Motherboard replacement decisions

  Heckmotor 16:51 20 Feb 2003
Locked

My 3-year-old Evesham 850Mhz Athlon pc has been diagnosed (by an Intel agent, who did not want to repair it) as having suffered a failure of its MSI MS-6340 motherboard, which is no longer available. (Symptoms – no monitor signal, no fan, no HDD activity and no bleeps on cold start. Subsequent attempts to start sometimes accompanied by two or three bleeps and a continuous ‘warble’, but still no other activity. The very professional engineer tried the usual connection checks, circuit testing and component swapping before coming to his conclusion, and charged nothing for his investigation. Prior to the failure, the machine had a tendency to ‘hang’, with the processor running at 100%, which made me wonder if it had overheated)

As there is no indication that the HDD is affected, and it holds licensed OEM Windows ME, for which I have no CD, I’d like to try a compatible replacement board with a faster processor.

Evesham have recommended (possibly because it’s all they can supply) a Gigabyte 7VKML board, which supports my AGP card, 2100 DDR memory (the old board supported DIMM), and an XP2000+ processor, all of which I can get for around £175.

This machine is used for office applications, and absolutely never for gaming, but it would be useful if it could handle high quality music and, possibly, DVD playing (it has a DVD/CDR combo), but the failed motherboard and its suggested replacement have onboard sound.

My questions:

What specification for replacement components is appropriate to take full advantage of this machine’s potential for its intended future use, without risking paying for incompatible parts or upgrades that cannot be fully exploited? I’d like to be able to surf the web on RAM, using Hyperos software which I already have (requires 1Gb), and hanker after an Audigy 2 Platinum sound card, and 5.1 or 6.1 once the machine's back in action!
Would I be better off just getting this machine operational again, and resisting the temptation to upgrade at the same time?
As I want to carry out the work myself (with no prior experience), am I going to face problems with the HDD failing to recognise its new environment on boot-up? The mechanics of assembly don’t frighten me, but diagnostics might prove too much of a challenge!

  Nessie 17:05 20 Feb 2003

If you put in a new mobo and cpu you will almost certainly have to reformat the hard drive as windows will have info for old spec and it will not be able to cope with the change of enviroment. If you can get a new HD and load up windows on that then you could have the HD you are using at the moment set as slave and would then be able to copy your data, but not programmes, across to the new HD.

  clayton 17:06 20 Feb 2003

How about this one its only £61 plus postage takes a 800Mhz processor up has the latest USB 2.0 AGP 8x onboard 6 channel sound so no need to pay for an extra sound card.
I doubt you will get away with installing a new motherboard & not having to reformat the hard drive, best to get an OEM version of windows XP

click here

  Cams 17:38 20 Feb 2003

I agree with what others have said. Take this as an opportunity for an upgrade; get a new HD, an OEM version of XP and keep your existing HD as slave, new motherboard and processor.

The mobo Clayton has pointed to looks rather good.

  froggg 19:38 20 Feb 2003

check out asus a7s333-good board for less than £50 @ e-buyer,sis chipset

  mac75 19:57 20 Feb 2003

i have just finished building a new pc. amd 2000xp+,asus a7n266-vm/lan(o/b graphics and sound),256mb ddr2100ram.when trying to install win98se i receive "application error,suwin caused a general protection fault in module vga.drv at 0002:0f40. the install goes as far as asking which type of setup do you wish to install. can anyone tell me what they think can be wrong.i'd appreciate your assistance. jim.

  mac75 20:01 20 Feb 2003

i have just finished building a new pc. amd 2000xp+,asus a7n266-vm/lan(o/b graphics and sound),256mb ddr2100ram.when trying to install win98se i receive "application error,suwin caused a general protection fault in module vga.drv at 0002:0f40. the install goes as far as asking which type of setup do you wish to install. can anyone tell me what they think can be wrong.i'd appreciate your assistance. jim.

  mac75 20:21 20 Feb 2003

apologies for my interuption,i chose the wrong page for my message. mac1.

  Gongoozler 20:26 20 Feb 2003

Heckmotor, your best chance of being able to use you OS on the hard drive without reformatting is to fit a motherboard with the same chipset. The MS-6340 uses the VIA KT133 chipset. Looking through the motherboards at Ebuyer I found a few that use the VIA KT133A chipset, and perhaps the drivers are tolerant enough to transfer from one to the other without too much of a problem.

mac1, I suspect that your graphics card is not compatible with the Windows98se setup program. There are some ideas on this site click here

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