VOGONS


First post, by henk717

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I am currently trying to build a 2005 era retro PC project and have all the essential components.
Unfortunately the system is not posting and based on my research i may have been unlucky in my motherboard choice with no post code troubleshooting available.

The parts used are based on parts i have seen others on Vogons use, so hopefully some of you will be familiar with the issue and will know what a good next step will be.
Here are the parts in the build :
- ASUS A8V Revision 2.01 motherboard (I wish it was the Deluxe, that one has post codes as where i can't find them for the regular version).
The bios of this board is hopefully new enough for the CPU, the seller posted a bios version in the description of the board that seemed new enough by a decent margin but the listing is no longer available so i do not know the exact BIOS revision that is installed, merely that when i checked it at the time i was satisfied with the bios version on the board.
- AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ 2,2 GHz (ADA4200DAA5BV)
- 4GB (4x1GB) KINGSTON KVR400 - DDR 400Mhz - PC3200 - 184PIN - RAM_22
- Gigabyte GeForce 6800 GT, 256MB DDR3, AGP (GV-NX68T256DH)
- IDE HDD / IDE DVD Drive
- Yamaha YMF744 Soundcard
- PSU is a semi modular 450w PSU i had laying around, not top tier stuff, not OEM garbage either. I had to use a ATX24 to ATX20 connector to hook it up to the board.

The following happens in almost all troubleshooting scenario's when the PC is turned on:
- CPU fan spins at full speed, power LED is on, HDD LED is on until the HDD finishes spinning up
- PS/2 Keyboard LED's briefly all flash on and then go off, but is otherwise unresponsive (Can't turn any of the keyboard LED's on or off)
- DVD Drive and HDD Drive make noise, in case of the DVD drive the led flashes briefly
- The GPU fan very briefly spins upon power up and power off (Sometimes long enough for its LED lighting to turn on), but is otherwise not spinning at all, there is no monitor output.
- No beeps from the PC speaker, no error lights are present on the board as far as i can see.

The following happens only if the GPU's power connector is not connected but the GPU is otherwise installed :
- CPU fan spins at full speed, power LED is on, HDD LED remains on
- PS/2 keyboard wasn't plugged in for this test, but it is likely that it would have had the same behavior.
- DVD Drive and HDD Drive make noise, in case of the DVD drive the led flashes briefly
- No visible activity from the GPU as is expected
- A constant loud beep with no interruptions, indicating the GPU is detected and faulty.

The above scenario's are identical depending on the GPU connection in the following test cases :
- All ram installed
- One ram module installed in the B1 slot (Tried every single module)
- One ram module installed in the A1 slot
- GPU is not connected at all (Same scenario as if the GPU was connected correctly, no beep)
- IDE cable is detached from the motherboard
- GPU is connected to a different PSU cable and port (Constant beeping)
- No ram installed at all
- Soundcard is not connected to the board
- No keyboard is connected

So now i am stuck since its my first retro PC build, i do not have any spare parts to test with that i know work correctly.
To me this means it could be the GPU, CPU or Memory. But which one is the most likely to be faulty and are there things i should try i haven't tested yet?

We also did check the socketing of both the ram or CPU and it seems to be fine.

What is the best way to continue this project? And if there are other ASUS A8V owners here is it true there are absolutely no ways to tell what is going on? Or are the beeps simply not in the manual?

Last edited by henk717 on 2020-12-12, 01:42. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 1 of 17, by Namrok

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Honestly, when I was working on my own first retro build, all I could do was purchase the cheapest compatible spare parts I could. It's remarkable how much that can help.

As for the beeps, do you know what brand of BIOS it's using? The beeps are generally standardized on a BIOS level, and you can look them up. I've used this table successfully before.

I'm window shopping for a 2004 build, liking on a Socket 754 platform. But I've been eyeballing Socket 939 as well. The centerpiece will definitely be a Geforce 6800 card, same as you. So I'll definitely be keeping an eye on how this works out for you.

Win95/DOS 7.1 - P233 MMX (@2.5 x 100 FSB), Diamond Viper V330 AGP, SB16 CT2800
Win98 - K6-2+ 500, GF2 MX, SB AWE 64 CT4500, SBLive CT4780
Win98 - Pentium III 1000, GF2 GTS, SBLive CT4760
WinXP - Athlon 64 3200+, GF 7800 GS, Audigy 2 ZS

Reply 2 of 17, by henk717

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The purchase cheap spare parts is indeed the likely strategy, but i am hoping to collect some feedback on what i should order first based on what others think its most likely.

As far as beeps go there are no beeps at all (Unless i hook the GPU up wrong on purpose, so the beeper itself works), i know its an AMI bios as seen in other video's and by analyzing the latest bios in notepad. But the motherboard manual specifies no beeps at all and the Deluxe version has spoken error messages. So the question here would be if it is meant to beep, if so we can perhaps rule a few things out.

With the Geforce 6800 you will definitely have to keep an eye on my progress since its a bit of a gamble card, mine turned out to be a NV48 and not the NV40 (The NV48 is a PCIe-To-AGP bridge, the NV40 is AGP) so we will have to see if that is going to work out for me in the end in Windows 98 as i plan to make this a 98/XP dual boot build from the era i love the most.

