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CPU Speed changes ?!?! (800->400) and machine doesn't shutdown/restart

Hi, here's my home machine's spec:
OS: W2K Pro, sp3
HW: P3-800EB on ASUS CUSL2-C with 512MB RAM
    ATI 3D RAGE PRO AGP x2 (8MB), HP 940c printer
    ESS ES56PI-H modem card, 3Com 10/100 NIC (disabled in windows)

The problems:
1. Half the times, on startup, it says "Intel(R) Pentium(R) III 800EB Processor" and it continues to load.
In the other half of times - I says 400MHz instead and automatically goes to the BIOS setup screen and says the cpu speed is incorrect...
It selects 800 automatically so I just save and exit and its ok till the next time...
The machine is 2 years old. What can cause it? can the BIOS battery be dead?
* One more little clue - I have a probe utility from asus to see cpu temp - sometimes this app loses contact with the hardware and says "N/A" - when this happens I know that the next reboot will be "400MHz"

2. When soft rebooting/shuting down it sometimes get stuck and doesn't reboot/shutdown.
When its stuck the screen shows like blank full-screen character mode with blinking cursor at (0,0)

Thanx in advance,

1 Solution
If you wanted to check the battery,( make sure you note a BIOS settings that are not default) take the CMOS battery out of the computer and test it with a battery tester.  If the battery is dying, replace it with the same exact type.

I have found that CMOS batteries are generally good for about 3 years
yakov_bAuthor Commented:
One more little thing...
I have an old burner (HP 9100 x4 or something like that) that I tried to install but couldn't.
The BIOS couldn't identify it and it like disturbed it from identifying the other CD and HD (wrote some crap ("!@?#?#?$$" like) on the screen and hang) so I disabled it in the BIOS.
After it was disabled in the BIOS the machine did load just for 2-3 times and suprisingly w2k identified the burner!!
But, as I said, it was 2 or 3 times and then the machine stopped loading again and I've physically removed it to use in another machine.

Any connection to the cpu change? I think it was before the burner issuse but I'm not sure...

Thanx in advance,
Yes, this can be a connection, this can happen on Asus boards with an incomplete Post operation.  On Asus boards, the Bios monitors the post operation, if it fails for some reason it goes straight in to the Processor Speed selection portion of the Bios.  They do this to make overclocking easier, so that if you end up with a situation where the machine won't post it'll drop it to the lowest FSB (66mhz) and give you a selection screen.  When your old Burner wouldn't detect correctly it may have disrupted the Post operation, or if you reset the machine to enter the Bios while it was still in the Post operation the same can happen.

Now, if this is still happening after you removed the burner something else is wrong, like a dead battery.  One way to see if it's the battery is to check the clock, if it's loosing time, or waaay off your battery is likely dying.  Whether or not your battery if dead or fine, you still may want to give your whole Bios a reset, go in to the Bios selection and look for a way to reset back to default settings (I happen to have a Cusl2-c as well, but it's hard to jump in to the Bios while writing this to tell you exactly where it is.)

Also, your temp monitoring situation could be part of it as well.  Personaly I don't run the Asus monitor, so I'm not sure if it signals anything back to the motherboard, but if it does it may be the cause.  I'd try disabling the software.  Also, being your 3Com 10/100 nic is disabled in windows anyway, you might think about removing that as well, if it makes a difference, then you know, if not then no harm done.
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yakov_bAuthor Commented:
stretchsp, can it be the battery that causes all the problems?
What should I measure (V or A) and how much should it be ?
yakov_bAuthor Commented:
matguy, thanx for the pointers - will check.
You want to measure Voltage for a motherboard battery, they should probably be around 3v, ranging from 3.6v to 3.0v, but if it's 2.5v figure it's dead.

Amps won't tell you anything, and likely the amperage the motherboard pulls from the battery while the machine is off is going to be hard to measure in itself as it's so low (otherwise the battery wouldn't last long at all.)
If the battery didn't fix the problem...

I would update to the newest BIOS from ASUS' site found here:


If that doesn't work you probably have a failing Motherboard.
yes mr yakov.... it is possiblites of the battery.... so you have to change this.....this is normal 3v cell battery which you are using in watches...so do not be afraid .... :)

yakov_bAuthor Commented:
Thanx everyone for the comments, I'll change the bat in a day or two and let u know whats goin on.
No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:
Accept matguy's comment as the answer.
Please leave any comments here within the next four days.


Radomir Jordanovic
EE Cleanup Volunteer

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