Possible Motherboard Issue


Mar 28, 2012
Hey all, long-time lurker first-time poster.

I have a slightly upgraded Gateway FX6800-01e that I've been having issues with for a while. First, the specs:

Core i7 920 @2.67 GHz
6GB (6x1GB) Kingston DDR3 1066
2X Radeon HD 4850 (512 MB)
1X 1TB WD Caviar Black HDD
1X 1 TB Seagate Barracuda HDD
Windows 7 64-bit
CPU-Z shows the motherboard as being Gateway brand, model TBGM01
stock crap Gateway case and coolers

FYI, I have to keep the case open with a small fan blowing air into it to keep my video cards from overheating; the case has terrible air-flow.

Now the issues, in order of importance:

1. My CPU fan has been completely shutting off. The first time it happened a reboot sorted it out, but now it takes multiple reboots for it to start working again. It's happened three times in the last month; first while playing Mass Effect 1, then twice while playing Battlefield 3. The games start lagging really badly and I look down and see that the CPU fan is off and quickly shut down. This is the most recent, and concerning issue.

2. USB devices are often not recognized. I either get the "USB Device Not Recognized" error in Windows, or it just doesn't register that I've plugged anything in at all. I have to reboot 2-3 times to get them working again. This is especially annoying because I have a USB Wi-Fi adapter, so I lose connectivity when this happens. This has been going on for at least a year.

3. My CD drive is sometimes not recognized, or at least it doesn't recognize when I've inserted a disc. When I was installing BF3 from disc a few days ago it got to 47% complete on disc 1 when it suddenly stopped registering that I even had a CD drive. This was the fist time it's stopped working in the middle of an install. I only noticed this issue a couple months ago. A reboot usually fixes this problem.

I'm fairly experienced with replacing hardware, and built a computer from scratch once, but I've never had these kinds of problems happen all once like this. My main concern is the CPU fan; rebooting to connect to the internet or read a CD is fine, but if my CPU fan stops working altogether I'll be pretty screwed as I need my computer for school (online classes).
I don't want to spend more money than I need to, so that's why I'm here. Since all these issues are happening at the same time, am I right to assume it's a motherboard issue? I want to at least get a second opinion so I don't needlessly replace hardware.

Sorry for the wall of text, but I wanted to include as much information as possible :D
Also, sorry if this is in the wrong place; I didn't see a suitable sub-category under Motherboards.
I'm no expert but it does seem to point to the Motherboard. And since you're experienced with replacing hardware, you'll do just fine replacing your motherboard.

Anyway, the reason I think it's the motherboard (someone correct me if I'm wrong).

1) It's quite rare for CPUs to suddenly die from what I understand, and not to mention I get the idea that it works quite fine when the CPU fan is working, correct?

2) USB devices...I've had the same issue with my brother's motherboard, granted it's not the same as yours (Biostar A880g+). I've had an issue where my front panel USB 2.0 ports would be recognized as USB 1.0, or it wouldn't detect USB at all for that matter. The same happened with the USB ports on the I/O. The issue went away after I RMA'd the motherboard.

3) I'm not really sure about this one, as I said, I'm no expert. But I'm sure your CD drive is fine.

Hopefully this helped, and I'm sorry it wasn't from an expert. I wish you the best of luck with your PC :)

Its either the motherboard on its last legs, and since the case is crap, go the whole hog and buy a nic enew one along with an Asus or Gigybte motherboard.

or the PSU is failing to provide enough juice, Gateway ar elike most OEM, their PSU's are just enough to power the original sepc and a maybe a few other small odds and sods, but not big upgrades.


Mar 28, 2012

Yeah, the CPU works fine when the fan is running. And I actually forgot until you mentioned it, but sometimes my USB 2.0 ports are recognized as USB 1.0.

Ah, I forgot to mention that I do have a Rosewill 750W PSU, because like you said, the stock one that Gateway shipped couldn't even handle a second 4850. The PSU is just under two years old, so it should be doing fine.

Thanks, guys! I've ordered a new mobo and case from Newegg. I went with the EVGA 131-GT-E767-TR because of a nice mail-in rebate along with the Rosewill THOR V2. Of course the mobo doesn't have any USB 3.0 headers, but I can make do without.
Links, if anyone is interested:
MOBO: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813188068
Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147053
I'll also be dropping in some new RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231358

Thanks again for your help, I appreciate it :D