The other day, I mentioned that I have three computers. Now I am down to too. The mobo on one of them died, it wasn't entirely unexpected. For a while now this computer in question has been behaving erratically and needed a few reboots. It refused to stay up for more than a day or two at a stretch. The on board NIC stopped working long ago and the VGA card had to be replaced twice. Also on the casualty list is an Asus TV Capture card that used to be on it. If that's not bad enough Palimpset had been reporting bad sectors on one of the hard drives of late. None of this can be blamed on poor cooling; there are three chassis fans + CPU and GPU fans.
Trouble started when the machine refused to come back up after a freeze. It's only accessed through SSH or VNC so I had to connect a monitor to figure out what's wrong. The boot up process didn't even go into GRUB stage 1, yet there weren't any 'non system' disk errors either. I tried, changing the drive orders and removing and reattaching the drive cables all to no avail. The BIOS has no problems detecting the drives, but refuses to boot off any of them. Yet it's possible to you boot off a USB drive and even access data on the hard disks. The problem is not with the MBR or GRUB, they've both been reinstalled.
At this point I gave it a rest and came back to it a day later, to find CMOS error being reported. That lifted my hopes but only for a short while, because downloading the firmware update and installing it with the help of a USB drive didn't solve the problem at all.
Then I found that the motherboard is still under warranty. The local agents for Asus provides three year warranties for motherboards and there's still a couple of months left in it! However I almost never try to claim warranty on faulty hardware cause the crooks at Unity Plaza always find a way to wiggle out of it. Fortunately this wasn't bought from unity plaza but the bad news is that I don't have the original bill. Even so the shop owner promised to try to get it replaced. Let's keep the old fingers crossed.