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Retro Build - can't pass POST - only sealed hardware used


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#1 NETSCAPE

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 06:17 PM

The Mission:

Build a Windows 98 gaming machine using original boxed and sealed hardware. Everything below is NEW unless specified otherwise.

 

The Build: 

OS: Windows 98SE 

Case/PSU: GAUSS SM307M (250w PSU included)

Mobo: Intel SE440BX-2

Processor: Slot 1 Pentium III @ 733MHz with 133MHz Bus

RAM: PNY 256MB PC100/133 (4 stick available)

Video Card: ATI Rage 128PRO 32MB (PCI)

Sound Card: SoundBlaster 16 PCI (CT4810)

HDD: Maxtor 15GB 7200RPM (51536H3)

Optical: Creative Blaster 52x (MK4108)

Monitor: Sony Trinitron CRT (used)

KB/Mouse: Generic Microsoft

Speakers: IBM (used)

 

Where I'm at:

The system has been built. PSU, CPU and intake fans all start. During the POST process I receive an error beep code: 1-4-3-3. According to this site: http://www.bioscentral.com/beepcodes/phoenixbeep.htm the code description is: "Autosize the Cache". I have attempted to move the jumper plug from it's "normal" position to the "configure" position in hopes to set the Processor speed ect. However, this results in the same error beep code. 

 

I should also note at this point that my monitor receives no signal from the ATI Rage card. I am assuming that since the POST can't pass, no signal is even being sent from my video card technically. And hitting the num/caps/scroll lock keys don't light up, another sign that I am not passing POST. I have 2 VGA compatible monitors, both were tested with my laptop and work. I have tried various DIMM combinations too.

 

A bit of Bro Science:

If you look up the Intel manual for the SE440BX-2 (listed below) you will come across all sorts of information that would contradict my build due to apparent compatibility issues. Examples of this would be the small DIMM sizes and the slower Processor speeds listed as supported/compatible by Intel. However, after some digging into really old forums from around the Y2K era it became apparent to me that people were throwing in non-coppermine processors far exceeding 450MHz (up to the fastest Pentium III's) as well as using DIMM's that were double the size than what was officially listed as Intel as supported/compatible - and they worked. Technology was moving so insanely fast during this era that at the time Intel listed the supported DIMM size and Processor speeds ect, it would have been outdated by the time the motherboards started shipping! And the support list would have definitely been outdated a year later! I wanted to include this tid-bit just in case someone googles my motherboard, checks the specs or even reads the manual and sees that my Pentium III speed or DIMM size exceeds the manufactures supported hardware list. I found different numbers on different sites actually which was quite confusing. All that said, perhaps my issue is the 133MHz bus speed of my Pentium III. Maybe I need 100MHz bus speed, regardless of the main clock speed. Maybe I screwed up on that one... The only other thread I could find in regards to my issue is found here: http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-3141157/intel-se440bx-beep-codes.html

 

Though I have built systems in recent years, a retro project has required some deep digging indeed... Just because I grew up gaming in the 90's doesn't mean I learned anything about computer hardware from that era :)

 

Intel SE440BX-2 manual: (ironically mine only came with the quick reference manual, lame!)

http://hamblen.ece.gatech.edu/489X/mbdman/Prod_Guide.pdf

 

Thank you for taking any time to help me on my Windows 98 quest.  

 

 

 



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#2 mightywiz

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 03:53 PM

looking at the manual for that mother board it only supports up to a pentium II, not a pentium III.



#3 NETSCAPE

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 08:19 PM

looking at the manual for that mother board it only supports up to a pentium II, not a pentium III.

 

Well the front side bus speed is the issue I'm pretty sure. But with the proper BIOS, faster processors (P.III) can be used. But if I can't even post to reach BIOS I need to get a slower cpu for that purpose. I'm about to pull the trigger on a P.II 400MHz with 100Mhz FSB... what's most crucial and where I realize I messed up is the fact that my P.III 733 has a FSB speed of 133MHz while my mobo is 100MHz...so I'll hold on to the P.III for a "faster" build in the future.. 



#4 NETSCAPE

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 10:13 PM

I was just cleaning up this project from my table(s) and found an insert that I had missed! The insert came with my motherboard and lists Pentium III's from 450-600MHz as supported, but of course with 100MHz bus only... 






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