Can a pentium3 stop switching to protected mode?

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I have an IBM pentium 3 computer with an odd behavior.  It was working
fine for a long time, then one day it just stopped booting XP.  It
runs POST, then starts loading windows XP.  After the logo and
progress bar shows up, the system wil freeze.  I've tried t to reload
XP, but that does not get far either.  I swapped the hard drive out,
and I swapped out the RAM but it will not run.   It can run for days
under DOS, but as soon as I try to run a newer operating system it
locks up.  I even tried loaging Meninum and Linux - no go.  Should I
buy a new P3, or should I just give up on the whole thing cuz it's not
worth the repair?!?

Re: Can a pentium3 stop switching to protected mode?

On Sun, 17 Apr 2005 03:29:27 GMT, Paulaner

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"Worth the repair" depends a lot on how resourceful you are
in getting it fixed and how much you do (or don't) need more
performance.  For some people, spending $100 to fix it would
be better than spending $350 for a new motherboard, CPU,
memory, and/or power supply.

You wrote "swapped out ram but it will not run" but that
doesn't tell us if it continued doing exact same thing, AND
at the same interval, frequency, etc... whether there is any
commonality to this.

Some things seem obvious- check the fans.. maybe you have
but we don't know how much or what else you may've tried.

"Often" the problem is a fan, power supply, or the
motherboard itself.  You didn't give us much to go on when
you described the system.  Is it proprietary in any way,
like the chassis and/or motherboard or power supply?

Proprietary parts that would need replaced with same/IBM
parts will tend to be more expensive.  We also don't know if
system came with software that "needs" the IBM motherboard
to load an OS image, or if you have separate software and OS
CDs... matters to some people and not to others.

I'd examine the motherboard for failed capacitors... vented
tops, swollen, leaky residue on top or bottoms of the larger
ones scattered about the AGP, memory slots and especially
around the CPU socket.

Some IBM boards had a problem with their regulators, they
overheated too much.  I don't recall specifics except that
they had small winged heatsinks on them in a vertical row on
the left side, and the boards would get discolored around
them from the heat.

Take voltage readings of the power supply.
Test memory with memtest86.
If the board has the option to underclock the FSB, try doing
so and see if it makes a stability difference.

If you run out of ideas and if it's not overly proprietary
it might be worth fixing... if you can't find the problem
yourself and lack different parts to swap in you might get
an estimate from a repair shop.   Then again, if the case
and power are standard, it could be as cost effective to
just buy a new motherboard and power supply.  P3 boards are
harder to find these days but not impossible and you
wouldn't need a high powered power supply.  If they're
standard parts the total to replace those two items might be
around $70, give or take depending on your willingness to
look for sales/deals/salvage-parts/etc.

Re: Can a pentium3 stop switching to protected mode?

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What happens (precisely) when you attempt to boot it in XP Safe mode
(pressing F8 as it goes through POST to bring up the boot type selection
menu or just F5)? If it still fails to boot completely, at what stage does
it hang? As you've reported this as a problem with a sudden onset, its
unlikely to be cap or heat related. My hunch is that there may be corruption
on the HDD data or a PSU fault. Swapping out the HDD doesn't say whether the
new HDD was correctly detected by the motherboard, nor whether it had any
data on it (an empty drive isn't going to boot into an OS). One of the most
commonly failing parts in PCs (and the most often overlooked) is the power
supply unit but usually when these fail you get a few clues first (such as
intermittent failure to post). Perhaps testing the machine with a few less
things loading the PSU will get it to boot fully (e.g. unplug any CDROM
drive & remove any unnecessary cards). If it then completes the boot
process, you know where the fault lies. In case your wondering why the PSU
could be suspect given that it posts, the answer is that as drivers load for
certain hardware (during the boot process) the power consumption goes up.
Safe mode boot prevents many of these drivers from loading.


Re: Can a pentium3 stop switching to protected mode?

Run memtest86 to test your RAM and memory controller. The few times I have seen
this problem it was when the OS has problems accessing high memory addresses,
which are not used by DOS.

Paulaner wrote:
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                   Mike Walsh
            West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.A.

Re: Can a pentium3 stop switching to protected mode?

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first off
check the cpu cooler to be sure your cpu is not overheating

then, even though you changed the HD and RAM
you should still run the HD and RAM diagnostics.

also...see if you can get the thing to work at all by slightly underclocking

Re: Can a pentium3 stop switching to protected mode?

I bought for less then $200- Sempron 2400+, ABIT NF7-S MB (With SATA, LAN, 6
Ch. Audio) and 512MB of RAM.
For another $100 you can have a 120GB or 160GB HD.
You will need a new Case too, but all other parts can be reused.


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