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New Motherboard - Friday, October 5, 2018
Lately I've been having stability issues with my desktop computer, ranging from freezes to blue screens, to USB storage devices not connecting properly. Reformatting didn't solve the problem, and the RAM tested as error-free. The power supply tested fine, though I didn't test it under load. I suspected the problem to be with the motherboard but didn't have a reliable way to test it, so I decided to just opt for replacing the motherboard. This would allow me to keep the rest of my components since, although they're five years old, they've been sufficient for my computing needs.

Because I have an Intel CPU, my motherboard socket type (LGA 1155) was fairly out of date, so my options were pretty thin. But I found a Chinese wholesaler on eBay selling used Gigabyte Z77 motherboards for $74, guaranteed to be "100% working", which seemed like a good deal. The motherboard came quickly and sure enough worked perfectly and solved all my stability issues.

The one annoying thing was that the BIOS was initially in Chinese, and I had to hunt around to find the setting to change it to English. Even after that, a couple words are still in Chinese, but it's not a big deal.

I have the OEM version of Windows 7, which I read on multiple forums is tied to one motherboard and won't allow reactivation when switching it out. But I had no problems reactivating and didn't have to call Microsoft support. YMMV, I guess.
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