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Computer keeps freezing?  Motherboard problem?

Posted on 2004-11-03
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
Here is my problem.  I have an IBM Netvista 6579-K9U.

The warranty just ran out on these machines, and they have been given me headaches for the past two weeks.

So I have the following:

Win XP
PIII 797 MHz
256 RAM
12 GB HDD

My problem started on Monday, the machine was randomly rebooting?

I ran a virus scan (clean), adaware, spybot, spysweeper, all good.

I switched the Ram it continued to reboot
I switched the power supply, it continued to reboot.

Now I am wondering if it’s the motherboard.  So since switching the power supply it is now randomly freezing.  I can’t use the keyboard or mouse.  And I am not using heavy programs, just typing in EE it froze.  I tried using a USB modem but when I rebooted I got a configuration error, mouse not installed.  So I went into the bios changed it to installed.  Verified the USB was set to automatically detect keyboard and mouse, but it wouldn’t boot (kept getting 2 beeps then config error), until I used the ps2 mouse.

Now the machine is freezing on average about every 3 minutes.  

Device Manager doesn’t show any errors.

Not sure what to do or how to test the motherboard.  Please help.

Thanks,


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Question by:GDoucette
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by:Callandor
Callandor earned 500 total points
ID: 12486427
A computer which randomly reboots could be caused by these problems:
- Bad RAM is a possibility.  There is a diagnostic program at http://www.memtest.org/#downiso that will tell you that your RAM is bad by failing a test, but it will not tell you with 100% accuracy if the RAM is good - you would need to swap good RAM in to know that.  
- You might have a bad power supply, which would be determined by swapping a good one in that is at least as powerful.
- A Windows driver may be the cause.  Booting into DOS and running a program like memtest86+ continuously will help isolate whether a driver needs to be replaced.


Freezing can be caused by a heat problem, which you can check by looking in the BIOS or running a heat monitor program like Everest (http://www.lavalys.com/products/download.php?pid=1&lang=en&pageid=3).  You can also open up the case and touch the video card heatsink and the cpu heatsink, to see if they are actually hot.
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Rok Brnot earned 600 total points
ID: 12486865
We had some problems with IBM Netvista-s (I don't remember model - type ) thart had problem with capacitors wich were leaking - solution was replacing motherboards.
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by:GDoucette
ID: 12486866
I already switched the RAM and tried a new power supply.  Still had the same problem.  

Did a system restore to last week, incase there was a driver problem, or something had changed.

Still had the problem.

When I opened the case it didn't seem very warm.
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by:Callandor
ID: 12486983
As rbrnot suggests, perhaps your motherboard has defective capacitors?  They look like this: www.badcaps.net
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by:GDoucette
ID: 12487237
How do you know if you have bad caps?
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by:Callandor
ID: 12487338
If they look like the ones in the pictures in that link, they are bad.
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by:elconomeno
ID: 12488330


 - check your memory with a memtest program on the bad pc
   check the same memory in on another pc with the same pc
    if first check = bad and second  check = good then the RAM controller of the first pc is not good anymore.
    if you do a ramcheck disconnect as much hardware as you can from the motherboard

- check event viewer on Windows errors.

- run DOS from a diskette and check wether it crashes or not.
  it gives you an idea that the problem is in windows or rather a hardware problem because the chance that somethin is rang   wihth the DOS software is very little

- problems on IDe controller can force problems on RAM controller for some (of me unknown) reasons

- if your pc use 2 ram modules , switch them

- try another video card



   
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by:stockhes
stockhes earned 500 total points
ID: 12488523
That is most likely a bad Motherboard with bad capacitors like Callandor suggests
This is a common issue with 2-4 years old Motherboards.
It even happened to my own office PC at work IBM PIII 866 Mhz
However even if out of warranty IBM replaces the Motherboards for free, I was told by our IT department at office
This is being a company with 20K+ employes, I am sure about policy for private end users.

Here is the story why it happened
http://www.badcaps.net/causes/
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by:willcomp
willcomp earned 200 total points
ID: 12489558
Some more info on how to recognize bad caps (tried link with pictures, but you would have to know what to look for).

Initial stage is bulging of top.  Top of cap will be rounded instead of flat.

Second stage is slight leakage of electrolyte on top of cap.

Third stage is side bulging.

Fourth stage is significant electrolyte leakage onto mobo at base of cap.

Have seen mobos fail at each of these stages.

Hope this helps.

Dalton
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by:Walt-the-IT-Guy
Walt-the-IT-Guy earned 200 total points
ID: 12494215
just a note on your mouse problem

those ibm desktop netvistas are known for having a problem booting with USB mice, the problem is that it recognizes the mouse as a harddrive controller instead of a mouse and it screws up the boot process

you might want to update your bios, but it sounds like your motherboard is fried anyways, better get a new one
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by:GDoucette
ID: 12494308
Hello,

So I looked closely at my motherboard.  I have a few caps that are bulging ever so slightly.  But because of the wacky behaviour, I called IBM, and when I told them I had bulging caps, they are sending me a new free motherboard (thanks for the info Stockhes).

So in 2-3 days, I will have my new mobo, and I will let you all know if that fixed the problem.
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by:stockhes
ID: 12495719
Glad to help
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by:AshuraKnight
ID: 12501417
How old is your mobo ? Is it still under warranty.
Just wondering, because it looks like I also got bad-caps and wondering whether it's under warranty conditions.
Well it's past the warranty time though T.T
But it's still work fine, so I guess I'll bear with it.
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by:GDoucette
ID: 12504099
Hello Ashura,  my mobo is just over 3 years, so its past the warranty, but when I called IBM, I told them I had bulging caps, so they are sending me a new one for free but I have to sent them back my old one.

