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A sad day for me.

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

A sad day for me.

I posted previously on the old forums about an ongoing problem I have been having with my Windows (XP Pro) server for a long time. It would randomly lock up completely when files were being copied to or from it across the network. I tried absolutely everything at least twice including reinstalling with/without service packs, various apps, memory/hard disk diagnostics, different NIC and the list goes on and on. Today I finally admitted to myself that the motherboard is gone (Soltek SL65EPT). This is very sad for me as it was the first machine I hand built back in 2001. It saw lots of use as my main desktop up until 2004 when it was demoted to a server. Since then it has ran 24/7 and about a year ago the problem started.
I was thinking about giving this motherboard a grave in the garden but this may not be best for the environment. Grin
I will do without it for a couple of weeks when I will buy a replacement motherboard/processor for my main desktop which currently has an Abit NF7 board and Athlon XP 2400+ processor. This board will then get demoted into the Windows server and so the process goes on.
I have attached photos of the capacitors on the broken board. From the state of them I am surprised the machine starts at all!
Must go check the capacitors on my Linux webserver as it is about the same age. No problems with it though.
26 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,345
Thanks: 685
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: A sad day for me.

Sad news Sean. I've literally just started a topic about speaker humming which was also directly related to a bulging cap.
Surely being a maplin man you could of replaced those caps yourself?
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: A sad day for me.

Well dont work for Maplin anymore as they wouldn't pay enough Grin
I could replace them but with 14 that I can see needing replaced that would really be a lot of work when I can just use it as an excuse to upgrade 2 computers.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: A sad day for me.

i was going to say 'dinna be hasty,' but i see from the picks that the capacitors are breaking out all over.  it's given you good service and if you want to preserve the motherboard for posteriority (sic), how about framing it and sticking it on a wall?
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: A sad day for me.

Quote from: artificer
how about framing it and sticking it on a wall?

Ha Ha, not a bad idea but some of my friends already think I am a bit of a computer geek. Maybe that would prove them right Huh
I think I will just store it away in the attic for all time with the other legendary computer hardware that served me for many years that is my Commodore 64
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: A sad day for me.

Quote from: artificer
how about framing it and sticking it on a wall?

I've got a "286" motherboard framed on my "home office" wall. And not a capacitor on it! Wink
It was made by NCR in 1986 and originally had 512K memory when used to run a Pick-based multiuser telesales system.
When it was retired from that role I added memory chips to make it 640K (better for DOS) and even had the BIOS chips copied, modified and re-blown to allow for different (larger capacity) hard disk types.
It gave sterling service as a PC for several years, and when it was "retired" I used the "bomb-proof" AT-format case and power supply as the basis for a number generations of PC's over many more years.  Cheesy
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: A sad day for me.

Any suggestions for a good place to get a reasonably priced motherboard & processor bundle (AMD)? I wouldn't need anything too fancy as I don't play games or have any intension of ever using Vista. I would quite like onboard gigabit ethernet as a speedy connection (at least between my Windows server and main desktop) is important and I plan to upgrade my switch at some point.
Maplin usually have some special offers but they are always micro ATX boards and have not seen any recently with gigabit ethernet onboard.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,345
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: A sad day for me.

ebuyer.com
You say it would of been hard work to replace all them caps.... yeah maybe but it reminded me of fixing up my laptop. That was a mission in its own right as the charging socket was knackered. It had 5 solder points (the sort of job you just know you don't want to do) and I had bits of the laptop hanging out all over my knees attached to cables etc. To top it all off it was the first laptop I've ever had (and still the only one though it died recently) and I was terrified of breaking it beyond repair. Got the new socket soldered into place and within the month that one wanted replacing too!
At that point I gave up and thought stuff it. It rumbled on for another year like that with a dodgy charging socket, battery connection, cracked screen (done whilst putting it back together the 1st time) password locked bios, overheating and many other faults the seller forgot to mention when ebaying it as GWO  Angry
Still it was a good machine and I certainly had my £150 worth out of it (ran VMs on it too just to get my cycles out of the processor). It's now residing on the bottom shelf of the coffee table while I try to work out what to do with it. Framing ain't such a bad idea you know... hadn't thought of that Wink
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: A sad day for me.

