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Troubleshooting an old(er) system

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January 20, 2002 12:03:42 PM

I've been using my old K6 2-500 to connect our cable modem to our network. I came home last night to find the internet wasn't working and after closer inspection I discovered that the computer appeared to have shut itself down. I pressed the power button, nothing. I turned the power supply off and on again, and then tried the power switch again. The system started to POST and then there was a short "bip" noise and it shut itself off again. Since it was 3am I left it at that and just turned the PSU off again. Spec:

K6 2-500
384 MB SD RAM
GA-5AX mobo
generic floppy drive
generic cd-rom
original matrox millennium graphics card
Sound Blaster AWE-32
NIC of some description (can't remember what type I must admit)
and it did have a terayon cable modem attached to it by USB.
Seagate Barracuder IV (if stuff's been fryed I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's ok, as it's the only bit of decent kit in there, it was waiting to be moved into my main machine as soon as I can be bothered to reinstall everything)

It was built in a fairly cheap case with a generic 300W PSU which is what I suspect has caused the problem to begin with. Any suggestions on where I should start troubleshooting to find out what is and isn't screwed?

All suggestions greatly appreciated.

Thorin

More about : troubleshooting system

January 20, 2002 12:15:17 PM

Bip, was it a hdd sound, or was it a beep from the mobo.

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January 20, 2002 12:58:02 PM

If it's an ATX system, it could possibly be the power or reset switch shorting out. From your description, though, it sounds like AT...

The only thing I've ever seen do this to an AT system is a power surge or insufficient power. I would think 300W is sufficient for that system, but that big-ass AWE32 sound card tends to be extremely power-hungry. IIRC the AWE32 is a full-length ISA card with SIMM slots, and it gets awfully hot.

If the box is just functioning as a NAT box, you shouldn't need most of the fairly hefty hardware you've got in there.

<i>If a server crashes in a server farm and no one pings it, does it still cost four figures to fix?
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January 20, 2002 3:48:14 PM

Quote:
Bip, was it a hdd sound, or was it a beep from the mobo.

Must admit I'm not entirely sure. I *think* it was from the mobo - if it was from the hard drive and it's stuffed I may actually cry <grin>.

I think the POST got to the bit where it's displayed the CPU info and is about to start counting the RAM, but it really was displayed so briefly on the screen that I'm not certain.

I might try booting it again later after I've had a look inside, but I'm going to put in a crappy old one gig hard drive and take out the 60 gig barracuda before I do that I think.

Thorin
January 20, 2002 3:59:36 PM

Quote:
If it's an ATX system, it could possibly be the power or reset switch shorting out. From your description, though, it sounds like AT...

It is an ATX actually. If it is the power switch shorting on me what's likely to solve this?

Quote:
The only thing I've ever seen do this to an AT system is a power surge or insufficient power. I would think 300W is sufficient for that system, but that big-ass AWE32 sound card tends to be extremely power-hungry. IIRC the AWE32 is a full-length ISA card with SIMM slots, and it gets awfully hot.

Well it's connected to the mains via a surge protector, so that rules that out. If these suggestions are relevant to ATX systems as well, then I should have mentioned in my original post that the machine had been running for nearly 2 months 24/7 in that role, I think it had only been rebooted once in that period. I'd used it as my main machine before that and it had been run 24/7 then as well for a fair length of time - six months or something like that.
Quote:
If the box is just functioning as a NAT box, you shouldn't need most of the fairly hefty hardware you've got in there.

I'm in a student house, it's in the living room where we often eat, and we like to listen to music when we eat - hence the sound card. It's also the machine that I'd cobbled together out of spares to use while I was rebuilding my main machine (I had trouble with a processor that I repeatedly destroyed through my own idiocy).

I was wondering if something could have slipped inside the case and could be shorting out the mobo - possible?

Thorin
January 21, 2002 3:18:31 PM

Have you tried remounting the RAM and videocard, if that doesn't help try to unplug them and then boot to see if you get additionel error codes. If you get different beepcodes you're CPU will probably be in working order.
You also could try another videocard or mem in it to see if they cause the problem, if you have another powersupply also test with that one, could be a bad powersupply.

My case has so many fans that it hovers above the ground :eek:  .
January 21, 2002 3:49:10 PM

I'd disconnect everything exept the cpu, ram and vid card,- these I would reseat, power on, if you get post beeps, then as as mentioned you will be able to trace these from your manufacturer- probly memory or vid card. if it DOES post, put back in the hdd and try again, then replace other components one by one till you find the source.


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January 21, 2002 11:44:40 PM

I suppose it's possible something slipped inside the case, but I doubt it--especially if you took the time to screw everything together like you should. :tongue:

If the ATX or reset switch is shorting, the way to test that is to disconnect both ATX switch and RESET switch headers, and try to turn the system on by slipping a jumper over the ATX header for a second. If you can turn the system on that way, then something's wrong with one of the switches. How replaceable it is depends on the case.

Otherwise, it could be just a cheap power supply that up and died on a fluke.

<i>If a server crashes in a server farm and no one pings it, does it still cost four figures to fix?
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