Repairing Motherboard - Bad Caps?
Posted on 2003-12-01
My specs: ECS K7S5A mobo, AMD Athlon Tbird 1 GigHZ CPU, 512 Megs DDR Ram (2 sticks), DVDROM, Iomega 100 Zip Drive Internal, Adaptec 2940UW SCSI Adapter, 9 Gig SCSI HDD Internal, 40 Gig IDE HDD 7200RPM, Geforce2 GTS 32 Meg AGP videocard, SB Live! 16 Bit soundcard, 1 Floppy Disk Drive, Onboard LAN NIC Card, L&C 300W PSU (+3.3V/14A, +5V/25A, +12V/10A), APC Power Surge Protector, 1600x1200x32bit Desktop Resolution, Windows 2000 Pro [SP4], ATX Form Factor. The system can be running for days on end using Peer-2-Peer apps. Usage includes: MS Visual Studio .NET application development, minimal 3D Games, MP3 playing, web surfing, Peer-2-Peer downloading. The system is 2 years old.
My ECS K7S5A motherboard with Athlon Tbird 1 GigHZ CPU appears to be dead. Inspection of the board reveals 4 capacitors with convex tops and brownish stains. Trying to turn on the system has been strange: Just plugging in a different PSU (250W) while "set to off" causes the CPU Fan to spin momentarily!; Turning on the system sometimes had the CPU Fan running but no POST would appear in fact there doesnt appear to be a video signal; The system wouldnt turn on; The CPU Fan would audibly vary in speed. On the positive side all peripherals are fine. The problem seems to be with the motherboard, PSU, and maybe the CPU(?).
I have 2 questions:
 How did my motherboard get to be this way? Did the cheap quality L&C PSU that i have cause this or is this due to bad mobo manufacturing on ECS's part? Proactive measures I can take would be dilgently pursued if sugested.
 I've been to a few websites providing tips on repairing motherboards, the most common being replacing bad capacitors. Have you had much success with this? That is, after attempting to replace capacitors have you noticed a complete resurrection of the mobo or a noticeably volatile system? Is it better to simply buy a new motherboard than to repair a dead one?