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Does it sound like a bad motherboard?

TheScavengerTheScavenger Matrix, NYPosts: 911Member Uncommon

I'm upgrading no matter what...I'm mostly curious.

First

i5 CPU (very low end) 3.3 GHz...it is 7 years old and was 50 dollars. Its a really crappy brand, forgot what it was...but super crappy.

Windows 7 64bit (cause no 32bit for games! :P)

8gig DDR3 ram (7 years old)

Regular 1 TB hard drive (SSD are a bit expensive for me) (2-3 years old)

Geforce 660 GTX 2GB (bought last year for christmas, so still pretty new)

Kinda crappy power supply

What is happening

Computer is very slow, locks up doing pretty much anything

Drivers crash any time they are being used (mostly graphics drivers, but today I had another driver crash)

Recently, windows is re-downloading system files and restoring registry

Windows taskbar or whatever, task host? main thing...sometimes crashes when in heavy use

Games are getting slower and slower, to the point of artifacting

Just recently, my files are disappearing. Windows settings are restoring to the default from when it was like newly installed.

My skyrim mod settings are getting reset to brand new, mods completely deactivated...like they were just installed

So, tons of problems...and my motherboard is ancient and super crappy. But my PSU was kind of a crappy brand too.

I'm upgrading to an i7 no matter what and getting modern ram, new PSU and new hard drive. They are all ancient and really bottle necking my video card.

But what are all those symptoms caused from? Is it likely motherboard related? My dad thinks it is, because a bad motherboard can cause a lot of weird issues he said.

In any case, I'm upgrading the likely suspects no matter what...due to how old they are. It is already set it in stone with what I'm upgrading. I'm just asking to see what you guys think of it all. Btw, getting a new hard drive as well in case of a hard drive failure...so getting 4 new things.

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Comments

  • ThillianThillian BratislavaPosts: 3,143Member Uncommon

    I would check for faulty HDD and/or corrupted Windows installation. I'm not saying it can't be faulty MB, but those two are more probable. I would rule out faulty PSU, since it usually gives a totally different set of symptoms.

    REALITY CHECK

  • TheScavengerTheScavenger Matrix, NYPosts: 911Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Thillian

    I would check for faulty HDD and/or corrupted Windows installation. I'm not saying it can't be faulty MB, but those two are more probable. I would rule out faulty PSU, since it usually gives a totally different set of symptoms.

    Yeah, at this point a faulty HDD seems likely. Though a bad motherboard can damage other hardware can't it? But a bad PSU can do the same, and mine I think is underpowered for what is in here and my brand is known to fail a lot. And a lot of my hardware is so ancient, but its mixed with brand new hardware...so not too good of a combo there. Its why I'm going in and fixing it with new hardware.

     

    I was having a lot of issues till I created a new windows user account. Which things were working fine for a week, and then started back up and even worse than before.

    image
  • AtaakaAtaaka Benson, AZPosts: 172Member

    I had some of your symptoms. I changed my 450 Power Supply to an 850 watt... problems solved.

    Checkout this article...

    http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/how-to/pc-components/3432554/problems-with-pc-heres-how-check-your-power-supply/

    Use this power supply calculator (shrug -might need a major in computer science or choose 4 CPUS and two graphics)

    http://www.extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

     

    good luck!

     

     

  • ThillianThillian BratislavaPosts: 3,143Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by TheScavenger
    Originally posted by Thillian

    I would check for faulty HDD and/or corrupted Windows installation. I'm not saying it can't be faulty MB, but those two are more probable. I would rule out faulty PSU, since it usually gives a totally different set of symptoms.

    Yeah, at this point a faulty HDD seems likely. Though a bad motherboard can damage other hardware can't it? But a bad PSU can do the same, and mine I think is underpowered for what is in here and my brand is known to fail a lot. And a lot of my hardware is so ancient, but its mixed with brand new hardware...so not too good of a combo there. Its why I'm going in and fixing it with new hardware.

     

    I was having a lot of issues till I created a new windows user account. Which things were working fine for a week, and then started back up and even worse than before.

    Every symptom screams of corrupted Windows. Why did you rule it out so easily? Failing PSU should not damage other components and should rather crash your PC when the supply is low in order to avoid damaging components. Unless you had BSODs for months prior to that, without trying to fix it, the PSU should be fine. Failing Motherboard usually causes disconnection of some components, lots of BSODs (blue/black screen of death), hard freezes, and especially your PC shouldnt even boot. Keep in mind, it's hard to diagnoze a PC without all the details, this is just a general advice from the limited information in your OT.

     

    REALITY CHECK

  • AtaakaAtaaka Benson, AZPosts: 172Member

    What is your Power Supply Wattage?

     

    Here is your video card power requirement:

    Thermal and Power Specs:

    97 CMaximum GPU Tempurature (in C)

     

    140 WMaximum Graphics Card Power (W)

     

    450 WMinimum System Power Requirement (W)5

     

    One 6-pinSupplementary Power Connectors

     

    Just something to rule out... When troubleshooting I always try to remember what changed before the fail. If the answer is nothing than I ask myself, 'What failed first?'

    My computer had a 450 Watt and I added a 350 Watt video card... It took a while for problems to creep around. When the problems came, I read the side of my video box (last change) and realized my power was borderline. I upgraded 400 watts and never looked back.

