Another attempt at different hardware problems

I mentioned some time ago a frustrating issue with the hardware on my desktop that I had finally solved. I got the new system Which was a 64-bit AMD Athlon on an Asus k8N4-E board and a pci-express nvidia based card (6200 TurboCache), 1 GB of memory… Things worked very nice for a while, rock solid stable and no issues. But the one day, I noticed…. “where did my tvcard go”. There were 2 pci slots, one I had used for a tvcard, the other for an addon sound card.

I investigated in the system logs and pinpointed the day that things vanished and surprisingly the system had been up at the time. I tried reloading the driver (modprobe….) but that didn’t seem to work. I couldn’t imagine what was wrong. I left it for some time, in part because I just didn’t have time or brainpower to devote to troubleshooting it. Then, on a reboot I paused the PCI enumeration list to find that the two PCI devices didn’t even show THERE.

So, I came to the conclusion that the PCI slots were dead, I didn’t know why. I started searching on the Asus k8n4-e board and found something interesting though. The chipset on this board needs a fan (it is supplied). BUT, many people report their fan dying about 2 months after purchase. I popped open the case and…. yep – the fans frozen. So that’s likely what took down our PCI slots.

I’ve got ANOTHER NEW board now, so I can send that one back. I was really shying away from Asus, but was re-assured that the ASUS K8N-E was a solid board (it’s a step back chipset wise – this one is based on the nvidia3 chipset, the other was nvidia4). I did get another video card though (AGP) Mainly because the only AGP video card I have is still suspect. I wound up getting an Nvidia Fx5200 based card which in some ways is a step down. However, the turbocache had problems with Google Earth (which are promised to be fixed in the next driver release.) However, I can report having tested Google Earth with the new card and there are no rendering glitches. So….

After about an hour and a half to two hours of emptying an old case, installing new board, moving components over…. I’ve finally got the PCI cards working again, and everything seems (finally) solved. No it’s time to prepare to send back the OTHER board and pick up all the mess I’ve left scattered.

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