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PC won't boot past POST

User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

  • Buy Mage's Initiation!

#1

I don't know if anyone might have any insight or not. It just keeps sitting there beeping every couple minutes. I turned it off so I could open it up and see if there was a loose cord somewhere as a couple of my USB3.0 ports stopped working a few weeks ago (and I recall the cable coming loose off the motherboard when this happened before). When I turned it back on, I was stuck pre-POST. The thing is this could have happened a while ago possibly. I would usually just always put my computer to sleep and rarely hard reset or power off. But it held on long enough to allow me to finish my game soundtrack less than a month ago before I powered off my system. Wow.

My motherboard is an MSI P67A-GD65 (B3). One of those LGA 1155 sockets with a Sandy Bridge i7 2600K CPU. I've had it since I bought it and built my PC in 2011 (with some advice from many people here, actually). It has a UEFI BIOS. Some people online suggested updating the BIOS, but I can't even get to the BIOS. It just sits there with a solid cursor on the top left corner and the number "98" on the bottom right, which apparently means there's a "USB input connect issue." People suggested unplugging every USB device to see if it allowed a fast boot. Unfortunately, after unplugging not only every USB device but every internal SATA device as well, nothing different happened. I have a PS/2 keyboard, so I tried a USB keyboard. It simply beeps twice (one low note, one high note) every time I hit/release a key. The same beep it makes every couple minutes if I do nothing. I'm not sure what that means. Doesn't do that to my PS/2 keyboard which the system doesn't respond to at all. Also there are no lights on (like numlock) on either keyboard. I also tried the recommended action of unplugging everything but one HDD and one RAM stick but that didn't work either. I tried swapping RAM. Nothing. Course, I only have the two sticks but there's no reason that it would be the RAM. The beep pattern code is not consistent with that kind of problem. I even tried clearing the CMOS and removing the battery. Nothing.

Others who have had this problem in the past just got a new mobo. Unfortunately I can't afford that as I'd have to purchase a brand new copy of Windows 10. On Newegg, a new LGA 1155 mobo would set me back about $100ish CAD give or take. But again, that doesn't cover Windows 10. I upgraded from an OEM version of Windows 7 Professional which means that any Win 10 upgrade license doesn't get tied to the OEM serial but the hardware. Changing out the mobo would negate my Windows 10 license and I'd have to roll back to Windows 7. Unfortunately, because Windows 7 was also OEM that probably means that won't work either. So either way I'm screwed.

I bought the system 8 years ago ironically enough, with money I made from this game soundtrack contract. And now that my contract is complete, my mobo decides to not boot anymore. It's so maddening. Everything else works fine. By all accounts it should boot normally as being stuck on the "98" checkpoint code without any USB devices plugged in is not typical behaviour which means something is wrong.

Some people said they had to just let it sit there for a few minutes (up to a couple hours) and it would eventually boot. Or constantly restart and/or power off/on repeatedly until it managed to get into Windows. So far that hasn't worked for me. It's a shame to be left without your command center all the sudden. Now I'm trapped on this little laptop with no USB3.0 ports and like a measly 4 USB2.0 ports. I'm in no position right now to buy a new system or replacement parts so....I guess this is life now. Unless I can figure this out. I had a bunch more music projects I wanted to get to and now I can't. This also means that Hexen's SC-55 music pack is on hold for the time being.

This post has been edited by MusicallyInspired: 05 March 2019 - 10:22 PM

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User is offline   Sledgehammer 

  • Once you start doubting, there's no end to it

#2

It's quite possible that you motherboard has died (the fact that your USB ports stopped working kind of indicating it too, pretty clear symptom, including that 98 number). My previous MSI motherboard fried along with one RAM stick (and RAM slot) because of various power shutdowns and those signal beeps weren't wrong, my PC did a very weird shit when it was able to boot, at best programs would cry about lack of RAM and at worst various games would brick my machine. Coincidentally my previous motherboard also had 1155 socket. Kind of silly to suggest to update BIOS in such situation, by the way. The only way to get any kind of idea about the problem is finding out what those signals means anyway.

