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Thread: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    I had a Asus A8N-E which also need the chipset fan replacing, but i still stick with Asus, they still seem to have the better boards.

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    It's not necessarily because I think an Asus board would be bad actually, Karl the Gimp, so much as I just don't think they deserve more money from me after how long they took to replace the chipset fan (bought a zalman cooler in the interim, but the board still died, slowly). Three months to replace one tiny part! And though it fixed the problem for a while, the board eventually became useless. Unfortunately I doubt that Asus will fix the board even though it's in warranty, as the graphics card rentention clip has been broken practically since the start and it would be easy for them to say all the problems were accidental damage.

    I found that a few other people have had the rebooting problem with the dual core optimiser. After it rebooted itself twice, I turned the PC's power off, and now that it's on again, I've booted up twice without the hanging at the IDE drives bit or the rebooting. Remains to seen whether it will stay that way.

    I haven't actually installed the AMD dual core drivers from the AMD site yet because I didn't realise I needed them. I hope they won't screw things up more.

    I am most likely going to reinstall windows when I've backed up my stuff.

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    Remember that when you start getting major Windows problems (ie cant boot up well etc), you can always rescue data with an Ubuntu Live CD (or any other decent Linux live disc, Knoppix also is good) and a USB memory stick. They read NTFS drives fine, but don't often like writing to them too easily (but a USB stick is usually FAT formatted).
    This has saved me recently.

    PS I just got an ASUS A8N-E board, following my ASRock 939 board failing, but my board cost £26 (second hand from here) so i decided not to change my whole system. It still required an entire Windows re-install though due to a different chipset between the motherboards.
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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    I would try and get your old motherboard replaced, I don't see what you have to lose. If it is in guarantee, then they aught to replace it and then you have most of a machine spare. I know how frustrating these things can be: I know someone who goes nuts with rage if you say "MSI" to him! Stay calm, I'm sure you can fix it.

    As for Asus customer service, I know they can be pretty poor but sadly I have yet to find anyone better I think all the manufacturers have hacked me off at some point, but at least Asus boards tend to get regular BIOS updates and start off quite well designed, even if they then seem to be poorly assembled & tested. Get a good one and they seem pretty unbreakable (but then I had one recently that would eat a CPU in 15 mins, thankfully Scan dealt with it very well).

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    Asus normally have 3yr warranty, one reason why I use them too. I had a quirky NF3 board from them but the NF4s I had have been fine (so far, touch wood!). They had awfully noisy chipset fans early on but used to replace them on demand.

    Apart from return postage and stuff I agree with Unix, may as well get it repaired/repalced under warranty. Contact them (asus) and explain its condition and see what they say? Alternatively have a word with whoever supplied u the board?

    That aside the Biostar TForce are highly rated and a good choice for thier price.
    Dual core will benefit you as ur doing encoding work, I didnt see ur thread before else I would have recommended a 2160 on a budget as intels are faster for encoding than AMD.
    In any case I am sure the X2 will seem like a dream compared to the old setup.

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    Argh! I'm having yet more, depressing problems with my new PC. Not reinstalled Windows yet.

    It makes noises sometimes when being used like it might be powering down something. It's the same noise it makes when you turn it off, a sort of clicking, downwards noise, although I can still hear a fan noise when it does it. After it was doing that, I left the PC for a while. When I came back, I tried to get to 'programs' on the start menu and it crashed. Mouse pointer frozen, and everything. Switched it off and on again and it couldn't boot, it hung at 'detecting IDE drives'. Did it multiple times. It only worked finally after about 5 tries, once I had tried to get into the BIOS.

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    My advice to you again is to re-install windows.

    1. Connect only 1 hard drive

    2. Clear CMOS

    3. Clean install

    What slots is the Ram in, how many hard drives do you have connected. This clicking, are you using a usb keyboard?

