computer starting (booting) problem

By lapis
Aug 28, 2006
  1. Hi,

    I have pentium class machine with amd k5-pr 100 processor, san li sl-586v motherboard with 16mb 72pin ram installed, cirrus logic pci video card, 200W AT PSU, quantum HD, floppy and cd-rom drive. I use that computer as auxilliary machine at home.
    Few months ago I added a 32mb pc100 sdram chip, but it was recognised as 8mb chip. Last month i realised that motherboard does not supports ram of that kind, because it supports only edoram chips (two pairs of 72pin and 168pin 3.3v or 5v). At that time computer caused a problem. It didn't boot up. As I can remember there was no beep at startup and post messages, monitor stayed blank, hd spun up properly also cpu fan, but I can't remember how keyboard and tower leds behaved. I took the computer parts apart and put it back together again with no effect. I also turned it on and off few times. It seems I had luck just one time without sdram chip, I heard silent post beep and computer started normally with win 98se. When I turned it off previously described story repeated. I also tried reseting cmos, but still no success. Then I put back in slot sdram chip and I gave up messing around computer for two weeks. When I turned it on this time it worked normally again. I reconfigured bios and machine was giving no signals of any trouble, but ...
    One day at the begining of august I was writing a report, when time for lunch came. When returned, computer didn't respond at anything even reset switch didn't. I waited for an hour and nothing changed, so I turned it off, waited for moment and turned it back on. This time I noticed some strange things. Firstly hd didn't spin up, I immediatlly turned off computer and pull out power and ide connectors preventing possible further hd damage.
    I had had problems with that hd two years ago while it had erased itself and had been making clicking noise, but I recoved it and it 's working fine for half year now. During a year and a half I had booted from floppy drive as many times as possible, so I know how computer behave without hd. Lets go back to the story.
    When I started computer that time with cd-rom as primary slave and floppy drive, I heared strange sound coming out of cd-rom unit, I had never heared before. That seemed suspicious to me, so I took out hd to test it on my p4 computer and it worked fine with windows fully operating.
    Then I started research with non operating computer. I noticed some very strange symptoms. All keyboard leds are blinking randomly, sometimes once or three times in a row or even more. Power led is turned on as usually, ide led turns off, i say, after 30 seconds, turbo led stays off. PSU and CPU fan run normally. CD drive is making noise, when i turn on computer or when the tray gets closed. I also "removed" it, but still no effect.
    I also removed single component (ram, video, floppy, cpu,...), but I get no beep. Only without cpu floppy is making noise, as if it tries to read the disk. Normally speaker beeps if there is no cpu present, I tested that years ago. There is no video signal anytime.
    I start this thread, because I haven't traced similar problem before and I wish to have two computers in case of trouble with newer one.
  2. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat TS Evangelist Posts: 2,154   +6

    I'm thinking perhaps it is the PSU.
  3. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    I'm thinking memory incompatibilities.
  4. lapis

    lapis TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I suspect PSU,too.
    Is it possible a MB or Cpu problem? I found out that cpu swings on a resistor or some kind of electronic element in the center of the socket. I will try to get a compatible cpu first then I drop by.
    I want to find out what keyboard blinking leds signal mean?
  5. lapis

    lapis TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I found solution, but new problem has appeared. I got used PSU yesterday, computer booted, until "keyboard is locked out - unlock the key" error message appeared. I 'll start a new thread.
    So, keyboard blinking leds had inticated that mb continuously reset itself, while there was not corect 12v voltage, also hd couldn't spin up, because there was not enough power to hd spinning motor. If ide cable to hd was disconnected hd tried to spun up, but couldn't. If ide was connected properly, mb prevented hd to start, because it also did not changed "power good signal" level. Be aware, it was AT power supply.
    I hope this thread will solve similar problems in future.
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