Thursday, June 09, 2005

Story of no display

This is a new story.

The problem reported : No display

C0nfiguration : Celeron 1 GHz, on an intel 810e based Abit motherboard, 128 MB SD RAM, 20GB Seagate HDD, 52x Samsung CDROM Drive running Windows 98.

No visible faults were found on the motherboard. The power supply fan and the CPU fan were both working. No beep form the system to indicate the successful completion of POST and there is no disply. The HDD access indicator is on.

Naturally, the first suspect was the system memory. Just to rule out he possibility of any peripheral making a short on the system, removed all the connections except the motherboard power and the monitor and restarted the system.

No difference observed. Then removed the memory and restarted and looked for any error beeps from the speaker. There were no beeps. Not even the usual click sound.

Checked the memory and CPU on another similar system. Both are working fine. CHecked the monitor also for any possible problem. that is also working.

Now the two remaining suspects are the onboard display and the motherboard itself. As there is no error beeps for indication, it was not possible to find out the real problem. The only option left was to ask the customer to replace the motherboard.

Before telling him the same, I got an urge to just remove the battery powering CMOS as a last resort. Just took the battery out, cleaned, put it back and restarted the system.

Viola! It started working. After making the required changes in the set up, the system booted and worked fine without any problems?

I am not sure exatly why it happened. Can anybody explain?

Monday, May 30, 2005

ഒരു പഴയ കഥ An Old Story

ഇതു കുറേക്കാലം മുന്പു നടന്നതാണ്. എന്നാലും എഴുതാം.

Problem Reported :- Windows98 installation got corrupt and unable to reinstall Windows on the computer. Many people tried and failed. All of them suggested replacing the motherboard.

Configuration: AMD K6-2 CPU on a Via chipset Motherboard, 64MB SDRAM, 8.4GB Seagate HDD, Samtron 55E Monitor.

No visible faults were found on the motherboard. POST takes place properly. So it is clear that the problem is not a very serious one. Partitioned and formatted the hard disk. It worked fine. Started loading Windows98 from the CD. Installation progressed to around 60% and then it showed a message 'unable to read from the installation package' and then the installation terminated.
As the installation CD was original one there was no doubt about it. Still tried to copy it to another system and it copied without any problem. Then copied it on the problem system using Xcopy command of DOS. That too worked fine.
Again tried the installtion. This time the installation completed but after restarting Windows did not come up. It showed the Windows boot screen and then hanged.
Tried to restart in Safe mode. That too did not work. Again tried the installation. This time after restarting Windows logon screen came up but after logging on the dreaded Blue Screen appeared.
From all these it is clear that the real problem is with the memory. Just to rule out the possiblity of any HDD fault, tried it on another system. It worked fine. Checked the RAM also on another system. That too worked fine. Tried other combinations with the IDE cables also. That too was fine.
The final doubt fell on the L2 cache on the Motherboard. Disabled it from Setup and tried to reinstall Windows. Everything worked fine this time. It just seemed a bit slow.
After this system worked fine for more than three years without any problem after which they exchanged it for a new one.

Friday, May 27, 2005

തുടക്കം The Beginning

Here, I wish to post about some small but interesting things in computer troubleshooting, mainly hardware. hope this may be useful for at least few people.
കംപ്യുട്ടറിനെ സംബന്ധിച്ച ചില ചെറിയ രസകരമായ കാര്യങ്ങള്‍ - ഇതു ചിലര്‍ക്കെങ്കിലും ഉപകരിച്ചേക്കുമെന്നു തോന്നുന്നു.