PC rebooting in all but preboot modes.

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I've got a pretty reliable home-brew PC built on  
PCC A13G+ v3.0 motherboard that has only recently  
started to reboot itself after 15-30 minutes of  
operation. It normally only sees an internet  
connection for updates to AV or OS.

It's dual boot W2k / linux LXLE, and will reboot  
just from sitting at log-in screen in both OS.
With W2k running, disablimg reboot on failure leaves  
the system with a BSOD, instead of rebooting.

It will run preboot memtest for 6hrs+ without  
fault, from either GRUB or a DOS floppy disk.

PSU, HDD replacement has no benefit, barebones.

W2k Device Mgr shows a USB Host Controller that  
is recognized but will not accept the normal  
usb drivers, while other enhanced controllers are  
listed normally. Disabling it doesn't prevent the reboot.
Removing/reinstalling etc does not change its  
eventual status.  

USB ports function. The faulty host seems to be  
treated as a usb device that can't be stopped in  
normal usb media removal dialog.  

I'm trying to associated the USB Host issue to  
physical parts on the MBrd. I'm guessing it's not  
just a bus switch or port buffer.

Any ideas what to do next? Replacing the motherboard  
doesn't seem to be an option, as there aren't any of  
these out there anymore, second-hand or otherwise.


Re: PC rebooting in all but preboot modes.
On 2021/09/03 8:12 a.m., legg wrote:
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Have you looked at the electrolytic capacitors on the motherboard? Any  
of them splitting or bulging? These require a good vacuum desoldering  
system as the boards are multilayer and your regular temp controlled  
tool doesn't work so well on those types of boards unless you dial it  
way up, then you run the risk of damaging the board.

John :-#(#

Re: PC rebooting in all but preboot modes.

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The caps have been replaced twice on the MB over the years, and  
they were the first thing suspected this time. I also did a  
refurb on the original PSU (Tagan 420), before swapping it out  
with a new Elite 600.

The PCC MB has been a pleasure to use since it's first installation  
(~2004), with it's combination of IDE and SATA and PCi(for SCSI  
and GPIB) interfaces. Have never had to re-install an OS on it.
The W2k system serves(served) as mostly library, and maintenance  
standard for repair of subsequent machines. It runs most  
text editing, printing, imaging, database, Autocad, board layout
communication and lab instrumentation SW of its era flawlessly.

I haven't managed to whip the Alt-boot linux OS into any stage  
where it was as useful or easy to navigate, and a 'new' machine  
with W7 is not really a possibility, these days.  

As for a new machine with W10 or later - anything that won't work  
without an internet connection, cloud servers or a recurring
subscription, is just not going to happen here.  

I'll probably end up just running the W7 (and some XP) machines  
into the ground, while struggling to get Linux to look more  
familiar and act more usefully.

If I could track down the hardware fault on this MB, however, I'd  
be over the moon. I still miss a W98/W2k/XP multiboot system that  
had to be put down around 2013(ECS KM400 MB). It also never needed  
an OS 'reinstall'.

. . . compeeyoudahs are probably the greatest waste of time  
and effort I could ever have possibly imagined. Pointy-headed  
business types just keeps twisting your arm, however.


Re: PC rebooting in all but preboot modes.
On Fri, 3 Sep 2021 23:37:54 -0000 (UTC), John Doe

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You sound really sure about all that . . . .  

I'm not even sure you can install W10 or later without one.


Re: PC rebooting in all but preboot modes.
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W10 can work without an Internet connection. Actually to install the lastes
t versions of W10 Home if you want to create a local user you must install  
without an internet connection otherwise it enforces an online account. On  
that computer I would install W10 LTSB, runs great with these old dual/quad
 core processors.

As for the blue screen I would suspect the hard disk data or power cable. I
f memtest does not cause a reboot (double-check), try booting from a Linux  
live CD with the HDD unplugged, if it runs fine I would suspect the HDD cab
les, the HDD itself or the SATA controller. Maybe try another SATA port?

Re: PC rebooting in all but preboot modes.
On 9/3/2021 8:12 AM, legg wrote:
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Since you've swapped out the power supply and are still having problems,  
have you checked the motherboard for bulging caps? How old is the board?

By the way, I found this review of the motherboard at:


Pros: This board was an easy setup.  Ok for very lightly used computing.

Cons: Died in 11 months.  Mounts for CPU make it awkward in most  
motherboard trays."

Good luck.
David Farber
Los Osos, CA

Re: PC rebooting in all but preboot modes.
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As that board seems to be over 10 years old, it is probably time to move  
up to a more modern computer.  I usually get a refurbished computer off  
ebay for around $ 100 for my usage.

Re: PC rebooting in all but preboot modes.

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This picture reminds me of a problem I had.
HWinfo was telling me that a mysterious chip was reaching
a 73C temperature.
By touch nothing on the board was close to this.
So I removed the golden radiator  to find that the pad
between it and the chip was completely dry.
For good measure I replaced it with a bigger black radiator
with real thermal paste and a fan.
It did wonders no more unexplained reboots and I was even able
to overclock from 2.5 to 3.5 GHz this had never been possible
since the board was new.
My thanks goes to the HWinfo software that in fact gives
temperatures of a lot of components in a PC.
It was a lot of work but now when facing mysterious
reboots I put a very big fan facing the main board a leave
it cook.

Re: PC rebooting in all but preboot modes.

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An interesting feature of HWinfo, for this older motherboard,  
is that it mixes up/misidentifies the voltage readings.

+3.3 is 1.856
+12 is 4.80

CPUID HWmonitor does much the same  

+12 is 4.608
-12 is -4.608
-5 is -11.72

No problems with CPU core or memory voltage reporting.


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