Reply 3 of 17, by Namrok

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I'm confused, because you mention constant beeping when the GPU is deprived of power? But you say the motherboard has no beeps?

With respect to spare parts, I made sure I had a spare graphics card, ram and cpu on hand. Ran me about $30 for all of it. I've yet to see a motherboard cheap enough to consider a "spare" though. If you really want to try everything, swap out the CMOS battery and clear the CMOS too. If you have the vanilla A8V, it looks like the procedure for that is on page 2-18 of the manual here.

May also help to grab a PSU tester off Amazon just to make sure nothing is totally wonky there. Those are like $15.

Win95/DOS 7.1 - P233 MMX (@2.5 x 100 FSB), Diamond Viper V330 AGP, SB16 CT2800
Win98 - K6-2+ 500, GF2 MX, SB AWE 64 CT4500, SBLive CT4780
Win98 - Pentium III 1000, GF2 GTS, SBLive CT4760
WinXP - Athlon 64 3200+, GF 7800 GS, Audigy 2 ZS

Reply 4 of 17, by henk717

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I will clarify, the motherboard on its own provides no beeps as far as error messages go, but does have a functional beeper unless its the GPU itself providing the beep. Which i think is unlikely since the volume of the beep seems to indicate its the case's built in speaker and not a small beeper on a board.

So the GPU is capable of triggering the beeping behavior but only if it is not getting sufficient power, any other scenario triggers no beeps at all. And the motherboard manual mentions nothing of either LED flash codes or beep codes. Making me wonder if the motherboard would have produced beeps, or is being prohibited from producing beeps as i know is common in a RAM issue for example.

For retro parts i have to resort to out of the country shipping for most of them, so the costs for all 3 would likely be $30 in shipping alone which is why my first strategy was to find out more information.

So right now i have 4 different RAM modules to test with all of the same type, knowing for certain this ram is compatible should rule out the RAM.
If the RAM is indeed compatible that would leave the GPU, or CPU as likely suspects. In that case i'd need to know if the keyboard is supposed to respond to numlock and capslock presses if no GPU is installed (Rather than only flashing 3 lights on the beginning like it does now, indicating it is plugged in correctly).

Knowing the answers to those questions would help me know what to order first in my testing.

Reply 5 of 17, by fitzpatr

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If possible, get a very low-end AGP card...something without a Fan since they tend to run cool and are usually bulletproof.

I know that you looked it up at the time, but since this board doesn't support Athlon 64 X2s without a moderately late BIOS update, I'd recommend getting an early Athlon 64 that's got "All" in the "Validated since BIOS" column.

https://www.asus.com/us/supportonly/A8V/HelpDesk_CPU/

Since you remember checking it out, I'm thinking GPU->Motherboard->CPU

MT-32 Old, CM-32L, CM-500, SC-55mkII, SC-88Pro, SC-D70, FB-01, MU2000EX
K6-III+/450/GA-5AX/G400 Max/Voodoo2 SLI/CT1750/MPU-401AT/Audigy 2ZS
486 Build

Reply 6 of 17, by henk717

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Thanks for the help so far guys, i have also managed to translate a chinese version of a troubleshooting manual and it does indeed have functioning error code beeps although the manual does not say much more than that. I also found an official compatibility listing of the ram, indicating the ram is not going to be the issue since its listed as compatible and i tried 4 different modules.

Leaves us with the Motherboard, GPU and CPU as likely cases. The motherboard should be functional at least when it was sold to me, but did not have the last bios (One of the middle versions).

I have just bought a AMD ATHLON 64 3000+ - ADA3000DIK4BI to test with, ill keep you posted once it arrives.
If it still fails ill consider to buy a S3 Trio64 for testing as i think its quite a neat little early MS-Dos / 98 card and i can get them quite cheap.

Let me know in case that is a bad idea and i should get a AGP test card instead.

Reply 7 of 17, by Namrok

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Only reason I'd get an AGP card is for the additional troubleshooting step of making sure the AGP slot on the mobo is functional, versus the PCI slot I'm assuming the S3 card uses. But if the S3 is cheap and available and an AGP spare isn't, needs must you know? I'm not sure how likely a malfunctioning AGP slot even is. I'm sure it's a thing that's happened someone. Step one is getting a POST regardless.

Win95/DOS 7.1 - P233 MMX (@2.5 x 100 FSB), Diamond Viper V330 AGP, SB16 CT2800
Win98 - K6-2+ 500, GF2 MX, SB AWE 64 CT4500, SBLive CT4780
Win98 - Pentium III 1000, GF2 GTS, SBLive CT4760
WinXP - Athlon 64 3200+, GF 7800 GS, Audigy 2 ZS

Reply 8 of 17, by fitzpatr

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Good luck!

I'd recommend something like a GeForce2 MX or GeForce4 MX. They're compatible with practically everything and are dirt cheap.

