TechSpot

Motherboard replacement concerns

By amanuo
Apr 20, 2006
  1. Hi,
    Recently my pc has more trouble booting each day. When i press the power button, it gets turned on but stops booting while reading the drives (the screen is still black by then). When i keep resetting it gets further sometimes, but it can take up to 30 tries to get into windows.

    So i figured i'll replace my motherboard (Asrock K7VT4A Pro (Socket A)).
    I heard that if i get another Socket-A type motherboard, i won't have to reinstall windows (reinstalling windows would be a real prob).
    But i'm still wondering if this counts for only Asrock motherboards, or if i can also replace it with an AMD for instance.

    Any advice or comment is welcome, as i realy dont even know if replacing the motherboard is the right thing to do..
     
  2. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    installing windows is always a pain in the ***- no matter what system you put it on. You can reuse your old windows copy but you'll need to get a new key from M$. It will prompt you to call a 1-800 #. XP is only licensed for one machine at a time.

    personally, I would take this time for an upgrade. You can salvage most of the parts, cdrom, memory (if it is DDR400), floppy drive, zip drive, etc....

    sell the XP CPU- there's a high demand on ebay for it.

    sell the video card

    get yourself a nice AMD 64 system with a nice video card.
     
  3. amanuo

    amanuo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm really not gonna get a new system. This one is just over a year old and was working fine before this booting prob (also don't have the money for a new system at the moment).
    I just want to replace the motherboard without having to reinstall windows, thats possible, right?
     
  4. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    no. Windows configured itself and generates a key UNIQUE to the motherboard its on.
    you will need to reload windows. Save all your data to your backup hard drive. You DO have a backup device right! ;)
     
  5. amanuo

    amanuo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I just really want to avoid formatting if possible.
    How about reinstalling windows on my windows partition? Is that gonna work? or does the whole harddisk need to be formatted (lose the partitions).
     
  6. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    nope. A clean install is best to ensure that no leftover drivers and orphan files will jack up your new system.
     
  7. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Take a look at this sticky HERE.

    Regards Howard :)
     
  8. ROYAL115

    ROYAL115 TS Rookie

    Have you done a thorough check for viruses and malware? That sounds a lot more likely than a problem with the MB.
     
  9. amanuo

    amanuo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well i scanned with AVG (Free edition) 7. But what's malware?
     
  10. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Malware=Viruses/spyware etc.

    Regards Howard :)
     
  11. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Amanuo please post the specs of your PSU. Total watts and the amps of each of the 3.3, 5 and 12Volt outputs. Make and model too.

    Cheers.
     
  12. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    MALWARE= malware is short for malicious software such as viruses and trojan horses. They are designed to harm your computer software (and though rare... some older viruses could actually damage hardware such as the HDD as well)

    SPYWARE= spyware is software that runs in the background of your computer without your consent and sends sensitive information to a 3rd party. Such programs include keyloggers and Internet Browser reporters.

    ADWARE= adware is software that runs in the background of your computer to display advertisments in pop up windows, and in some cases re-direct your web page searches to only the sites that they want you to see (these are known as internet-hi-jackers and some may consider them malware as well). Adware is generally not harmful, just extremely aggrevating
     
  13. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    What makes you think that your Mobo is dead anyways? I think your Mobo is fine, you just need to fix your Windows instal.

    it is not recommended, but yes it is possible. sometimes you can simply swap the boards and XP(SP2) will recognize the new hardware and adapt itself. If that doesn't work then you can perform a "repair" install to overwrite the existing system files. But the best way is always to perform a clean installation.

    WindowsXP is a pretty painless installation and is for the most part automated. you will have to install drivers for some of your stuff afterwards... but thats no big deal. If you have a retail copy of Windows than you will not need a new product key, but if you have an OEM version then it will not work with your new board and will be against M$'s EULA

    you don't have to buy whole new system. you're already going to buy a new motherboard so why not make it a socket939 setup? all you have to do is buy a new CPU along with the moerboard. Tedster has a good point, you can pretty much re-use your whole system you just have to replace 2 components instead of 1.

    Athlon64's have been around for 3 years now, AthlonXPs have been around for 6 years! (those are not exact dates... lol :)). so when you look at it that way, your system is far older than 1 year.
     
  14. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    of course there are few that remember the VIC20 virus that actually caused a chip to overheat and melt..... early 1980s.
     
  15. ROYAL115

    ROYAL115 TS Rookie

    I didn't mean to be obtuse. I use the term "malware" to refer to all of the above. Adware, spyware, scumware, whatever you want to call it, it can slow down your system.
    (Just a thought) Have you added any software lately that loads itself into memory when you boot up? A lot of fonts maybe?
    Goto start:run: type in "msconfig": go to the "startup" tab and see what is loading at startup. Uncheck anything you are not using, like Yahoo Messinger, or Quicktime. This stuff will load when you need it. It doesn't need to be activated at startup.
    (It is a good idea to set a "System Restore Point" before doing this. Better safe than sorry).

    Dave
     
  16. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    although it never hurts to set a restore point, unchecking items from the startup tab in MSCONFIG will not doing any harm.

    I would recommend having your 'puter set to create a restore point every day anyways (unless you are really limited on HDD space)
     
  17. amanuo

    amanuo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well the pc seems to be very virus/spyware free, as i have AVG always running and do regular spyware/adware scans with other progs, and there are no obvious indications of any malware.
    About the applications that start with windows, i also keep this list organized, and theres nothing new there. And this is also unlikely to be the problem because the bootup already hangs before the windows logo is even visible. Actually before ánything apears on the screen (2 secs after i press the power button).

    This is also why i expected it to be a mobo issue, since it doesnt even get the chance to start loading windows.

    It'll take a couple more days to backup my files, and then i guess i'll try to reinstall windows first, and then think about the mobo if the problem continues.
     
  18. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    amanuo:
    Are you completely sure it's a mobo issue, sounds a bit like a PSU issue to me.
    Read this link and tell me why you still think it's a failing mobo:
    http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic48731.html

    Cheers.
     
  19. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    there are exceptions, but generally speaking a mobo either works or it doesn't.

    you should replace the mobo as a last resort because it is very unlikely to be the source of your problem. you should read the thread that Kirock wrote (the one he linked to in the above post). it has some very good information.

    also, you never answered his question about your PSU, as it is looking more and more like it is the culprit. the question was...
     
  20. amanuo

    amanuo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No, i am not completely sure if its a mobo prob, thats why i wanted to consult TechSpot first :)
    I read kirock's troubleshooting thread, but it's hard to determine what applies to my case, because i don't have BSOD's/reboots or any error messages.

    About the PSU voltages, i dont know how to get this info. I guess i need a program to tell me these numbers?
    I do know that i have an AMD Athlon XP 3000+, 2.17 GHz, and a 350 watt power unit.
     
  21. amanuo

    amanuo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    solved

    Alright the prob is finally solved.
    I took the pc to the store to replace the mobo & processor, but the next day they called me to say that the video card & powerblock fan were broken.

    I guess the videocard overheated from the broken fan, and eventually died from it, hence the pc wouldnt boot.

    Thanks for all the help anyway, though we were looking in the wrong direction :(
     
  22. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Well sorry I missed the video card, but it is hard to trouble-shoot over the internet. As you can see in my previous post I didn't think it was mobo and was trying to drill into other issues. PSU is a basic good starting point.

    Take care.
     
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