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    Do you mean a spin-down noise? Thats a drive either with a loose connection or other more serious problem. I see u have WD drives, I have a WD 250GB SATA2 drive that I use a molex power connector on (these drive had both power connectors for people who havent used them), when I had the drive lower in the case, the cable would pull the connector and occasionally cause the drive to do exactly the same click and spin down then back up. I moved it up a bay so the cable isnt pulling and solved the problem. Similar to ur symptoms when it spins down everything freezes but recovers when the drive spins back up.
    Probably means my drive is faulty with a poor connection between the molex and drive, or perhaps its just a 'feature' of them. I didnt try with SATA power connector tho.

    So check all ur connections and try again. If it persists try isolating each drive in turn and see if u can find the culprit.
    Last edited by rabbid; 03-09-2007 at 01:16 AM.

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    Thanks again for the suggestions. I'm holding off on reinstalling windows until I'm sure I've got all the discs and drivers and so on that I need.

    I'm hoping that I have found out what the problem is. It's not the power connectors, which seem secure, but I think it might be the SATA data cables. It's strange though, because when it crashes the machine, it definitely sounds like the drive is powering down.

    The machine had just down another power down and crash, and when I opened the PC, I noticed that the SATA data cables on two of the drives were *very* loose and the one on the 320gb hard drive seemed to be hanging off. It seems that the Asus cables from my old motherboard are very loose and insecure, both at the motherboard end and the hard drive end, which is strange because I was already using these exact same cables on my old setup and they were secure enough to at least stay in place enough to work.

    But now on my new board they just seem to be falling out of place really easily. They don't feel like they're staying put properly, they can still wiggle around, and when I put pressure on them they don't stay where they are once I let go. I'm thinking, and hoping, that these loose cables are what is causing the random crashes. Would a hard drive likely power down if it was not not continually getting data from its cable?

    The biostar SATA cable that came with my new motherboard, that is being used for my boot drive seems to be very solid and secure at both ends in comparison. Unfortunately, my new motherboard came with only two of these more secure SATA cables (very mean of them!), and I need three.

    Unfortunately maplins (just about the only nearby real life shop selling such things) want £4.99 for a new SATA 1 cable and £7.99 for a new SATA 2 cable with not guarantee that either of them would actually be any more secure.

    Do SATA 2 cables all have some sort of latching mechanism to hold the cable in place? If so, does that mean all my cables are SATA 1 rather than SATA 2? Any cheapish cable recommendations?

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    Yes be sure to get all the drivers and apps you need together ready, makes life so much easier.

    I wonder if WD had any issues with the PCB flexing/shorting or connectors in general, whether in full or by batch or we are 2 isolated cases?! I never searched as I fixed what seemed to be my problem at the time. I had 2 of those drives in sperate PCs. For sure the one that had this issue runs a few degrees hotter, even tho they both have the same model 120mm fans blowing over them, plenty of space around etc. I dont have it here with me at the moment else I would look into it more. I changed recently to Seagate 300GB 7200.10 and these are definitely faster (in PC04 & PC05 by approx 25&#37 and run cooler.

    Indeed SATA2 cables have a retaining clip. SATA2 drives will latch them in place. In my experience with mostly older boards they dont always latch onto the mobo end.

    However I had huge variation in the cables fitting securely, I will rate these fine cables fom Scan in order of 'tight fit'

    Scan - Cables - IDE/SATA/Floppy/Fan:

    LN17615
    45cm Newlink SATAII (SATA300) Cable Blue *UV* (NLRB-304UV) £0.99 £1.16
    (this thing is like a limpet on both ends! I cursed it trying to remove it once its so stubborn, ideal if u having connector slippage maybe!)

    LN17616
    90cm Sata II Cable Blue *UV* Newlink (NLRB-309UV) £0.99 £1.16
    (longer limpet!)