Still though, have you tried booting with different GPU? Surely you don't have another CPU for such socket, but there must be at least one old working GPU laying around somewhere? You could try and clean your PC from dust (including GPU), but yeah, the dust being a problem has its particular symptoms, though I could say the same about GPU.
Spoiler


This post has been edited by Sledgehammer: 06 March 2019 - 02:38 AM

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User is offline   Forge 

#3

reset the CMOS
unplugging your power cable from the PSU, pulling the CMOS battery off of the motherboard, then holding the power button for a minute - or move the cmos jumper & wait a minute. Once you've done this, reinstall the battery, plug the power cord back in, and try to boot.

or try these instructions
https://forum-en.msi...p?topic=31222.0

This post has been edited by Forge: 06 March 2019 - 06:53 AM

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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

  • Buy Mage's Initiation!

#4

Did that. Found that very thread actually (I didn't hold it down for a full minute, though...). Someone else suggested it might be the CMOS battery itself which needs replacing as weird things can happen when unreplaced for so long. I'll give it a try.

View PostSledgehammer, on 06 March 2019 - 02:37 AM, said:

It's quite possible that you motherboard has died (the fact that your USB ports stopped working kind of indicating it too, pretty clear symptom, including that 98 number).


I had figured it was unrelated because unplugging those ports from the board yielded the same results (they're extra ports that plug into the board and the ports themselves fit into the PCI card bays). I think they stopped working because I kept plugging things into those ports upside down because it doesn't have much resistance when putting it in the wrong way (don't do a 'that's what she said' joke. please.) It was after that recently a few weeks ago that plugging them in the right way stopped working altogether, which led me to turning it off to see if the cable came loose. If I hadn't powered off the system would still be running now. Ugh.

Quote

My previous MSI motherboard fried along with one RAM stick (and RAM slot) because of various power shutdowns and those signal beeps weren't wrong, my PC did a very weird shit when it was able to boot, at best programs would cry about lack of RAM and at worst various games would brick my machine. Coincidentally my previous motherboard also had 1155 socket. Kind of silly to suggest to update BIOS in such situation, by the way. The only way to get any kind of idea about the problem is finding out what those signals means anyway.


I looked up the signals and those beeps signify normal operation apparently. One long low beep and a variable number of high short beeps afterward signifies just registering all the USB devices that are plugged in because it's looking for possible boot devices. It gives a single beep when nothing is plugged in, though. And when I plug in a USB keyboard every hit/release of a key generates the same tone, which is strange. But I can't find an explanation for what that means anywhere. Also, besides this issue, my system works fine and has been incredible stable for a long time now. No memory issues or crashing/BSOD events. Nothing.

Quote

Still though, have you tried booting with different GPU? Surely you don't have another CPU for such socket, but there must be at least one old working GPU laying around somewhere? You could try and clean your PC from dust (including GPU), but yeah, the dust being a problem has its particular symptoms, though I could say the same about GPU.


There was a ton of dust (my case is a dust magnet). Cleared that all out though. I do not have another GPU actually. I gave my old one to my dad and it died shortly after. There's also no onboard video which is I didn't remember or expect because that was exactly the next thing I was going to test. I MIGHT have an old PCI card of some kind lying around....I don't think so, though. My old ones were all either ISA or AGP. I do have a Matrox Mystique card. Maybe I'll dig that out and give it a go. I don't think the GPU is the problem, though.

Quote

Spoiler



I don't particularly care for getting a sliced and diced version of Windows 10, which is and online-dependent OS.

This post has been edited by MusicallyInspired: 06 March 2019 - 08:37 AM

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User is offline   Forge 

#5

could be a power supply issue as well
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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

  • Buy Mage's Initiation!

#6

There are no error beep codes for power failures, though. I guess it could be anything at this point. I'm just kind of disappointed that a system I bought and built that was top of the line (well, around there) 8 years ago can't last much longer than that, while I've got systems from the 90s and even 80s that still work to this day.
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User is offline   Forge 

#7

post 2000 computers aren't designed to last more than 5 years.

get the same model mobo and maybe your O/S won't notice.
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User is online   Tea Monster 

  • Polymancer

#8

Check the board for blown capacitors. They can actually be fixed sometimes, but it requires a steady hand and someone who is handy with a soldering iron.