     

     

  • TheScavengerTheScavenger Matrix, NYPosts: 911Member Uncommon

    My power supply is 600 wattz, and I got it I think it was actually 3-4 years ago. It was a store bought one, but was told it wasn't the greatest brand and was kind of a bad one. So its actually a bit old now.

     

    As for corrupted windows. I actually never cut that option out. That is definitely a possibility...still have a ton of other issues. But if it is, I'm getting a new hard drive (might as well, they are cheap for non-ssd and I want a bigger drive anyway) and reinstalling everything anyway.

    image
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    Your hard drive is probably failing.  You should back up any files that you care about immediately; it may already be too late for some.

    A hard drive connects directly to the power supply for power, but connects to the motherboard to pass data.  It's possible that a bad SATA port in the motherboard chipset is corrupting data, but it's far more likely that the hard drive is failing.  A bad motherboard won't cause a hard drive to fail, but a bad power supply could.

    Exactly which power supply do you have?  The nominal wattage is a marketing number, not an engineering one.  Never go with a garbage power supply.  Paying $20 less up front for a power supply that subsequently fries $500 in other hardware is not being efficient with your money.  Sometimes worse than frying hardware up front is slowly damaging it so that it gives you all sorts of weird problems and drives you nuts until you finally give up and replace the whole computer outright.

    It would probably also help if you knew what you knew what you had.  The first Core i5 processor released less than five years ago--and was clocked much lower than 3.3 GHz.  While DDR3 has been around for about seven years, it was very lightly used until Bloomfield launched less than 6 years ago.

  • CleffyCleffy San Diego, CAPosts: 4,625Member Uncommon

    Bad motherboards are rare and obvious. They would be things like your motherboard catching fire or cracked or leaking. You would also probably not boot.

    For your symptoms it could be some relatively common problems. You pretty much spelled out the obvious that its your HDD. It could also be power delivery from your PSU, software, BIOS, or memory.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,179Member Uncommon

    If I'm not mistaken, all Core i5's are from Intel. The same brand that makes all the Core i7's.

    So I don't know how you got a super-crappy brand i5, or how that's any different from who makes the i7's.

    Aside from me just feeling like I needed to point this out, I think it's highly likely you have multiple issues going on with this computer.

    Hard drives fail. Sometimes they fail on their own, sometimes power supplies can blow them up (although that is somewhat rare).

    If a power supply is failing to the point where your computer still turns on and runs, but it's causing stuff to crash - there's a very very good chance it is either about to ~very soon~, or already has, damaged something to the point of no return. Memory and video cards are extremely sensitive to power fluctuations, and motherboards can't handle it very well either.

    You have two decent options:
    First is to just start over, and chunk this computer. There is a good chance a lot of pieces in it aren't salvagable. This is your best option, but it's the most expensive.

    The second is you start with a good power supply and hard drive. You get those in there, reinstall Windows, and then go from there. YTou could end up replacing nearly every component in here, one part at a time, before you finally get it to something stable.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Cleffy

    Bad motherboards are rare and obvious. They would be things like your motherboard catching fire or cracked or leaking. You would also probably not boot.

    For your symptoms it could be some relatively common problems. You pretty much spelled out the obvious that its your HDD. It could also be power delivery from your PSU, software, BIOS, or memory.

    Motherboards have a lot of pieces that can fail independently, and one broken component doesn't necessarily mean that you have to toss out the whole thing.  If one USB port is dead but the rest of the motherboard works flawlessly, for example, it's still very usable.

    That said, I don't think that's what's going on here.  But if the original poster thinks it might be, you can try switching the hard drive to a different SATA port or using a different SATA cable.  It's unlikely that that will fix the problem, though.

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 18,030Member Uncommon

    First of all: Windows do need a reinstalling now and then (at least every second year but preferably more often) or it will be incredible large and slowing down your computer. While microsoft might deny it they made it that way so you will think your computer is getting slower and slower with time and want to buy a new one (with a new Windows license of course).

    My advice is to get a nice SSD of at least 128 gig and reinstall windows on it. Get a new SATA cable for it as well, it will make your computer run a lot faster.

    I would also recommend that you get a new PSU, motherboard and a new CPU but I would wait until the DDR4 memory comes out this winter (well, you can get the PSU right now if you want to, doesn't hurt). 7 years is a long time with computers but that is hardly your problem here so waiting a few months ain't that hard.

    Use the old harddrive to store media on unless you get a smart error on it but format it first after saving any data you need from it.

  • VannorVannor YorkshirePosts: 2,970Member Uncommon

    First thing I do if this kind of thing ever happens is to backup the things I need.. write a list of my installed programs.. format the hard drive(s) and reinstall windows. It's not too much of a chore if you just stick a film on while it's busy.

    It could just be a messed up installation. That kind of thing can just happen over time, especially for users who don't clean the registry and things like that. Could also be virus of some kind.. the format will wipe it out (assuming you didn't back it up, which you shouldn't have since they rarely infect media and document files).

    If the problem is still happening after a full reinstallation (including making sure you have the latest versions of all the previously installed programs and drivers)... I'd be taking a look at running some tests on the RAM and hard drive(s). This sounds more like a faulty RAM problem to me. Slightly faulty RAM will gradually corrupt tons of data on the hard drive over time which can make it appear as if the hard drive is the problem.. so make sure you vigorously check that first. Leave it testing for hours on end... and then do it again.

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