Hardware issues with an old ASUS P5A system

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Hardware issues with an old ASUS P5A system

Postby nathanieltolbert » 2017-5-20 @ 03:52

I don't know if this is in the correct location but if it isn't please let me know so I can ask to have it moved to the proper location. I last year purchased an old ASUS P5A motherboard. The seller said it was a rev 1.04 board, but when I received it the board is actually a 1.05 or 1.06 (I apologize, I cannot remember exactly right at the moment.) which threw my plans into a tizzy as I had purchased an AMD K6-III+ 450MHz. I tried it even though everyone said it wouldn't work right. The system performance ran at roughly 1/3 of the performance for the processor. So I purchased a K6-2/533 after failing to find a standard K6-III 450MHz for a price I could afford. So the current system layout is as follows:

AMD K6-2/533MHz running at 522MHz on a 95MHz FSB on ASUS P5A Rev 1.05 or 1.06(?)
2 x 128 MB PC-100 3-2-2 RAM DIMMs
20 GB IDE ultraATA100 Western DIgital (otherwise known affectionately as the clogged vacuum cleaner.)
Radeon 8000 64MB with VGA and DVI output
Sound Blaster Audigy
Windows 98 Second Edition

However I am running into an issue and I was hoping someone else here might have encountered this issue. The system has 2 128MB PC-100 SDRAM DIMMS. The BIOS is I believe 1011 or similar. It is a beta bio I believe. I cannot get the k6-2 to run at 533, I cannot get the motherboard to recognize the 97MHz FSB, but it works at the 95MHz FSB resulting in a CPU speed of 522MHz. But the issue I have is this. I have windows 98 installed. I wanted to install Windows 95, but I encountered the issue with CPU speed, which I overcame with the patch from AMD, but then I couldn't install the sound card. The Audigy driver disc I have saiys it doesn't support Windows 95 and I haven't look to see if there were W95 drivers anywhere else. I'm using the ALI Aladdin IV drivers that came with the motherboard because the only other driver version I found always resulted in the system failing to boot. So I have been fighting issue after issue, but this new one has me stumped. The system is stable. I can run benchmarks, I can run all of the system tools that I use, scandisk, defragment and so on. Running a thorough scan with scandisk indicates no issues with the hard drive at all. But the instant I try to utilize anything that accesses sound, be it a video, game, or audio editing software the system hard locks after 1-5 minutes. The lock up time is random, but the lock up is consistent. This sound card worked fine in the last system I used it in, but that was a Pentium III 866MHz running WIndows 98. Has anyone else run into this issue? Is this the chipset drivers causing issues, or the ALi GART driver, or is the soundcard incompatible with the motherboard? If anyone has any suggestions on how to test, please let me know and I will try it. Thank you


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Re: Hardware issues with an old ASUS P5A system

Postby meljor » 2017-5-21 @ 13:45

First: Ali Aladdin 5 can get slower with more than 128mb ram since most boards cannot cache more than that. HOWEVER, the 1.05 and 1.06 have the later revision chipset (that gives problems with the ''+'' cpu's) and should be able to cache more ram. Never checked that so i would do that if i were you.

I would try and run the cpu at 3x100, just to make sure the board and ram can handle that 100mhz fsb. If that is absolutely stable try 400 and 500mhz. Maybe 533 is too high now for that particular cpu, maybe it need a tiny voltage bump/better cooling or both?

Also, these super 7 boards can be a little problematic with certain agp cards. To me, radeon's seem to be harder to get stable on these setups. Try and run an Nvidia card, i run a geforce2 gts in my p5a without issues, while a geforce2 Ti of the same brand gives problems... Lowering the sagp settings in bios might also help.

If you think the sound card is the problem, try running the same software without the card and see how it goes. Just to make sure that's where the problem is (i think it's the agp card).
Also try and download different drivers for sound, agp and videocard. It might make a difference.

For ali agp driver i strongly prefer the 1.72 driver, 1.82 also works well.
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Re: Hardware issues with an old ASUS P5A system

Postby nathanieltolbert » 2017-5-25 @ 21:10

I have run the system without the soundcard and it runs games fine, just no sound. Granted this was in Windows 95 after applying the patch. Windows 98 just doesn't seem stable and the Audigy installation Disc I have says it doesn't support WIndows 95. I find this strange because I thought the Audigy supported Win95, but I cannot find anything about it. Granted it could still be the chipset drivers causing issue in Windows 98 because without the soundcard it doesn't access the PCI or ISA bus at all. Maybe it's the AGP Gart driver or the UDMA driver. I don't know. But I know when the soundcard is not installed and is not working the machine doesn't lock up. But there are a ton of variables I cannot account for. First I will pull the memory down to 128MB and see how that works. I have tested the system at 3x100, 4x100, and 5x100 and they are all stable. The CPU is stable at 522 MHz as well. I've even tried running the system at 5.5x66 Mhz. The RAM is PC100 and works perfectly. Regardless of what FSB I run at the system locks up when the sound card starts. Looking at the table running the fsb at 95 Mhz the AGP runs a few Megahertz slower than 66 and the PCI runs 1 point something slower than 33. I don't know if this could cause much issue, but if someone here knows more about the stability of the Sound and Video cards I am using, I would appreciate any input they can give. I was just hoping to play some of my old games that don't work in newer versions of Windows. If someone has a card closer to 2000's that has a DVI output that I can use an DVI to HDMI adapter to capture footage from please let me know as well. Thank you again for the help. I will try the suggested things below and see if they help. The CPU runs in DOS fine and windows fine for hours as long as there is no sound card being used. Even benching the CPU never results in temperatures higher than 55 degrees. I have a Socket A cooler on it with a copper core and I use arctic silver for the thermal paste. If there is something better I can use, I will definitely try it. I don't remember if 55C is high or not for this CPU.
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