AMD 5x86 not working right on Aopen/Acer AP43

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AMD 5x86 not working right on Aopen/Acer AP43

Postby Deksor » 2017-4-24 @ 21:01

Hi everybody !
Today I received many old CPUs with bent pins including that AMD 5x86 !

So I followed (incorrectly at first, but this is important to note) my motherboard's documentation about the AMD 5x86 and so here is it :

IMG_20170424_223314[1].jpg


So like I said I configured it wrong once (I did put a jumper on the 1-2 pins of "JP11" instead of "JP12"), the PC booted, I did check if I could enable write-back cache and of course, I was able to do this. Then I booted DOS and started speedsys and then I discovered that the CPU was detected as a DX4 (here is where I figured out it was configured incorrectly). I finished the benchmark (I wanted to see how many MB/sec I earned in comparison to the previous DX4 chip which only had 8KB of Write-through cache) and there was a slight difference there. But since it's a 5x86, I did put the right configuration for it as says the motherboard's documentation. And here is where problems are begining. First I went into the bios and I saw that the Write-Back setting for L1 cache was not accessible anymore, then I still wanted to boot on my HDD ... but now once it has tested the ram and after the first floppy disk drive (I've got two fdd), the computer freezes and the second fdd is making the disk to spin and the access light stays on. The keyboard doesn't respond either, so this is a total crash of the machine.

As you may see on the photo, the "JP12" is placed incorrectly. (2-3 instead of 1-2 for AMD's 5x86) and that's just because I wanted to check if they just misplaced the jumper on the documentation, but it didn't help ...

The only difference on the documentation between this CPU and the DX4-100 with 8KB of write-throught L1 cache is this jumper, so I have no Idea why it doesn't work :(

Please help :depressed:
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Re: AMD 5x86 not working right on Aopen/Acer AP43

Postby cyclone3d » 2017-4-24 @ 21:17

Just to make sure.. you are using a heatsink/fan with the 5x86, right?

Is there a newer BIOS for the motherboard?

Back in the day when I purchased a 5x86 and a motherboard to go with it, despite the motherboard saying it was compatible with the 5x86, it would crash when trying to install Windows.

Tried a different 5x86 and the same thing happened.

The store that I bought the motherboard from ended up swapping it out with a slightly more expensive motherboard for free and it worked.
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Re: AMD 5x86 not working right on Aopen/Acer AP43

Postby Deksor » 2017-4-24 @ 21:23

Sure I'm using a heatsink with a fan (if you look at the bottom right corner, you can see it's plugged to the motherboard). I've not checked for bios updates but yeah this might help, I don't know. My motherboard was made in late 1995 (the DX4 it came with even had a "Designed for windows 95" instead of "designed for microsoft windows") but since the 5x86 was released really late that year, maybe it's not in the "CPU list" of the motherboard just like some 775 motherboards won't boot with a socket 771 Xeon installed unless you patch the bios with newer microcodes

Now the problem is ... is there a BIOS update for that board ? I'm going to check that out

Edit : this thread would confirm what you said : https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=46563

My bios is from august 1995 too. I'm going to PM RacoonRider because the only bios I can find seems to be on this website http://biosagentplus.com/bios/2A4IBABC which asks me to pay :/
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Re: AMD 5x86 not working right on Aopen/Acer AP43

Postby Anonymous Coward » 2017-4-24 @ 23:06

If it's detected as dx4, that means you have the chip set as 3x, rather than 4x. The floppy drive problem seems to be related to the write back cache. Try write through mode.
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Re: AMD 5x86 not working right on Aopen/Acer AP43

Postby cyclone3d » 2017-4-25 @ 00:19

Deksor wrote:Sure I'm using a heatsink with a fan (if you look at the bottom right corner, you can see it's plugged to the motherboard). I've not checked for bios updates but yeah this might help, I don't know. My motherboard was made in late 1995 (the DX4 it came with even had a "Designed for windows 95" instead of "designed for microsoft windows") but since the 5x86 was released really late that year, maybe it's not in the "CPU list" of the motherboard just like some 775 motherboards won't boot with a socket 771 Xeon installed unless you patch the bios with newer microcodes

Now the problem is ... is there a BIOS update for that board ? I'm going to check that out

Edit : this thread would confirm what you said : https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=46563

My bios is from august 1995 too. I'm going to PM RacoonRider because the only bios I can find seems to be on this website http://biosagentplus.com/bios/2A4IBABC which asks me to pay :/


Ok, so looking a bit and it appears that AP4/AP41/AP43 use the same BIOS.

