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old p4 system - have to reset cmos every boot. ???

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by DrunkenMafia, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. DrunkenMafia

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    I have this guys system here and I can't for the life of me figure it out. I will start with the specs and what I have done so far...

    Specs

    S478 P4 2.8
    DDR400 ram ( I have 3 x 512mb sticks to test with it)
    6600gt gfx card ( I also have an old 9800xt for testing)
    Mb - Gigabyte GA-8VT800
    300 watt generic psu. (I also have a 300 watt FSP psu here for testing)

    The problem is this. He bought it to me saying that it was stuck in sleep mode, even when you turned it on. So I turned it on and nothing, no post, no bios screen. This board doesn't have a clear cmos jumper to the first thing I did was take out the batt and clear the cmos.

    Then I refitted batt and system booted no probs, straight into windows, but as soon as you open a program it freezes momentarily and then hard crash, tries to reboot and nothing, blank screen.

    The first thing I tried was different ram, considering the machine made it to XP desktop. And still no boot.

    I again cleared cmos with batt.

    Pc booted straight to windows ( with replacement ram in it) and worked a treat, had a screw around with explorer, media player etc..... Great.

    I hit restart XP and it shuts down but no restart. The machine has one short "beep" on boot up usually but nothing on the restart.

    The monitor fires up from standby but that is it.

    I have removed all hdd's, optical drives, fans, internal cards(bar gfx card) and every time I have to clear cmos to boot.

    I have also noticed now that I cannot boot to xp because it says that I need to register it before I can log on. I don't have a key as this is just his kids pc for them to play games on.

    But I can't even re-install xp because I cannot set cd rom to first boot device.... :banghead: Remember I have to clear cmos every restart....

    Any one got any ideas to throw at me... Its been a while since I haven't been able to get a machine going. I don't believe it is the cpu, it may well be the mb though.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 15, 2007
  2. Homeless

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    Not sure about some of the other problems, but have you tried putting in a new battery for the cmos?
     
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  3. malware New Member

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    Tried changing the battery? look closely for any broken capacitors?
     
  4. DrunkenMafia

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    yeah sorry I forgot to mention that I am going to put in a new batt tomorrow. I will try that, maybe I shoulda tried that before posting... :)

    will get back to you tomorrow...

    Cheers
     
  5. DrunkenMafia

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    yeah. I was hoping a new batt would fix it but no luck there. I have got a mate with a spare s478 mb which is serv. I will borrow that off him tomorrow and transfer the components over to see if its the board. I have a feeling it is. If anybody else has any suggestions feel free to throw em at me... :toast:
     
  6. Fiream

    Fiream New Member

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    Sounds like you've covered the bases pretty good. I'd be eyeing the MB too. Couple of things you might try if you haven't already. Try one stick of the known good RAM in each of the memory slots. If there is 3 DIMM slots, try one stick in DIMM 2 then move it to DIMM 3 and then to DIMM 4 if available. An individual DIMM slot can go bad and even though most manuals say not to do it most boards will boot from any slot.
    I'd also try reseating the CPU just because. Not likely the culprit but still something to eliminate.
    Lastly, and often overlooked, loosen every screw holding the MB to the case by one turn and then retighten them. There is a ton of EMI being emitted inside the case and a flaky ground can cause havoc. One or more of those screws probably acts as a ground to the case so a loose screw or a little corrosion could be preventing the board from draining.
    Good Luck,
    Fiream
     
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  7. DrunkenMafia

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    yeah thanks fiream. I have tried ram in all slots, I did actually reseat the cpu for the hell of it. I wassn't thinkikng that was it but tried anyways... Checked all the screws out and grounding out, it all seems ok.

    It just has me stumped, the fact that it will boot fine after a cmos wipe. But never after a restart. Even if you don't even go into setup it will not reboot.
     
  8. Fiream

    Fiream New Member

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    Well, sure is sounding like a mainboard problem. Only other thing I can think of trying, and I would only try this as a last option with a flaky board, is to try reflashing the BIOS. The onboard ROM could have become just slightly corrupted from ESD or voltage spike. Can't think of anything else to suggest you try. Good luck with it.
    Fiream
     
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  9. jocksteeluk

    jocksteeluk New Member

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    it sounds like every time you go into windows it reinstalls something after you have wiped the cmos, maybe an installed function takes place when the windows loads. Maybe one of the Bios is faulty and each time to reset cmos it selects the working one
     
  10. DrunkenMafia

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    Yeah, good idea I have to find an old floppy drive at home so I can load up a boot disk and try that, Remember I can't change the boot sequence so I will have to do it via floppy.
    I could even do a hot flash with another old p4 system.

    I got that spare board today so I will transfer the components over 2nite and see if we can find a faulty one.

    Cheers
     
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  11. DrunkenMafia

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    this happens though even if I just hit the reset button again after boot up, or if I go into setup and restart, even if I turn pc off as soon as I see the initial award bios logo at boot.

    I literally have to clear cmos everytime I restart the pc. :banghead:
     
  12. Fiream

    Fiream New Member

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    Hey, Thanks for the "Thanks":). I just figured out what that was. Hadn't noticed it until I saw 3 listed by my user name.
    Kind of getting out in left field but I thought of a couple of other things that it wouldn't hurt to check though by now you've probably eliminated them.
    First are the case connections. I would pull them and use a jumper to start the system. Just on the remote chance one of them is trying to short to the case. The other thing I would look at is all the jumpers on the board. I would start at the top and work my way down using a pair of needle nose to move the jumpers up and down on their pins. Just in case one of them isn't making a solid connection.
    I can't recall having ever seen this cause a problem on a mainboard but I've encountered it many times on other electronics that have been exposed to high humidity and/or salt air. Long shots I know but something to check anyway.
    Fiream
     

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