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CRASHED! A topic for SEVERE and immediate Hardware and Operating System FAILURES. We will try to get you up again. NOT for Optimization questions!


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Old 23rd August, 2005, 01:49 PM
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BIOS: CPU clock problem Epox 8KTA3Pro/AMD

Hello folks, hope you guys can help me out with this one since it's been cracking me up for a while already. I've Googled for info but this wasn't sufficient for me. Basically the problem is this:

I can not get the CPU clock rating in the BIOS up to what it should be, i.e. 133 MHz. Only things I can choose from is 100 - 123 MHz in 1 Mhz steps.

My question to you basically is to provide me with some advice as what to do. Is there a possibility I can get this board back to normal working order - maybe I am just overlooking some simple thing, or I'd better run to the shop and buy a new one...

Tech info
Board: EPOX 8KTA3Pro
BIOS: brand new chip with bios release April 9th 2003 (8k203409.bin)
CPU: AMD Thunderbird 1,33 GHz
RAM: 2x 512Mb pc133 + 1x 128 Mb pc133
Vid: ASUS V7100 combo deluxe 32Mb

Eleborate info
This is what happened: I had this board still lying around unused. Since I was in desperate need of a replacement for my PIII-1Ghz/512Mb server I decided to take this board mainly because of the big amount of memory I could put in there. Anyway, when I started working on this project I realised that I never had updated the Bios on the board, so I decided to go ahead with that first. By the way, although not much used recently, the whole system was in perfect working condition when I started.

So I went to the Epox website, downloaded the appropriate file for my board and went ahead flashing it....wrong! At like 89% something went wrong and I couldn't boot anymore. I got stuck at the Bootblock thingy at which you can restore your system if only you're that lucky to have a floppy drive installed (or even have that ancient disks lying around). I decided to go the easy way and ordered a newly flashed PLCC chip.

Then I went on changing some other parts to reduce the terrible amount of noise the system made due to all ancient fans. I've installed a new 430 Watts power supply, Aerocool HT-100 CPU fan, Zallman passive northbride cooling and 3x 80mm/1000rpm case fans.

The problem I described earlier first popped up when I tried to reboot my newly build system. While booting I noticed the system running at 100 Mhz x 10 (default) multiplier = 1000 MHz and an FSB speed of 200 MHz.
Still thinking this was just an option I still had to set in the bios I went ahead and loaded into the bios. All settings in the bios turned out to be fine, my dram speed was set at auto sensing, but me putting it at 100 or 133 Mhz didn't make any difference (i.e. at auto sensing it would be good at 133). My CPU clock speed however was set at 100 MHz - this I knew from building this system first time about 5 years ago, I had to set at 133 MHz, so in combination with the default multiplier of 10 my system would run at it's normal speed 1,333 Ghz. As described at the beginning, I can only choose from 100 - 123 MHz in steps of 1 MHz.

Possible problems
My search on the web wasn't good enough for a solution as I told you, but nevertheless I want to share my thoughts concerning possible problems:

* I've read somewhere a post from a guy describing this same kind of problem what supposedly was/could be caused by an empty/faulty cmos battery. As my system had been turned off and roughly unused for about 2 years this can be my problem too. I however humbly think this can't be the cause of my problem - my settings (bios) are all remembered like they should, an empty cmos battery would make my bios forget all settings everytime I power down I presume. I however didn't check or replace my cmos battery.

* I've noticed at least two of the capaciters near the CPU on the motherboard are nearly 'blown'. I know this is a not so very uncommon problem, but I am not sure what the consequences of it are.

* When I installed the new CPU cooler I (stupid as I am) put a WHOLE lot of silver paste/thermal grease on my CPU! And yes not just a big drip, I think I covered the whole die with 2mm of paste Anyway I can imagine the thermal grease having reached parts of the CPU's smaller components shortcutting certain circuits there.

* As I've had my new PLCC bios chip reflashed with the latest bios, maybe this is not appropriate anymore for my 'older' system. On the other side this would be very strange because I'm 100% sure I've got the right bios file from Epox itself for my type of board. Strange enough though I can't seem to find my old bios file, not even in the archive, on the manufacturers website.

Aye, well this should do it I think Input appreciated!
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Last edited by gagware; 5th September, 2007 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 27th August, 2005, 07:32 PM
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Welcome To AOA's Forums, gagware!

I apologize for the lag in response time in helping you with your questions. Heads will roll, have no fear.

If the board has bulging electrolytic capacitors, working with it is a waste of time. If you or a friend/repair shop can replace the guilty caps, the m'board becomes worthwhile. Otherwise, pull the BIOS chip to save for good luck and deep six this mainboard.

Nowadays, it's best for all RAM modules to be identical. Mixing 512 Mb's and 128 Mb's isn't good policy, however it may not be a problem with the 8KTA3Pro. It looks like you're doing your best to save money, good on you!
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