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NETSCAPE

Retro Build - can't pass POST - only sealed hardware used

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6 minutes ago, NETSCAPE said:

the bios isn't recognizing the PCI video card

As far as i understood your MB specification, it use strict settings "AGP video" or "PCI video" during boot (not "AGP first" or "PCI first" as some other MoBos do). And the default setting is "AGP". So, you may be right. I hope that your build will start normally with an AGP video card installed.

You may also try to test your PCI video card in a modern build (supporting PCI) as a second video card. To be sure that it isn't the cause.

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Unplug the power supply ( i mean unplug from the wall. Remove all of the expansion cards from the computer.  take the battery out of the motherboard.  Check to make sure the jumper for clear CMOS is in the default position and not to the reset cmos position.  It most be normal operation setting.  (this is a good time to clear the cmos)  Remove all of the ram and insert only 1 ram stick in.   Replace battery.  Insert the PCI video card into PCI slot 3 or 4.  not the slot next to the agp.  Make sure that it is firmly inserted.  Plug in monitor cable.  Switch on power supply.  Try to turn on the computer.  If this doesn't work try another VGA card.

Get a new Battery.

Make sure the floppy is install correctly.  The bend in the ribbon cable should be plugged into the floppy with the bend more on the left side not the right side.

Edited by Destro

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Get yourself a decent 350W power suply and try using it instead of the 250W one you now have. This is not a very longshot, those old power suplies were far from reliable, if compared with the ones we have now.

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I hope you get your retro build working.  make sure you replace the battery with a new battery and you don't try to start the system with jumpers set incorrectly.

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4 hours ago, Destro said:

Unplug the power supply ( i mean unplug from the wall. Remove all of the expansion cards from the computer.  take the battery out of the motherboard.  Check to make sure the jumper for clear CMOS is in the default position and not to the reset cmos position.  It most be normal operation setting.  (this is a good time to clear the cmos)  Remove all of the ram and insert only 1 ram stick in.   Replace battery.  Insert the PCI video card into PCI slot 3 or 4.  not the slot next to the agp.  Make sure that it is firmly inserted.  Plug in monitor cable.  Switch on power supply.  Try to turn on the computer.  If this doesn't work try another VGA card.

Get a new Battery.

Make sure the floppy is install correctly.  The bend in the ribbon cable should be plugged into the floppy with the bend more on the left side not the right side.

I want to clarify my jumper situation. I have one jumper on my board, it's 3 pins.

Pin 1-2 = Normal Mode. "BIOS uses current config and passwords for booting"

Pin 2-3 = Configure Mode. "After POST runs, Setup starts and displays the Maintenance menu. This menu displays options for setting the processor speed and clearing passwords"

(jumper removed) = Recovery Mode. "BIOS recovers data from a recovery diskette"

*By "this is a good time to clear the CMOS" I am assuming you mean by replacing the battery? Because if the jumper is in normal position first like you suggest, there is no way to clear CMOS other than replacing the battery. There is no devoted 2 pin jumper to clear CMOS like I've had on previous MOBO's. There is only the 3 pin set I've mentioned.  

--------------------

And at this point I am only trying 1 stick of RAM at a time of course.

The floppy cable was connected correctly.

I forgot I have a second video card (same exact type though). I'll try both in different PCI slots now that we have clues that video might be the issue. I originally had my video card in PCI slot 1, next to the AGP slot, so that is interesting that you say NOT to do that. The kind of annoying thing is this super "sweet" custom build case from 1999 only has punch-out type back panels. So it looks like I will just have a bunch of empty slots in the back of my case. oh well. War is Hell. 

I will buy a AGP card that predates my motherboard to avoid compatibility issues hopefully. And I will buy a new Battery too. (The manual states the battery lasts 7 years with constant use. How long do they last sitting idle? I have no idea. I will replace it none-the-less. I assumed if the battery failed I would get a beep code for that like the manual states.)

Edited by NETSCAPE

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ok battery doesn't last over 20 years unused.  The agp card doesn't have to predate it just has to be AGP 2X.  4x and 8x cards will work as long as they support 2x mode electrically and and are slot compatible,  That means they are notched for 2x and 4x. These kinda agp cards have 2 notches.  AGP 2x cards are notched  towards the VGA connector 4x cards are notched towards the back.  But not all 4x and 8x cards will work.  Id say if its like Nvidia ge-force 2-3-4  they will work even though they are 4 and 8x becasue they are backward compatibble.  ATI? Last ATI card that can go into 2x is like Radeon version 1. or Radeon 7000-7200.  After that all of the Radeon Cards will only go in 4x-8x slots because they are not 2x keyed.

 

Good cards for that motherboard are like Matrox G400 maxx, G400 Millennium,  Rage 128 Pro, Rage fury pro, rage fury Maxx, 3dfx Voodo 3,4. 5  Nvidia tnt2-Geforece 2-3-4. 

 

Like when I build a computer I make sure that the parts I am getting are compatible it's more important with older hardware.  Whether something predates or is newer never doesn't matter, what is important is parts always run in the specification or the motherboard manuals.  Otherwise it is nothing but headaches.  Or worst damaged hardware.

Edited by Destro

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Aside from my obvious processor FSB screw up/impulsive ebay purchase... I checked compatibility with all the hardware. 

Matrox and Voodoo's are too expensive and I ruled those out right away. I scored 2 New Rage 128 Pro's (PCI) for cheap. 

