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bad CPU or bad motherboard?

Posted on 2011-09-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
My cousin brought me his computer because it was having problems, and I am confused as to what the problem is. One problem for sure was the hard drive- so I replaced it and installed windows on the new drive but another problem lingers (ether bad motherboard or bad cpu) The motherboard model number is as follows: MCP61PM-HM REV. 1.08.

Below is a list of symptoms the computer shows:
- Last month the computer stopped working so I checked it out and the problem was with 2 ram sticks loaded at the same time. Works fine with 1 stick but not with 2 sticks. I put ram stick 1 in bay 1 it boots fine, I put ram stick 1 in bay 2 it boots fine, I put ram stick 2 in bay 1 and it boots fine and I put ram stick 2 in bay 2 and it boots fine. However when ram stick 1 and ram stick 2 are installed together, the system does not boot. Problem solved- the computer was downgraded from 2 gigs of ram to 1 gb of ram.

-Now the computer consistantly gives a boot up errors (ALWAYS the same errors, in the same sequence).

Boot 1- after you power the computer on for the first time, several seconds later an error comes up "the file is posably corrupt the file header checksum does not match the computer checksum".

Boot 2- So I turn the computer off and boot it up a second time. This time I get the error "boot mgr image is corrupt, the system cant boot".

Boot 3- So I turn the computer off again and power it up again and the third time it ALWAYS boots up fine and loads windows (windows 7) on the third time it boots.

- The last symptom is the computers mouse often freezes up (once every few days). The only thing to do is hold the power button to turn it off and reboot it.(even tried swapping mice out but it still occurs)

I dont think the problem is the hard drive but just to be sure I put ANOTHER drive in and installed windows, but the same problem happens so I really doubt the problem is the drive since two drives give the same sequence of boot errors. Also if the harddrive was really corrupt then I doubt it would always boot up on the third time arround, usually if it was corrupt it would not boot no matter how many times you power it up.

One final thing I did was I removed the motherboard and CPU and reapplied new thermal paste, and cleaned all dust out of the system. I checked the entire circuit board (visually) for any signs of damage but could find none. If I were to guess I would say the problem is the CPU does anyone agree?
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Question by:hydrive1902
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8 Comments
 
LVL 6

Assisted Solution

by:joeyfaz
joeyfaz earned 20 total points
ID: 36514649
I hate to say this but it's still bad memory. Go and replace the memory modules.
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LVL 48

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by:dbrunton
dbrunton earned 110 total points
ID: 36514747
Test the memory.

Get the UBCD http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

Download links are the icons at the top of the page above Overview.  Browse the page and see what utils are there for you.  Check the memory and hard disk utils especially.

Make the CD and boot from it.  Run the memory tester first - memtest -  and let it do two to three passes through your memory.  Memory could be the problem so get that test done first.

I would test it with both sticks in and if it fails then test it with one stick.  If it passes like that examine the BIOS to find options to alter the bus speed for the memory.  You may be able to turn that speed down.  If you can turn it down retest.

Still could be the motherboard.  Examine for dust and dirt.  Check for bad capcitors as well.

Might be the power supply as well not supplying enough.

Plenty of possibles.
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LVL 2

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by:nat_nz
nat_nz earned 20 total points
ID: 36514829
sounds like ram issue , run mem-test.
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LVL 3

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by:weedhell
weedhell earned 75 total points
ID: 36514889
First thing that i recommend is to reset bios settings to factory values... try to take the battery out of the board and the cable cord has well... wait a few seconds till the board power led turn off them try to boot up your machine and check if it does the 3 same errors... If it does take out the power of every component and keep only the hd power cable check if it does the 3 same errors... if it doesn't you should having problems with your power supply... Still you can run memtest through ubcd or Hiren`s boot  just to make sure that it's everything okay with your rams...
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LVL 92

Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 75 total points
ID: 36515442
check first if both sticks are the same (you can verify that also with memtest, suggested above)
if want to know if the pc runs ok with 2 sticks, try running from a live Knoppix cd, that takes the disk + W7 out of the equation : ftp://ftp.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V6.4.4CD-2011-01-30-EN.iso
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LVL 69

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by:
Callandor earned 200 total points
ID: 36522754
I suspect your problem is power related, as in bad capacitors on the motherboard, since you seem to get problems on initial boot, but it resolves itself as you reboot.  You should test the memory with memtest, as suggested by dbrunton, or install memory that you know works from another machine.  If it's bad capacitors, you can replace the motherboard, send it for capacitor repair (www.badcaps.net), or replace them yourself if you are technically capable.
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LVL 1

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by:hydrive1902
ID: 36812815
Tested each stick with memtest and both sticks PASS!

I would guess the capacitors issue would  make the most sense, I spoke with my cousin yesterday and he said the issue is happening less and less over time it seems. Now it rarley freezes (maybe once a week he said). Maybe the capacitors charged back up (but are still slightly defective)?
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LVL 1

Author Closing Comment

by:hydrive1902
ID: 36812832
Thanks everyone!
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