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Old 10-18-2016, 10:21 PM   #1
batmreload
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Default Intel SE440BX-2, Known to have bad caps?

Hi. New user here - Have decent working knoledge of computers and electronics, trying to build a old-school win98 machine.

Bought a used 440bx-2 motherboard from ebay a year ago. Board arrived in working condition, no obvious damage or caps vented/residue on mobo. Went back to it recently and started to build system.

Had 2 hard drives die (One was a deathstar so i didn't make the connection when it gave up the ghost) The second was a venerable old 40g Maxtor. These drives require an act of god to kill. Even after its "death" it came back after a few days.

Figured I might have a bad psu and swapped in another one after opening it up and seeing nothing obvious. Few days later, the pci video card (venerable S3 virge) died. Figured I had a mobo with some serisou bad ju-ju and tossed it. Replaced power supply again with known good one, rebuilt system with NOS 440bx-2 mobo on ebay (Dead cmos, but every connector tight) and replaced harddrive with a WD refurb'ed 80G Cavier.

Figured I had the prolbem licked until yesterday. Powered on system and it froze. Hard drive was makeing the "I'm dying" sound. That is, spins up, almost gets to full speed, CLICK, then repeat. Shut down, verified every connection good, restarted just fine.

To make a long story short (Too Late). Are these 'referance' boards known to have bad caps? Is it possible that the originals have failed after 15+ years? Is it possible that the old board and the new board are killing power supplies?

Both mobo's seem to have no-name blue/light blue caps. I can't provide good pictures just yet, but i figured i'd throw this out and see if anyone had a similar issue. I've run speedfan under win98, but i'm not sure how well its voltage reporting is as there are 3 2.7v reported lines, one of which is reading ~1.5v.

Otherwise, this new setup seems to be working good. I am planning on sending the board in for a recap at some point, as I've read electrolytic's don't have much more then a 15yr lifespan (please correct me if I'm wrong)

The system is running with the following boards:

Agp voodoo3
PcI Yamaha DS2416 pro audio card
Pci Rosewill USB2 adapter card
Pci Kingston network card (rtl8139-based)
and an isa Soundblaster awe32 (CT 3910)

I'll get some pictures up as soon as i have access to our camara here.

Edit: I've tested this exact combination with a Tyan s1854 motherboard and only had one issue (traced it to old pioneer dvd-rom that appears to have dying motor pulling too much current, got a voltage drop coinciding with above click on dying deathstar)

Additionally, I'm getting a weird spin-down effect while this motherboard reboots. I can hear the cooling fans slow for about a microsecond. Ive never encountered this before, is that a bad sign? (Hard reset only)

Last edited by batmreload; 10-18-2016 at 10:47 PM.. Reason: add info
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:22 AM   #2
ChaosLegionnaire
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Default Re: Intel SE440BX-2, Known to have bad caps?

try to disconnect everything from the psu except the power connectors to the motherboard and fans, then power it up and wait for it to finish post and display "no boot device found" or "insert boot media to continue" (since u disconnected power for all the peripherals). then hard reset and see if the fans slow down. power off then add back ONE component and hard reset and see if the fans slow down. keep repeating until the offending component is found.
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Old 10-20-2016, 12:20 AM   #3
batmreload
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Default Re: Intel SE440BX-2, Known to have bad caps?

Thanks for your reply!

Well, I pulled everything from the board, disconnected everything but the video card, and did both hard and soft reboots.

Turns out i was wrong...getting the same microsecond fan slowdown/ voltage drop during a soft reset too (ctrl+alt+del).

This is unique to this board alone, ive never seen this happen on other boards (and I've replaced/upgraded over 40 motherboards from 1996 to now)

Any ideas? There should be enough reserve capacity in both the power supply and motherboard to "ride-thru" the load of the cpu and video card during a reset. Granted, its a decently powerfull enough GPU, but Ive had this exact same config, processor and memory included, on another board and it didn't exhibit this quirk/oddity.

So far, while Ive had a couple of random lockups and the prolbem as described
below with the click-of-almost death from the HDD, its been decent. I've loaded it down a bit playing quake 3 and it worked out fine. The issues im getting seem to be random and unrepeatable. Maybe the caps are just showing their age? (Board is dated 1999 somewhere i think)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosLegionnaire View Post
try to disconnect everything from the psu except the power connectors to the motherboard and fans, then power it up and wait for it to finish post and display "no boot device found" or "insert boot media to continue" (since u disconnected power for all the peripherals). then hard reset and see if the fans slow down. power off then add back ONE component and hard reset and see if the fans slow down. keep repeating until the offending component is found.
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Old 10-20-2016, 11:36 PM   #4
batmreload
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Default Re: Intel SE440BX-2, Known to have bad caps?

Pulled the board out for another look today and to take some pics. Might've found my prolbem (Thanks ChaosLegionnaire!) as when i first checked for the power prolbem I didn't remove the floppy drive. It minimized it, i replaced the FD with another one from the parts bin, and it seems to have reduced the prolbem.

This board seems a bit odd in that the electro's only number about 7. Other 440bx boards number 10 or more. Most of what would be electro's have been replaced with the tiny metal can ones (dont know their proper name)



Overview:





Markings on board. Legit or not?





And finally, some leftover flux, maybe from the board being recapped previously and a component missing (though its in the area where the audio card is usually onboard, so maybe i'm reading too much into this:

Attached Images
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File Type: jpg IMG_0392.jpg (619.1 KB, 72 views)
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Old 10-21-2016, 06:33 AM   #5
batmreload
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Default Re: Intel SE440BX-2, Known to have bad caps?

Well, thats 3 power supplies on 2 of these boards that have now gone unusable.

Started getting random reboots with the LIC B350ATX. Smelled electronics cooking inside and riped it out for my last good PSU. A Xeon something-or-other. Opened the LIC and nothing looks bad, but the smell still persists.

I'm starting to think it was a combination of the old dvd-rom and the chinton 3.5" floppy that killed the last 3 PSU's/ video cards/harddrives. Mind you, they still work. The only differance now is with a soft/hard reboot i dont get the change in the fans note that I mention above...at least, not yet.

I still can't say if I've managed to finally get all of the bad Ju-Ju out of this system, but hopefully thats the last. Given everything thats happened, anyone out there in badcaps land have any further thoughts? Maybe something else i missed? I'm beginning to feel clueless here...
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Old 02-22-2017, 07:25 AM   #6
kc8adu
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Default Re: Intel SE440BX-2, Known to have bad caps?

most likely old hardware reaching EOL.
the only item that routinely kills stuff when it fails is the power supply.
pick the best built one and recap it.
if its an l&c b350atx its junk anyway.
without seeing the rest its hard to tell if they are junkers too.
many very common units from that era were considered garbage from new.

Last edited by kc8adu; 02-22-2017 at 07:29 AM..
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Old 02-23-2017, 12:19 AM   #7
Stefan Payne
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Default Re: Intel SE440BX-2, Known to have bad caps?

Aren't all PSU from that area crap by todays standards?
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