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Award BIOS Not Displaying RAM Test


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#1 Pixelated_Nate

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 07:46 PM

I recently rebuilt an old PC from around 1998 or so. I fitted it with an MSI MS6167 with 700MHz Slot A Athlon as the main processor. I'm very pleased with how it turned out and can't wait to use it as a Windows 98 gaming PC, but there's one issue with it. When I power it on, everything starts up like normal; the HDD spins up and I get the Nvidia RIVA TNT BIOS screen for a split second, then I see the BIOS. Everything looks fine, I get one "All-Clear" beep and...nothing else. It shows the BIOS version, Energy Star Logo, and main processor, but there's no RAM test afterwards, it just gets stuck. I read the manual for the board and found that it "Only Supports PC100 RAM," yet it seems to power on just fine with the 128MB PC133 stick I put in it. Is this just some type of indication that I'm using the wrong type of RAM? I've never seen a computer do this, usually when there's a RAM issue it shouldn't power on at all and should give the constant beeping, indicating a RAM issue.

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Just to clear up some stuff:

Yes, I have a cooler on the CPU. Its a Vantec slot cooler I I got for about $15 on ebay

No, I can't access the BIOS utility at all, it just gets stuck.

Yes, I've tried multiple keyboards, none of them work

No, I have not replaced the PSU. The one I have in there is a 245W Frontier Source PSU, that might actually be the issue as AMD CPU's tend to use more power than Intel CPU's

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BIOS Version is:

Award Modular BIOS v6.00PG, dated 1999

 

I just need some help, I really want to get this thing working. Any help given will be heavily appreciated.

Attached File  IMG_20170914_194701.jpg   165.25KB   1 downloads



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#2 Platypus

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 08:13 PM

It is possible that a board designed for PC100 RAM may fail to operate with PC133. Unless a clear different cause can be identified, the only way to be 100% sure would be to try some known good PC100 memory.

Two other possibilities (besides the PSU) occur to me - boards of that era can have electrolytic capacitor faults, and a possible inability to work properly with some nVidia cards, although displaying the TNT BIOS and POST text seems to indicate that's probably not the problem.

You could try booting up without the video card and see what difference that makes to the startup beep, and inspect the electrolytic caps for any sign of leaking, bulging etc. Caps can be faulty without showing visible symptoms though.

https://www.badcaps.net/index.php?pageid=identity

Edited by Platypus, 24 September 2017 - 08:14 PM.

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#3 Pixelated_Nate

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 10:39 PM

Sorry this reply is VERY late, but I can see no bad caps or anything on the board. I'm just hoping that the BIOS itself isn't corrupted in some way. That was sadly the case with the old Intel PII board it had.






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