Is my Motherboard about to die?

Discussion in 'Windows XP Hardware' started by tekkaman, Aug 29, 2022.

  1. tekkaman

    tekkaman

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    Hello everyone,

    I wanted to see if anyone has encountered a problem similar to mine. I have a desktop computer and here are the specs:
    System assembled in 2014
    OS: XP 64, Windows 7 and Linux
    Power Supply: Thermaltake TR2 800w
    Motherboard: GA-970A-DS3P (rev. 2.x)
    CPU: AMD FX 8320e @ 3.5Ghz
    Video: Ati HD 4850 512MB GDDR3
    Ram: 8GB DDR3 1600 Mhz
    HDD: 1TB WD 10,000 rpm and 640GB WD 7200rmp

    My problem is something I haven´t seen before. This motherboard for over a year the cmos time isn´t working as it should. The computer is plugged to a surge protector and when I´m not using the computer I turn off the surge protector to make sure everything is without power. Now when I turned it back on the time is just as I left it. It didn´t move forward. Meaning same date and time it had when it was powered off. I replaced the cmos battery and that never fixed the problem. It´s was a minor annoyance and I put up with it for over a year because I could use time sync to "fix" it. Apart from that the computer never gave me problems. Anyways I had some personal situations and I couldn´t use the computer for 2 weeks. So it was completely off by that period of time. When I finally had the time to use it then it wouldn´t post. Black screen. I powered it off and back on again and then it posted but the Gigabyte logo was huge and it didn´t fit the screen and it didn´t boot to Windows. So I turned it off and the surge protector and pressed the power button for a few seconds and then then tried again and then it posted. But as it started booting I noticed something weird. The blue bars that move below the windows logo were moving very fast. When I got to Windows the computer seemed like it was on fast forward. Minimizing or maximizing windows was very fast. And when I open the time. I notice the clock was moving faster that normal. Everything was faster than normal. Even when you opened Youtube the spinning circle animation rotated very fast. Weird thing is that Windows 7 "acts" normal. No fast forward there. But time is indeed faster. The bios also has the time going faster. Anyways searching around the internet I found this software: http://timesynctool.com/ With that Windows XP works normally because it syncs time every 15 minutes and since the computer time goes faster but is over time not instant then it makes Windows XP work normal. What I´m experiencing is just as seen on this video I have searched the internet for solutions but haven´t found any. I read these forum topics:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/techsuppor...computers_clock_keeps_running_too_fast_and_i/

    https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=78402

    I´m guessing the problem is not so common. People say they replace the power supply and the problem persist. I don´t have much money now to buy parts without making sure it will solve the problem.

    Weird thing is that I was playing DMC Devil May Cry on it yesterday. And it was working fine. No graphical issues or anything. The fast forward thing doesn´t appear on games or on videos themselves. And and Windows 7 works fine although the time still goes fast over time if I don´t use the NetTime software. I didn´t tested Linux too much because the distro I have right now isn´t that good. But I see no fast forward there. I don´t know how often Linux syncs time but it seem ok during the time I used it. Sorry for the long post. I just want to know if someone else experienced this and if I should be preparing to bury the motherboard or have a solution.
     
    tekkaman, Aug 29, 2022
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  2. tekkaman

    Madeleine Takam

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    From what you have written, I am guessing it might be the crystal, although I have never seen the problem before. Check solder joints. Check it is getting power (You will need to check the op voltage for your crystal). Last resort replace.
     
    Madeleine Takam, Aug 30, 2022
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  3. tekkaman

    tekkaman

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    Thanks for your reply. I´m ignorant here. I´ve never had this problem before. I asume the crystal is the clock ? Is it close to the Cmos battery ?
     
    tekkaman, Aug 30, 2022
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  4. tekkaman

    Elizabeth23

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    if the time is fluctuating then the cmos battery needs to be replaced
     
    Elizabeth23, Aug 30, 2022
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  5. tekkaman

    Madeleine Takam

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    The crystal is shiny thing I have drawn an arrow to.

    As you have stated that changing the battery for a new one didn’t help, combined with you mentioning you appear to running at double clock sometimes, my guess would be the crystal.

    Check the frequency written on the top. It is possible to check the frequency.

    Here: https://hackaday.com/2018/10/20/the-crystal-testing-method/

    If it was my board I would Check the frequency, the voltage across the contacts on the back of the board with a multimeter. Then put a Storage oscilloscope across contacts and check voltage was stable. Buy new crystal if need be and replace. You will need to remove with slim pliers and a soldering Iron. If this seems something that is a bit daunting, you would be better replacing the board.

