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new computer blues

Discussion in 'Recording' started by tundrkys, Mar 4, 2002.

  1. tundrkys

    tundrkys Guest

    I know that this is not the best system in the world, but I have monetary issues(read wife and kids) that I also have to deal with.
    In december, I bought a gigaabyte GA-7IXE motherboard and 900mhz athlon cpu (slot A). It has the AMD 751/756 chipset. I installed 256M 133mhz memory, a western digital 40gb hardrive, a V.90 pci modem, and my old soundblaster AWE64 Gold soundcard. I have also installed windows 98se, and that's it. I set all the jumpers myself, edited the bios, and checked and rechecked both many times. I have been to the Gigabyte website, downloaded the updated drivers, blah,blah,blah all that stuff. Everything would work just fine, and then all of a sudden, it would just shut down on me. like someone pushed the reset button or something.
    A friend told me that it might be bad memory, so I bought some more, and the same thing happend. Both times I had installed 133mhz memory, even though this motherboard doesn't support 133mhz FSB(that's one of the reasons it was so cheap I am sure.) So I went inot my drawer and found some 100mhz memory, installed it and the same thing would happen. I changed the powersupply, the modem, the soundcard, still the same thing. With the money I already spent, I could have had a 2+ gigahertz motherboard like Opus. But no I am stuck with this. Here is the funny part. Today, I finally got a hold of gigabyte, and told them it was their problem(to no avail), and my other Pc just did the same thing to me. It is a 300mhz amd k6-2, that I had been using for five or six years, that this has never hapened on. The only thing that these machines have in common is win98se. before,I was just using win98, maybe that is the problem, I don't know I will have to do some more looking. but if any of you have an idea that might help, please let me know.
  2. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    I'd figure out a way to check out the power at your house and those outlets. Also, take the computer to a friend's house or to work or something, and get it up and running to see if the same thing happens. Is there anything other than your house's power supply that the two computers share?
  3. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    Hey Tun - You didn't mention how often this happens, and intermittent is the nastiest 4-letter word in the tech world - so this may take a while. Also, when you say "reset button", am I correct in assuming that your machine reboots itself but doesn't actually shut off? Here are some possibilities: There is one other thing your two machines probably have in common - power. In most areas of the US lately I keep hearing of brownouts, rolling blackouts, etc. - Even if your lights didn't blink when the "reset" occurred, maybe you have a bad connection somewhere. The most likely places for this are wall sockets, power strips, bad extension cords, etc. One thing to check is how tight the cords plug into their sockets. If you have a loose fitting male, it can be helped by unplugging the male, holding the two flat prongs against a piece of wood, and inserting the point of a slim knife blade between the two leaves of each prong to spread them. This makes the prong fit tighter in the socket. Some newer male power connectors are solid, so they can't be spread. In this case the female needs to be replaced. I don't know what your level of experience is, but if you have any doubts don't mess with the power in the wall - can you say "krispy kritter"? If you feel comfortable working on this part (and you found a loose wall socket) one trick I use when working alone is one of the newer extension cords that has a neon light in the female end so you know when it's plugged in. You can plug the cord into the socket, make sure the light is on, then drag the lit end to the electrical panel and flip breakers off til the light goes out. If there's anyone else in the house at the time (especially wives and kids) make sure there's someone guarding the breaker box (preferably someone you owe money to, hehe) Replacing a wall plug isn't hard, but don't buy one of the cheapo's that let you just push the wires in the back - the contacts on those suck, and will overheat if you plug in something heavy, like a heater. Get the ones that have screw terminals on the side, and hook it up like the old one, make sure the connection is good and tight, scruntch the wires back into the box,(that was a technical term) screw the outlet and cover back on, flip the breaker back on, and you're done.

    Speaking of breakers, are there other appliances on the same circuit as your computer(s)? Things like a refrigerator cause spikes in the power every time they turn on/off. Maybe you refrigerator switching (thermostat) is getting flaky and causing worse spikes than normal. Two cheap ways of checking this: Cheapest - plug the refrig into a different circuit with an extension cord (make sure it really is a different circuit) Next cheapest - get a NEW, mid-priced or better surge protector and plug the computers into it. The one you're already using doesn't count, because the MOV's that are used in surge protectors have a limited # of spikes they can absorb, then they die and need replaced.
    Sometimes power bumps can be fast enough that you don't see lights blink, but they may still reset a computer. This is not real common, but has happened. If the power checks above don't reveal anything, see if you can borrow a UPS from a friend. Plug one of the machines into the UPS, the other directly into the wall, power both up and see if one glitches and the other doesn't. To make matters worse, sometimes borderline conditions will cause one component to glitch and not the one next to it. For example, a 1 or 2 cycle loss of power may cause one computer to reboot, but not the other one - but a 2 or 3 cycle loss may cause one machine to dump every time, the other one only sometimes. Depends on things like size and filtering of power supply, load on the supply, sensitivity to voltage swings on the MoBo itself, and (with MY luck) something nobody would ever think of. Post back if none of this helps, and even if it does, let us know... Steve
  4. tundrkys

    tundrkys Guest

    Yes when I was speaking of resting, the computer would just go off then come back on by itself.
    I will try to figure out a way to check my house power, I'll use some of the things you mentioned, thanks.

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