This tut is how to fix a monitor, but it's the same deal. If you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself, see if anyone you know would be able to do it for you.



If it's a USB error, make sure you unplug the USB header cables from the motherboard that go to the sockets on your case.
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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

  • Buy Mage's Initiation!

#9

Replaced the CMOS battery, held down the reset for a full minute. Nothing.

I found a replacement mobo of the same model being sold from Russia. Might be my last cheapest chance outside of getting a new license for Windows or building a new system from scratch (it's getting about that time, honestly).

Quote

If it's a USB error, make sure you unplug the USB header cables from the motherboard that go to the sockets on your case.


I unplugged almost everything, but probably not the front panel USB ports. I'll give that a try later today. If it's a capacitor issue that won't be fun.
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User is offline   Rimantas 

#10

I had similar issue, but it was beeping 2 or 3 times each couple seconds. I found out it meant GPU or RAM problem (can't remember exactly, it was long ago). I removed RAM\GPU, did blow out dust from socket, cleaned card's contacts and it got fixed. However, later the same issue happened again, but i fixed it with same cleaning.
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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

  • Buy Mage's Initiation!

#11

Did you have any issues while the system was running that led up to that? Or did you power off your device one day and it just wouldn't boot up again after?

Turns out I already did unplug all the USB ports that I could. I don't suppose the cables for the front panel buttons like reset, power, and hdd lights and stuff would make a difference?

At this point, I'm considering it kaput. My sister has been collecting PC parts over the months and she acquired them all and started building it the day after my computer died. She has everything except a GPU so last night after my last ditch attempt I decided to just loan her mine until she got a new one. Works fine on her machine. I'm getting along on my cheapo laptop, but I just can't produce anything beyond a chiptune or tracker MOD album and I can't play newer games.
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User is offline   Rimantas 

#12

It happened when i tried to boot up PC next day after it was powered off. Never had any issues while system was running.
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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

  • Buy Mage's Initiation!

#13

Worth a try, I guess. It was quite dusty.
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#14

If you can't try with another GPU (just to be sure), there are 2 other things only, CPU and mobo.
There are some different solutions, and its up to you to decide

-As Forge pointed, get the same mobo model should work just fine, and personally i think is the most neat and safer solution.

-Maybe is just something we can't notice, a little bit of pro assistance will solve the problem spending something like 20$

-You can always mount the HDD on another PC and set it as Secondary HDD, so that you can access it and backup your most important files from there.

-The last solution that i can suggest is to try a heatgun reflow on the mobo, use this as last resource, ask someone that has some experience on this, if done correctly the mobo should work again for a while, 3 days, 1 week, 1 month. who knows, you should just have enough time to do a complete HDD backup using some professional tool, if you have one.

View PostMusicallyInspired, on 05 March 2019 - 10:00 PM, said:

I upgraded from an OEM version of Windows 7 Professional which means that any Win 10 upgrade license doesn't get tied to the OEM serial but the hardware. Changing out the mobo would negate my Windows 10 license and I'd have to roll back to Windows 7. Unfortunately, because Windows 7 was also OEM that probably means that won't work either.

I think Acronis True Image with Universal Restore feature should not have any problem about this, so that you can restore your data wherever you want.




4-5 year ago I was able to recover my old 7770HD reflowing it, it worked for about 2 months, no bad.
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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

  • Buy Mage's Initiation!

#15

I don't need to recover any files as I used external HDDs for all my important stuff and everything is backed up there.
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User is offline   Person of Color 

  • Senior Unpaid Intern at Viceland

#16

If you don't want to pay for a new Windows license, do this:

Buy a laptop bottom with a Windows 7 key on it. Use the Windows 7 key to activate 10 during the initial setup (only time you can activate it, but you CAN use Win 7 to upgrade your Home edition later).

Very few of these keys were ever used to activate Windows 10. Everyone did the online upgrade for 10 a while back.