    Your Motherboard Crystal.JPG
     
    Madeleine Takam, Aug 30, 2022
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  6. tekkaman

    priscus

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    Madeleine's advice is very sound.

    However do note that on the mobo she has pictured, there are two more crystals. They are close to the cmos battery.

    Numerous crystals are the norm these days. As a general rule, crystal close to the system chipset (that is the I.C. which is probably under a heat sink) is the one for system timing. Crystal close to the edge of board, and the various input/output connectors are more likely to be timing required for the protocols used by input and output data handling & sampling rate for audio, etc.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2022
    priscus, Aug 31, 2022
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  7. tekkaman

    priscus

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    ps two crystals close together in this location: one is probably system clock, which drives a clock input to the microprocessor, and I would guess this one is OK, since it is unlikely that your device is overclocking at 200% without other issues becoming apparent. The other crystal governs RTC (Real time clock) which seem more pertinent to the problem you describe.

    Having said that, I am surprised if a crystal is sometimes OK, and sometimes causing a problem, particularly if you are seeing such different things with different operating systems.

    Do examine any capacitors or resistors close to the crystal, as failure here could lead to the oscillator circuit resonating at an overtone (harmonic) rather than fundamental crystal frequency, though this is unusual. Also check that you do not have overheating in the vicinity of these components.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2022
    priscus, Aug 31, 2022
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  8. tekkaman

    tekkaman

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    Thanks for the advice people. I don´t have an oscilloscope since it is more of hobby. I mean it was fun assembling the first time but I don´t really tinker with it much other than cleaning the dust from the case. I did upgrade the cpu from a Phenon 910e to the FX8320e last December but that´s about it. Anyways here´s what I tried so far:

    1- I replaced the Cmos battery again. Even though the older one was measuring 3v from the multimeter.

    2- I flashed the bios

    3- Got rid of any overclocking. It was posted on a forum that it could be the cause. Even though it was a slight overclock of 3.5Ghz. Now it´s on default value. With no turbo core.

    Here´s a picture of the board:
    [​IMG]
    When I get home I´ll check if the capacitors look bloated or something. So I guess it is consensus that most likely the crystals are the problem ? Would something else break if I keep using the system like that ? Is it worth repairing ?
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2022
    tekkaman, Aug 31, 2022
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  9. tekkaman

    Madeleine Takam

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    You just said something in your last Post that may be the issue.

    Usually not holding time always points to the battery. Elizabeth was quite correct in her Post that the first “thought and action” should be Cmos battery replacement.

    I assumed, as you said – “you had replaced the battery”. You would have replaced with a new one. Was this actually the case? Your Cmos battery should be reading 3.3 volts to 3.4 volts when new. On newer boards with numerous crystals they are being worked harder. You mentioned 3 volts.

    If you battery is only reading 3 volts – First take Elizabeth’s advice and replace battery. Not with one that you might have had lying around for years, but a new one from a shop in a package.

    Now some thoughts on crystals if Elizabeth’s advice doesn’t solve the issue.

    You and Priscus made a point about more than 1 crystal. Yes it could unfortunately be both crystals near the Cmos battery or even the one that I originally arrowed. You would need to possibly replace all or one at a time and test. You would need serious kit and lots of tech savvy and most importantly luck.

    One crystal can control both the speed of the motherboard and the real time clock (RTC).

    However newer boards use Two. The main crystal is used to control the speed of the motherboard and motherboard circuitry, and the other is used to control the real time clock (RTC).

    Some boards like yours have more than 2 crystals or multiple crystals. Apparently for dealing with different frequencies for add on cards if over-clocking is highly ambitious, or onboard graphics that is cheap and cant be over-clocked, while the board can be over-clocked. This can lead to the problem you have, if it isn’t the Cmos battery.

    My only experience with tinkering with a multiple crystal set up is the - Beautifully made Omega 1441 movement. That was manufactured from 1986 to 1988 before being discontinued because Omega was losing a fortune on every watch made. This was done to control for temperature variation, so giving one of the most accurate time pieces ever made, other than those controlled by radio reception of atomic clock signals.

    So my advice would be to change the Motherboard, rather than tinker with crystals. Your board can be picked up on ebay very cheaply.


    Hope this hasn’t bored you socks off and has helped.
     
    Madeleine Takam, Sep 1, 2022
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  10. tekkaman

    priscus

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    Yes, have to agree. Sounds like you know your stuff, Madeleine.

    I once wrote a song called 'The Madeleine Effect', it was dedicated to my music teacher, who was also Madeleine. Maybe one day I will re-word it for your tech savvy.