Gen
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by:AshuraKnight
ID: 12504156
Thanks GDoucette for the info.
I might ask my mobo company to ask about mine :)
I don't know whether Gigabyte will offer this kind of trade though...
Well it's worth a try.
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by:Walt-the-IT-Guy
ID: 12504175
play the customer service card and act like it is a manufacturer's defect rather than wear and tear
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by:FreddieD
ID: 12504382
This might be stupid but make sure whether your cpu fan is running
 correctly and that it is seated properly,I had the sam Problem with a pc a few days ago
and it proved to be the cpu that was overheating.

Good luck.
Cheers.
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by:GDoucette
ID: 12504725
Checked the CPU fan it seemed to running fine, but switched it just in case.  I just the computer off for the night, came in the next day, turned it on and it started rebooting after being on for about 10 minutes, so I don't think that was the problem.  Will let you know what happens with the new mobo comes in.

Can anyone point me to some good tuturials on replacing a mobo?
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by:Walt-the-IT-Guy
ID: 12504859
use the manual
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by:Callandor
ID: 12510412
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by:GDoucette
ID: 12524965
Well I installed my motherboard and have been met with a new problem.  First off, it wasn't sent with a manual.  

I installed the motherboard, hooked everything up and powered it on.

Both fans spin, sounds like the hardrive spins, then it shuts off.

Any ideas on where to begin with this?  
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by:willcomp
ID: 12525422
Remove everything but power supply, RAM, CPU, and video adapter.  Remove all add-in cards except video, disconnect signal cables and power connectors from all drives.  Then try to boot up.  If boot is successful, reconnect/reinstall other devices one at a time until you find problem device.

If no boot with minimal configuration, ensure RAM and CPU are properly seated.  Did you replace thermal compound on heat sink?

If still no boot, remove motherboard and place it on foam or cardboard, install video adapter if applicable, and connect power supply.  Try boot again.  If it now boots, problem is likely a ground or short when mounted in case.

Post back with results.

Dalton

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by:GDoucette
ID: 12525577
Ok, so I removed everything possible, and it still kept happening.  I read up on the internet as reset the CMOS.  Now it is booted up.  But I am getting an error message

Post starting error, 167 No processor bios update found.  So I am about to flash the bios.  

What is the thermal compound on the heat sink?  I didn't do whatever that is.  All that IBM sent was the motherboard, so I took out the old one, and plugged everything into the new one.

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by:GDoucette
ID: 12525634
Flashed the BIOS, rebooted, started to load windows then stopped.  Now I am looking at a black screen.  
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by:willcomp
ID: 12525653
You may be OK for short term testing reusing thermal compound, but it can be risky.  See link below for more info.

http://www.heatsink-guide.com/compound.htm

Dalton
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by:GDoucette
ID: 12525759
So is the heat sink that spikey silver thing on top of the CPU?

When I put the CPU in there was a black square on top that had yellowish orange dried up stuff coming out from under it.  Kinda of looked like a glue to hold the black piece on, does that sound like the termal patch?
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by:willcomp
ID: 12525945
Yep, and that needs to be cleaned off with 90% isoproponol and new thermal compound applied.  CPU can and will overheat without proper thermal connectivity.  Overheating may be what caused lockup after several minutes of run time.

Dalton

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by:GDoucette
ID: 12525998
I imagine any computer store sells this stuff?  So do I just have to clean off the black sqaure thing or all of it?

The computer is up and running, I was able to boot into safe mode and install new video drivers.  So now I just need to see if it will start radomly rebooting.  But I dont want it to overheat, so I am going to shut it down. Till I can get this heat sink sorted out.

Can I up the points on this thread?  It is definetely worth more than 500!!

Gen
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by:stockhes
ID: 12526391
hey Ashura

"Soldering in silence" is what most companys does. They replace the mobo for shipping costs, I know EPOX does
I do not know what GIGAbYte does ?

 GDoucette
 do not run it without heatsink attached. Thermal paste can be bought in every computerstore or online.
just search for "thermal paste" or "arctic silver" or "shin etsu"

By the way these "bulging" caps are also found in PSU's and other electronics
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by:GDoucette
ID: 12527130
Thermal compound is on, reattached heat sink.  Do I have to let it dry before I turn the computer on?
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by:stockhes
ID: 12527219
No
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by:GDoucette
ID: 12533004
Ok, so my computer was on all night, and when I came in this morning.  IT was still on.  So the random rebooting has been fixed.

Now I notice one other issue.  If the computer is off, I have to hit the power button two or three times to get it to boot.  The first time I hit the power button, I hear things working then it shuts off, doesn't even get to the Windows splash screen.  The second boot either works or does the same thing.  I am usually in by the third boot.

Any suggestions?
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by:Walt-the-IT-Guy
ID: 12533059
i had problems with hittin the power button a lot it was a power supply issue
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by:GDoucette
ID: 12533135
I have two fans in my case.  One is right in front of the power supply, then there is one at the back of the computer, a big heavy one in the case.

I switched the big heavy one earlier.   Could it be the small one in front of the power button?
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by:stockhes
ID: 12536662
How is the situation with the PSU ?

Still swapped or the original one ?
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by:GDoucette
ID: 12536726
If the PSU is the big metal one that sits in the back (the one you plug into) then its a new one.
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by:GDoucette
ID: 12537228
Well since my computer has stopped rebooting I am going to close this thread.  If I continue to have problems powering on, I will open a new one to address that issue.

Thanks to everyone for your help.
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by:stockhes
ID: 12539063
>>If the PSU is the big metal one that sits in the back (the one you plug into) then its a new one
yeah Power Supply Unit = PSU
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