System Build Problems

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Am running into several problems while moving an old motherboard to a new
case and new windows.

Problem 1)

Going into BIOS and making changes, then exiting with save, but system will
not reboot afterwards so I keep getting the safe mode warning and tells me
to go back into BIOS and change CPU settings.  Of course then it doesn't
reboot so I have to do the same thing over again, ad nauseum.

Problem 2)

Since I am building it for my dad I transferred the old ASUS A7N8X Deluxe
Mobo to a new case and power supply, Athlon XP2700+ CPU, 1 GB Corsair
memory.  Windows installed no problem but when it finished and rebooted to
the welcome screen with the little blue 3-bar status marker that moves over
then supposed to go to desktop.  However, it just keeps moving, sometimes
the status bar freezes, then starts moving again, on and on.. never gets to
desktop unless I do a safe mode which doesn't help much.. Of course now
problem 1 is precluding my getting to this point..

One problem I did fix was it kept freezing up during installation at 34
minutes left, swapped a new power supply into the case and now the fans pump
much more air through themselves, plus the lockup problem during install
went away...  maybe not right voltages so the CPU was getting too hot?

What I really want to know also is what the hell memory settings do I use
for my processor not to show up as an XP1500 CPU?  I have tried  200 with
memory multiple of 13.5 in BIOS.. but is there a place to find this kind of
information since the freaking CPU doesn't come with any useful information
on this issue..

Could a bad CMOS battery be causing the system not to reboot from BIOS, or
one of the motherboard header cables from the case not installed right?

Thanks for any input

Re: System Build Problems

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I think i missed something
but if you cannot get out of the bios settings...
how did you get to the OS????

anyway...i'd initially keep everything clocked way down to a minimum
then if you can get out of the bios and manage to get to a working OS...

reboot and go back into the bios and little by little clock your system
up...and keep going up to the ratings of your cpu
as long as everything stays stable

Re: System Build Problems

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When it kept locking up trying to get past the welcome screen to the desktop
I tried setting the clock speed in bios to see if it would help.. then it
started not rebooting.. this just happened today... arg

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I wish it would let me.. I changed the CMOS battery and somehow it got a
checksum error afterwards, then loaded the "defaults" and got me back to the
welcome screen problem.. still cant get past that and now the reboot thing
is back..

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I wish I could get it to work at any clock speed.. will try and plug away
some more..  perhaps I'll end up taking to a shop and let better minds take
a swing at it..


Re: System Build Problems

On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 00:49:08 GMT, "Morituri-|-Max"

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Generally it's best to FIRST list the specs of the system,
put all significant data up front so the rest of the post is
in context.

Don't change so many settings, isolate which one causes this
IF one particular does.   You did not mention WHAT settings
you're changing (or was it only CPU & memory ?? bus speed)
so all you've done is decribe a process that's generic and
usually works fine.  Being a speciic system with a specific
problem, the details of exactly what changes you make
between a POST and no-POST could be important.

Since we have no details, a brief list of things that could
prevent different bios settings from working:

BIOS bugs

Inadequate power supply (faster settings use more power and
to a certain extent, need more stable power rail(s)).

Incompatible memory or poor board design (a combination

Battery dying

Generic user errors, ie - impossible setttings per hardware

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You're describing a software problem in a hardware group.
Best we should do is focus on having stable, properly
working hardware.  Forget about windows for the time being.
Test the memory with memtest86.  Check power supply voltages
with a multimeter.  Use the health monitor to check temps.
Check heatsink & fans.  If it's a generic or very old power
supply, question it's viability- A7N8X needs fairly high 5V
amperage, preferribly a "true" 200W+ 3V+5V capable power
supply should be used.

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Don't ask us, get this data from bios health/hardware page
hen if you can't interpret that data, convey it to us.
There is a health monitor page in the bios, it is accurate
enough to get ballpark temp readings.  If windows freezes
during installation that's a pretty good sign you MUST make
"some" kind of changes before reinstalling windows.  Do not
just try to restart a windows install if it stops, at that
point the windows install itself could be corrupt and you
might not then know if there was still a problem or just
corrupt OS files, or both problems.  

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I think you should reset the bios to defaults by using clear
CMOS jumper while AC power is disconnected.  Afterwards do
NOT change any bios settings unless you know exactly what
the significance of a change is.

If you're using an Athlon XP2700 with 166MHz (DDR333) FSB,
set the bios to that speed if it's not autodetected.  On
that particular board, IIRC, until you change the settings
to manual (which you may not need to) you should simply have
3 or 4 FSB choices, one per 100, 133, 166, and 200 MHz.
Choose that for 166.  As for memory, set it to "100%" of FSB
(or 166MHz/DDR333 depending on how bios is worded), IF it's
PC2700 or higher memory.  PC2100 is not a good match for an
Athlon XP2700, you can set lower memory percentage but it
will hurt performance, 100% (synchronous) memory bus is the
best for an Athlon.  Do not set "turbo" or similarly worded
setting for memory.  You might pull one memory module out to
see if that effects the POST-problem but simply having
correct bios settings might be enough.

You might find that with 1GB of memory, you need manually
relaxed bios settings if the memory isn't stable at the
modules SPD programmed timings.  If auto/SPD memory timings
aren't stable then I'd try 3, 4, 4, 11 and test that with
memtest86 for several hours or till it produces errors (then
stop test and make necessary changes, retest).  Make sure
the memory is stable before installing windows.  

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Unplug any questionable cables (and later if problem
persists, disconnect any/all other accessory parts too) and
retry system.  To get a POST you only need CPU,
heatsink/fan, 1 memory module and video card... no drives or
front panel connectors needed, you can short the power-on
pins with a screwdriver tip to turn it on.  If the case has
a standoff in the wrong spot it could be shorting the board,
but generally it wouldn't post at first, not waiting till
bios changes to fail.

Consult manal for correct cable placement & orientation.
Generally it would not prevent system from POSTing if/when
system did so prior to bios changes.  Battery can indeed
prevent system from POSTing on some similar Asus boards but
I don't know for certain about that one.  

Try changing only the clock in the bios (after clearing
CMOS).  See if system will POST from completely off,
afterwards.  Note whether the clock retained the correct
time, and whether changing _ONLY_ the clock from the
defaults, and saving this, will allow system to rePOST or

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