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ATI All-In-Wonder PCI, no boot. BIOS problem?

Posted on 2000-03-02
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Last Modified: 2013-11-08
Trying to upgrade a AST Bravo MS PC.
(It already has 233MHz Pentium upgrade and is running Win 95. PCI is V2.1).
The PC has onboard Cirrus Logic/Mach64 with 1MB which is slow so I bought an ATI All-In-Wonder 16MB PCI (Rage 128) card.

Problem is with ATI card inserted I have no monitor signal from either monitor port. BIOS doesn't seem to get as far as memory test (I do hear the hard disk spin-up, but that is it).

I tried:
1. Checked AST web support. Motherboard is supposed to auto disable onboard video support when a external card is detected. No documented jumpers or overrides to ensure mach64 is disabled.
2. Only BIOS video settings are to switch between VGA/EGA, Colour 80, and Mono. I tried the first and last.
3. Each of 2 PCI slots.
4. Power supply switched to 240V via transformer (I normally run the 110V setting on 100V Tokyo power with no problems).
5. Removed AH1520B ISA scsi card
6. Removed top 32MB of memory taking the machine back down to 64MB to ensure no memory window problem.
7. Disconnected IDE disk from controller 1 in case there was interrupt conflict.
8. Tried without the ATI card and the machine is still working.

So I think I am left with 1 final straw to grasp. Will it help to download a ISACU or NVRAM erasing utility from the AST support site? I am afraid to use said utility because I don't really know what it will do and I have previously had a lot of trouble with Win95 and the onboard Crystal Audio CS4232 sound card (which is currently working).

Any other suggestion?

Otherwise I am back to the shop with the card but it may not be easy as I don't speak Japanese and it was bought from the 2nd hand section of the store (software on installation CD is software dated as recently as last October so it isn't that 2nd hand!).
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Question by:oskelton
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Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 2576748
1) The card needs to be tested in another machine to ensure that it actually good.
2) If you want to erase the NVRAM - simply make sure that you use print-screen or manually list all the present settings. Then you have nothing to fear if you start from scratch.
3) If the card is OK, it simply may not be compatible with your motherboard. Try a different brand ( From the same used computer store- he should not object to trade - 1 for 1 ).
I hope this helps.
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Expert Comment

by:sorgie
ID: 2577930
You say the computer was already upgraded to 233?

What was the old processor and what socket type is the MB.
Alot of old socket fives and some real early socket 7 have 2.0 complaint PCI
I have one and some card even when they say they will work Won't.
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Author Comment

by:oskelton
ID: 2578598
Adjusted points to 100
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Author Comment

by:oskelton
ID: 2578599
Thanks for the comments.

SysExpert: Yes, getting the card checked is obviously desireable. A colleague says the shop may test it for a fee. The shop also sells the cards new so they may let me trade up if the board is faulty. I hope to stick to ATI brand because I know their installation CDs and manuals are in english and I have already researched their products on the web.

I am not sure what is stored in NVRAM. BIOS settings? (I have already recorded these). Some PnP info? (I don't know how to view, set, or list that.

--

Yes to Sorgie: It is a socket 5 motherboard which had a Pentium 100mHz.
The board was supposed to support up to 166 or 200 (I forget which) but could go to 233 with Powerleap.

I was previously thinking of buying a firewire card and found a checker program at a manufacturers site which reported the PCI as V2.1.
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Author Comment

by:oskelton
ID: 2587322
I am fairly new here: I think that I can't give anyone points unless they 'answer'.

Before I take the board back for checking I would like to make sure I have exhausted the other options.

So I guess most likely situation is incompatability between the card and the BIOS. The BIOS is probably disabling the onboard Mach64 because neither monitor out gives anything and the boot doesn't proceed(?). That would leave a resource conflict.

There is this question of nvram, ISA configuration Utility etc. Right now I haven't got the ISACU I got to work. I may be barking up the wrong tree here as this seems to be a DOS program for non PnP OS.
The AST CLEARNVS program says don't use it unless you have installed ISACU - so I have hesitated here.

I also have been assuming that the ATI Mach64 drivers installed in Win95 are not relevant to a problem getting the BIOS to start the boot process so I haven't de-installed anything from CtrlPanel-System... but maybe I misunderstand PnP?

I can borrow an ISA ATI Graphics Pro Turbo card from my Atari if that can help somehow.

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Accepted Solution

by:
SysExpert earned 400 total points
ID: 2587786
If you have written down all the options, you can clean the BIOS NVRAm and reboot, this should load the BIOS defaults and may solve your problem. The W95 drivers do not have anything to do with this. Strictly BIOS and your SVGA card/motherboard.

Regarding how to give points, there should be an option that says - accept comment as answer - this is the standard way of handling answers, since the moment you put in an ANSWER it locks the question. So comments are the standard mode of operation. If you have any questions, you should read the FAQ etc here on how to use the different options. If you get stuck, you can leave your problem in the Community Support at the very bottom of the home page.  I hope this helps.
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Author Comment

by:oskelton
ID: 2599979
Tried clearing nvram. Didn't help.
Also tried disabling mouse, audio,
parallel port in BIOS in case of resource conflict. Didn't help.
AIW card tested in store - did work.
Concluded BIOS incompatability which I can't get around. Gave up and returned card to store. End of saga.
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