Problem with OLD system (BIOS gone??)
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Thread: Problem with OLD system (BIOS gone??)

  1. #1
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    Problem with OLD system (BIOS gone??)

    My gf has an old, old system, I can't recall what type of system but it has an old-school IBM Motherboard and some Opti chips (I'm just picking up hardware knowledge from my friends, so I don't know what most of this stuff is). I can get more info if you need it though. There is no "BIOS" per se that we can find on the Motherboard (looking for a BIOS as a small box with switches) so I was told that the BIOS may have been on the Hard Drive (just formatted before this trouble started), is there a way to retrieve it? Perhaps download a Bios for the Hard Disk?

  2. #2
    AO's Mr Grumpy
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    Your question is a bit unclear. Do you have a complete system? Does it power up? What happens next? Does the machine boot at all? If so what happens next? Is it old as in a 386 or 486 processor. Some details about the machine would enable a better understanding of what the problem actually is, or is worth spending time on
    Computer says no
    (Carol Beer)

  3. #3
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    The BIOS is a chip on the motherboard its self. When you first turn the computer on, the first thing you see flashing across the screen is the BIOS. Usually to enter it, you press Delete, F1, F10. Something like that.

    So as long as the motherboard works, the BIOS should still be there.
    =

  4. #4
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    Heh. as if it was that new :P

    The processor is a DX4 100, themotherboard's there, it power's on, the light comes on, it looks like it reads C: (it might not though) then it just sits there. We aren't getting anything on the monitor, when we do it's a black screen, or 'snow', but we only got the snow once.

  5. #5
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    Sounds like the video might be bad. I assume that the video is integrated into the motherboard, and since the processor is something I've never heard of, it probably doesn't have AGP or support a PCI video card, if it even has PCI Slots, I'm gonn guess that it has ISA slots.

    The only thing I can really suggest to you, is to try a different monitor. Thats as far as I can go with that. That must be a pretty old computer.
    =

  6. #6
    Senior Member IKnowNot's Avatar
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    If it is using a DX4 100 you should see the bios chip ...
    Take a look around, see if you can find a make and/or model number, or any other numbers on the board itself, and/or on any chips. Then google: see if you can find a manual for it.

    Did you just pull this out of a closet where it was place four years ago in a working condition, or did you try to put it together without knowing jumper settings?

    Does it have memory installed?

    Alot more info is needed if someone is going to be able to help.

    cheyenne1212 I don't recall too many of those boards having intigrated video ...

    I have one that has both PCI and ISA though ( this was pre AGP )

    " And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be" --Miguel Cervantes

  7. #7
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    The computer is about 4th hand now, so I'm fairly sure it's been in use most of the time since it was made.

    My first thought was also video card or monitor. I've tried about 5 different monitors on it (1 of these 5 WAS toast, but the other 4 were in perfect working order). So we got a Video Card that had (supposedly) been tested, figuring the On Board Video Card had fried, it was a Trident, if that helps, and that didn't help. So now we're back to our original thought: BIOS since it isn't actually booting up.

    And FYI: it has both PCI and ISA. Also a video card built into the Motherboard.

  8. #8
    Senior Member IKnowNot's Avatar
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    Does it use a jumper to disable the onboard video ?

    Did you find any numbers on the board or chips ?
    " And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be" --Miguel Cervantes

  9. #9
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    I'm not sure about jumpers, there is no plug in the Video Card that we got so I plugged it into the column of PCI(? the bigger of the two) slots. But both the on board vid and the vid card get the same result on the monitor.

    The only thing that LOOKs like a BIOS reads:

    CSI CAT28F010P
    -15 09522E

    But I could be wrong. It could be something else

  10. #10
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    Are there any Identification marks anywhere? Name, model, or fcc id number?

    My first step would be to track down the bios reset jumper and short it. If that doesn't work, try to find a onboard video bypass jumper, but to be honest the mobos of that day were notorious for not having a way to bypass onboard video that worked well.

    A mobo that old shouldn't have an option in the bios setup to bypass it, but even if it does you don't have a way to access it anyway.

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