MT-32 Old, CM-32L, CM-500, SC-55mkII, SC-88Pro, SC-D70, FB-01, MU2000EX
K6-III+/450/GA-5AX/G400 Max/Voodoo2 SLI/CT1750/MPU-401AT/Audigy 2ZS
486 Build

Reply 9 of 17, by quicknick

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henk717 wrote on 2020-12-10, 17:17:

- A constant loud beep with no interruptions, indicating the GPU is detected and faulty.

Please confirm that the loud beep comes from the speaker connected to the motherboard. In all cases where I encountered this beep, its source was the small beeper on the video card (to warn about external power not connected).
Other than that, it's really hard to diagnose your problem without some spare parts or a cheap POST diagnostics card.

Reply 11 of 17, by henk717

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Here is an update on the project answering everyone's questions.

Can you confirm the PC beeper was the one beeping and not the card itself?
Did further testing with the card and the speaker unplugged and its still beeping, so the beep is now confirmed to be the GPU and not the motherboard beeper.

Testing with another GPU
I didn't manage to find any Geforce cards local to me, but i did find a Trio64 in my local area so its the card i went with in the end despite it being PCI.
No difference with the Trio64, still no screen or beeps.
This also rules out the AGP slot itself, and it allows me to test the Trio64 in my other newer system if need be.

Are the capacitors buldging / in good shape?
They look fine to me, but here is a photo of the board before we put it in the case i missed something.
oA175nX.jpeg

Right now i am waiting for the new CPU to arrive somewhere this week so i can continue testing.

Reply 12 of 17, by texterted

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A couple of things to try...

Try holding down the DELETE key, before you power on and keep it pressed.

Put only one stick of RAM in and put it in one of the black slots.

See if it'll come to life.

Cheers

Ted

98se/W2K :- Asus A8v Dlx. A-64 3500+, 512 mb ddr, Radeon 9800 Pro, SB Live.
XP Pro:- Asus P5 Q SE Plus, C2D E8400, 4 Gig DDR2, Radeon HD4870, SB Audigy 2ZS.

Reply 13 of 17, by henk717

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The machine has come to life!

We already tried the RAM one by one, resetting the CMOS, etc to no avail today.
So this time we tried checking the CPU without its cooler to see if the CPU would get warm, when suddenly the GPU jumped to life and it booted.
After another time of adjusting both the CPU and its cooler it stayed in its functional state, so despite being firmly locked in the socket and an earlier attempt of checking / reseating it was a CPU socketing issue after all, with the third time being the charm.

I only had a quick run off some bootable Windows PE environments and a quick run of MS-Dos, so its to early to tell what the driver support will be like later on.
But i can tell Namrok that so far the 6800GT has been giving me a great VGA signal and has been detected by HWiNFO as a NV40 chip, despite product specification saying NV48.

Once my benchmarks, experimentation and OS installations have come to a conclusion i plan to make a showcase post for this build and all i managed to do with it in which ill try and detail the 6800GT compatibility further.

Now that the machine boots the initial results are very promising, i wasn't able to detect any IRQ conflicts or other stability issues yet.
Tomorrow ill make sure with a family member that i can safely wipe the old drive of her data and begin installing.

Many thanks to everyone who helped me with advise in the topic!

Reply 14 of 17, by Namrok

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Congrats! That's heartening to hear!

Win95/DOS 7.1 - P233 MMX (@2.5 x 100 FSB), Diamond Viper V330 AGP, SB16 CT2800
Win98 - K6-2+ 500, GF2 MX, SB AWE 64 CT4500, SBLive CT4780
Win98 - Pentium III 1000, GF2 GTS, SBLive CT4760
WinXP - Athlon 64 3200+, GF 7800 GS, Audigy 2 ZS

Reply 15 of 17, by red-ray

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henk717 wrote on 2020-12-12, 01:42:

the 6800GT has been giving me a great VGA signal and has been detected by HWiNFO as a NV40 chip, despite product specification saying NV48.

Which product spec? https://vintage3d.org/dbn.php#sthash.VE9XlzHm.MZ0GgmtB.dpbs says it's an NV40 and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeForce_6_series says NV40/NV45/NV48

Reply 16 of 17, by henk717

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This one : https://www.gpuzoo.com/GPU-GIGABYTE/GeForce_6 … 68T256DH-N.html (The seller mistakenly added a NX instead of N, so its also possible i did not actually get the -n version and he made a mistake there to) but gpuzoo lists both as nv48.

Reply 17 of 17, by red-ray

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Back then I get the impression that the actual chip used was different for different makers who used the same 6800 GT name. What is the full PCI device ID and NVidia Chipset ID.

If you post the Menu->Machine->GPU Info screen from my SIV utility I could comment further.

A selection of 6800 PCI Device IDs
10DE:00F9=NV40 [GeForce 6800 GT/GTO/Ultra]
10DE:00F9:1043:0334=NV43 [GeForce 6800]
10DE:00F9:1043:0338=NV43 [GeForce 6800]
10DE:00F9:107D:2A02=NV43 [GeForce 6800] [WinFast PX6800GT]
10DE:00F9:10DE:00F9=NV40 [GeForce 6800 GT]
10DE:00F9:1682:2120=NV43 [GeForce 6800 GT PCIe]