VOGONS


First post, by Meatball

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It is possible to complete POST and even enter the BIOS, but all devices have to be removed and RAM kept to a minimum. If I do get enough time to enter the BIOS, it will freeze after a few seconds. It almost feels like the kind of lockup when something is overheating. I usually get a few seconds more of the board functioning when it is left alone for a bit and then cold-booted.

I have tried:

Clearing/Shorting CMOS/Removing Power/Removing Battery/New Battery.
Reseating the BIOS chip.
All chips onboard feel cool to the touch, if not slightly warm.
Getting into BIOS real fast, loading defaults, saving, and exiting (but I've never been able to get a successful reboot; I have to power off completely for another POST attempt).
Reduced EDO RAM from 256MB (4x32MB) --> 32 (2x16MB).
Swapped Klamath CPUs 233Mhz and 266MHz (Both have functioning fans and heatsinks, which are cool to the touch).
Swapped Klamath CPUs 233Mhz and 266MHz and downclocked them to 133MHz (reduced multiplier).
Swapped in a Deschutes 333MHz (even though I know the BIOS is not at a level for support).
Reduced FSB to 60MHz (CPU@180MHz).
Different video cards (Trident ProVidia 9685, Radeon 7000, and Voodoo3 3000).
Tried Trident ProVidia 9685 in all 5 PCI slots.
Removed all IDE devices, but kept floppy.
Removed all IDE devices, and removed floppy.
Removed all IDE devices, and removed floppy, and removed PS/2 mouse.
Removed all IDE devices, and removed floppy, and removed PS/2 mouse, and removed PS/2 keyboard.
Swapped out 4 different power supplies.
Left machine on for a few hours; powered off and then back on.
Removed CPU fan connection and powered up with only CPU, keyboard, and floppy disk (or hard disk).
I also used a magnifying glass to examine the board. Everything looks pretty good, caps look ok - but my expertise limits my notice to obvious damage.

Does someone have any idea what is or might be going on?

Would a newly flashed BIOS help? I've sent an email to 'biosdepot' on eBay, but I haven't heard back as of yet. Maybe a busy weekend.

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Last edited by Meatball on 2022-07-16, 22:05. Edited 2 times in total.

***->WINNER, 1ST PLACE<-***
2022 #QUAKE3totheMAX -560.5fps-
Brain Drain Retro LAN https://discord.com/channels/799008837918261328
Windows ME
NForce2 A7N8X-E DLX
Athlon 848/154MHz
DDR@411MHz (2-3-3-3)
GeForce 256 DDR@144/344MHz
ESS Maestr0-1

Reply 2 of 18, by Meatball

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jakethompson1 wrote on 2022-07-16, 02:37:

Tried multiple power supplies?

Yes, with a much older power supply from around 1999. I updated the post; thanks for the suggestion, though.

Just now I tried lowering the FSB to 60MHz, but that didn't help, unfortunately.

***->WINNER, 1ST PLACE<-***
2022 #QUAKE3totheMAX -560.5fps-
Brain Drain Retro LAN https://discord.com/channels/799008837918261328
Windows ME
NForce2 A7N8X-E DLX
Athlon 848/154MHz
DDR@411MHz (2-3-3-3)
GeForce 256 DDR@144/344MHz
ESS Maestr0-1

Reply 3 of 18, by Meatball

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Tried a few more things and updated first post. Nothing has helped so far.

***->WINNER, 1ST PLACE<-***
2022 #QUAKE3totheMAX -560.5fps-
Brain Drain Retro LAN https://discord.com/channels/799008837918261328
Windows ME
NForce2 A7N8X-E DLX
Athlon 848/154MHz
DDR@411MHz (2-3-3-3)
GeForce 256 DDR@144/344MHz
ESS Maestr0-1

Reply 4 of 18, by Meatball

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It is very strange - With a cold boot, the board can go further - loading Windows, booting from a floppy disk, or messing around with BIOS settings before it finally freezes. However, after successive boots the time to lockup gets shorter and shorter becoming only 3-5 seconds before freezing. I've never experienced this behavior before.

I bought a re-flashed BIOS with the latest release - we'll see how it goes in a few days.

***->WINNER, 1ST PLACE<-***
2022 #QUAKE3totheMAX -560.5fps-
Brain Drain Retro LAN https://discord.com/channels/799008837918261328
Windows ME
NForce2 A7N8X-E DLX
Athlon 848/154MHz
DDR@411MHz (2-3-3-3)
GeForce 256 DDR@144/344MHz
ESS Maestr0-1

Reply 6 of 18, by drosse1meyer

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Try disabling any cache on the mobo
Check for shorted pins on onboard chips (e.g. bent leg shorted to neighbor)

P1 Build: Packard Bell - 233 MMX, Voodooo1, 64 MB, ALS100+
P2 Build: Dell Dimension R400 - 400 Mhz, GeForce2/32MB, 128 MB
P3 Build: Custom PIII - 1 Ghz, GeForce2 GTS/64MB, 128 MB

Reply 7 of 18, by Meatball

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JustJulião wrote on 2022-07-19, 14:42:

Is this system in a case ?
If not, what is it laid on ?

