SCSI Computer problem

DieselDave

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I have had a 2+ year problem with my favorite computer. I am working from my backup machine now but have my main system ready to plug back in when I finish this post. You know if I don't return tonight it's not really fixed.

I have had it in the shop 3 times over the past 18 months for the same problem. Sometimes I can bring it back to life but other times it's off to the shop.

Here we go.
I have a PII 400 with a P2B-S motherboard ("S" is for SCSI) over clocked to something like 800. I have a PCI NIC card, PCI Modem, PCI Sound card, PCI Firewire card, In the video slot I have a Radion 64meg DDR video card, SCSI 160 Hard drive, SCSI Zip drive, SCSI CD ROM, and a regular CD burner.

Here is my problem that nobody can figure out.

Every 3-4 months I go to power up and I have no video. I get the long beep over and over again. The computer boots up normally and I can shut it down using the keyboard once it finishes booting but I have a completely black screen and my monitor light is yellow. I have been able to remove all the cards and unplug every drive and get it back. Sometimes that doesn't work. I took it to the shop the first time and they said my sound card was bad so we replaced the sound card. The second time they said it was my modem so we replaced the modem. This time they said it was my RAM but when he booted the machine before I took it home it did the same old thing. He called me the next day and said the old RAM was fine and it just started working again on its own. I kept the old Modem and Sound card and they are fine as well. It was just coincidence they put in a new Sound card and Modem and it started working. I love SCSI. This sucker is pretty quick so I don’t want to give it up. Any ideas? I am thinking motherboard but who knows.

Thanks

Update:
All the times it quit I would try my spare video card but that never worked.
 

Mutie

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Interesting. I used to have a similar problem with my pentium 1 and a Sony 20" monitor and an Adaptec SCSI card. I believe it may have turned out to be my video card but it was very similar. To fix it I would have to unplug the video cable, turn off the monitor and ground the pins. This was several years ago and all have since died or been upgraded. The monitor finally died about 18 months ago.

I don't know if tht will help but it's may be worth checking.
 

NightStorm

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Doesn't sound like a SCSI problem to me (or modem, or audio card, etc.). What it sounds like is high resistance cause by corrosion on the contacts of the video card (salt air environment). Make sure to drain yourself of static electricity, remove the card and clean the edge contacts with a clean pencil eraser. Otherwise, it could be a driver problem but I doubt it because of it's intermittent nature.

Dan

Oh, when do the beeps occur? During the POST (power-on self test)? During or after boot? Is there a particular pattern to the beeps?
 

Seth

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[ QUOTE ]
DieselDave said:

I have a PII 400 with a P2B-S motherboard ("S" is for SCSI) over clocked to something like 800.

[/ QUOTE ]

Hmmm...
Could it be you raised bus-clock?
This way, your CPU runs faster, but so do your PCI & AGP bus.

Some cards ( and also some boards w/ built-in controllers ) have problems running above spec´s.

If you run WinXP, it might be worth looking at the event-logs.

Hope I could help a bit /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Seth
 

snakebite

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set it back to stock speed and see if the problem goes away.
if the fsb is too high and the divider cannot be set to an apropriate setting the agp/pci buses may be running too high.
sounds like your video card is on the edge.
if the problem goes away i would use a more conservative approach to overclocking.
also look for pregnant capacitors.(tops bulging or domed)
 

Skyline

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I agree with these guys about the overclocking. Go back to stock speed settings and test it over a period of time. If the problem goes away, you have your answer.

Otherwise, I would blame the RAM. Try cleaning the contacts on the RAM with a soft eraser.
 

Stingray

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Try using a PCI video card if the stock speed settings don't solve the problem. Could be the AGP slot.

Are you sure you overclocked a 400 PII to 800? That doesn't sound right to me? I've built probably 30 or 40 machines with the P2B mobo and I don't remember it being able to go to 800. It's been awhile though. iirc the CPU's used to fall slightly out of the slot on those boards sometimes. Try removing and reseating it.
 

DieselDave

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I have tried a PCI Video card on a couple of occasions with no luck. I am going to "unclock" the processor. It came to me overclocked. Now if I can only find the motherboard pamphlet again???

All good suggestions. I appreciate the help. I feel much closer to figuring it out than when I put it in the shop.

It's kinda of funny. I don't use any video, render, build programs, play many games or have a need to chain anything but I just had to get a SCSI machine. If I would have stayed IDE life would be simpler. But, man-oh-man does it run F-22 smoothly. (big deal!)

I have a SCSI machine at work as well, only one out of 50+ new machines at work. I told the boss I just had to have one so they spent double the cost of the others and got it for me. I don't think I will ever get it out of first gear with what I do. It is really fast.

Again,
Thanks for the help. I will let you know next time it dies.
 

Stingray

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I believe that board can be "unclocked" from the bios, you probably don't need the manual. If necessary, you can go to ASUS's website and download a PDF of it there.

I'm pretty sure, but not positive, that board came out before they started including the ability to overclock the CPU without also overclocking everything else as well. If so, you're better off at standard speed anyway.

