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Old 06-18-2008, 08:47 PM   #1
gastorgrab
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Default No luck lately (EPoX 8RTA3)

I just attempted to recap a board for my sister, and all went well. I double-checked the solder joints with the pocket microscope, and touched up where necessary.

I'm starting to like the convenience of the flux-pen i bought.

Anyway, everything was going fine until.......i tried to install an OS. I began to think there was something wrong with the hard drive so i substituted with a CF-to-IDE adapter. No access.

Reconnecting the hard drive and starting FDISK allowed me to partition the disk. FDISK seemed to see the correct size of the disk 78,xxx MB. When i formatted the disk only 12,xxx MB appeared.





I was told that this board was doing some pretty crazy things before it was brought to me but i'll have to ask about the hard drive controller.

*What was mentioned was that the board would only recognize one memory slot.


My Question: Even though i cleared the CMOS before starting it, could the firmware still be hung in this odd state?

I have an application that seems to work better at clearing the CMOS than a 'Load Defaults' and i wonder if it could work where a 'clear-CMOS-jumper' operation failed.
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Old 06-19-2008, 10:07 AM   #2
gastorgrab
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Default Re: No luck lately (EPoX 8RTA3)

No luck with CLRCMOS.exe.


It's not that the IDE controller doesn't work at all, it just doens't work correctly. I can begin a Win2k install and copy the files to the hard disk. When it comes time to restart and begin the 'setup', the screen freezes after displaying half of the Win2k splash screen.

I'm still wondering if the firmware could be hung and not allowing the disk geometry to be read correctly.

I guess i have nothing to lose by attempting to reflash.
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Old 06-19-2008, 02:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: No luck lately (EPoX 8RTA3)

The board is a 8RDA3, isn't it?
First I'd check bios settings: put the disk in LBA mode, try zeroing the drive with the manifacturer utility and then reformat it again. Sometimes bad MBRs may prevent a complete partitioning with fdisk unless you remove the issue.
Second: the "first slot only" thing is suspicious, do a ram check with memtest86+ for at least 10 cycles.
Third: do you have a spare ide controller? If you do, then try connecting the hard disk to this controller: if it works, there is a problem with the controller embedded into the chipset or with the bios.

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Old 06-19-2008, 06:56 PM   #4
Scenic
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Default Re: No luck lately (EPoX 8RTA3)

talking about the bios...: try to update it

as epox finally closed its doors in 2007 its hard to get manuals and stuff (epox FTP is offline)..

well.. the russian epox site still works fine

http://epox.ru/support/download/

8RDA3
http://epox.ru/support/download/ep-8rda3/

8RDA3+
http://epox.ru/support/download/ep-8rda3plus/

8RDA3+ Pro
http://epox.ru/support/download/ep-8rda3plus-pro/

8RDA3G
http://epox.ru/support/download/ep-8rda3g/

and finally..

8RDA3I (i - not L)
http://epox.ru/support/download/ep-8rda3i/

BTW: i bet it's the 8RDA3 as there's no epox board with "RTA"
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Old 06-20-2008, 09:31 AM   #5
gastorgrab
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Default Re: No luck lately (EPoX 8RTA3)

Quote:
Originally Posted by zandrax
The board is a 8RDA3, isn't it?

No. It's EP-8KTA3 w/ Via KT133a chipset. (Yup, that's a typo)


It has some monster caps on it. The first board i've recapped that has 12.5mm diam caps.




http://www.motherboard.cz/mb/epox/EP-8KTA3.htm

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Old 06-20-2008, 09:44 AM   #6
gastorgrab
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Default Re: No luck lately (EPoX 8RTA3)

Flashed bios with the same and no change.

Either the board is damaged beyond the caps or......
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:02 PM   #7
Scenic
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Default Re: No luck lately (EPoX 8RTA3)

another board with those "monster caps" (12,5mm dia)

MSI K7T Pro Ver.1 (MS-6330 Lite ; cheap ass crippled OEM board for Compaq Presario PCs.. the original AMD Athlon Thunderbird 1,1GHz was still on it when i got it)

nice little size comparison...




BTW: total of 4 of those 4700F (!) caps... + 3x Teapo 3900F 10V with 12,5mm diameter.. WTF

replaced the 3900F 10V Teapos (those were leaking onto the board a bit) with 3300F 6,3V Panasonic FJ.

replaced all other caps (partly "exploded" Chhsi 2700F 6,3V at the AGP slot) with the KZGs (see pic) and all other small caps (6,3V 1000F Chhsi) with OSTs with the same values..

board is working fine since 1 year in my mums PC
took a photo because i'm cleaning it up right now... her PC acts like a vacuum cleaner somehow

Last edited by Scenic; 06-20-2008 at 01:04 PM..
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