Diamond Stealth64 Video 3200 - no beep, no boot

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Diamond Stealth64 Video 3200 - no beep, no boot

Postby obcbeatle » 2018-11-17 @ 15:22

Hello ... I have an old Diamond Stealth64 Video 3200 graphics card (2mb PCI VRAM) that I would like to use for some older DOS and Windows games. When I insert in a PCI slot of an old Compudyne AC 486SX/25 PGA motherboard, I get no beep and no boot (I can't get to CMOS/BIOS). Nor is the monitor sensing a signal (amber LED on monitor doesn't change to green). I get the same result when I insert the Diamond card in an Abit VH6-II motherboard (no beep and no boot ...). Both the Compudyne and Abit computers work fine when I remove the Diamond card. So I'm inclined to think that the Diamond card is bad since it's an old graphics card that I used years ago, and at some point put back in its original box for safe storage after upgrading to a newer graphics cards. Is there any other test I can perform to determine if the Diamond card is indeed bad (multimeter ...?)? Any comments/suggestions appreciated. Thank you.
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Re: Diamond Stealth64 Video 3200 - no beep, no boot

Postby The Serpent Rider » 2018-11-18 @ 02:11

Try to clean card goldfingers first.
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Re: Diamond Stealth64 Video 3200 - no beep, no boot

Postby obcbeatle » 2018-11-18 @ 20:29

Thanks for the reply ... I hadn't thought of that! I cleaned the gold contacts but still no beep/no boot. Is this a common problem for video cards ... i.e. not even getting to POST? Would this be the kind of behavior seen when a video card is trying to use the same memory area of another device? Just curious. Thanks again for the reply ... and for any other advice. Best!

PS: I just pulled every PCI & ISA card off the motherboard so that just the PCI Diamond card was in the motherboard ... and still no beep/no boot. Weird. Maybe dead GPU?
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Re: Diamond Stealth64 Video 3200 - no beep, no boot

Postby dionb » 2018-11-19 @ 13:47

This is pretty common behaviour of dead hardware ;)

Particularly if the card is shorting something out, it will prevent POST (lesser issues would cause a POST error and relevant beep code). The card doesn't have any obvious 'usual suspects', but two things you could try are re-seating the VGA BIOS EEPROM, and checking for shorts across the yellow blocky SMD caps (they look like Tantalum, and Tantalum caps fail short).
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Re: Diamond Stealth64 Video 3200 - no beep, no boot

Postby obcbeatle » 2018-11-20 @ 16:44

Thanks for the reply! I reseated the video card's BIOS chip ... but still no beep/no boot, no signal to monitor. I'm inclined to think this card is dead or shorted somewhere since I tested on two different working motherboards. Not sure how to test for shorts across the SMD caps. Might Google that down the road. Anyway ... thanks for your suggestions and help! At a minimum I now know to remember to clean contacts and re-seat BIOS chips .. if need be. Thanks again for everyones replies!
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Re: Diamond Stealth64 Video 3200 - no beep, no boot

Postby obcbeatle » 2019-1-03 @ 14:38

Thought I'd resurrect this thread as I have a few questions and could use some help. Thanks to all those that helped me previously.

I'd like to test the Tantalum caps for shorting. From what I've read online it seems that testing them might not be as simple (accurate) as getting measures from a mutlimeter. Please correct me if I'm wrong. A step by step process for checking these caps would be useful.

So ... can I test those caps by taking measurements while they are still on the card? If so ... how do I determine which are the +/- ends (leads?) of these caps? I believe these are all 10 micro farad caps? What does the 16 refer to? If one of these caps are bad I assume the measure would be well below 10 micro farads? Or when checking for shorting am I checking for something other than the value (< 10) of the cap itself (like should I be checking measurements between the cap and another component?). I guess it might have been simpler to ask ... what does "checking for shorts across the yellow blocky SMD caps" mean? Sorry for all the stupid questions :-)

Some pics below:
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DSCN3430 copy.JPG
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Re: Diamond Stealth64 Video 3200 - no beep, no boot

Postby obcbeatle » 2019-1-04 @ 20:16

OK ... so after reading up some more on smd tantalum caps I:

1 - set my analog multimeter to x10k ohms
2 - touched red probe to tantalum cap positive lead and black probe to negative lead
3 - the multimeter needle traveled all the way from the left side (infinity) to the right (0 ohms) of the scale ... and remained at 0 ohms (just like when you test the probes).

I did this for all 8 smd tantalum caps. I was expecting the needle to slowly go back to infinity (not stay at 0 ohms). So either that means I did the test wrong (likely) ... or all 8 caps are bad (not likely unless there is a short in the circuit affecting all 8 caps?).

This test was done while the smd caps were still on the Diamond card i.e. I didn't remove the caps and didn't remove just one lead of the cap (those smd cap leads look to be only on the top of the PCB ... with a very small amount of solder).

Lastly ... per pic above ... I'm assuming these smd tantalum cap are all 10 micro farad, 16v caps ... and the positive lead is the thick red band at the top (with the "A" through it)?

Anybody who wants to point me in right direction on how to check these caps ... feel free to chime in :-)

PS: This Diamond card emits one long beep and three short beeps when installed in my ASUS A7V333-X motherboard with an AMD Athlon XP 2800+ CPU. According to the AwardBios beep codes that means undetected or bad card. I can't get to POST when this card is installed in a PCI slot on multiple motherboards.
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Re: Diamond Stealth64 Video 3200 - no beep, no boot

Postby jamesp15 » 2019-1-05 @ 04:58

If you have a older/slower system, give them a try in there.. I have had issues with some Diamond 968 based cards on my Pentium 3 testbed system (933mhz/i815), but many of the cards that dont work in the p3 testbed work in my 486-100mhz and pentium 133's.

I have 11 of them total, 2 work in the P3 testbed, 9 wont work in the P3 but work fine in a 486 and/or Pentium non MMX. No issues at all with any of my 6 number9 and 2 stb made s3-968 cards in the Pentium 3, only the Diamond made ones seem to have some kind of issue.

All of my Diamonds have the 220mhz TI RAMDAC's. The 2 Diamonds that work both have the memory expansion mounts on them but not populated, though 5 of the ones that dont work also have the expansion mounts (3 with expansions installed 2 without) so im not sure what that might actually mean lol

I should make note of the Firmware/BIOS versions on them, might try to do that tomorrow.
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Re: Diamond Stealth64 Video 3200 - no beep, no boot

Postby obcbeatle » 2019-1-06 @ 13:17

Thanks for the reply and suggestion. So I put the Diamond Stealth64 in an older 486SX/25 (Cyrix) PC (my oldest and 1st PC :-) Same result ... BIOS Award beep code ... one long beep and three shorter beeps ... no signal to CRT ... no POST. It must be something with the card I guess. Weird how a lot of your Diamond cards are so finicky compared to other video cards. I wonder if that is a problem in general with all/most video cards or just certain ones like this Diamond? I'm still learning/re-learning about this stuff. I do remember video and sound cards always required more attention to detail (before PNP) ... back in the day. I wish I knew how to properly check the caps on this Diamond card. Anyway ... thanks again or the reply and suggestion.
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Re: Diamond Stealth64 Video 3200 - no beep, no boot

Postby obcbeatle » 2019-1-14 @ 15:45

Could someone possibly point me to a good resource that discusses how to properly check for shorts across the SMD caps on this Diamond card? I still haven't found anything that has a step by step procedure that I can use for testing these tantalum caps on this graphics card? Or maybe more precisely ... I'm not understanding the process :-( Any help appreciated. Thank you.
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