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Forum Thread

What're signs of a dying motherboard?

corenom 4,374 994 October 17, 2010 at 08:12 PM
What're signs of a dying motherboard? My main desktop is acting up, and it pasted all stability test at stock, memory at stock, power supply is 2 months old and has been stable (don't think it's the power supply), I'm starting to think my p965-ds3 is dying.

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#2
Please describe how your mb is "acting up". From your post it doesn't seem there is any sign of the mb dying.
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#3
There are no "signs" of a "dying motherboard." A motherboard is either dead or it isn't. Give us more info!
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#4
Sorry about the short post, I was on my phone.

First off my system hangs at the memory test during post (the bootup screen goes up and it gets stuck at memory testing xxxxxx)
I thought it was my memory so I took out 3 of the 4 sticks and the system booted up fine.
Then I removed the overclock, and ran memtest on all 4 sticks individually and prime95 and it passed, ran the test for an average of 8 hours.
So then I reinstalled all 4 dimms and overclocked again, I then ran Prime 95 for 12 hours.
The computer worked fine until this morning when I tried to boot it up it got stuck on the memory test again. I'm pretty much out of ideas, it went through 20 passes of memtest just a second ago.
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Last edited by corenom October 18, 2010 at 12:05 AM
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#5
Anandtech mentioned that your Gigabyte P965-DS3 had memory stability issues with early versions of its BIOS and said the F5 through F9 BIOS versions greatly helped. Since that article, Gigabyte has issued some even newer BIOSes. However don't flash the BIOS of any computer that isn't 100% stable, so turn off any overclocking of the CPU, memory, and graphics card, and run a burn-in test for an hour and MemTest86 for a few hours. It may be a good idea to remove all but one memory module (leave enough to run your software adequately; that would be at least 1GB Windows XP or Linux, 2GB for newer Windows. However you can DOS flash the BIOS, which needs < 1megabyte). Gigabyte motherboards are known for having dual BIOSes, but this motherboard has something called "dual virtualBIOS", which may require Windows to work.

The main cause of motherboards gradually becoming unstable is capacitor rot, but yours was made with solid polymer capacitors (silver color, covered in clear shrink wrap), which aren't known for having that problem. OTOH a bad power supply can make a computer unstable, so consider measuring its voltages with a meter or swapping it out with a known good one.
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#6
I'm not saying you have bad RAM, but I have had sticks of memory act really flaky like that.
No amount of testing in every possible configuration would yield consistent results. Every stick proved good repeatedly, and then fail.
I finally replaced all four sticks with something else and RMA'd the others.
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#7
Quote from crspyjohn View Post :
Sorry about the short post, I was on my phone.

First off my system hangs at the memory test during post (the bootup screen goes up and it gets stuck at memory testing xxxxxx)
I thought it was my memory so I took out 3 of the 4 sticks and the system booted up fine.
Then I removed the overclock, and ran memtest on all 4 sticks individually and prime95 and it passed, ran the test for an average of 8 hours.
So then I reinstalled all 4 dimms and overclocked again, I then ran Prime 95 for 12 hours.
The computer worked fine until this morning when I tried to boot it up it got stuck on the memory test again. I'm pretty much out of ideas, it went through 20 passes of memtest just a second ago.
Judging solely by your description the next step I would do is to test with all four memory modules inserted without overclocking the mb and run the stress test for a longer time(say 24hours). If it boots fine then see if it boots up normally the next several days. If all is well then the overclocking might be the issue.

If the mb still crashes during booting or tests then I guess there is no other way but try to update the BIOS like larry said. I know nothing about this specific mb but wonder how this memory instability works(well, more like the cause of this).

For the PSU, maybe it would be helpful to make sure the fan on the power supply works and clean the vent of the unit to improve the air overflow.
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#8
Quote from Mixels View Post :
There are no "signs" of a "dying motherboard." A motherboard is either dead or it isn't. Give us more info!
This is in fact not true. I've seen many occasions where on-board video/ethernet have gone bad yet everything else on the board works fine. I've also replaced capacitors on various boards (re-soldering) that effected certain components not working but overall the board worked fine. Signs can include slowness, repeated shutdowns, errors throughout use, certain components of the board not working etc...

Quote from larrymoencurly View Post :
Anandtech mentioned that your Gigabyte P965-DS3 had memory stability issues with early versions of its BIOS and said the F5 through F9 BIOS versions greatly helped. Since that article, Gigabyte has issued some even newer BIOSes. However don't flash the BIOS of any computer that isn't 100% stable, so turn off any overclocking of the CPU, memory, and graphics card, and run a burn-in test for an hour and MemTest86 for a few hours. It may be a good idea to remove all but one memory module (leave enough to run your software adequately; that would be at least 1GB Windows XP or Linux, 2GB for newer Windows. However you can DOS flash the BIOS, which needs < 1megabyte). Gigabyte motherboards are known for having dual BIOSes, but this motherboard has something called "dual virtualBIOS", which may require Windows to work.
This is actually the first place I would start. As long as your have solid power running to the board and the system is stable at post you should look into updating the BIOS.

Via the Gigabyte Site your board can be found by searching "GA-965G-DS3" It is Vital before updating the BIOS that you confirm the "Revision" of your board as there are 3. Most likely you can find this imprinted physically on your board at the end of the model #.