As far as AGP goes my MOBO documentation doesn't actually state the AGP speed. (to add to the confusion this motherboard manual clearly has images of different variants/versions with more features than mine has) Digging on forums from 2000-2002 seems to indicate an AGP speed of 2X, and this was noted down awhile back... and now that I think of it this may have been one reason I decided to go PCI route "to play it safe". I understand things are supposed to be back-compatible, but to avoid any potential issue I will just shoot for a AGP 2X card, get everything working hopefully, then switch to the "more powerful" ATI PCI cards I have hah.

And I already sub to all the "retro" youtubers, of course! LGR was my first love, Phil is my girl on the side lol. 

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Maybe you have a different manual than I do but my manual absolutely says it does. PCI is not more powerful than AGP.  In fact its a lot less powerful.  And its not any more safer or any more compatible.  It's actually less compatible with games under windows.  Under DOS AGP is transparent as a PCI card because AGP is a PCI specification.  It simply can't take advantage of all of AGP features that doesn't mean that it doesn't nativly use it.

It says. AGP Accelerated Graphics Port
Interface Specification
Revision 1.0, July, 1996, Intel Corporation.
The specification is available through the
Accelerated Graphics Implementers Forum at:
 

This is my manual  It says AGP 1.0 on page 89.  Which is AGP 2x

http://www.pcscomp.com/support/manuals/se440bx-2.pdf

 

Go to wiki.

AGP 1.0

3.3V 

66MHz

Speed 2×

Trans/clock 2

Bus speed 533

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accelerated_Graphics_Port

 

AGP 1.0 = AGP 2X

Yes my manually says the speed it says its AGP 1.0 Spec

Edited by Destro

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I've been referencing This the whole time. My sealed mobo contents only included a sort of quick reference manual which is more like a TINY guide, not the full documentation... kind of disappointing really. 

I wasn't implying PCI to be better or worse. I was saying there was a level of uncertainty in regards to my AGP speed.  So to avoid any issue due to speed, I just went with PCI. 

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That is a double edged sword.  Like some really really older games. may not have frame limiters and the game plays too fast.  But that usually isn't because of the Graphics card.  Most of the time it's because those games are CPU bound, like DOS games.  The only real cures for that is to run a ancient computer or run a CPU throttler program.  There are various ones I probably could find some for you that will throttle the CPU. This is like very rare like if you are playing a game from the 80s or really early 90s that run in DOS..  Anyways  The issue more is you run into a game that is more demanding and if you Graphics isn't fast enough you wont get acceptable frame rate.  Which will make the game unplayable and laggy.  Tom me anything about 30FPS is playble but like 60FPS is optimal.  There are plenty of instances of that in even older games from the 90s.  Like unreal. for example.  Or just depending on the game, like if the game is more OpenGL based and your card is pretyy bad in open GL then ya it will lag.

Edited by Destro

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I wouldn't trust that sites list of cards.  It says that a lot of cards are universal AGP and that is just flat out false.  The cards I listed are good ones.  But you need to have pictures and check with your own eyes at the finger slot connector and specs to see if somthing is 2x 3.3v Keyed or not. 

That site also brings up issues with AGP compatibility but lists no references as to why it makes this assumption.  This is mostly 99% false.  The issues are like from very specific chipsets made by VIA and some ATI cards.  And very specific cards from Nvidia and Intel chipsets etc.  And some Early mobos that do not fully support AGP specifications.  Like some of the 1st AGP chipsets that came out.  When I say specific I mean like 1 card out of 100 on one chipset on a mobo of a specific manufacture but not necessarily the same chipset or card on another mobo.  It's very rare.  After around 1998 almost all of these problems disappeared until PCI-e replaced AGP around 2003-2004.

 

As far as I know 440bx doesn't have that problem.

Edited by Destro

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I just got my AGP card. Here is a picture of it

What is the purpose of the 40-pin IDE connection? I looked far and wide online and couldn't get an answer. I am guessing it is used for developers as some sort of diagnostic tool or something?

Anyways, the AGP card did not fix my problem. I have the same 1-2 beep code, followed by a 2 beep code after the floppy drive grinds for a second. Of course I noted the jumper position on the card. 

Time for a new motherboard I guess......

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22 hours ago, NETSCAPE said:

What is the purpose of the 40-pin IDE connection? I looked far and wide online and couldn't get an answer. I am guessing it is used for developers as some sort of diagnostic tool or something?

It says VFC above it and AMC (ATI Multimedia Channel) to the side and below it in your picture. It is an extension by ATI of the VESA Feature connector.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feature_connector

https://web.archive.org/web/20050210035518/http://www.ati.com/support/faq/amcvip.html

Note that they say you CANNOT use an IDE cable (Assuming you even had an appropriate device to hook to it):

But perhaps you can....

Quote

An AMC connector consists of a 40 pin male header, with three pins missing.

A keyed AMC cable is used to connect one AMC device to another. Replacement AMC cables are available for purchase from ATI Technical Support.

An AMC cable is required to connect AMC devices.

DO NOT use a 40 pin IDE drive cable to connect AMC devices. An AMC cable has a set of blocked "key pins" which restrict the orientation of the cable on the connector. These safeguards are not present on a standard IDE cable. Incorrect connections can cause severe damage to the AMC peripheral and the graphics adapter. Also, a 40 pin IDE cable will typically exceed the recommended cable length (up to 10") and may cause random errors to occur.

 

Edited by i430VX

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