When PCs were easy

I’ve grown soft. I fully expected to, in a single evening, update my motherboard and CPU. I wasn’t doing anything crazy: I got an Asus A7N8X Deluxe motherboard, with new memory and an AMD Barton 2500+ CPU. And it doesn’t work with my newest hard drive. It will boot, it runs, but I get a BSoD on every Windows install.

So, I turn to the web. This isn’t just my problem, others have had the same difficulties. Do I return the board? Maybe, but I am stubborn enough to not want to do that. Instead, I am trying all of the fixes I possibly can: new IDE cable, new power supply, new (different) memory, and finally, maybe a SCSI boot drive instrad. And knowledge that my next mobo will be an Abit.

(Before I get “Just use Linux,” I have a strong feeling that this is a hardware or driver issue, and layering another operating system on top of that won’t help. Besides, there are still a number of programs that are MS-only that I can’t afford to ignore.)

Assembling computers and getting them to work used to be this hard, but I thought it had gotten much easier lately.

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7 Comments

  1. Posted 11/24/2003 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    My first guess would be a cooling issue, if your heatsink secured tightly? Did you use good thermal paste and did you cover the core completely?

  2. Posted 11/24/2003 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    I think cooling is OK. It runs without problems off of an old ATA-33 IDE drive. But when I hook up the Baraccuda ATA-100, it can’t handle it. I suspect it is a power thing: the added pull of the drive, plus a power-hungry mobo and two cd drives, five fans, an AGP, etc., is pulling everything down. Again, this seems to be a problem a lot of other board owners have had. My light research didn’t reveal this: all the reviewers loved the board. It’s only afterwards I realized…

  3. Posted 11/24/2003 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Hmm, that does sound like a power issue. Did you get an AMD-certified power supply?

  4. Posted 11/25/2003 at 4:06 am | Permalink

    This is a totally unhelpful remark, but I have the same mobo and never had any sort of problem with it (with a 2800+@3200+ and ATI Radeon 9700pro). The only real difference is that my main hard drive is a SATA drive.

    There’s always a possibility that your particular board has a hard to diagnose hardware problem/defect though.

    As noted, it might also be a power issue. A quality 350/400 Watt PSU should be enough for most >= 2 GHz systems.

  5. jeremy hunsinger
    Posted 11/25/2003 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    which version of windows?

    it works with older hard drives?

    for me, if it is that one hd out of two that are plugged in works, then you have a address conflict and its time to mess with the bios… it could be hardware, power, heat, etc. but it probably is just an esoteric bios setting.

    and to think that for a few more grand you could have gotten a nice mac…. (see, i didn’t say ‘just install linux’)

  6. Posted 11/25/2003 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Frank: While the problem isn’t consistent, those that do have problems solve them in the ways I noted above. And the most frequent solution is either a SATA or SCSI boot drive. I have a 420W supply on order, as a first step, but if that doesn’t help, I’ll go ahead with a new drive (ouch).

    I was a bit shy on putting in a SATA drive though: wasn’t sure the cost was justified since from what folks say there isn’t any significant real performance gain unless you are running at 10K or you do two as a RAID0. Moreover, those running a SATA as HDD0 say that the board won’t recognize an IDE as the second drive. This is why I’m edging toward a SCSI drive, if it turns out I have to get a new boot drive.

  7. Posted 11/25/2003 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    I was waiting for the Mac thing, too, but I figured it would come from Liz. I have grown partial to our cinima display in the lab, but I’m going to have to wait until NSF “discovers” me before a Mac is coming my way.

    Anyway, it is working fine (with a couple of old drives)–I’m probably going to have to wait till I wade through some deadlines before devoting much more time to it.

One Trackback

  1. By Blog de Halavais on 12/19/2003 at 8:10 pm

    Now I’m stable
    OK, at least my computer is. I had =-” href=”http://alex.halavais.net/news/archives/000717.html”>posted a while ago about the difficulty I was having with…

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