Oh shit, do I need to replace my motherboard?

My Ausus P6T system has been hiccuping. Latest: intermittently not recognizing the existence of two of my HDDs (in POST or in Windows) connected to a JMicron JMB363 controller.

My 2009-era system is based on an Asus P6T/i7 Windows 7 combination. This morning, it didn’t recognize the drives connected via the JMicron controller. It did before I went to sleep last night, and there was no shutdown/restart in between. I restarted it a couple times and noticed the drives weren’t showing up in POST either. I didn’t go into BIOS to check.

I shut down for a few hours, and when I came back the drives were there.
I’m self employed, so a reliable machine is critical. I have a backup machine, but rely on my desktop for day-to-day work. I also have data backups, so this is a workflow/PITA issue.

The options I can think of are to add a controller and route as many drives through that or to replace the motherboard.

Adding a controller is simple and cheap, but isn’t that masking a problem? If the JMicron is having issues, is it likely that they stem from the controller itself or is it much safer to replace the board.

So I assume I should replace the board for stability’s sake, but am concerned about the expense. Will my current i7 920 Socket 1366 LGA fit in a modern board? What about my 16GB of RAM? Or will I have to buy all three components?

Note, I am wholly uninterested in upgrading for the sake of upgrading. I will not see any performance increases in a machine that is used largely for word processing.


I would eliminate the power supply as being the source of the problem first. A dying one can cause intermittent weirdness that can trick you into thinking something else is going.

If your livelihood depends on a 6 year old commodity/cheapo desktop you’re being penny wise and pound foolish. You need a new(er) one. Not for increased performance, but simply to get you some newer parts.

Your current PC situation is about the same as saying “My 1995 Taurus has 350K miles on it and smokes like a chimney whenever the steering isn’t wobbling so bad my eyes won’t work to even see the smoke. What can I do to keep it on the road for cheap? I need, need, need, a reliable car.”

Good call. I can’t believe I forgot that checking the PSU is one of the first things I tell people to do. It’s a pretty good model Corsair, but also dates back to 2009.

I have a PSU testerbut no spare PSU at the moment. I’ve used the tester to tell if something is DOA or obviously defunct. Any idea if that tester will show me an issue like this?

The likelihood that your motherboard has failed is low. The first thing to do is to check the cables. Both the data cables and the power cables. Just unplug them and plug them back in. The second thing to do is to replace the CMOS battery: they often have a life-span of 5 years or so, so it might be failing.

I’m assuming your drives are PATA (ribbon cable) as you’re using the JMB 363, so you might want to check how old they are and replace them if they’re well over 5 years old.

LSLGuy, I have a backup machine, but it’s a PITA to switch over in the middle of the day. Doubly more so if I’m in the middle of a project and I’ll need to pull currently worked on files. Tripply more so if I have tens of research tabs and documents open that are going into a document. Not that I’ve ever had to yet hardware-wise (but I have had to decamp on short notice).

This is more like having a 95 Taurus that ran out of oil and I caught it before the engine seized. I need a car to get me the five miles to the office. I could bike to work, I can get a ride, or hell, I could walk if I needed to, but I’d much rather have a stable car. Does suddenly burning oil mean I need just may need a new Fetzer valve? that I’ll need a whole engine rebuild?

The end note was there because it’s next to impossible to ask tech questions about older hardware without getting told that I need to upgrade without any other justification than faster/better/newer.

Quartz: I did just replace the graphics card a months or so ago. (Unrelated problem–the GC on another machine died and I put the new one in here and moved my work PC’s GC to that one), so a cable might be loose. And happily enough, I just picked up a new drive to install to consolidate the absurd number of smallish drives I’ve had running in there. Once done, are there any burn-in routines I could run to test the robustness/stability of the connection?

Maybe the nanny spilled scotch on the keyboard?

Shakes fist at nanny! NOT THAT TOO!!!
By the way. I’m also consolidating a 256, 300, and 500 GB drive onto one 2TB drive. File Explorer usually turns up errors on massive copies. Is there a simple copy utility to use? Good syntax with xcopy or copy?

More recent Win OS include something called >ROBOCOPY. It’s a command-line utility like >XCOPY. But it’s vastly better, faster, and more reliable for mass copying operations.

For comparison, my reserve box is an Asus P5 system with a Pentium D in it which is even older than yours and going strong. Windows 10 installed on it just fine.