Also I would stick with the F9 update and not the BETA.

After this let us know if the problems persist.
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#9
Quote from Aitrus View Post :
This is in fact not true. I've seen many occasions where on-board video/ethernet have gone bad yet everything else on the board works fine. I've also replaced capacitors on various boards (re-soldering) that effected certain components not working but overall the board worked fine. Signs can include slowness, repeated shutdowns, errors throughout use, certain components of the board not working etc...
Those are not signs that the motherboard is dying. I don't count a fading capacitor or a blown or shorted circuit to onboard ethernet or video as equivalent to a bricked board. This is why I asked for more information. If he thinks he is experiencing "signs" that his "motherboard is dying," it's probably not dying at all. Replacing a motherboard is much more a chore than adding a NIC or graphics card or replacing a capacitor.
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#10
Quote from Mixels View Post :
Those are not signs that the motherboard is dying. I don't count a fading capacitor or a blown or shorted circuit to onboard ethernet or video as equivalent to a bricked board. This is why I asked for more information. If he thinks he is experiencing "signs" that his "motherboard is dying," it's probably not dying at all. Replacing a motherboard is much more a chore than adding a NIC or graphics card or replacing a capacitor.
I suppose that depends on your definition of "what" the motherboard is. The OP said nothing about "bricked". Dying is present tense. Bricked is dead and dead is past tense. It is in fact all items on the board working hand in hand together which makes the board. Usually capacitors go with age as well as an on-board ethernet, graphics, ram slots etc... Dying is not the same as dead. Dying is the process of getting to dead. If the OP is asking about symptoms of an active process of his board possibly not working correctly at the moment or all together in the end correctly it would indeed be necessary to mention such things as these.

This would be like saying the radiator on your car got clogged and your water pump no longer pumps yet these are not signs of a dying vehicle. From the moment you purchase a brand new object it is in fact dying from then on (or aging if you prefer). Regular maintenance can keep it lasting longer and while the car is not "dead" the component of the car is "dead" and keeps the car (board) as a whole from running properly or at peak performance. Not correcting or identifying these issues can lead to further damage or death and would be considered the process of your car dying if you decided to drive it down the road with no coolant flowing. A capacitor has a task of storing energy for components on the board. Do you know what happens if one dies? It places a higher demand on all the other capacitors which will in turn cause them to die early.

Aside from that it doesn't really matter what you "think" it means. What matters is that the OP has performed most of the basic tests required for the most common hardware issues that would in fact cause the problem/s he/she is having. Now he/she suspects the board because the test you can run on a board are a bit more limited. So the question remains. Are there symptoms, signs, things that can happen to a board to show it may be on it's way out the window? Absolutely.
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Last edited by Aitrus October 18, 2010 at 12:53 PM
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#11
I found out of I boosted the mch voltage +2 the computer has been pretty stable. I think the G.Skill ram is going bad, I'm rmaing it today.
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#12
Quote from crspyjohn View Post :
I found out of I boosted the mch voltage +2 the computer has been pretty stable. I think the G.Skill ram is going bad, I'm rmaing it today.
Once your back into windows consider a bios update b/c many included fixes for ram stability.
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#13
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
Once your back into windows consider a bios update b/c many included fixes for ram stability.
I been running F14 since it came out. Which bios do you suggest? I think it might be that I upgraded the graphics card to a 465 last month, and that put a little more load on the northbridge.
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Last edited by corenom October 18, 2010 at 01:29 PM
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#14
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
Once your back into windows consider a bios update b/c many included fixes for ram stability.
I agree. If you have ran memtest of something of that sort and the RAM shows as good I would not assume it is the RAM just because you yourself adjusted the clocking/voltage. Of the BIOS fixes listed for the various versions of your board all 3 include a fix/patch for
"Enhance FSB frequency flexibility" which could indeed effect your issue (if you believe it to be voltage/clocking etc...)

Quote from crspyjohn View Post :
I been running F14 since it came out. Which bios do you suggest?
If you own this board "GA-965G-DS3" the latest BIOS version is F10 (which is beta) and the latest stable/recommended is F9. NVM this line you own the GA-965P-DS3.

So you say it is working better after you lowered the voltage? Does this mean you were overclocking it or upping the voltage to begin with??
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Last edited by Aitrus October 18, 2010 at 01:35 PM
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#15
Quote from Aitrus View Post :
I agree. If you have ran memtest of something of that sort and the RAM shows as good I would not assume it is the RAM just because you yourself adjusted the clocking/voltage. Of the BIOS fixes listed for the various versions of your board all 3 include a fix/patch for
"Enhance FSB frequency flexibility" which could indeed effect your issue (if you believe it to be voltage/clocking etc...)



If you own this board "GA-965G-DS3" the latest BIOS version is F10 (which is beta) and the latest stable/recommended is F9. NVM this line you own the GA-965P-DS3.

So you say it is working better after you lowered the voltage? Does this mean you were overclocking it or upping the voltage to begin with??
It seems either

the north bridge requires an additional +1 in voltage no matter what, just because the board is degrading

OR

the north bridge requires an additional +1 in voltage because I have 4 dimms of ram and a added a new graphics card. I use to use the x1950pro and just recently switched to a gtx 465. I guess that could of caused the instability.
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