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Strange behaviour - something faulty?

Posted on 2002-05-25
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I have an ECS K7S5A (SiS 735 chipset) motherboard running an athlon 1.4Ghz and using DDR 266 ram. It's been running well for 8 months, but it started acting strangely a week ago. I was using it, same as always and it just cut out, went blank. Tried resetting, but the board wouldn't POST (no beep codes). Tested CPU(ok), swaped everything, stripped it to CPU only, no beeps. Then I took the MB to the shop because I was sure it had failed. The guy said he tried it and it POSTed right away with his configuration, so he flashed the BIOS to an updated one and gave it back.

I tried it, and it POSTed with the same configuration I had before, but I kept getting "Windows Protection Error. You must restart your  system". Left it for a day, then it booted fine. After a few hours, the system suddenly reset while I was using it. Now when I restart, I either get a "Windows Protection Error", or the system resets itself while booting. If I shut it off and wait for a while, I can get it to boot, but the problem keeps popping up.

Somethign's wrong, but I'm not sure what, MB, CPU, RAM, power supply, or even heating maybe? Any ideas? Thanks.
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Question by:SKG
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SysExpert earned 1000 total points
ID: 7034957
1) It could be a Power supply problem ( not big enough or defective )

2) It could be a FAN not working causing overheating.

3) It could be the motherboard is indeed defective, ot mounted incorrectly.

If you can run a good hardware diagnostic, you may be able to pinpoint the problem.

Norton and Ontrack I think have some tests as well as

There are plenty of others for individual tests.
You might want to check out
http://hardwarehell.com/
and http://www.tomshardware.com
Here is a link to reviews of 11 motherboards by AnandTech.
               http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.html?i=1489
also.
 http://www.simmtester.com/PAGE/products/doc/docinfo.asp
  CPU speed test CPU type   Side bus speed  FSB front side bus                                                                             http://www.tweakfiles.com/processor/wcpuid.html 

RAM test RAM diagnostics for testing RAM using a boot disk.
               goto this page:
               http://www.heise.de/ct/ftp/
               and download the file on the link:
               ctRAMtst - Hauptspeichertest, Version 5.1


I hope this helps !
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Expert Comment

by:willinois
ID: 7040036
I think it is a failing power supply.  About $35.00 to replace, and a cheap thing to check.  I don't think that it is overheating as it gives you an error from a cold boot.  Odd that the "shop" did not experience the same situation.  This leads me to believe it is not the board, but once again the power supply.  You can always test the power supply with a volt/ohm meter by probing the back of the mainboard connectors while it is powered up.  Be careful not to short anything (black to black always) then compare to listed voltages for your board.
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Author Comment

by:SKG
ID: 7046361
Turns out it was a stick of memory that had gone bad. Thanks.
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