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Thread: new guy, old problem.




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Sacramento Delta
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    Default new guy, old problem.

    I saw some FAQs and tech responses to questions on this site that impressed me with the quality of explanations, PICTURES clear and well-labelled, and readable s I came on board to see some more. Please bear with my low level of knowledge and experience in the "inner" parts of computers.

    It seems like for me in trying to fix or tweak, or even just use a computer there's always something wrong. I am not a negative nay-Bob or pessimist, that just seems to be my pattern. Curse?

    Anyway, hello, and I'd like to ask one or two questions of the probably threadbare variety around here:

    How can you either (1) test a computer/motherboard to see whether it's problem in not booting or showing up on the screen is just that it didn't have memory boards in it when you got it (just had 2 "filler" sticks and two empty slots.) POST debug shows fast sequence of C1, AF, C1 and then stops on 01. EDIT: oh, there's a repeating intermittent (?) "beep" and an occasional "boop", a power green light and a little red light near the "reset" button on board.

    I did go to FAQ and saw thier nice pictures and explanation, and I do think that my otherwise apparently clean and fit computer--an ABIT TH7-RAID, exactly like the one shown in the FAQ forum--is probably (!) OK. The post test readout seems pretty consistent with a memory stick prob or missing memory. Now, I want to see whether I can get this thing running for my granddaughter, but I cannot afford to buy a diagnostic program OR buy a couple of memory sticks at the store and then find out that there's more than this wrong.

    So (2): how do you all work around buying expensive (a relative term unless you're as poor as this codger living on a shoestring) memory just to test a board?

    Any suggestions or creative alternatives--or even a virtual hug and pat on the head--will be appreciated.
    jim

    I also--against my usual policy--posted this in the Tradeing Post Forum, thinking somebody might have ways of mutual trading and ideas about how to get things done without laying out the big bucks . Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Texas, USA
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    4,825

    Default Re: new guy, old problem.

    If I am reading this correctly, you already have memory? If so then you will have little luck since that mainboard uses Rambus memory (an old version that Intel thought would take over the world and was shown to be both slower than other DDR types and prohibitively expensive). Look for a free utility called memtest86. You can find it HERE. Given the age of your system I will assume you have a floppy drive. This utility was created to be used on a bootable floppy disk and it runs outside of Windows. If it doesn't do anything, then you have a definite hardware problem and will have to address that first. You can use a clean soft clotch and lightly clean the contacts of the memory modules as well as using canned air to get rid of any dust in the slot itself that may be keeping you from getting a good contact. I'm not familiar with the quirks of the Rambus memory since I did not use that type of mainboard myself, but others may be able to offer more insight if I have forgotten something.

    Additionally, you mentioned some "intermittent beeping" issues. This may be helpful since since there are common "codes" in these beeps that could point you to the problem. THIS PAGE has a lot of the most common codes and may be useful to you. A quick look in the manual shows this motherboard to use the Award BIOS, so that will be the chart of interest when you try to decipher the beeps.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Sacramento Delta
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    Default Re: new guy, old problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darthtanion View Post
    If I am reading this correctly, you already have memory? If so then you will have little luck since that mainboard uses Rambus memory (an old version that Intel thought would take over the world and was shown to be both slower than other DDR types and prohibitively expensive). Look for a free utility called memtest86. You can find it HERE. Given the age of your system I will assume you have a floppy drive. This utility was created to be used on a bootable floppy disk and it runs outside of Windows. If it doesn't do anything, then you have a definite hardware problem and will have to address that first. You can use a clean soft clotch and lightly clean the contacts of the memory modules as well as using canned air to get rid of any dust in the slot itself that may be keeping you from getting a good contact. I'm not familiar with the quirks of the Rambus memory since I did not use that type of mainboard myself, but others may be able to offer more insight if I have forgotten something.

    Additionally, you mentioned some "intermittent beeping" issues. This may be helpful since since there are common "codes" in these beeps that could point you to the problem. THIS PAGE has a lot of the most common codes and may be useful to you. A quick look in the manual shows this motherboard to use the Award BIOS, so that will be the chart of interest when you try to decipher the beeps.
    Thanks!

    I meant to say that there are 2
    "filler sticks" --CRIMM sticks"-- in the 4 memory slots and the other two are empty. I think that means that there is no viable memory on board. I think the post codes indicate the memory--absence of--problem. I am mainly concerned about how to checkwhether absence of memory cards is the problem keeping the thing from booting.

    I did download the DOS and floppy Memtest files. And I will go for the codes page now.

    I am just a poor soul wanting to find some memory cards without paying the full freight.
    jim

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Australia
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    Default Re: new guy, old problem.

    Those sticks you have are terminators for the memory channels which are needed when only using 2 Rambust memory sticks and without memory or CPU it would be impossible to see whether that mainboard will function or not.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2007
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    Sacramento Delta
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    Default Re: new guy, old problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by wayout44 View Post
    Those sticks you have are terminators for the memory channels which are needed when only using 2 Rambust memory sticks and without memory or CPU it would be impossible to see whether that mainboard will function or not.
    Yes!

    And I believe you can't even get the monitor to display without the viable memory installed. (I took ouT the memory from another old computer and saw that.)

    So, if anybody has got some extry "sticks" of memory of this type to sell cheap, I could try it and see if that gets this rig up and running.

    Or not.

    I don't mean to be begging for hand-outs; jus trying to get around the very costly memory expense for these things just to test a machine for possible use by a school kid......and so forth.

    Thanks for your help!

    jim

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: new guy, old problem.

    No offense buddy, but this is the second thread you started to pander for memory. While I understand that buying expensive Rambus memory is not fun, please refrain from starting threads looking for handouts. Go to Ebay and get some, of just junk that system since it is not worth the effort to revive it and go look for a cheap P3 system in a local computer recycling center. If your community recycles this stuff like most do, you can get a whole system, including monitor, keyboard and mouse for free.

    Your choices:

    1. Spend money on a system that is questionable if it even works
    2. Find an old system, most likely free, and toss out this one.

    As I said, please refrain from anymore threads asking for things to be sold to you.
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