HDDs fault. Brown out? Now fixed

I’m running Cubase 12 Pro on an old PC (home built) with few problems until now. I have over time replaced system and internal audio drives with SSD, but I still have two internal HDDs. One is for a few rarely accessed projects, the other holds sample libraries and VST data. I recently had a power supply issue (PC wouldn’t boot at all) and replaced it with a new higher power one. System runs sweet and still surprisingly fast for it’s age and spec.

An issue has started today which is that when the HDDs are attached, they are ticking and failing to run properly. Furthermore, the USB voltage seems to be dipping on UR22 and other connected devices (LEDs flicker). Clearly there’s a “brown out” power issue going on.

I suspect that the mainboard has to be involved as it’s pretty much the only suspect. NB. with either, but only one HHD attached the problem remains, so I don’t think it’s caused by either HDD.

My specific questions are these:

  1. If I swap the mainboard out for an identical mainboard (which I already have as a spare), will everything boot up and install (I would expect to set boot order and some other prefs in BIOS)?

  2. Will my various licenses, Steinberg and 3rd party see this swap as a different/new computer ?

  3. Will I have to redirect the data paths if I were to simply clone the samples/VST drive HDD onto SSD in the same SATA socket? Although not ideal, it is possibly a quick fix to get me back up and running fast.

Please chip in if you have direct experience of this kind of dilemma. All useful comments appreciated.

Biostar A960 D+
AMD FX-8350 @4.2Gh 32Gb Ram
Windows 10 Home
Currently 3 x SSD + 2 x HDD internal + various external USB archive drives

Update: I just tested the PSU main output voltage, 17,8v WTF?
I switched system off immediately. I’ll switch out the PSU and report back here in due course.

I promised to update, just in case someone has the same issue.

Swapping out the PSU solved the HDD problems.
So I didn’t have to find answers to Qs 1 and 2, but I can answer 3.

Once I had correct power supply in place, in fact before putting any other data drives in, I made a clone of the samples/VST drive (which I had indexed as “I”). I formatted an SSD which called itself “D” then ran cloning software. Once clone had completed, I put the new SSD in the same SATA position as the old HDD and renamed it “I”. Then I rebooted again adding my other drives and now Cubase sees it as the samples/VST drive. Job done.


1. and 2. : Normally it should work, but Windows will recognize it as a new machine since the serial number is different. Not only the motherboard itself, but all the components will have different serial numbers.
Because of this, all your software and 3rd party plugins licenses will still remain activated for the “old” machine. It is best to deactivate them before swapping the motherboard, since most of those can only be disabled from the computer they are linked to. If you don’t do this you’ll have to send support requests to release a seat.

Nevertheless I would swap the mobo as soon as possible. The 17.8 V probably damaged it already.

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