I have done this on TONS of computers. Some early Win8 systems don't have the key correctly stored in the BIOS, and need an entirely new key to install 10. Or maybe someone comes in with a Windows 7 system with a damaged key. No point in extracting the key from the OS since it's a VLK, not the key used on the bottom, can't activate it, gotta replace it.

Not one has failed to activate.

Trick is to find laptop models with cheap bottom covers that have the key behind the battery, they're always intact. I whip out a heat gun, remove them, then secure them to the new system with clear tape.

Buy whatever motherboard you want now...In all honesty though, a Ryzen 3 will whip that chip's ass. It'll also beat my 4.5GHz 25-2500k on most benchmarks, including gaming.

Sandy/Ivy Bridge lack AVX2 instructions. You're talking about an FPU that is now doing much less per clock cycle, so they are at a major performance disadvantage compared to newer chips. The integer unit is decent (not great) but the FPU is sorely lacking now.

Now that companies have optimized for AVX2, on some benchmarks my chip is ALMOST as fast as an i5-4690k, which is a full one gigahertz slower.

https://www.ebay.com...rsAAOSwo4pYk09U

This post has been edited by Person of Color: 08 March 2019 - 08:19 PM

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User is online   Zaxx 

#17

Also: people are selling system builder OEM Win10 licenses for dirt cheap on Ebay. It's good if you need one immediately.

Btw. I had an issue like you have now with my old i7-2600k system but I got lucky and only one of the memory sticks went to shit instead of the mobo. The thing is that a 2011 build is old as balls and parts these days usually don't have the build quality they had back in the day so you can expect that stuff will just break on you at this point. It's insane but interestingly most of the computers I bought after 2008 all had stupid issues like this past the warranty while my 1998 and 1995 (!) PCs still work.

This post has been edited by Zaxx: 09 March 2019 - 01:32 AM

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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

  • Buy Mage's Initiation!

#18

I actually had a friend offer me an old Win10 license that went unused from his company if I ever need it down the road, so that's that taken care of.

And yeah. I have a 486 that's just fine. And a Pentium 1st gen MMX that works just fine.

This post has been edited by MusicallyInspired: 09 March 2019 - 12:08 PM

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User is offline   Azarius 

#19

It seems that you your motherboard is AMI, after looking up their error codes it seems that "The error basically points to an input device such as a keyboard, mouse or any other device connected to the board failing to be initialized."
Have you tried stripping the PC down & doing a clean / rebuild?
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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

  • Buy Mage's Initiation!

#20

I cleaned out as much dust as I could. I didn't do a full on cleaning though. Best advice for that?

I had unplugged everything, took everything out and put/plugged it all back in, however. Same result.
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#21

Best advice for cleaning? Fill the sink with warm water and dish soap, remove the CMOS battery from the board and clean it in the sink with a paint brush, rinse thoroughly under the tap, leave it a week or so to dry. Overall though, modern consumer tat, it's probably toast unfortunately.

This post has been edited by High Treason: 27 March 2019 - 10:51 AM

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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

  • Buy Mage's Initiation!

#22

My feelings as well. But if it's indeed toast it can't hurt to try.
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User is offline   Paul B 

#23

View PostHigh Treason, on 27 March 2019 - 10:51 AM, said:

Best advice for cleaning? Fill the sink with warm water and dish soap, remove the CMOS battery from the board and clean it in the sink with a paint brush, rinse thoroughly under the tap, leave it a week or so to dry. Overall though, modern consumer tat, it's probably toast unfortunately.


I don't know what kind of liquid comes out of High Treason's taps but if it isn't 99% Isopropyl Alcohol you don't put it under the tap. Tap water will definitely destroy your motherboard. There are too many minerals in tap water, when it dries it will just short something out.

Upon searching the net with your motherboard model, this problem you mentioned about a 98 showing during POST in the bottom right hand corner seems to be a common theme with this particular board. Try cold booting PC without any mouse/keyboard or joystick connected. The error I keep reading about relates to input devices causing the 98 error. Does this motherboard have a Single PS/2 port? Perhaps the fuse for the PS/2 Port has blown or malfunctioned. Even if these ports aren't being used this fuse can still fail causing this type of an error. Would also explain why you can still use your computer when your system boots normally and on older motherboards this should be a surface mounted fuse near to the PS/2 port making it a serviceable component.