I have bought lots of things from eBay over the years, mainly old computers and parts but when buying a laptop I decided it would be better to buy brand new for exactly this reason. That was 4 years ago and my 1.5Ghz Toshiba Equium still looks and runs like new even has still over an hour and a half battery life. With a recent memory upgrade to 1Gb it runs faster than many new laptops I have seen because they are all running Vista!
avalon
Grafter
Posts: 361
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: A sad day for me.

If you want to preserve your old motherboard, why not desolder the components attached to it and then pot it in clear casting resin from a model shop.  Voila, one genuine computer mousemat. Grin
Superuser
Superuser
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Re: A sad day for me.

Quote from: Sean
Any suggestions for a good place to get a reasonably priced motherboard & processor bundle (AMD)? I wouldn't need anything too fancy as I don't play games or have any intension of ever using Vista.

You could try PowerC.  I've used them a few times for both personal and small local businesses I work with.  Usually fast delivery to - e.g. Ordered 19" LCD monitor at 15:30 on day 1,  day 2 at 11:00 it had been delivered and I had it installed. Cheesy  OK I'm not in Northern Ireland, but it's still pretty impressive.

Community Veteran
Posts: 14,345
Thanks: 685
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: A sad day for me.

Quote from: Sean
I have bought lots of things from eBay over the years, mainly old computers and parts but when buying a laptop I decided it would be better to buy brand new for exactly this reason. That was 4 years ago and my 1.5Ghz Toshiba Equium still looks and runs like new even has still over an hour and a half battery life. With a recent memory upgrade to 1Gb it runs faster than many new laptops I have seen because they are all running Vista!

Yeah thats probably what I'll do next time Sean. Unless I can see test and examine a 2nd hand one before handing over the hard earnt stuff. My laptop although faulty was a great machine with a 1.8GHz processor and 512MB of ram. Ok the ram could of done with being more but at 1.8GHz it was still out performing many of the current single core new laptops. Shame it died really. Luckily the processor is socket A so I might decide to keep it and stick it into a desktop or something. Worst part is last year I spent £74 on a new battery for it as it turned up with yes you guessed it, a dead one which wouldn't charge... despite being sold in Full Working Order grrrr. Needless to say ebay closed her account not long after. It was a great machine when it worked though.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: A sad day for me.

I done a little shopping today so I can get started on the upgrading/replacing process.
I bought
2 x 250Gb SATA HDD's
1 x PCI IDE RAID controller
1 x PCI Gigabit NIC
The plan is this. My curent Windows server which has the dieing motherboard currently has 3 IDE HDD's 120Gb, 120Gb and 160Gb
My current main desktop machine has 2 IDE HDD's 80Gb and 200Gb
The current Athlon XP 2400+, Abit NF7 board and 2 x 512Mb DDR 266 in my main desktop is getting demoted into the Windows server.
The main desktop will be getting a new board and processor in a couple of weeks. I have my eye on this: http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=224598
As the new SATA drives are obviously for this, the two existing IDE drives are also going in the Windows server hence the PCI IDE controller as there will then be five in that machine.
I have managed to get the Windows server running on FREENAS and it has not frozen yet. I am currently embarking on the massive task of getting as much as possible off all of the HDD's on this server and the main desktop. I am using free space on my laptop, my Linux server, the other desktop in my house and also burning blank DVD's on the laptop and the main desktop machine.
When this is done I can put all of the disks and the motherboard into the Windows server and set it up. Not sure on the exact disk configuration yet but I do want to mirror the 2 x 120Gb disks for digital photographs (despite already keeping three seperate copies of them on seperate machines! Cannot be too careful, they are not replaceable!)
The new board will have onboard gigabit ethernet which is why I am putting a gigabit card in the Windows server. Obviously I will upgrade the switch sometime soon. The other computers on the network are fine at 100Mbps.
I also bought a new case for the desktop machine. Nothing wrong with the old one but just fancied a change.
This work will be one computer sorted out and will leave me without a desktop until I get the new board but I still have the laptop so it is not a problem. Wish me luck Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: A sad day for me.

good luck.
i'm a little confused.  will you be running linux, or windows on this new box?  you mention freenas...
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: A sad day for me.

The box will be Win XP pro as it always was until I eventually switch to Linux on all my machines.
I am only using Freenas to copy the stuff of the disks. The motherboard is dieing and it just wont run anything else without freezing but freenas is working so far. Only need enought time to get everything off.