See here:
http://www.elhvb.com/supportbios.info/Archives/BIOS/0-A/AOPEN/AP4/release.txt

You can download the latest from here:
http://www.elhvb.com/supportbios.info/Archives/BIOS/0-A/AOPEN/AP4/

Or directly from the AOPEN ftp, here:
ftp://ftp.aopen.com/pub/bios/ap4/
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Re: AMD 5x86 not working right on Aopen/Acer AP43

Postby Deksor » 2017-4-25 @ 04:56

cyclone3d wrote:
Deksor wrote:Sure I'm using a heatsink with a fan (if you look at the bottom right corner, you can see it's plugged to the motherboard). I've not checked for bios updates but yeah this might help, I don't know. My motherboard was made in late 1995 (the DX4 it came with even had a "Designed for windows 95" instead of "designed for microsoft windows") but since the 5x86 was released really late that year, maybe it's not in the "CPU list" of the motherboard just like some 775 motherboards won't boot with a socket 771 Xeon installed unless you patch the bios with newer microcodes

Now the problem is ... is there a BIOS update for that board ? I'm going to check that out

Edit : this thread would confirm what you said : https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=46563

My bios is from august 1995 too. I'm going to PM RacoonRider because the only bios I can find seems to be on this website http://biosagentplus.com/bios/2A4IBABC which asks me to pay :/


Ok, so looking a bit and it appears that AP4/AP41/AP43 use the same BIOS.

See here:
http://www.elhvb.com/supportbios.info/Archives/BIOS/0-A/AOPEN/AP4/release.txt

You can download the latest from here:
http://www.elhvb.com/supportbios.info/Archives/BIOS/0-A/AOPEN/AP4/

Or directly from the AOPEN ftp, here:
ftp://ftp.aopen.com/pub/bios/ap4/


Great ! I'll look into that later ^^


@Anonymous Coward :
The problem is that the CPU is forced to Write-Through cache mode when I set the JP12 to 1-2 which is probably the jumper that enables x4 mult even though I know that it can work as write-back since it worked when set in "DX4 mode"
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Re: AMD 5x86 not working right on Aopen/Acer AP43

Postby Deksor » 2017-4-25 @ 18:01

uuuh I tried the "AP4X150" bios and the motherboard was not pleased at all ... It made low tone beeps after the flashing and did nothing else. Hopefully I took care to backup the bios before and since I always have my "emergency hotswap motherboard" in my pile of hardware, I reflashed it with the original bios and it came back to life. I'm going to try the latest "SA" bios and if it still doesn't work I'll try the "SS" bios. If it still doesn't work, I'll just stick with the original bios until somebody agrees to backup the bios from his motherboard

Edit : Okay so either the rom flashing software they give with the rom file is crap or my motherboard has a configuration issue concerning the BIOS rom (wrong voltage ? according to uniflash the chip is 5v)
Now, I said to myself "wait, the only flashes that seemed to work are made by the "emergency hotswap motherboard" with uniflash, what if I tried to flash the rom with uniflash instead of the original motherboard with some AMI flashing tool" and guess what ? It worked :D :D :D

Image

Image

Image

Since I first got myself into retro computing 6-7 years ago with my HP Vectra 33/VL which was possessed by our family since 2002, when I discovered that it was a 486, I wanted to upgrade it the best as I could, and when I saw what results was doing the 5x86, I was dreaming of possessing one someday. I didn't own any other retro systems than this one back then, and the games I wanted to play were more Pentium games so a 5x86 could had been a great upgrade ... but at that time I couldn't find one (I was still young. Actually I'm only 19 which for a retro-computing enthusiast is quite young I guess) and the motherboard do not support 3.3V so that's not really feasible.