Additional things to do :

Ideally, when faced with what appears to be a motherboard problem you're best removing the Motherboard from the case and setting it on some cardboard to troubleshoot the problem.

Make sure the CPU Heatsink and fan are making proper contact with the CPU or re-seat the CPU and remove first the old heat sink compound. When reapplying new thermal paste it should not be slopped on it just takes a thin layer applied over the surface. With minimal hardware connected, disconnect all main hard-drive/optical drives/USB devices except the VGA monitor connect. In fact, remove all RAM and POST to see if the POST code changes to recognize no Memory is connected. This will test the logic of the board.

Here is the AMI BIOS code manual to help identify any POST codes you may be receiving.

ftp://ftp.ts.fujitsu...s_Codes_PUB.pdf


If you are able to get it to POST one more time try disabling any onboard devices like NIC\Soundcard\Parallel port\Serial Port\ Etc.. Change the boot order so that the intended bootable drive is second in the list after removable media. Disable the PS/2 Port if that is a visible option.

I'm a fan of Asus motherboards.

This post has been edited by Paul B: 01 April 2019 - 10:24 AM

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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

  • Buy Mage's Initiation!

#24

I do have a single PS/2 port which I've always used for a keyboard. I've never not used it. Regardless, I've said earlier that I tried unplugging everything and removing RAM, Drives, etc. I, too, read that it was an input issue (which I already stated above). Basically everything except the GPU (because there's no onboard VGA). I've tried exchanging PS/2 keyboard for a USB one. No mouse, etc. It all just gives the same message. "98" forever. If it is the fuse, what do I do with it?

This post has been edited by MusicallyInspired: 01 April 2019 - 03:33 PM

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User is offline   Paul B 

#25

View PostMusicallyInspired, on 01 April 2019 - 03:33 PM, said:

I do have a single PS/2 port which I've always used for a keyboard. I've never not used it. Regardless, I've said earlier that I tried unplugging everything and removing RAM, Drives, etc. I, too, read that it was an input issue (which I already stated above). Basically everything except the GPU (because there's no onboard VGA). I've tried exchanging PS/2 keyboard for a USB one. No mouse, etc. It all just gives the same message. "98" forever. If it is the fuse, what do I do with it?


If you are unable to identify the fuse you're best taking your motherboard to an electronic's repair shop. Make sure they don't bridge the fuse, they should replace it if found to be faulty. The fuse can be found in the 5V line to the PS/2 port which sort of looks like a little resistor or capacitor but the symbol/part no. is silk screened next to it which will either have a tilde (~) mark or the letter F (for fuse) followed by a number (often F1) - there can be both the ~ and F#. It shouldn't cost much to repair. You'll probably want to confirm if this fuse is a Polyfuse (self resetting fuse) found in newer boards and are reset after a reboot or when they cool off.

If you want take a close up picture of your actual motherboard and post it so I can look at it, there may be leaky caps on the board which may have resulted in this problem.

This post has been edited by Paul B: 01 April 2019 - 07:58 PM

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#26

Hey, Paul B, if I didn't know you better I'd be calling you a moron right about now. Have you ever actually tried? I have, here is proof;
https://www.youtube....h?v=V6iXOrZPWG4
The end result;
https://youtu.be/JCZirb1J8qo?t=285

And I'm not the only one who does it that way, so long as you're careful to make sure nothing is left under dense SMD parts it should be fine, I tend to blow any remaining water out of those just to be sure. Furthermore, what do you think they do at the factory? Making large PCBs is a dusty process, followed by flux and glue going all over the place, do you think the board makers have some secret magic process to make it all shiny and clean ready for when you open the box? No, they use a PCB cleaning machine, or so they call it, but to all intents and purposes it's just a large dishwasher with 'PCB Cleaning Machine' written on it, you'll be able to find these in your favorite search engine. Occasionally you might even get a board (SuperMicro ones used to be prone to it) with stickers left on referring to this process, a fair number of P6DGU boards were shipped with such a sticker still over their overheat buzzer.

