Failing Motherboard? Help!

Hewlett-packard Pavilion media center tv...
June 6, 2010 at 23:12:08
Specs: Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit
This is mostly a repost and I apologize. My suspicion originally was that my graphics card was causing the problems but after removing it the problems still persist.

Okay, so I'm pretty much a beginner at this kind of thing, so if I've missed any info, please let me know.

My computer has been having a lot of issues recently, and I've tried about everything.

The main problem has three parts that happen simultaneously. The CPU fan starts whirring unusually, the PS/2 keyboard stops working, and the CPU starts spiking during simple activities like browsing a webpage.

These problems generally start at three different times. Often, this starts right when the computer boots up, usually during the windows loading screen. Otherwise it starts either after the computer has been on for an extended period of time or shortly after I have exited a graphically-demanding game.

A few other problems that may or may not be connected. Often, when the computer first boots up, before the HP blue loading screen, everything remains black until I press a key on the keyboard. Also, if the computer boots up when the fans are making any noise, it gives the error "CPU Fan Error. Computer will shut down shortly. Service PC immediately." The fan is still running during all this. Additionally, if I tell the computer to restart itself, it generally stops at the final black screen until I manually shut it down. If I tell the computer to shut down, it does that just fine.

I have tried a new CPU fan, but the problem still persists. I have installed all the latest BIOS updates. I have reset my computer to it's factory settings. I've run all sorts of hardware diagnostics, but according to those, everything is running fine.

Recently, I've been trying to remove hardware to see if I can single out the problem. Like I said, I tried switching the CPU fan, and I've tried running the computer without my added external graphics card. The problem still persists. I'm running out of ideas. My suspicion is now that the motherboard may be on the fritz.

If anyone could shed any light on this issue, I would be very grateful. I don't want to buy a new motherboard only to find out it wasn't the problem. Is there a way to conclusively figure that out?

I've included as much information as I can at the bottom of this, but again, I'm relatively new with this stuff so if I've missed something please let me know. Any ideas?

HP Pavilion Media Center m8200n PC
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor 6000+
3072MB RAM
500GB Hard Drive

Added evga e-GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB DDR3 Graphics Card
Added 550-Watt Modular Power Supply

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June 6, 2010 at 23:19:30
Boot into the BIOS screens and check PC Health for temperatures and fan speeds.

When you say you replaced the CPU fan did you replace the fan and the heatsink or just the fan?

When you were inside the case did you blow out the dust and dirt? Don't use a vacuum.

What does this mean? "and the CPU starts spiking during simple activities like browsing a webpage".

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June 6, 2010 at 23:33:35
Well now the computer won't start up at all. My suspicions are starting to lean towards the power supply. Which is weird, it's the newest thing in my computer. (still like a year old though) So I can't even get into the BIOS now.

The heatsink is the big hunk of metal right underneath the fan right? If so, I replaced both.

Yes, I used canned air to get rid of all the dust I could.

What I meant was the CPU usage would spike up during simple tasks. For example, just scrolling down a webpage would make the computer jumpy and shoot up to over 50% usage. Moving open windows around on the desktop would have the same effect.

So what do you think? Motherboard? Power supply? Something else?

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June 6, 2010 at 23:44:19
When you replaced the heatsink/fan unit did you verify the replacement was the correct part?

Did you also clean off the old pad/paste and apply new paste as per instructions?

If your CPU is overheating it will throttle itself down (less power) in order to protect itself. Under those conditions the CPU is running at a slower frequency. possibly a lot slower. So, 50% of a slower speed may not amount to much.

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June 6, 2010 at 23:50:17
I replaced it with a fan from the exact same kind of computer. I didn't reapply the thermal paste. The weird thing is the problems don't start happening during something that would cause a lot of heat. They start right when the computer turns on, or minutes after a game has ended, or just when the computer is sitting idly.

I managed to get my computer started. I'll try and get BIOS temp up in a sec. I just don't know my way around BIOS very well.

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June 7, 2010 at 00:02:38
I'm pretty sure my BIOS doesn't have the temperature. I don't have any PC Health Status options or anything. Of course, I don't really know what I'm doing. I think my BIOS is Phoenix - AwardBIOS.

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June 7, 2010 at 00:44:50
Okay, I installed SpeedFan and got some answers. The Core temp started out at around 45C and is now down around 36/37C. The GPU temp is 0. The problems are happening right now, so this is the temp while things are happening.

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June 7, 2010 at 01:21:35
So when the computer first starts up, the temps of both cores are in the low 50s. (C) The problem didn't start occuring until the Core0 was around 30C and the Core1 was around 40C. So it shouldn't be heat related, right?

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June 7, 2010 at 04:26:17
The GPU (video) is what I think may be overheating.

Speedfan sometimes needs help identifying which sensors are in use.

Doesn't make sense for the start up temps to be 50c and then fall off from there. Go back and check in the BIOS.

If you have a dual core CPU there is a screen with temperatures and voltages. I may not be called PC Health but it should be there.

There should be multiple screens (pages) of different values in the BIOS screens.

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June 7, 2010 at 12:28:56
There is no screen like that on my BIOS. I have Phoenix AwardBIOS CMOS. There's no PC Health, or Hardware Monitor or any page or option like that. Do you know of any place I could download an update to the BIOS that would include those things?

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June 7, 2010 at 12:30:53
Also, I've run my computer with only the internal graphics card on the motherboard and the issues still occur. If the GPU on the motherboard was failing, wouldn't having a separate graphics card fix that?

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