Troubleshooting old Slot 1 motherboard

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Troubleshooting old Slot 1 motherboard

Postby parhelia512 » 2019-11-10 @ 22:23

Hello all ! :happy:

I have a QDI Winnex 2E which is a i810E Slot 1 motherboard.
The motherboard is posting fine but, as soon as the board is trying to load the OS, the system freezes or reboot.
I've tried other CPU, RAM, adding a PCI Vga card but the result is the same.

I don't know if it can help but even in the BIOS, the VGA output from the onboard chipset is unstable.

Thanks for your help ! :happy:
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Re: Troubleshooting old Slot 1 motherboard

Postby dionb » 2019-11-11 @ 00:20

VGA output unstable? That suggests analog circuitry issues, and with a 1999 board that probably means bad caps - and this board certainly has enough of them...

Do you have a good pic of the area of the board between CPU slot and the external connectors?


Now, not booting may or may not be related. If caps are OK (or you replace the dead ones), it could be a BIOS issue. Fortunately this board has a socketed PLCC EEPROM. If you have some way to flash EEPROMs, you could try to re-flash the BIOS.

Alternately, it could that both unstable video and boot issues stem from a bad power supply. Does this PSU work fine with other boards?
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Re: Troubleshooting old Slot 1 motherboard

Postby parhelia512 » 2019-11-11 @ 07:27

Hello Dionb and thanks for your answer.

Yes, VGA output has distortions (no artefact). I've tried to inspect capacitors. One off them looked inflated and i've replaced it (with no result), others seem fine.

I can see the windows 98 start screen and computer freezes. Sometimes, it will start scandisk and freeze.
It seems that using a lower power cpu (P3 667 vs P2 400) the board can sometimes go to Windows Safe mode...then freeze.

Power supply should be ok as it powers correctly an Athlon XP system too...

Here is a picture near the SLOT 1 :
Image

Sometimes, the board doesn't pass the POST and after disk recognition, the system freeze with a white line :
Image

Thanks :happy:
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Re: Troubleshooting old Slot 1 motherboard

Postby dionb » 2019-11-11 @ 14:37

Was the cap you replaced the same type as the others? If so, it's generally a good idea to replace all caps of the same type if one is visibly bad - they go bad internally long before they actually bulge or leak. The ones on the pic look good, but that's still no guarantee. The fact your problems are intermittent and dependent on CPU power draw strongly suggest problems somewhere in the board's voltage regulation or PSU, but if the PSU can handle an AthlonXP it should be able to do this stuff with no trouble whatsoever, so I suspect the board's electrics.
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Re: Troubleshooting old Slot 1 motherboard

Postby parhelia512 » 2019-11-11 @ 14:42

Yes, it was one of the 16 (!!!) capacitors near the SLOT1 connector.
Is there a way to test a capacitor once unsolded ?
Have tried with anoter PSU and the card behaviour the same.
I'm able to replace capacitors but my electronical skills stop there ! :)

Thanks again for your help !
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Re: Troubleshooting old Slot 1 motherboard

Postby _UV_ » 2019-11-12 @ 03:43

On your first picture we can clearly see 2 mosfets CEB703AL.
I found image of similar looking mainboard, at least i'ts found by the provided name
http://www.rainbow-software.org/images/ ... i810w2.jpg
It have 3-4 same looking elements, they could be linear voltage regulators or LDO. Check voltages on them. Make detailed pictures of entire board and it's interesting parts.
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Re: Troubleshooting old Slot 1 motherboard

Postby Errius » 2019-11-12 @ 05:03

I wonder if the OP could post some pictures of the entire board? I was looking for images of this board a while ago but couldn't find any in decent quality.
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Re: Troubleshooting old Slot 1 motherboard

Postby shamino » 2019-11-12 @ 12:31

Given the way your board is behaving, I think it may be interesting to check all the voltages that you can with a multimeter. If you have a meter and want more detail on how to do those measurements, let me know.

I agree that you probably have other bad caps that aren't visibly obvious. As dionb mentioned, not all bad caps bulge and if they do bulge, it only happens long after they already failed. Ideally they should all be replaced, or at least all that are the same type or in the same circuit. The caps along the CPU slot and the 4 in a square arrangement behind them are probably connected to the 5V input of the VRM and to the Vcore output to the CPU, and those would usually be the most susceptible to failure. But there's a good chance of other bad ones scattered around the board also.

Bad caps sometimes fail short, and if that's happening, it could be putting a strain on the PSU. Caps heading towards a short condition, or simply having high ESR, can also put strain on components of the motherboard.

Is there a way to test a capacitor once unsolded ?

You can measure capacitance with a multimeter, but there's a limit on how much capacitance they can measure and many of them won't handle a cap of that size.
There's also more specialized tools that can measure a cap's ESR (Equivalent Series Resistance), which should be very low on a good cap used for Vcore. ESR usually shoots way up as a cap fails, and high ESR prevents the cap from doing it's job (regardless of what the capacitance is). But a multimeter won't measure ESR.
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