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Leaking caps? (Help me save a dying PC)

Old 09-05-05, 09:57 PM
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Leaking caps? (Help me save a dying PC)

As I have mentioned in previos threads, my PC is having soft-reboot issues. Basically, it won't post if you attempt to restart it once it has been running. Give it 30 min and everything is fine, or keeping flipping the switch and it may come back up. When it is running, it is as stable as a rock.

Anyway, I have entirely eliminated the PS and heat issues - I'm now down to the motherboard. About 50% of the capacitors have a swollen top with varying degrees of gunk on them (none overflowing). My guess is that the reboot issues have something to do with the capacitors - particularly when they are still holding a charge. If I let the charge drain, everything is fine.

I plan on building a new PC in the next few months, so I don't want to spend a lot of money on this machine. At the same time, it's still a damn good box and is a perfect workhorse to use for testing crap I wouldn't want to put on my main machine.

The important specs are as follows:

Vintage 11/01
Epox 8kha+ (via kt266a)
Athlon XP 1700+
3x 256mb PC2100 DDR

The only motherboard I can find which will allow me to keep the guts is a piece of crap. Do I have any other options?
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Old 09-05-05, 09:59 PM
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Leaking caps? I'd just like to know what your existing motherboard is.

Is it the Epox 8kha+?
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Old 09-05-05, 10:00 PM
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Epox 8kha+
Via KT266A chipset

---

Picture link for those who haven't seena leaky capacitor.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Bad_Capacitor_01.jpg
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Old 09-05-05, 10:01 PM
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Wow. I've never had that problem in all the motherboards I've owned.

I did hear there was a problem with some boards within a period of time due to a bad batch of capacitors being used by them.
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Old 09-05-05, 11:02 PM
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Well, I sent a polite but firm email to Epox to see what they'll do to make up for selling me a defective board (albeit 3 years out of warranty).

I also found badcaps.net who offers full replacement service for $45 + $10 return shipping + ~$10 outgoing shipping. That's a slightly better option than buying the POS mobo I linked above, but not a guarantee that my problem will go away (if it's in the mobo but not the caps).
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Old 09-06-05, 07:31 AM
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my epox 8rda+ was out of warranty when it developed bulging caps. they replaced it for me for free (minus my shipping cost, i believe).
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Old 09-06-05, 12:26 PM
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Arghh ... I'm torn. I can get the "POS" mobo I linked above for $25. At the very least, that's $30 less than I'd pay to replace the caps. I'd also have to drop to 512mb ram and start from scratch on a reinstall. I could be running by Fri.

If I replace caps, I go without a pc for 2 wks. I keep all my ram and theoretically everything comes back and works the way it did when it was all brand new. Plug it in and it all works. No install, nothing.
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Old 09-06-05, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by BigPete
...and start from scratch on a reinstall.

From expereince the PC Chips boards really are crap. The memory sockets usually don't even seat right.

If you wanted to risk it (and your current motherboard will run long enough to let you do this), you MAY not have to re-install windows frm scratch. Remove your video driver (and any others you can right clck and uninstall from the control panel), then goto the IDE controller driver and go into the properties, click to update teh driver and search manually for the new driver, from the windows standard drivers choose to upgrade to the Standard Dual Channel IDE controller. Move the hard drive tot he new mobo and hope for the best. In many cases this works fine and you just need to load new drivers.
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Old 09-06-05, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by BigPete
Arghh ... I'm torn. I can get the "POS" mobo I linked above for $25. At the very least, that's $30 less than I'd pay to replace the caps. I'd also have to drop to 512mb ram and start from scratch on a reinstall. I could be running by Fri.

If I replace caps, I go without a pc for 2 wks. I keep all my ram and theoretically everything comes back and works the way it did when it was all brand new. Plug it in and it all works. No install, nothing.
Or you could suck it up and pay $50 for 512mb of 3200 ram (or shop around for cheaper) and buy any socket A board you want. I assume ram is the only problem?
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Old 09-06-05, 01:34 PM
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Actually, my processor is also the limiting factor - but you just reminded me that I could underclock a board based on the 266mhz fsb of my chip. I may not be out of hope yet ...
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Old 09-06-05, 01:47 PM
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Yep, that's actually a brilliant revelation. I'm saved - I can buy any VIA Socket A motherboard and underclock it no problem. The same may be true of the Nforce2s.
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Old 09-06-05, 04:54 PM
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And now, Epox is offering me full refurbishment for $17. I just have to find out how long that will take.
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Old 09-06-05, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by BigPete
And now, Epox is offering me full refurbishment for $17. I just have to find out how long that will take.
That is not a bad deal in my opinion compared to your other options. I built my mother-in-law a new computer a few months ago when her motherboard started acting up. Sure enough it was some capacitors going bad like in the picture. I told her I could upgrade just her motherboard but she wanted a new system and she had the money so I did it.
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Old 09-06-05, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by BigPete
And now, Epox is offering me full refurbishment for $17. I just have to find out how long that will take.
$17 total or $17 + ~ $20 shipping?
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Old 09-06-05, 06:45 PM
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I ship it to them ($7) with a check for $17. In 2-3 weeks, I hopefully get a good-as-new board back.

That 3 weeks will be painful. Now I'm on the verge of accelerating my Athlon64 purchase so I have a pc to use while this one is being fixed. I'm crazy.

Last edited by BigPete; 09-06-05 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 09-06-05, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by BigPete
I ship it to them ($7) with a check for $17. In 2-3 weeks, I hopefully get a good-as-new board back.

That 3 weeks will be painful. Now I'm on the verge of accelerating my Athlon64 purchase so I have a pc to use while this one is being fixed. I'm crazy.
Not bad, I'd go for that. Let us know how it turns out.
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Old 10-06-05, 08:19 PM
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Go my mobo back today - it looks beautiful, like brand new. Of course, putting it back in the pc and booting things up was less than thrilling. It just seems like such a dog compared to the A64 machine I've used in the interim. Hopefully a wipe and reinstall will pep things up a bit.

Overall, I am very pleased with the service.
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