    LN6782
    43cm 3XS Serial ATA Cable SATA150/300 Certified £0.52 £0.61
    LN5128
    1m 3XS Serial ATA Cable SATA150/300 Certified (RB-410) £0.89 £1.05

    (decent cables, no latch but a good tight press fit and great value, the several I have had are with black ends with twin translucent red cabling, much nicer than the generic flat things some mobos come with)

    LN11644
    45cm Akasa SATA/SATAII (3G) Day Glo Blue UV HDD Cable, 1 x R.angle connector with secure latch £1.95 £2.29
    (latched well at HDD end but mobo end was a little looser than the previous cables but nothing bad)

    I havent tried pulling the data cable off a running drive with the power still attached so I cant say if it will power the drive down. I might try it one day with a non critical disk!
    Using an Icybox sata caddy as well here, so long as the mobo supports hot swap then its possible to unlock the caddy (cuts power) and lock it back up (resumes power) and the drive is re-detected and works fine without harming the environment (its not the boot drive tho).
    If i do this on a board not supporting hot swap then Windows (XP-Sp2) will become jerky, locking up, recover a bit, and I end up rebooting.

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    so much for that one being a 'quick reply'!

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    out of curiosity, do sata 2 cables with the clip have any advantages in data transfer speed over the older sata 1 or is it just the clip?

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    Apparently not. I did wonder if there was a difference, or maybe with shielding. seems its just the clip. (I could run each cable past the PC05 HDD tests for a definitive answer, but I'm not sure my drive will thank me for that!)
    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/...ters-sata-sata
    http://www.overclock.net/faqs/99397-...ata-sata2.html

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    Cheers for the links rabbid. I never realized that sata2 was such a gimmick!

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    Hey, thanks very much for the comprehensive SATA cable review, that's exactly the kind of useful thing that I always want to know, yet don't have any way of finding out. I'm not sure about Western Digital drives being any worse for that than anything else because all my SATA drives are Western Digital. One of them reports an enormously high temperature, but apparently that's a common problem with that particular model - that it misreports the temperature as much higher than it really is. I think it's a WD 2500KS.

    I was wondering about the SATA 2 vs SATA 1 cable thing as well. It seems a bit of a scam that there's not much difference between the two standards, or whatever you call them. Probably true that SATA 1 and 2 drives aren't really faster than the equivelent ATA, but at least they don't cost more than ATA drives.

    I got an Akasa SATA 2 silver cable with latch from Maplins for £4.99 (grumble). I got it from maplins so I could use it as soon as possible, and yet I haven't actually bothered to open up the PC and put the new cable in, because my PC has been pretty much stable since one of the loose cables has been replaced, and the other has been reconnected. It has been crashing a lot with a certain program, but I think that it's just the program causing the problem, not the PC.

    I do have one more problem (sorry to make this my endless PC problem thread, heh) which is that the latest graphics card drivers have some kind of a problem with my card (nvidia Geforce 6600). I still haven't reinstalled windows, but I still plan to, and the latest drivers having a problem with my card would seem not to bode well for reinstalling windows using them. I installed them because of the crashing with the program I mentioned above, which uses 3D graphics. When I open the control panel, it says 'Error, unknown Seeprom device'. It actually works, in the sense that I appear to be able to change things, and I can definitely change the resolution and monitor gamma, and I can use 3D graphics, play games, and so on, but obviously there's something wrong there.

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    Unfortunately, I spoke too soon, about my 'detecting IDE drives' and HD power down crash woes being due to loose SATA cables, although those loose cables probably didn't help. My PC started crashing and powering down again today and hanging 'detecting IDE drives' on start up.

    When I say powering down, I mean, as before, there is this winding down, click and powering off noise, like the noise I get when I turn the PC off, although the CPU and case fans stay on,

    Much to my unhappiness, I installed the new secure SATA 2 cable, which was a tight fit, and it worked for about five minutes before one of the drives powered down again and the screen froze completely. On restart.. back to getting stuck detecting IDE drives, again. .. Sigh. I'm beginning to think I'm never actually going to get a PC that works for more than a week at a time.

    I was thinking perhaps the new hard drive and motherboard might be too much for my rather crappy PSU (although it supplies more than enough power according the PSU needs calculator, even accounting for it being a crappy brand), so I unplugged my two DVD drives to free up more power, but I think it already did that powering down, crashing thing, even with those unplugged.

    Any suggestions?

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