Would like help. OLD Motherboard seems to be dead.

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Would like help. OLD Motherboard seems to be dead.

Unread postby abscess » May 1st, 2008, 4:53 pm

I have a VERY old PC that I would like to try to fix. Everything but the motherboard seems to work just fine. The 15Gigs HD and the CD reader (yep, it only READS CDs) are fine, the processor (Pentium III) I'm not sure of, since I don't have any other PC of that age to try and swap processors. The floppy reader apparently works (I guess, since I haven't come across one that doesn't, even if they were pretty banged). Do you know of a good motherboard with Socket7 (the CPU uses that kind of socket) and pc100 RAM slots? If you could also tell me of a shop that for some reason deals with that kind of stuff I'll be very grateful.
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Unread postby WingZero » May 1st, 2008, 8:01 pm

Hate to sound like something out of a bad urban legend, but did you check the power source? (That box-thing inside your tower. Typically dies out faster than most other parts in your computer, costs about 20 to 30 bucks to replace)

Also, I'd just go check the nearest computer stores were I you (small, private owned, non-chain stores), because as far as I know, major stores don't stock old motherboards and ram anymore (Could be wrong here, since I get everything I need at a local store)
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Unread postby abscess » May 2nd, 2008, 12:36 am

WingZero wrote:Hate to sound like something out of a bad urban legend, but did you check the power source? (That box-thing inside your tower. Typically dies out faster than most other parts in your computer, costs about 20 to 30 bucks to replace)

Also, I'd just go check the nearest computer stores were I you (small, private owned, non-chain stores), because as far as I know, major stores don't stock old motherboards and ram anymore (Could be wrong here, since I get everything I need at a local store)


Well. It does turn on, so I don't think it's the power source. That power source is, if I remember correctly, 250~260 or something and I already have another one of 320 or 450 if I ever need to replace it. I think it's the motherboard, since I tried swaping HDs and format them. The weird thing is that it boots the bios (I think) and if there is a windows CD inside it does ask me if I want to install but, when I say that I want to, it freezes for a while and then tells me that there is no HD connected and I AM sure that at least one of them work, I'm even using one in another computer. If there is no OS CD, it enters a loop and stops working.
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Unread postby tmask » May 2nd, 2008, 12:43 am

So you boot to the os install cd and it says no hard drive detected? What os are you trying to install? I would check the ide cables and make sure they dont have any tears or splits. Or heck, try a different cable. Also, if its old make sure there are no bulging or leaking capacitors on the board. If they are even remotely bulging then thats definately a bad board. Also it could be the ram. I would try a different stick of ram, or if you have two, try one at a time. And last but not least, make sure your cpu fan is spinning enough to keep the cpu cool. (if you have one, may just be a heatsink)
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Unread postby WingZero » May 2nd, 2008, 12:47 am

Well, I'm thinking it might not be the motherboard.

I suggest dusting the inside of your tower (toothbrush works well, make sure you do the fan too, and especially the harddrive and/or areas where the harddrive connects) (There's also a compound (spray) sold in most major shops that removes dust. The name escapes me at the moment... (I keep thinking WD-40, but that's for rust))

So what happens exactly when you don't put in a Windows CD? (Under the assumption that some operating system or other is already installed) Do you get an error? What's the error?

(If it says something like "Primary Master Failure" or "could not detect primary master", it's most likely your harddrive. But of course, always check the BIOS and see if the Primary master / slave detection is set properly to make sure it's not the settings' fault.)
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Unread postby abscess » May 2nd, 2008, 8:08 pm

@tmask
I'm using windows 98 CD. I also thought the problem could be the IDE cables, but I hadn't been able to get a hold of an IDE cable until today... Well I don't know if the CPU fan could be the problem, but it worked just fine during the strange hic-ups and the last times of the PC. I'll try some time the thing with the RAMs, thanks.

@WingZero
I already cleaned it once after it died on me. Dismantled it completely, even took the CPU out, and sprayed the shit out of it but don't remember if there where any bulging or leaking capacitors, I think not.
There already is a Windows XP installed in the HD but it fails to load it when there is no OS CD inside. At the moment I can't remember exactly what it said when it reached the problem, but I remember that I started normally and then tried to load something, after about 1~5 minutes it said something like "Cannot boot from CD" or something like that... After that whenever I pressed any key it just reprinted the same message over and over again.
Um... I don't know much about how to set master/slave on the HDs, so I can't really do any checking on that matter.

When the PC was dying it had hic-ups for about 2 months where the computer froze periodically every minute or so for about another minute an then continued with the freezing-unfreezing loop. I tried reinstalling two times an XP and the first time it stayed the same, the second time it worked perfectly until I restarted it once and it went all to hell...
When I have the time I'll check the IDE cable that I got. I have a question though, are these cables already that unused? I went to a store to buy an HD and asked if they dealt with those kind of cables and the woman there just gave me one instead of selling it to me. It's not that it's a bad thing, I mean... getting free stuff is almost always good, but it's weird nontheless.
Another thing. With what I told you, do you have an idea of what the problem might be?
Well. When I have time I'll have to dig out the old PC from the corner with all the garbage it's with. Thanks.
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Unread postby WingZero » May 2nd, 2008, 9:20 pm

Well, if it says something like "Cannot boot from CD" when you have no CD inside the drive, it sounds like your computer is trying to boot from a non-bootable source (in this case your CD drive) -> so it's likely the BIOS settings are at fault.

As for entering the settings, you'd probably have to look that up as it is different with various models. My computer enters settings when I press the DEL key at startup, and a lot of other models require that you press F9 or something (There's only a couple of key variations, so you can probably look it up and try them all).

After that, you'll be in the settings screen and you should go under your BIOS settings and change it (again, this will be different based on what model you have, so you should probably look this up) so:

Primary Master is set on [AUTO] (recommended) or your harddrive name (i.e. [HDMX1926])
Primary Slave is set on [AUTO] or [OFF] (this depends on whether you use a primary slave or secondary. I use a secondary, so it's off for me. It might be AUTO for you, or off. Try not changing this one)
Secondary Master is set on [AUTO] or [OFF] (again, depends on whether you use a primary or secondary master)
Secondary Slave is set on [AUTO] or [OFF] (see above)

Save your settings, reboot, and see if it works.

(Also, note that if you've recently installed an external harddrive or flashdrive (USB), make sure you unplug them while booting, as in some instances the computer tries to boot from the newly installed hardware and fails to find the necessary system files (I doubt this is the case here though))
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