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mobo problems beyond belief

By Khaavren
May 7, 2003
  1. Running a p4 1.8ghz 478 socket in an asus p4s333.
    Ran fine for 4 or 5 months then started crashing with nice multicolored vertical lines on screen.
    Upon rebooting most times, mobo reports cpu failed. After a few resets, problem seems to be gone and computer boots, many times only to crash again with the nice vertical lines upon windows boot logo. Uptimes vary from a day to less than 15 seconds. Replacing video card didn't help. Checked all connections w/ power and cpu/ram. Have sent message to asus hoping to recieve a response soon. Any ideas would be generously recieved.
     
  2. negroplasty

    negroplasty TS Guru Posts: 516   +12

    This could be a cooling problem, however I have never encountered one as serious as this before, are you sure all of your fans are functioning correctly? It would also be a good idea to check if your heat sinks are attached properly to your CPU and other components that require them. Did you have any problems like this in the past?
     
  3. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Its unlikely to be a cooling problem, though the symptoms are similar. The reason its unlikely to be cooling related is that you say the uptime varies from a few seconds, to a day. If it was cooling related then you would expect to get recurring problems at roughly similar intervals - once the critical temp was reached.

    I feel the most likely cause is an intermittent hardware issue, caused by a defective component on your mainboard (much as you already suspect).

    As your mainboard is one of last years models, you might be aware that there were issues related to defective mainboard capacitors that were fitted to many mainboards last year, and these would go intermittent and eventually fail completely. Asus was one manufacturer that fitted such components.

    Heres an article you might wish to read, although it is entirely possible that your problem has a different cause ...

    Blown and Leaking Motherboard Capacitors - A Serious Problem?

    Since that issue came to light, many manufacturers have swapped to using extremely high quality caps in their mainboards.
     
  4. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    I'd have to agree with Nic on this. I saw a few boards with the defective capacitors and some of them showed similar symptons as what you are experiencing. This does not varify that this is your problem but it is very likely and it is almost definately a defective component of some sort on the mainboard, which again points to the capacitor.
     
  5. Khaavren

    Khaavren TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I appreciate the input and asus gave permission to rma the board given the same description as my prior post. I was not aware of the problems with capacitors that you kindly linked. This may very well be the problem i am experiencing. Ill do a follow up once asus recieves the board. Im afraid though that with the randomness of the problems that asus might not spend enough time testing and just send it back without further investigating. This is actually the first good reason ive heard that i have yet to disprove and once again would like to thank you for responding so soon :D
     
  6. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7


    You took the words right out of my mouth.

    I think that some capacitor or something has died on your board, or your CPU has developed a defect.

    I had a similar thing once where I was using my PC once and it then completely hung. On reboot, I found that all was well except for one thing - If you moved from anything other than a completely text based screen mode, like you get in DOS, the machine died!!! And the graphics card was fine. Once the board was removed I found a dead capacitor.

    I've also seen a machine where at different intervals it would refuse to leave the POST screen and boot the OS. Nothing wrong with the HDD or anything, all was well there and once the machine WAS coaxed into booting, everything was fine. The result was finally found to be a problematic CPU.

    You describe what sounds like a crash in the CPU when the graphics card is caught in mid refresh perhaps. You might even find, if a scientist looked at your CPU, that the particular part which gives it some instruction code to talk to some function that the graphics card performs has died or is dying, so that when your CPU tries to execute a particular instruction, it kills everything going on in the whole chip. At least, that's my neanderthal understanding of what might be happening inside a CPU in this case. I am no expert.
     
  7. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    Tell us how it goes when you get the returned board back. Its possible that your motherboard revision has a problem with your particular graphics card, etc.... however that's unlikely and what's more likely is that you have just got a faulty board.
     
  8. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    We are always glad to help here on TechSpot, and its good to here that Asus is cooperating nicely. If the problem turns out to be related to defective capacitors (as per that article) then they will most likely send you a brand new board, as replacing all the caps on the existing board will not be worth the time and effort involved. Do let us know how you get on. :)

    Also, its good to see that great minds think alike (sorry timmoore, but you are still young and haven't studied electronics yet, so there is still plenty of time for you to catch up). :D
     
  9. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Here's an interesting article that came out today,
    (I have also provided direct links from the article - all of which are available from the first one) ...

    Leaking capacitors get own rogue gallery - The Inquirer

    which has further links to these ...

    Dodgy components threaten mobos, modems - The Inquirer

    Abit boards have "extreme" failure rate - The Inquirer

    Pictures of Leaking Capacitors

    PS: Note that since those problems occurred last year, Abit now uses only the very highest quality capacitors in all its mainboards - much higher quality than is really required. Also, it wasn't just Abit that had problems, though they were the first to be identified. Here's a quote from one article "Leaking capacitors have become a serious epidemic and are affecting many different motherboard manufacturers and their consumers. Most people who have this problem don't even know it!"
     
  10. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    Nic, your post has scared me.
     
  11. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    You should put a warning on that link to the leaky capacitors, it is not for the weak of heart.
     
  12. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Strangely enough, for all the talk of leaking capacitors, I've yet to see one. Granted, all the pictures of dying capacitors is not for the faint of heart, and are very explicit, but the links are properly labelled so users can back away from clicking should they so desire. :eek:

    PS: I have now added a warning label to that post.
     
  13. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    There's no sense trying to sweet talk me now, buddy. You scared the bazang out of me! ;)

    I take too much care of my kit to not notice a problem like that developing.
     
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