No, it's open air at the moment resting on a raised surface with cardboard underneath the board. I haven't had any other issues with any other motherboard, but do you think I should try something else?

***->WINNER, 1ST PLACE<-***
2022 #QUAKE3totheMAX -560.5fps-
Brain Drain Retro LAN https://discord.com/channels/799008837918261328
Windows ME
NForce2 A7N8X-E DLX
Athlon 848/154MHz
DDR@411MHz (2-3-3-3)
GeForce 256 DDR@144/344MHz
ESS Maestr0-1

Reply 8 of 18, by Meatball

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drosse1meyer wrote on 2022-07-19, 14:45:

Try disabling any cache on the mobo
Check for shorted pins on onboard chips (e.g. bent leg shorted to neighbor)

There's no cache on this motherboard as it's a PII. Do you mean go into the BIOS and disable for the PII itself?

I'll check again for any bent pins - it's possible I didn't look close enough.

Thanks for the suggestions!

***->WINNER, 1ST PLACE<-***
2022 #QUAKE3totheMAX -560.5fps-
Brain Drain Retro LAN https://discord.com/channels/799008837918261328
Windows ME
NForce2 A7N8X-E DLX
Athlon 848/154MHz
DDR@411MHz (2-3-3-3)
GeForce 256 DDR@144/344MHz
ESS Maestr0-1

Reply 9 of 18, by JustJulião

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Meatball wrote on 2022-07-19, 14:48:
JustJulião wrote on 2022-07-19, 14:42:

Is this system in a case ?
If not, what is it laid on ?

No, it's open air at the moment resting on a raised surface with cardboard underneath the board. I haven't had any other issues with any other motherboard, but do you think I should try something else?

I've had the exact same issue and it ended up being the power supply. Maybe this one is more sensible, if the 4 you tried are old, maybe try a newer one.
Also I edited my first post : do not try to flash the bios (except if you can do that on an eprom programer). I don't think it would resolve the issue anyways.

Reply 10 of 18, by Meatball

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JustJulião wrote on 2022-07-19, 14:51:
Meatball wrote on 2022-07-19, 14:48:
JustJulião wrote on 2022-07-19, 14:42:

Is this system in a case ?
If not, what is it laid on ?

No, it's open air at the moment resting on a raised surface with cardboard underneath the board. I haven't had any other issues with any other motherboard, but do you think I should try something else?

I've had the exact same issue and it ended up being the power supply. Maybe this one is more sensible, if the 4 you tried are old, maybe try a newer one.
Also I edited my first post : do not try to flash the bios (except if you can do that on an eprom programer). I don't think it would resolve the issue anyways.

2 were newish (2010s) and 2 were older (around 1999).
Yes, I definitely have an urge to flash it, but I also figure it won't work; I ordered a new chip; it should be here tomorrow or Thursday.

***->WINNER, 1ST PLACE<-***
2022 #QUAKE3totheMAX -560.5fps-
Brain Drain Retro LAN https://discord.com/channels/799008837918261328
Windows ME
NForce2 A7N8X-E DLX
Athlon 848/154MHz
DDR@411MHz (2-3-3-3)
GeForce 256 DDR@144/344MHz
ESS Maestr0-1

Reply 11 of 18, by drosse1meyer

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Meatball wrote on 2022-07-19, 14:49:
There's no cache on this motherboard as it's a PII. Do you mean go into the BIOS and disable for the PII itself? […]
Show full quote
drosse1meyer wrote on 2022-07-19, 14:45:

Try disabling any cache on the mobo
Check for shorted pins on onboard chips (e.g. bent leg shorted to neighbor)

There's no cache on this motherboard as it's a PII. Do you mean go into the BIOS and disable for the PII itself?

I'll check again for any bent pins - it's possible I didn't look close enough.

Thanks for the suggestions!

That's my fault, need more coffee 😀 Worth a shot anyway I guess, it's easy (and free)...

P1 Build: Packard Bell - 233 MMX, Voodooo1, 64 MB, ALS100+
P2 Build: Dell Dimension R400 - 400 Mhz, GeForce2/32MB, 128 MB
P3 Build: Custom PIII - 1 Ghz, GeForce2 GTS/64MB, 128 MB

Reply 12 of 18, by Meatball

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drosse1meyer wrote on 2022-07-19, 15:05:
Meatball wrote on 2022-07-19, 14:49:
There's no cache on this motherboard as it's a PII. Do you mean go into the BIOS and disable for the PII itself? […]
Show full quote
drosse1meyer wrote on 2022-07-19, 14:45:

Try disabling any cache on the mobo
Check for shorted pins on onboard chips (e.g. bent leg shorted to neighbor)

There's no cache on this motherboard as it's a PII. Do you mean go into the BIOS and disable for the PII itself?

