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old pentium fails pretty hard when booting

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by SUCKER [Pieter Van Nuffel], Jul 28, 2004.

  1. Scenario:
    I'm 19, going to the university of antwerp in Belgium (computer sciences) and have an old pc at home for my dad, a teacher, for collecting scores of students and maken tests.

    PC:
    Pentium 166MMX
    motherboard with 64MB edo ram (intel 440 chipset)
    Voodoo3 3000 PCI
    2.1 GB HDD on primary master
    16x CDROM on secondary master

    One day when I returned from school my dad told me the PC was pretty broken and this is what I noticed with it:

    I booted the PC (with a button that needs to be 'unpressed' to shut it down).
    Nothing.
    No sound of the HDD that starts spinning, no beepsound, no specific sound of the cdrom-drive which was common, no cracking from the monitor when he suddenly gets a signal.
    Num lock not lit op, pressing numlock does not light it up, screen is completely black (not even a 'black' signal comes from the video card).

    After seeing that I did what my father allways did: Hard reset (button).
    But after pressing that button, I'm still in the previous scenario.
    2x, 3x, 4x, but after pressing the fifth time:

    I hear the HDD starting to spin, then some cracking meaning he's disk seeking. Meanwhile no screen, no beep, no numlock, no cdrom sound.

    I press again reset.
    HDD led on the front of the computer case immediately lights up, cdrom makes that special starting sound when booting, video on screen with the video bios from my voodoo, then the normal bois bootscreen with a ramcheck (is good). Then the bios finds the cdrom drive, cursor keeps blinking behind that found cdrom line, and after 3 seconds: "Primary master disk failed." (I used that same disk in another newer pc to do some data backup, just to make sure so the drive is ok.)

    The day before when i did another reset the pc would go perfectly normal and woud boot the os, but this time i took notes on every stage, so it took some time before i pressed reset this time. So because of this delay every reset kept the pc locked in the previous hard disk fail scenario.
    I turned the pc off and put it back on and that way it booted perfectly.

    I don't know what you guys/girls think about this, but needing to reset a pc 7 times before it will boot seems a little strange to me. And to think that it booted just fine for the previous 5 years. Somebody has some suggestions, remarks, advices?


    When I ultimately find out it's a lost case, I will buy the parts needed to make a new one, while recycling the rest that works properly.


    Anybody?
     
    SUCKER [Pieter Van Nuffel], Jul 28, 2004
    #1
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  2. SUCKER [Pieter Van Nuffel]

    patrick Guest

    Can you boot to DOS with a Floppy? Yes? Bad hard drive...

    Go and get Knoppix, d/l it, and burn the image to CDrom. Insert and
    boot up from CDrom. http://knopper.net/knoppix

    If you cannot get any lights to come on and get to the CMOS SETUP, you
    might need a new PSU.

    Otherwise, if you hear the hard drive seeking, seeking, seeking, it is a
    bad HD!
     
    patrick, Jul 28, 2004
    #2
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  3. That's pretty irrelevant, for 2 reasons:
    -I checked the HD allready in another PC, so it's abolutely fine.
    -If I want to boot _any_ os, I would have to go through all the steps mentioned (with pressing the reset, not the power button) to even get at that specific OS. The pc right now boots win98 SE. If I wanted to boot dos I would just insert the bootdisk, boot the PC, reset it about 7 times like i said and then finally arive at the os.
    I am allready aware of the existance of knoppix. I have used various linuxes by now, including: Mandrake 8.2, SuSE 8.2, Knoppix 3.3-3.4, and on this PC now Mandrake 10.
    But, as I have pointed out above, the OS is irrelevant.
    That would be obvious. The stupid thing is, the PSU does work at some stage (don't know exacly when cause the fan is extremely silent), but after pressing the reset button suddenly a new sequential thing from the (hardware'ly) PC starts working.
    It's just plain strange.
    The disk seeking I'm talking about used to be exactly the same as it used to be, when everything still worked fine. Otherwise, I took the HD into a newer pc to take backups and there the HD fine. Also at the seventh stage of resetting the box everything runs completely smooth and the pc boots perfectly until the (hidious) win98 desktop shows up.



    So I'm not sure you're looking in the right direction...
    But sure, thanks for trying to help. We wouldn't get anywhere without that.
     
    SUCKER [Pieter Van Nuffel], Jul 28, 2004
    #3
  4. SUCKER [Pieter Van Nuffel]

    jamotto Guest

    cdrom makes that special starting sound when booting, video on screen
    with the video bios from my voodoo, then the normal bois bootscreen
    with a ramcheck (is good). Then the bios finds the cdrom drive, cursor
    keeps blinking behind that found cdrom line, and after 3 seconds:
    "Primary master disk failed." (I used that same disk in another newer
    pc to do some data backup, just to make sure so the drive is ok.)
    Well, I would start by checking the power supply with a voltmeter and
    make sure that the voltage it puts out is correct.
     
    jamotto, Jul 29, 2004
    #4
  5. On 28 Jul 2004 23:00:11 -0700

    Yeah, that would make complete sense. I kept on thinking it was a
    mainboard issue, or something else bizarre.

    Perhaps my mind blocked me from thinking clear and simple...

    Let's check it out!
     
    SUCKER [Pieter Van Nuffel], Jul 29, 2004
    #5
  6. SUCKER [Pieter Van Nuffel]

    jamotto Guest

    Make sure that each voltage rail is not off by more than 5%.
     
    jamotto, Jul 30, 2004
    #6
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