Hello all,

I hope someone can help me with this predicament I'm having.

Now, I could get all new parts to build a new machine, but I'm leaving for a job overseas in two weeks and it would not be worth it for me to fix a new machine at this point in time. I'd like to get this job done with as little extra "parts" I would need to get as possible.

Here we go:

for about 3 years I was running a machine I built with the following specs:

Epox EP-8KMM3I-X micro ATX board
AMD Athlon XP 2800 333FSB CPU
Western Digital - 80GB Hard Drive
500GB Hard Drive
1GB A-Data RAM
DVD Burner

I was running XP and integrated graphics. On-board SATA would not work no matter what I tried, so I got a PCI SATA card and all for the time was fine. 80GB had OS installed.

About a year ago, I decided to try my hand at Vista. I ended up having it installed on the 500GB; for some reason it wouldn't load into the 80.

Next, I added an AGP graphics card, that oddly enough happened to be the same graphics setup (GeForce 5200) that was on-board. But the card had a RCA video out. I added that and 1GB of RAM (G-Skill brand). All was doing OK.


about a year to the day, Vista stopped loading. It was gradual, and I hoped that it wouldn't happen, but it did. So, surprisingly I booted to the 80 and my old copy of XP was still on the HD, though I thought it had been deleted by the Vista install. I cleaned out the 80 and re-installed XP just fine.

Then, pci slots stopped working. First one, and before I lost the one where it loads the HDDs I bought a new motherboard with the intent of transferring those parts over to the "new" motherboard.

The "new" MB is an MSI K7N2 Delta2 Platinum

So, I put the 2800 CPU, the RAM, both HDDs, and I reinstall XP on the 80 for the new MB.

I gave you that history lesson to see if it's something I overlooked. I'm beginning to suspect the CPU, as the same problems I had with the Epox board I'm still having with the MSI. Could the MSI board be bad, just as the Epox board became?

Even the USB headers on the MSI won't read the card reader, though it CAN read USB if I install a device. (???)

That's the history of my machine. Should I just run it as it is, and wait until next year when I can build a new machine?
Any help is GREATLY APPRECIATED. Thanks for reading!

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what do you have plugged into the pci slots that doesn't work ,strange for pci slots to not work on 2 different boards ,most like the card you have into the pci slot

I'm guessing it's a PCI card with sata inputs that he's talking about, not 100% sure though...

That's why I suggested the sata:ide plug, as they're a cheap way to test that it's the Pci card's fault and not the hard drives' faults.

Both hard drives are SATA. Since buying one by accident, I bought the board, but that boards SATA ports would not work (the Epox board). So I bought a PCI SATA card and it worked fine. I've been an SATA fan ever since, the speed is beyond compare to IDE, as you well know.

The cards in question are: 1. a USB expansion card, 2. a USB/FW combo card, and 3. the SATA PCI card that last time it was installed still worked on the Epox board.

How it happened was: the combo card stopped working, so I yanked it. But there are not enough USB ports on-board, so I bought the other card, thinking it was the combo card. That one didn't work either.

The MSI board has two SATA ports on board, both being used.
After I installed XP on the new machine, I installed both cards, and the SATA PCI card, for more SATA in the near future. None of them would work, the SATA card would look for drives for so long, I had to remove it so I can boot to XP. With the other two combo cards in, it caused the time it took to boot XP from about 1 minute to 3 minutes!

Now, this MSI board is not 100%, I am not the first owner. But it's showing the SAME BEHAVIOR that it had when those components were installed in the Epox board.

SO...this is more or less a check to make sure I am not crazy!!! In addition to how this could happen, and if there's a way to fix it, short of building a new machine, which I will anyway next year. But, until then...

Thanks for the replies thus far!

Ah, good question caperjack :)

Maybe a BIOS option. If there's some sort of conflict going on one of these might help:

If you've got any sockets on the motherboard you don't use (like onboard USB or a printer port), disable them in the BIOS. You could also specify the device as not existing in device manager.

Check for BIOS options, like 'Assign IRQ for USB' and set them to disabled.

Look on the MSI site for the latest chipset drivers for your board, might have updated pci stuff in it.

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