I'll check again for any bent pins - it's possible I didn't look close enough.

Thanks for the suggestions!

That's my fault, need more coffee 😀 Worth a shot anyway I guess, it's easy (and free)...

We've all been there! haha..

***->WINNER, 1ST PLACE<-***
2022 #QUAKE3totheMAX -560.5fps-
Brain Drain Retro LAN https://discord.com/channels/799008837918261328
Windows ME
NForce2 A7N8X-E DLX
Athlon 848/154MHz
DDR@411MHz (2-3-3-3)
GeForce 256 DDR@144/344MHz
ESS Maestr0-1

Reply 13 of 18, by Meatball

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Well, the replacement chip arrived today, but the board won't POST at all. The new chip gets ferociously hot almost immediately (just as if it were plugged in backward), I need to power down PDQ.

I did try to reverse the direction just for the heck of it, but the expected overheating occurred. I've contacted the seller for further assistance.

When the old chip is put back in (just to make sure I didn't fry anything), board POSTS, but continues to lock up shortly thereafter.

***->WINNER, 1ST PLACE<-***
2022 #QUAKE3totheMAX -560.5fps-
Brain Drain Retro LAN https://discord.com/channels/799008837918261328
Windows ME
NForce2 A7N8X-E DLX
Athlon 848/154MHz
DDR@411MHz (2-3-3-3)
GeForce 256 DDR@144/344MHz
ESS Maestr0-1

Reply 14 of 18, by rasz_pl

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Those capacitors look lovely and absolutely fine, but you cant go only by looks. Either use oscilloscope to look at Vcore and other supply lines, or just replace them blind.
altho
>However, after successive boots the time to lockup gets shorter and shorter
with bad capacitors its often the other way around, with capacitors getting slightly better when warm. Getting worse might mean something is overheating - do a finger test and look for hot spots after board refuses to start.

Reply 15 of 18, by Meatball

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rasz_pl wrote on 2022-07-22, 00:28:
Those capacitors look lovely and absolutely fine, but you cant go only by looks. Either use oscilloscope to look at Vcore and ot […]
Show full quote

Those capacitors look lovely and absolutely fine, but you cant go only by looks. Either use oscilloscope to look at Vcore and other supply lines, or just replace them blind.
altho
>However, after successive boots the time to lockup gets shorter and shorter
with bad capacitors its often the other way around, with capacitors getting slightly better when warm. Getting worse might mean something is overheating - do a finger test and look for hot spots after board refuses to start.

Thanks! I've tried finger testing the larger chips, but I should probably check everywhere.

There is a "CPU Thermal Protection" chip located near the CPU Slot. If temps reach 55C, a warning is supposed to be displayed from the BIOS during POST, and then the CPU is throttled automatically. No warnings have ever been displayed and this chip has also been cool to the touch. However, I wonder if this chip is malfunctioning? If not, it's what I hope an updated BIOS might resolve. Or perhaps this thermal sensor cut be surgically cut out?

***->WINNER, 1ST PLACE<-***
2022 #QUAKE3totheMAX -560.5fps-
Brain Drain Retro LAN https://discord.com/channels/799008837918261328
Windows ME
NForce2 A7N8X-E DLX
Athlon 848/154MHz
DDR@411MHz (2-3-3-3)
GeForce 256 DDR@144/344MHz
ESS Maestr0-1

Reply 16 of 18, by BitWrangler

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Slot 1 contacts, both sides, get hella tweaky, and it's only after the last time you clean them they decide to work.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 18 of 18, by Meatball

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rasz_pl wrote on 2022-07-22, 02:28:

to automagic throttling with Pentium2, its all software controlled and afaik would not look like broken motherboard, you would hear the beeps if its implemented at all in your board

From the manual:

2.6 CPU Thermal Protection
This mainboard implements special thermal protection circuit under the CPU
heatsink. When temperature is higher than 55 degree C, the CPU speed will
automatically slow down and there will be warning from BIOS and also ADM
(AOpen Desktop Manager, similar as Intel LDCM), if ADM is installed.
It is automatically implemented by BIOS and ADM, no hardware installation is
needed.

***->WINNER, 1ST PLACE<-***
2022 #QUAKE3totheMAX -560.5fps-
Brain Drain Retro LAN https://discord.com/channels/799008837918261328
Windows ME
NForce2 A7N8X-E DLX
Athlon 848/154MHz
DDR@411MHz (2-3-3-3)
GeForce 256 DDR@144/344MHz
ESS Maestr0-1