They should be silver on top, sounds like they are leaking at the X at the top of the can. The silver metal at the top of the capacitor should also be dead flat level.
The problem it causes is a power problem and usually shows up first on boot up and getting the boot drive up and running there is more load trying to get things to spin-up and boot at the same time and 3 hard drives is quite a load.
On the other hand it could be a bad hard drive contributing to the problem, Uncle Wildcat could be right it might be the drive's dilithium crystals.
If you can, try the drive in another similar computer and see if it boots.
Myself I would be thinking about the pluses and minuses of various hardware updates as there are often a bunch of additional requirements that may come with a motherboard replacement. This can be good or bad depending on the budget.
> Thanks for the info! Are the tops of all the capacitors supposed to be a
> silvery color? From looking at my motherboard, most of them are except for 2 of
> them, which are brown on top... I had also suspected that it might be the
> motherboard's problem rather than the hard drive's... It seemed that sometimes
> using the jumpers to reset the CMOS would sometimes get my HD to boot properly.
> If it's the motherboard's problem, it is only affecting 1 of my drives though.
> I have 3 HDs and 1 CDRW, and the only problem has been with that 1 HD. Maybe if
> I switched around the IDE ports, problems would show up with the other HDs.
> Thanks again for the info!
> > Backing it up was the right thing to do.
> > If it is the hard drive they are not economically fixable.
> > In other words buy another.
> > But this behaviour sounds familiar to me and I would check the following
> > especially if the motherboard is in the four or five year old range.
> > I would take a close look at the capacitors.
> > If any are domed rather than flat or leaking brown crud around the base then
> > bet would be that the hard drive is OK but the motherboard is junk.
> > This is sometimes fixable if you have good soldering skills, suitable
> > a source for correct replacement capacitors and are willing to waste the time
> > and money knowing it might not work.
> > Let us know what you find.
> > UncleVom