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Old 09-12-2008, 12:17 AM   #1
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What problems will linux complain about when I change motherboard

Recently I had a power supply failure. I replaced the power supply and now I have no peripherals, USB, memory stick, card reader, floppy etc. My SATA hard drive still works, (I can boot to any disto)but just complains about the root USB hubs maybe disconnected.
I put in a new pci card with USB ports and they do not work. I plan to replace my motherboard on my multi-boot system, yes with WinXP, but several other linux distros. I will use the same processor, but the new boards are 240 pin memory, while my old board is 184 pin, so some new memory is in order. Also, the chipset will probably be different as newer boards have newer chipsets. Will linux in general have issues with this limited change?????

I have read some similar posts, and I feel there may be some problems.
Some distros on my system if this will help......
Mandirva le2005, SimplyMepis 7, Ubuntu 704 and little used OpenBSD.

Help on any one or all would help me make the right decision on the motherboard.

Thank you in advance,
Old 09-12-2008, 12:38 AM   #2
Bruce Hill
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Welcome to LQ!

This depends entirely upon how your distro handles modules, and
the kernel you will use to boot.

I have not run those distros, so I can't comment. I can say that
running Slackware-12.1 with the default kernel, I changed a mobo
and only had to remove or edit on file UDEV created for the NIC,
and remove a previous module for sound.

All the hardware support for Linux distros comes from the kernel.
It seems from reading your post you haven't compiled a custom kernel,
so you're probably still running the distros kernel. Before you buy
that new motherboard, you might want to check our Linux HCL and see
if we have a Product Post and Review, to find out how well it works
with Linux. Also, <Linux> Google is your friend.
Old 09-12-2008, 12:42 AM   #3
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There shouldn't be any major issues, although I do see you are running some older distros. They may not support some of the features a new board would provide. An update to a newer version could be all it takes to resolve any issues.

** You have backed up your important data, haven't you? **
Old 09-12-2008, 12:10 PM   #4
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I think I would be making sure the mobo was bad before I changed it. You didn't provide enough information for anyone here to determine if you have correctly analyzed the problem. What mobo do you currently have? Is USB down in XP as well? Did USB ever work (I presume it did)? What other PCI cards do you have installed on this board?
Old 09-12-2008, 03:28 PM   #5
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similar problem

I thought the kernel would probe for devices and add them to the /dev directory. But when I plugged in a parallel port device and restarted the device was never added to the /dev directory. I have no idea what a new mobo would work or not.
Old 09-12-2008, 11:35 PM   #6
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Thank you for the replies.

jim18 asks if winXP also has same issues.

yes, windows complains about root USB device. All devices have worked for the past 3 years. I have an asus mb, microATX. Intel p4 3.2ghz with 512 ram.
My wireless pci cards work fine, hawking 54g and dlink 54g the later with atheros chip. My SATA 200gig hard drive works, but none of the distros or XP see my ide to SATA 10 gig 2nd drive, this also worked before.

I may be speaking out of turn, but my dvd burner and cd rom are not recognized either. I will check this out in the am.

I am currently using my laptop to communicate with the rest of the world until I resolve this problem. I do not want to ruin anything else.

If there is anything that you would like me to try, I am willing try anything.

Old 09-13-2008, 05:35 PM   #7
Bruce Hill
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Is there a computer repair shop where you live? Not some chain store of
improperly trained people like WorstBuy or ShortCircuit City, or some such.
But a shop where a guy can actually test the motherboard? We have them
here, and my workbench has a PCI diagnostic card which will test a motherboard
for problems. Then beyond that are the guys who can use a multimeter and other
devices to tell you what's wrong, and/or repair it.

It sounds to me like your southbridge chip is gone. For sure there's
something wrong with the board. Now you're faced with finding the guys
who test, and repair, boards; or as you said before, buying a new one.

When I was last in the States (don't know where you live), I could not
find anyone who could test and repair computer hardware.
Old 09-13-2008, 06:13 PM   #8
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Thank you for the reply. Would it not cost more to repair a mb than to replace it? Surface mount requires special equipment. I have done this before and it can be quite frustrating on tight boards. The test board you reference in your response, while it gives a code that can tell me what might be wrong, is this a cost effective troubleshooting course.
Thank you again,
Old 09-13-2008, 06:42 PM   #9
Bruce Hill
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I recently had a new southbridge chip put on a Toshiba A65-S126
notebook. It cost me 460 yuan (~ $67 USD). How much do you think
a new mobo would have cost? The last time I checked the Toshiba
Service Center wanted about $700 USD for a board.

Repairing desktop boards is usually even cheaper.

None of the boards fixed here have cost more than a new board.
Futhermore, as you already explained, you sometimes can't buy
the same board new. And a new board will now (more than likely)
require a new CPU, memory, and perhaps video card. You state
that you'd only require new memory -- perhaps you could even
find an exact replacement for a 3 year old board.

For my PCI tester I paid 90 yuan. Sometimes you need more info
than it can give. Which is when I take it to guys who repair
boards every day.
Old 09-13-2008, 06:51 PM   #10
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Is that a laptop? On a desktop, getting a new motherboard, CPU and RAM is not that much more expensive than having the board repaired. You can get an Athlon X2, 2GB of RAM and and a motherboard for something like $150. Assuming you do find someone who can help you, you'll still be left with and old, noticeably slower computer than what you can get and you'll have to wait until the board is ready.

Last edited by jay73; 09-13-2008 at 06:53 PM.
Old 09-13-2008, 06:59 PM   #11
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Thank you Bruce,
Is the southbridge my intel 915gv or is it related to the uchi6??

Thank you Jay,
It is a desktop. I wish to keep everything I have so I do not have to just mount my SATA for info. Especially that dirty WinXP

According to HP, it is an HP, all I should have to do is find a board with a 915gv chipset.
My board is not available anymore, at least from HP or ASUS.

Any comments, please, and thank you all for taking the time with me!


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