Aug 5, 2007
A system I put together several years ago has an Elite K7S5A v3.1 MB, and within the last week or so, it has begun exhibiting a weird problem at power up (intermittently at first, and now constant). When you first power it on after it has been sitting idle, it can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes before POST completes and you begin to see output on the monitor from the BIOS. Everything else seems fine because the disks and fans all spin up, and it appears that some activity is going on (the access lights on the HD and CDROM flash periodically and the power light on a USB hub plugged into it comes on). There are no errors indicated once POST finally completes and the system boots normally. It just takes a prolonged time to get started after power up.

From experimenting, it seems that once the system has been running, you can power it down and it will come on immediately when you subsequently power it up again. So it would almost seem that if the components are warm, the problem goes away. I thought at first it could be the CMOS battery (I had tried clearing the CMOS as a sanity check and the first time it came up after POST, it complained that the CMOS battery was low). But even after replacing the battery, the problem remains.

So my question is if this sounds like a pending component failure in the MB itself. I don't have the means to diagnose this myself any further, but if I take it to my local independent computer store, they'll charge me $50 to diagnose the problem, which may end up with the same answer. So since this MB is several years old anyway, I'm wondering if I'd be better off putting the $50 toward upgrading my components.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

I'd go for a different board. Newegg has a sempron 2600 cpu retail boxed with ecs board for about $50 shipped that would be a cheap upgrade. It only runs at 1600 hertz and has 128 megs cache, but would probably be better than your current rig, and work with your old ddr ram, unless you have sdram. Or you can get a biostar nforce3 board open box (with no accessories) for about $24 shipped and the retail sempron 2600 for $24 shipped. The ecs board has an sis chipset, so you might not even have to format and reinstall windows, just install the motherboard drivers.