    Seriously though, glad you posted again. Although I once was an electronics engineer, IT WAS MORE THAN FIFTY YEARS AGO, so I am a little wary when it comes to tech replies.
     
    priscus, Sep 1, 2022
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  11. tekkaman

    tekkaman

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    Yes I did replace the battery with a new one last week. The old one was reading 3volts with a multimeter. This is actually the second battery replacement because when it started loosing time a year ago I put a new one in and it didn't fix the problem. I still think it's a bit weird that the battery didn't lasted longer though.

    I tried just in case with another power supply. It wasn't new but it was barely used and it still had the clock issue. Is this more common with newer motherboards ? Because I haven't seen this issue with older motherboards.

    Latest news today is that today the clock just stopped completely. I've never seen this before. And it seems Windows XP doesn't like when the time is stopped. It doesn't boot at all. Windows 7 still does. But it's weird because it's like it's a software clock because the clock really is not running. I'm going to check if I find in ebay a good price. This board lasted me for about 7 years. It's the longest lasting one I've assembled so far. Trying out Asrock, MSI , Asus and Ecs before. Definitely Gigabyte was the longest lasting.
     
    tekkaman, Sep 6, 2022
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  12. tekkaman

    priscus

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    Are you really hammering your mobos? I have never had mobos bought from new last less than seven years.

    As for manufacturers, anyone remember ABIT? One of their lines targeted the enthusiast rather than volume manufacture. They put NVIDIA's chipset to very good use (NForce series) when 64 bit processors first became available.

    They made some good boards early this century. When their key engineers left, and mangers were embezzling the corporate funds, the party was over!
     
    priscus, Sep 6, 2022
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  13. tekkaman

    TMTGTR

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    Abit KT-7 Win 98 FE is where I really cut my teeth. Second computer I ever built from scratch. It is still standing (DAW- Cool Edit Pro) and functional with 3 Hard drives, CD-DVD, 1 gig ram and a 1 gHz cpu.But I never over-clocked it. Anyone remember the Icrontic forum which was focused on Abit boards?
     
    TMTGTR, Sep 6, 2022
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  14. tekkaman

    tekkaman

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    @priscus
    Well I used to assemble pcs for people. There was a store that used to sell cheap motherboard combos back in 2008. You would get an MSI or Asrock motherboard with a semprom cpu and 1GB of DDR2 ram for $100. Back then for school it was enough and very snappy performance with Windows 7 or XP. Now some of my clients the MSI motherboards wouldn´t last very long. I´m from Puerto Rico so we have electricity problems often. I don´t know if my clients did buy a good surge protector like I told them. At home I bought for my sister many years ago a used Ecs 478 motherboard from Ebay. Snapped a Pentium 4 and that PC lasted her throughout from elementary to highschool. It never did break. I just later upgraded her PC to a newer Ecs AM3 motherboard. Now that newer one lasted from 2010 to 2017. It stopped working after a big hurricane passed. So I believe Ecs and Gigabyte are good brands.

    Now for the topic I posted. Thanks for the help everyone. I´ll look for a good offer that´s compatible with XP 64. Maybe the same motherboard or similar.
     
    tekkaman, Sep 7, 2022
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  15. tekkaman

    TMTGTR

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    Regarding Electrical protection, I recommend an (external) voltage regulator unit over a surge protector. The good news is that the regulator is a great and cost effective way to extend longevity to your computer (it includes all the circuitry that surge protectors have). The bad news is they can get pricey (list starts at $130). A standard unit I use on a single computer/monitor is a Tripplite LS606M 600W 120V Power Conditioner:
    https://www.tripplite.com/600w-120v...tion-avr-ac-surge-protection-6-outlets~ls606m

    I own (3) LS606M, (2) LC1200 1200w and (1) LCR2400 2400w And a Furman AR-1215 1800w.
    I should add that the Watts are maximum. One should always leave a conservative 20% headroom.

    I give a more detailed explanation here:
    https://www.badcaps.net/forum/showthread.php?p=1141970&mode=linear#post1141970
    A good read on voltage protection as well as a particular PSU issue discovery.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2022
    TMTGTR, Sep 7, 2022
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  16. tekkaman

    tekkaman

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    I put one of those on my sister´s computer. The one she has is rated for 500watts I believe though. I believe these tripplites are much better than those cheap UPS batteries sold at chain stores.
     
    tekkaman, Sep 9, 2022
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  17. tekkaman

    TMTGTR

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    For regulation yes. But there is no UPS function on these. I believe Tripplite makes such units but good UPS is expensive and requires expensive battery replacement maintenance. I don't run systems needing that kind of protection.
     
    TMTGTR, Sep 9, 2022
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