Greetings. My main pc
is increasingly suffering a variety of problems, and I'm looking for advice on how to positively identify the relevant component(s).
- Power button occasionally unresponsive after normal shutdown; PSU switch must be cycled. First occurred several months ago, then again a few months later, and recently with increasing frequency. Now fails more often than not.
- Since yesterday, many programs suddenly fail to start with generic "[program x] has stopped working" message.
- Also since yesterday, Avast fails with a "memory could not be read" error upon reaching Windows desktop after bootup.
- Cannot boot from USB stick even when expressly enabled and prioritised in BIOS. Onset unknown, only used for Memtest86+ immediately after purchase, not attempted again until now.
- System log lists ATAPI errors starting in late August 2013. For at least the last several days, such errors have occurred during every boot. No errors with DVD drive unplugged.
Things I've tried:
- Disconnecting hardware: USB devices, SSDs, HDD, DVD, all but innermost RAM stick (obscured by CPU heatsink). No effect on symptoms.
- CHKDSK on HDD, no errors.
Things haven't tried, but can:
- Boot from Windows DVD.
- Install stock CPU cooler to access all RAM slots.
- Update BIOS
- Pay a shop to troubleshoot/repair
Things I can't try:
- Test RAM integrity
- Swap hardware from donor PC
- Test my hardware in guinea pig PC
I suspect the motherboard is failing: ATAPI errors indicate a DVD drive, driver, or controller issue. Failing power button could be enclosure, PSU, or mobo. USB boot not working could be USB stick/formatting, USB controller, or BIOS. Otherwise stable programs suddenly failing could be registry or file system damage, RAM corruption, CPU faults, mobo, or any number of things. The only common denominator here seems to be the motherboard.
All hardware is less than 2 years old. Under Danish law, this gives me some options even with products whose warranty has otherwise expired since the seller is liable for manufacturing defects for 24 months. But I need to know for certain which part has failed before I request a replacement.
Is the above information enough
to conclude that the motherboard is faulty?
to rule out user error (e.g. static discharge damage)?
If not, is there something I haven't thought of trying/testing?
Thank you in advance.