MSI K9N mobos suffer random shutdowns
Return of "The Capacitator"
By Theo Valich: Thursday 07 September 2006, 03:03
AFTER ASUS and its teetering problems with several AMD based motherboards, Foxconn's 30-minute BIOS reset affair, it seems that MSI also suffered from some headaches in relation to nForce5 chipset. One of the problems is very similar to the MacBook Pro random "Power Off" syndrome which many Apple users endure right now.
After discussing the matter with several owners of K9N Ultra and K9N Platinum motherboards, both powered by an nForce5 570 chipset - we learned that there are several active problems on the motherboards themselves. All the problems that owners are complaining about result in the same thing: a random shutdown of the system.
There are dozens of situations where random shutdown occurs, but the most notable ones are shutting down when transferring a large file (DVD image or so) over the network if the motherboard has a dual LAN solution, shutdown during burning a DVD or CD and reported incompatibility with 7300GS video card. Also, when you try to push the CPU Vcore above 1.50 Volts, Save and Exit in BIOS can end up in shutdown as well. There are also reported incompatibilities with AMD Athlon 64 X2 processors.
Unlike previously mentioned motherboard companies, the peculiarity of the problems span across operating systems - as mentioned on company forums, shutdowns occur when burning DVDs in Windows, installing Debian Linux, while working in Ubuntu OS and so on. Almost all of this is in strict relation to IDE settings. If you own such a motherboard, first-hand repair is to lower the operation model from UDMA Mode 5 or UDMA Mode 6 to either UDMA0 or UDMA Mode 3 and hope that will do the trick.
The company released several BIOS revisions after the reports started coming in, but the only bullet-proof solution is replacing the C565 capacitator which was found guilty for the shutdown problem. MSI acknowledged the problem and is stating that there is a random shutdown problem which has to be solved via returns, since any work (especially soldering the capacitators) on the motherboard by an unauthorised person voids the warranty. The following series of motherboards are affected:
If you own a motherboard from this series, contact your local MSI representative. You will probably have to RMA the board for repairs, but the length of your wait will depend upon where you live.
We have also contacted Nvidia over the matter, but the company failed to send us an answer before press time.