I might have a P2B manual laying around. I'll check. If I find one, it's yours.
 

DieselDave

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Stingray,
I am pretty sure I still have it. I took it to the shop with me last time I went. I appreciate the offer. The best I remember I have to move a jumper or two. If I can't the book I will find the file on the Asus website, good idea!

Thanks.
 

NightStorm

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Dave,

Next time it acts up, note the beeps because they're error codes and they vary with the BIOS that your machine is using. A quick guide can be found here. Good luck !! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif

Dan
 

Skyline

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Dave,

You're not the only SCSI fanatic. I am as well. I've been running purely SCSI starting in 1998 with my P2/400 machine, and most recently with my newest machine P4/2.4. I'm also running SCSI only here at work. I simply refuse to go back to that silliness, aka IDE. On my 486 system built in 1993, I had four IDE drives. I had three failures!

Right now I'm running an Adaptec 2940U2W with:
Seagate Cheetah 15K.3 36GB (Ultra320)
Seagate Cheetah 10K 9GB (Ultra2)
Plextor Plexwriter 412 CD-RW (SCSI)
Plextor 32CS CD-ROM (Ultra)

Actually, I've recently gotten into video rendering. Boy am I glad I have those Cheetahs! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Good luck with your machine!
 

DieselDave

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I have the same hardrivees. Ultra160's at home, Ultra 320's at work. Both Cheetah's.

I got EIDE on my Plexwriter. I couldn't justify the cost and I was right. I have used my burner about 5 times in the last 18 months.

I would like to get into rendering but haven't found the time to learn.
 

DieselDave

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Thanks. I will walk softly around my case until the evil demon pops his head back up. I will then remove the side and dispose of this vermon once and for all. Overclocking is not my friend, I am really starting to believe that's my problem. (one of many actually but let's not get into my personal life)
 

Skyline

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[ QUOTE ]
DieselDave said:
I would like to get into rendering but haven't found the time to learn.

[/ QUOTE ]

www.vcdhelp.com is your friend. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

A friend records Farscape on his ATI All In Wonder 9700PRO into 3.9GB MPEG2 and sends that to me. I've been using VirtualDub and DivX Pro 5.0.3 to render down to a really high quality 700MB file that fits on a single CD-R. The funny thing is the DivX result looks better than the original, due to their pre-processing and psychovisual filtering. Fun fun fun!
 

DieselDave

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How long did it take to render?

Good story: I have a friend (believe it or not) that builds interactive animation video for a living. He works out of is house. We were in a squadron together several years back. We both still live in Pensacola. He was contacted by another friend about a Navy project he might want to bid on here in Pensacola. The Navy needed a helicopter video built. It had to show a helicopter going down at sea, turning over and filling with water. It had to have a 360 degree all angle pan as well as zoom. It was needed for a helo egress trainer program. He decided to go ahead and bid for the project even though he had never done any government bidding. He ended up being the low bidder and got the contract. He worked on it at night and weekends for about 5 months. It has birds, waves, fish wind, clouds, and some other stuff not required in the contract but he added them for fun. When he did the render it took 8 days running 24 hours a day of 100% CPU usage and his gear is studly. After 5 days he was scared it wouldn’t finish. Well, it finally did to his great relief. He delivered the product and they loved it. He bid this job for $25,000 and won. There was only one other bidder. It was a large company out of CA. and their bid was $180,000. He almost choked when he found out how badly he had underbid. It turned into a lot more work than he had envisioned plus he was scared to bid any higher because he really wanted the job. He is happy with the results, the Navy is happy and he made a little cheese
 

DieselDave

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Well it didn't take long for it to die again. I just finished reading about my jumper settings so I can "unclock" the beast. I am signing off now. If I am not back in 15 minutes you know "unclocking" was not the answer. This is the fastest it's ever gone down. The back-up machine I am on may soon lose it's second fiddle status. It may get called up to the "bigs" if I don't have any luck tonight.

DD
 

Skyline

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Woops, didn't see your question till now. Sorry 'bout that.

The amount of time it takes depends on whether I do a single pass or multiple passes. A single pass for one hour of video takes a little over an hour. I've settled on doing five passes though, and as you would guess, it takes a bit less than five hours (each pass is quicker). In each successive pass, the algorithm takes advantage of calculations performed in the previous round. Between four and six passes, the resulting video file has near optimal bit distribution. Interesting stuff actually!

I've managed to save a bit of processing time and manage a higher video bit rate by editing out commercials. By reducing the input from 1 hour to 44 minutes 6 seconds, more bits are available for better video. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

I just finished processing the next to last episode of Farscape. It still amazes me that the 700MB DivX result looks so much better than the 3.9GB MPEG2 source.

/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Btw, your 15 minutes are up. Fixed I hope!
 

DieselDave

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Skyline, thanks for the response.

The good news is I am on the new big leaguer. No luck with CPR on the SCSI machine. It is not over clocked anymore for whatever that may do for me in the future. It is now a back burner item until I can get about 3 hours to really get into the guts. I think my next try will be a new SCSI ribbon cable. Oh well, on to bigger and better things and thanks for all the good input.
 
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