Intermittant boot problems

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Lately I've been experiencing erratic boot up problems.

For disk drives, I have 2 SATA units in a RAID configuration and an
old ATA drive that I now use to do a quick backup of files I don't
want to risk loosing. There is a Windows XP home operating system on
both, but the BIOS is set to use the SATA set first.

Boot up invariably goes past the memory check and reports that
everything is OK. The problem is that sometimes it does not find the
IDE drive, in which case it spends lots of time searching before
giving up and moving on to the SATA drives. If I press the reset
button, it will usually find the IDE drive on the second atempt, but
sometimes it takes a half dozen resets.

OK now, assuming its found the ATA drive, it will now sometimes fail
to find one of the SATA drives. The old reset button will usually
solve this problem.

Next it gets to Windows and normally it boots up Windows in a
relatively short period of time. Occasionally, it takes 5 minutes or

Every once in a while, everything appears to run perfectly. Windows
comes up, but the mouse is inoperative. The inoperative mouse happens
only on rare occasions. Rebooting once again invariably will bring the
computer up to its normal functioning state.

What have I done?
- Disconnect and reseat all connections on the mother board except for
the CPU and chip set
- Reseat memory cards
- Disconnect and reseat all cables, both inside and outside the box
- The mother board has dual BIOS, so I've configured the system to use
the alternate BIOS
- Replaced the power supply with a higher wattage (and quieter) one.

With the new power supply, the mother board utility reports voltages
of 3.29 - 3.31; 4.78 - 4.81; 12.54 - 12.6.
With a meter, I measured at the power connection for the ATA drive,
4.86v and 12.4v.

Any help would be appreciated. I'm ready to replace the mother board
and since I'd certainly want a newer processor if going through that
trouble, it would also mean buying a mother board that can't use my
two month old video card since its AGP. I'd also have to replace the
memory cards. (Yes, I did have this problem before upgrading the video
card, but only rarely.)


Re: Intermittant boot problems

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Yeah, that's what I'd do, give up on that motherboard and move on.

Re: Intermittant boot problems


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Have you tried removing the IDE drive?
See if you have problems with that drive removed.
You didn't mention trying new HD cables, which are cheap.
Since your problem seems to center on that IDE drive, and you have a
nearly new AGP card, there's no sense throwing out MB and AGP until
you've done more troubleshooting.


Re: Intermittant boot problems

Vic Smith wrote:
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Before throwing the board away, see if there are firmware updates, it
might help

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