The Old PC Dilemma and Major Issues

Recently, I decided that I was going to start studying a BSc (Hons) Computing (Mobile Computing) distance learning degree with Arden University.

The moment I decided this my, now 8 year old, self built PC, decided it was going to start having issues. Typical! I’m sharing this because the issues were a bit strange.

I’d been running my Intel Core i-5 2500k at 4.5GHz on an Asus P8P67 Pro motherboard with 16GB DDR3 Corsair Vengeance RAM and an ATI / AMD HD 6950 graphics card happily for years. I’d upgraded the HDD to a SSD drive and had Manjaro KDE Linux as my only operating system. My PC, although old, performed well for what I was asking of it.

When I enrolled on the degree course, I discovered that I would be expected to use some proprietary software such as Microsoft Office – all fine I though, I’ll use WINE. However, as I delved deeper I realised that I had to use some Adobe software and then the DRM issues started to hit home. I decided to go back to Windows 10.

I installed Windows 10 under duress, feeling some sadness and some pain. It seemed to install just fine but I started getting a few graphics errors and my very old ATI / AMD HD 6950 was running super hot and loud!

The first thing I tried was to take the heat sink / fans off the graphic’s card and re-seat them with some nice new thermal paste – the issue still persisted and started getting worse with more errors appearing such as DisplayPort Link Failure and other weird things happening .

Okay, I’ll get a new graphics card I thought. I knew anything half decent would be a bottleneck to the rest of the system but it would be an investment for when I upgraded the rest of my machine. I ordered an AMD RX 590, received it a couple of days later and installed it….

I then had some major issues! My PC wouldn’t POST.

Was it the new graphics card? Was it the PSU? What had happened I thought?

The first thing I tried was to install my old graphics card and try to boot again – nothing happened – just random lights appearing on my motherboard showing errors of different kinds.

I reinstalled the new graphics card and checked and rechecked cables.

I checked every cable on my motherboard to see if something had been dislodged.

Everything looked fine.

I reset the CMOS / BIOS and the PC got to POST. Okay I thought, I’m getting somewhere.

I tried changing a few setting back to how I had them in the BIOS but again, nothing but errors with the motherboard lights.

I rebooted and realised that only 8GB of 16GB was showing. In the BIOS settings though, looking at the individual sticks, they were all there. Really strange!

I found a website that talked about a corrupt BIOS on the Asus P8P67 Pro board. Was this the issue?

The first thing I tried was a new CMOS battery to see if that would fix anything – it was 8 years old so must of been on its last legs. I replaced this but still had the same issue.

After looking at https://hardforum.com/threads/tools-to-flash-and-recover-bios-on-asus-p8xxx-boards-fd44editor-ftk.1726429/ again and some of the links not working, I wondered if the I could just replace the BIOS chip and see if that helped? I searched on YouTube and discovered how easy it looked to swap a BIOS chip out.

I then searched for P8P67 Pro BIOS Chips – wow, cheap as chips! (Sorry).

I received one 2 days later, installed it without any issues, booted up and everything has been great ever since!

I’ve had a lot of stress over this fix but have learnt a lot. If your old PC is acting strangely, all your RAM isn’t showing, your PC won’t POST or boot, it could just be the BIOS chip.

The side effect of being back on Windows 10 is that I’m now able to game on ultra settings at over 60FPS on most titles with my old Intel Core i5 2500k at 4.5GHZ, 16GB RAM and an AMD RX 590.

Let me know if you come across this and need any advice or have any questions. 🙂

One Reply to “The Old PC Dilemma and Major Issues”

  1. There was much more to this story – maybe I’ll try to recreate it in a video.

    I was very lucky to find the cause of the issues without giving up, spending a lot and building a new PC.

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