VOGONS


First post, by Brickpad

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Hey everyone,

I've recently acquired a free Voodoo 4 4500 AGP card from a co-worker. Last night I was finally able to get around to testing the card, and ran into a couple of problems in the process.

First, the problem is noticeable at the Win2k splash screen, and after Windows loads. Secondly, using the generic VGA driver provided by Microsoft I am able to boot into Windows. HOWEVER, when I install the 3dfx V4 4500 drivers, the system will hard-lock when reaching the log-in screen. As you can see in the pictures, there is no banding in the WinBIOS interface, but the bands appear in Windows, and the black / white garbled screen only appears when using the official 3dfx drivers.

Any ideas? I suspect there is either a bad solder joint or bad RAM chip somewhere on the PCB?

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Reply 1 of 10, by oeuvre

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D: idk what will help honestly but hopefully someone else can help you here to restore it to GLORY

HP Z420 Workstation Intel Xeon E5-1620, 32GB, RADEON HD7850 2GB, SSD + HD, XP/7
ws90Ts2.gif

Reply 4 of 10, by Brickpad

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Doornkaat wrote:

Could you post your system specs?

Have you tried running video memory test clean environment? If not please do so and post the results.

Can you post good pictures of the card?

Mainboard: Supermicro P6DBE
Processor: 2x Pentium III 550MHz
RAM: 512MB PC100 (4x128MB)
PSU: Enlight 300Watt ATX with 6pin auxillary power plugged in

I haven't run a video memory test as of yet, although I'm not aware of any decent video memory test programs? When I get a chance I'll try to get some high-quality pictures of the card. So far I do not see any damaged circuitry or components.

Reply 5 of 10, by sirnephilim

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For a loose BGA chip (as in, if the finger test works and there's likely a cracked solder joint) you can use a hot air gun or (if you're EXTREMELY careful) reflow it in an oven. Obviously some experience is much preferred before you go risking your rare hardware. Such issues are seldom visible.

Reply 6 of 10, by Doornkaat

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I haven't run a video memory test as of yet, although I'm not aware of any decent video memory test programs?

For 3D cards, why not use the one I suggested? 😉
Video Memory (Stress) Test or VMT allows you to check your video ram for errors. It has its limitations with modern video cards as it's abandonware and the author didn't really make it to support large amounts of video ram but for our old cards it's perfect.
I usually use VMT clean environment - just write a CD from the included .iso file and boot off of it. This test is limited to 256MB of video ram I believe but again: With retro cards this should not be an issue.
You can download it from https://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/vide … tress_test.html or just use the attatched file.
Happy testing! 😀

Edit: If errors are found run multiple tests by restarting the machine and booting it from the CD. If the errors always occur at the same adress it's almost always bad ram. If the errors appear on random adresses the problem might not be a faulty chip but rather a problem with connections or power delivery.

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Reply 7 of 10, by Brickpad

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Doornkaat wrote:
For 3D cards, why not use the one I suggested? ;-) Video Memory (Stress) Test or VMT allows you to check your video ram for erro […]
Show full quote

I haven't run a video memory test as of yet, although I'm not aware of any decent video memory test programs?

For 3D cards, why not use the one I suggested? 😉
Video Memory (Stress) Test or VMT allows you to check your video ram for errors. It has its limitations with modern video cards as it's abandonware and the author didn't really make it to support large amounts of video ram but for our old cards it's perfect.
I usually use VMT clean environment - just write a CD from the included .iso file and boot off of it. This test is limited to 256MB of video ram I believe but again: With retro cards this should not be an issue.
You can download it from https://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/vide … tress_test.html or just use the attatched file.
Happy testing! 😀

Edit: If errors are found run multiple tests by restarting the machine and booting it from the CD. If the errors always occur at the same adress it's almost always bad ram. If the errors appear on random adresses the problem might not be a faulty chip but rather a problem with connections or power delivery.

Thanks very much, and much appreciated! As it turns out the RAM is bad. Almost immediately the errors pop up during stage 1 testing. I've tacked on a coupleof pics of the results. Questions now is...how do I determine which chip(s) have gone bad?

[EDIT]

While I had the system set up I tested a few more cards, and found that my Riva 128 4MB AGP card was bad as well.

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Reply 8 of 10, by Doornkaat

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Sorry to hear that. 🙁
Finding the faulty chip can be done using the adresses but that's beyond my expertise.
I would not recommend changing the chips yourself expect if you have the required equipment and experience.
If you do it (or get it done) I would suggest changing all the chips for faster ones. 5.5ns or 5ns chips should be readily avaliable and since VRAM is the limiting factor when overclocking Voodoo 3/4/5 changing only one chip would seem like a missed opportunity.
I mean - when life gives you lemons... 😁

Reply 9 of 10, by Brickpad

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Welp, that was a total exercise in futility. I was using my hot air work station, and somehow managed to rip off a few of the solder pads when I was (carefully!) lifting up on a memory chip. 😠 😠 😠 😠 😠