Okay this is the situation right from the start. I picked up an ASUS A7N266-VM motherboard (onboard video & sound) and an Athlon XP 1800+ (Thoroughbred 1.5 GHz) and a 256 MB stick of Micron PC2100 RAM CAS 2.5.
Now I’ve installed all of this equipment into a brand new case along with the hard drive from the old computer. Boot everything up, start installing the operating system (Windows 98 SE) and all the relevant drivers. I’m almost finished with this process when I decide to update the BIOS to the newest version. This is where all the problems started. Something screwed up during the BIOS update, I’m not sure what but I think it had to do with the computer screwing up while restarting. You remember how Windows 98 wouldn’t always shut down correctly, same thing here. I had updated the BIOS through the ASUS update utility in Windows. (I’ve used this same utility for my computer and never had any trouble).
Now the computer restarts and the display is corrupted in MS-DOS through the POST screen and into the loading of Windows. There are colors blocks through out the top half of the screen. Of course Windows doesn’t load and instead kicks out with a general production error and your computer needs to be restarted. I’m not sure what the exact wording of the error was but it popped up immediately after the Windows 98 splash screen.
I’m still calm at this time, so I reboot with a boot disk and re-flash the BIOS in DOS back to the original version. The computer loads up fine, everything is working perfectly. Then I get cocky thinking I know what screwed up last time I can do it right this time. I again re-flash the BIOS except this time in DOS using the boot disk. As soon as the computer re-boots the same display corruption is present.
Now I panic, I again re-boot and again re-flash the BIOS back to the original version. This doesn’t work also and the display is still corrupted. Now I really panic, I start flashing the BIOS to every version that board ever supported, including versions earlier than the version the board was shipped with. Nothing works, at this point I concede defeat and call ASUS to get and RMA request.
I ship the board back to ASUS and in 2-weeks I get the board back with an all clear from their tech support guys. I plug everything back in and still the same problem is there the display is corrupt and Windows will not load.
By this time I’m pretty miffed and I again call ASUS and ask for a replacement instead of a repair. I verify this by recording the serial numbers off the old board, again ship it back to ASUS and wait for the replacement. The replacement comes in and I’ve verified this by checking the serial numbers.
I hook everything up again and guess what? Same problem. Now I’m starting to think that other components are to blame. So I got to the local computer store and buy a new power supply. Tried it and the same problem.
Now I’m kind of at the end of my sanity. I’m going to be trying different memory and processor tonight, taken from my other computer. But I fear this isn’t going to work and I’m trying to get as many ideas together as possible. I have of course tried some other things but they are too numerous to mention and I’ll only bring them up if the suggestion is offered again.
I thank everyone in advance for any help you can offer in this situation.