07:23:17 AM
Sounds like a shitty noname PSU you got there, so replacing it would be generally a good idea. You can always get a new mobo afterwards.

*edit* uh nevermind, it's actually a relabeled seasonic psu. Get a new board, bonus points if it's not gigabyte. :razor:

Ryas Nia
July 22 2011, 02:39:36 PM
even top quality PSU's can go bad it just does not happen as often or in such high concentration so it could still be PSU. I would see if its under warranty and try to get it replaced for free then go for the mobo.

crazyr2
July 25 2011, 05:01:12 PM
Try a new SATA hard disk cable WITH THE SIDE OFF!

I had a machine in my office doing odd things, traced to a hard disk that was mounted sideways and the cable was touching the sides and bending it. Used a right angled cable and all was well after that.

Apoplexy
July 26 2011, 09:00:36 AM
Try a new SATA hard disk cable WITH THE SIDE OFF!

I had a machine in my office doing odd things, traced to a hard disk that was mounted sideways and the cable was touching the sides and bending it. Used a right angled cable and all was well after that.

Do you mean the cable was being bent so much that it was being pushed out of the connector on the hard disk? I don't think that's an issue here, but I'll try swapping the cables and see what happens.

I'm going to order the GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 AM3 from Ryas' hardware thread and an Antec TruePower 550W to replace the existing parts, and we'll see what happens after that.

crazyr2
July 27 2011, 08:03:01 PM
I can't remember if it was the cable or the connector. I think the cable was being pushed in a way that forced the connector out of position and broke it. It took a couple of years to "appear".

Early SATA cables were fragile and if you bent them too much you would damage the cable - not sure if it still applies.