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Fix PCI slots?

About 5 years ago when I built my first computer, I made a few mistakes, perhaps the one that is the most crippling is attempting to fit a D-link WiFi PCI card while the machine was plugged in. Caused the PC to shut down instantly after that characteristic pop. :O This has caused the card to die (I thought), and caused the PCI slots on the motherboard to die. Nothing is recognized on those 2 ports. I would like to know if my PCI-e slots are dead, but I do not have any PCI-e cards to test. :-( I accepted this as fact for the longest time.

Out of curiosity, I decided to to investigate this further, and rebuilt a 10 year old computer that I was pretty sure has working PCI slots, so I plugged in a 56K modem and the questionable WiFi card, and ran the lspci command on linux, and saw the 56K modem, but not the D-link card. Great, so I've got dial up lol! Anyway, there was a huge low dropout 3.3V, 5A AIC1084-33PM voltage regulator that was easy to probe with a multimeter on the dead D-link card, and I suppose it takes 5V from the PCI port and regulates it to 3.297V measured. Too bad this isn't what had failed. That would have also been an easy fix if that all that was wrong.

Now when I move both cards over to my Z77 rig, I notice that there is NO voltage measured across the output of the D link card and ground, indicating pontenially no power to the ports. My guess is that I killed an hair-thin internal trace on the mobo for the power rail, I think this should be an easy fix, if only I knew exactly which pin is what. I do not know the layout of a big PCI bus, or ATX power supply for that matter, and I certainly do NOT want to fry my new (but now old I guess) motherboard! I do however have a motherboard I can cross-reference for pinout. Anyway if I do figure out that the PCI-e slots do actually work, I would like to get a GPU into this rig for general performance improvements, so what <$100 graphics card is recommended?



-max- (author) 1 year ago

Well unfortunately further testing proves that the PCI cards actually are getting 5V power in the newer computer, so that means that it is either another power rail somewhere, like 12V one that has failed, or that the data lines are dead. I doubt that there is any 3.3V rail since if there were one, why would there be a 3.3V regulator? Oh well.

I think the Z77 chipset does not have any support for legacy PCI ports directly, and has to go through a PCI-to-PCIe converter, which I presume is dead.