But I still wanted to own one someday, and that day finally arrived :D

Thank you very munch ^^
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Re: AMD 5x86 not working right on Aopen/Acer AP43

Postby meljor » 2017-4-25 @ 20:32

Had the same problem with that board and cpu. It ran perfectly fine configured as a dx4-120mhz (3x40) and even at 3x50fsb it was fine and stable! But selecting the 2x multi (=4x) gave all sorts of problems and it was very slow and unstable (or not booting at all)

Finally i updated the bios (yes, with uniflash!) and it runs perfect. It is now stable at 4x40mhz and absolutely fast for a 486 :lol:

Enjoy it!
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Re: AMD 5x86 not working right on Aopen/Acer AP43

Postby Tetrium » 2017-4-25 @ 20:39

The combination of AMD 5x86 and AP43 does seem to come up from time to time. I ended up just using a DX-4, but hey, it was only like my 2nd rig ever so I didn't know any better :D
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Re: AMD 5x86 not working right on Aopen/Acer AP43

Postby Deksor » 2017-4-26 @ 10:35

meljor wrote:Had the same problem with that board and cpu. It ran perfectly fine configured as a dx4-120mhz (3x40) and even at 3x50fsb it was fine and stable! But selecting the 2x multi (=4x) gave all sorts of problems and it was very slow and unstable (or not booting at all)

Finally i updated the bios (yes, with uniflash!) and it runs perfect. It is now stable at 4x40mhz and absolutely fast for a 486 :lol:

Enjoy it!


Yeah I saw that you had this problem too. I'm glad that this worked for you too :)
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Re: AMD 5x86 not working right on Aopen/Acer AP43

Postby Azriel_Strife » 2018-10-21 @ 21:23

I'm having this same issue, what bios file ended up working for your board? i'm trying the ss version because i have the SMC chip described with it, but i can only hot swap flash with another board and it doesn't seem to be working. Still have a low tone issue and don;t have the original bios to get it back up and running.
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Re: AMD 5x86 not working right on Aopen/Acer AP43

Postby Deksor » 2018-10-21 @ 23:54

Can't remember which I used. I'll try to look for that the next weekend.

To perform hotflash, I used uniflash
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Re: AMD 5x86 not working right on Aopen/Acer AP43

Postby maw » 2019-3-12 @ 03:33

cyclone3d wrote:You can download the latest from here:
http://www.elhvb.com/supportbios.info/Archives/BIOS/0-A/AOPEN/AP4/


Anyone has these files? Not able to download the files.
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Re: AMD 5x86 not working right on Aopen/Acer AP43

Postby maw » 2019-3-13 @ 02:32

ok found: https://www.mmnt.net/db/0/0/asftp.aopen ... b/bios/ap4

hmm now the board doesn't work at all does only a deep beep sound when starting. I have used ap4161ss.exe since the board have the SMC665GT. :depressed:
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Re: AMD 5x86 not working right on Aopen/Acer AP43

Postby Deksor » 2019-3-13 @ 07:31

Have you made a backup of the old bios ?

Also, I the .exe in itself seem really good at bricking your board, use something else to flash the new bios on the ROM. (You can still do that now, your board isn't totally gone at all). Ask anybody around you if they have a ROM flasher, or if you have a newer board (pentium/pentium 2), you can do the "hotswap" trick with uniflash to flash your bios chip.
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Re: AMD 5x86 not working right on Aopen/Acer AP43

Postby maw » 2019-3-13 @ 13:01

Deksor wrote:Have you made a backup of the old bios ?


no. :(

The exe was only a self extracting archive. It contained the rom file + amiflash.
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Re: AMD 5x86 not working right on Aopen/Acer AP43

Postby Deksor » 2019-3-14 @ 22:58

Well then try it again the way I indicated you ^^
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Re: AMD 5x86 not working right on Aopen/Acer AP43

Postby meljor » 2019-3-15 @ 16:20

Hotflashing is the way to go, I always used an old 430TX board for this and flashed many many bios files that way. Now I have an eeprom flasher and it is much easier but hotflashingis not that hard.

For my board to get an AMD 5x86-133 working correctly I used the bios file that is in ap4161sa.exe
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