Re: odd motherboard issue
You may wish to get a battery backup, one that does line conditioning, but
as AG said, I would expect to see more psu's faulting than mobos. Try it on
one machine and do a little bit of documentation, see if that makes a
Another one that popped into my head, there was quite the scandal a little
while back, dealing with capacitors on motherboards. It was kind of down
played, but there was a capacitor manufacturer that stole the electrolytical
formula from a reputed cap manufacturer (can't remember the names...) and
they got it slightly wrong. It seems to be fairly evident by the 'bursting'
caps on the board. Usually, they are brown cylinders with a silver top.
They will look like soda or pop that's been in the freezer too long. I
don't remember IBM being on the list of people that got nailed by this, but
some heavy hitters got nailed, including Abit.
To see if you have the same batch of boards, usually circuit board
manufacturers will 'datecode' the printed circuit board (pcb). It's usually
a white lettering on the board itself, and will have a part number with a
revision. If the revision is the same, it is more than likely a
manufacturing defect, since IBM is so readily swapping boards.
Also, most manufacturers will go through several revisions on the same
board. The chip market got pretty tight after 9/11/2001 and quite a few
makers were scrambling for raw materials. I'm a process engineer for a pcb
manufacturer and design house, so have a bit of inside knowledge on this. I
know we were constantly scrambling for suppliers and it did get pretty shaky
there for a while. The simple fact that IBM is being so cooperative, leads
me to believe that it's a design issue more than a power issue. But, they
did get into hot water with their hard drives as of late, so they may be
upping the ante on customer support. Best bet, see if you can get a tech
support line and get some dirt. Call it 'social engineering' if you will.
Just my $.02.
"Drew" <email@example.com> wrote in message
> Hi All:
> I have an odd problem going on at my workplace. In the past year, I
> have probably replaced motherboards in 20 or so different leased and
> new IBM machines.
> The signs of the PCs needing replacing of the board are always the
> same. Sporadic reboots or complete freeze ups, odd blue screens,
> sudden power offs etc. As soon as I swap out the motherboard, the
> unit goes back to working perfectly!
> I just can't believe that this many motherboards could go south in
> that timeframe unless there was a bad batch of motherboards. Is that
> a possibility?
> The only other thing I can think of is an issue with the building
> power. I have noticed that during storms, the lights are bad to
> flicker on and off and in some parts of the building, the power will
> completely drop out for a couple of seconds. This behavior also seems
> to happen during normal weather a lot too.
> All of the computers are plugged into surge guard type strips that you
> get for around $20, but not full UPSes. I'm not sure if these strips
> are sufficient to really stop power spikes or not.
> Has anyone ever ran into anything like this?
> Also, even with all of these motherboard replacements, IBM has never
> questioned them. I call them right up and they quickly send out the
> part. Maybe they know they have a board issue. I should add that it
> is primarily two type of IBM models that exhibit this behavior.
> I'm thinking its a power conditioning problem.
> Any advice or comments?
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