Naturally I do understand the concern though, it does run counter to everything we're told about electricity to introduce water and there are definitely risks involved. Nonetheless, I've actually seen a few previously dead components come back to life after a good wash, as if a piece of dust underneath something was conductive enough to prevent it from running.

This post has been edited by High Treason: 10 April 2019 - 11:57 AM

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User is offline   Paul B 

#27

View PostHigh Treason, on 10 April 2019 - 11:26 AM, said:

Hey, Paul B, if I didn't know you better I'd be calling you a moron right about now. Have you ever actually tried? I have, here is proof;
https://www.youtube....h?v=V6iXOrZPWG4
The end result;
https://youtu.be/JCZirb1J8qo?t=285

And I'm not the only one who does it that way, so long as you're careful to make sure nothing is left under dense SMD parts it should be fine, I tend to blow any remaining water out of those just to be sure. Furthermore, what do you think they do at the factory? Making large PCBs is a dusty process, followed by flux and glue going all over the place, do you think the board makers have some secret magic process to make it all shiny and clean ready for when you open the box? No, they use a PCB cleaning machine, or so they call it, but to all intents and purposes it's just a large dishwasher with 'PCB Cleaning Machine' written on it, you'll be able to find these in your favorite search engine. Occasionally you might even get a board (SuperMicro ones used to be prone to it) with stickers left on referring to this process, a fair number of P6DGU boards were shipped with such a sticker still over their overheat buzzer.

Naturally I do understand the concern though, it does run counter to everything we're told about electricity to introduce water and there are definitely risks involved. Nonetheless, I've actually seen a few previously dead components come back to life after a good wash, as if a piece of dust underneath something was conductive enough to prevent it from running.


I wouldn't recommend just anyone cleaning a motherboard as you suggested as it requires more experience than the average person has. I am also willing to bet his motherboard is no where near as dirty as the system you were cleaning and the chances of it being a dust accumulation problem would be like 1 and a billion. He might just have better luck finding the exact same board for sale on Ebay and replacing it rather than trying to fix it. However, typically when these type of problems surface it's a good indicator to just move on and upgrade for most people it's not worth the time or the effort.

You sir are the only person I know of that would spend time refurbishing a 486SX. It would probably work more in your favor to melt it down and extract the gold.

This post has been edited by Paul B: 24 April 2019 - 02:33 PM

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#28

If it's dead anway then there's no harm in trying. The process doesn't require any special skills, removing batteries and RAM is generally enough, it isn't like the water wants to stick to the solder mask anyway, given one of the mask's primary purposes is to prevent things sticking to areas they shouldn't, so residue isn't really an issue.

There are a good number of people who would spend time on a 486SX, given the FPU of the DX is rarely if ever used by anything. This particular one was only fixed for demonstration purposes, to explain the harsh reality of owning a computer in that time generally involving lower spec systems, before it retired and the chassis was used for a very particular 386DX/387 setup instead. Besides, I already have a 486SX anyway which can run rings around a good few DX2-66 machines, in fact it was the best performing single-clock SX known in the world a few years ago, but may have been beaten since. I say this largely to point out that there exists a sizable community out there who still play with these things, though unfortunately a large chunk of it is full of snowflakes and OEMfags who hoard Packard Bells and shit.
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User is offline   Paul B 

#29

Yea I remember coming across applications that performed SX - DX checks before they would run and not being able to run those apps because of the lack of support for those CPU instructions. Epic pinball was one of those games. Those were the days when electronics still had good margins and computers weren't for everyone. Wish they'd bring back my turbo button and LED to slow things down. LOL My 486 is just too fast!

This post has been edited by Paul B: 29 April 2019 - 05:30 AM

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User is offline   Mark 

  • Honored Donor

#30

I remember having a program to run with my homebrew interface for programming 2way radios that wouldn't run on my DX2-66. I had to run another program first to slow down the machine.
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