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mattrixx

join:2004-02-18
Orland Park, IL

1 edit

Older Computer restarts 1or 2 times before desktop

Older (socket 939) computer still runs great! However, after installing Linux Zorin 7.1 (Ubuntu) on to two different HDDs at two separate times, this rig boots up fine, gets all the way to the splash screen while loading, just preceding the desktop, and suddenly restarts itself!

Usually this will successfully boot to desktop on it`s second attempt just fine, and from there on forward, until I turn off the machine, this rig and O.S. function flawlessly. On occasion it might take three TOTAL attempts to successfully boot to desktop, but that is rare.

I said I have installed to two different HDDs at separate times, this was simply to eliminate the possibility of a "bad" hard drive being the cause of the restart issue. Apparently the HDD is NOT the problem, cause it`s the same issue with a different HDD.

I`m wondering what could be the cause, since the rig runs great otherwise, and has run Windows XP as well as Win7 at one time without this problem. I really don`t think it is the Linux distro either, since it was tried out as "live CD" first and installed twice to two different Hard Drives.
I don`t think it is a cable connection(s) problem, or even a Power Supply problem?

I am using a "Promise Card" with (2) IDE HDDs each set as "Master".
The Optical Drive (jumpered as Master) is connected to the Primary IDE Motherboard Port, as the the only MB connected drive. Nothing on the Secondary IDE Port.

Any ideas or insight into this "restart" problem would be appreciated.

bbear2
Premium
join:2003-10-06
94045
kudos:5
Reviews:
·VOIPO
When I was reading this it sounded incredibly familiar and when I got to the part about the Promise Card I then remembered I had a similar issue as well. I did get it to work, but it is a bit sensitive. Here are some suggestions.

Make sure you have the latest drivers for the Promise Card. Those should get loaded right after your BIOS boot. It wasn't clear if you have two two masters on one IDE connector or one master on each. You should not have two masters on one IDE connector.

I would move your two HDDs to the MB connector; one Master, one Slave. Then I would move the Optical drive to the Promise card as the Master. In call cases I would recommend CS (cable select) and go from there if things done work properly.

bbear2
Premium
join:2003-10-06
94045
kudos:5
Reviews:
·VOIPO
reply to mattrixx


mattrixx

join:2004-02-18
Orland Park, IL
Thanks bbear for your reply

I`m assuming you believe my re-start issue has to do with my use of an ancient Promise Card rather than some other hardware or misconfiguration?
Yes, I have two drives connected each as Master, the first O.S.drive connected to the Promise Card`s IDE1, and the second (data) drive connected to the Promise Card`s IDE2.

Prior to installing Linux (Zorin), I experimented to see if I could install Win7 on this beast. I was doubtful that there were any Win7 drivers for the card. After some research and googling, I saw that other people were successful using *available* Vista drivers, which I downloaded (64bit) and installed during the Win7 setup. These new drivers replaced the older original (32bit) drivers that were installed many years ago, and had successfully allowed for a 4+ HDD WinXP installation, also for many years.

To make a long story short, I WAS successful installing Win7 to this same rig, but now can`t remember if I had any start up problems for the very short time I had it running on this rig?
I quickly decided I preferred a Linux ONLY box for this rig instead, due to it only having a 2.2 GHz processor and only 2GB DDR1 RAM.....and being old!

The point being, "current" (Vista) 64bit Promise Card drivers were previously loaded into BIOS, and do properly indicate any drive connected to the Promise Card, just after any and all the MB drives are indicated just like it`s supposed to do. Also, the (64bit) Linux O.S. does boot up past all of the POST, but just short of loading the desktop. Not sure if this would indicate a bad Promise Card or Driver since this is long after the fact?

Yes, I can try connecting conventionally to the MB Primary and Secondary IDE Ports as you suggest, but I believe it`s best to keep each of two HDDs as Master to avoid any slowing down of data transferring between Master and Slave on the same IDE cable. Not sure if "Cable Select" would matter if both set as Master on each IDE Port? Optical could be connected to Promise Card instead.

Yes, SATA would be best, but that defeats the purpose of using all my ancient hardware!

Thanks again for any more insight into this matter.

bbear2
Premium
join:2003-10-06
94045
kudos:5
Reviews:
·VOIPO
said by mattrixx:

Thanks bbear for your reply

...Yes, I can try connecting conventionally to the MB Primary and Secondary IDE Ports as you suggest, but I believe it`s best to keep each of two HDDs as Master to avoid any slowing down of data transferring between Master and Slave on the same IDE cable. Not sure if "Cable Select" would matter if both set as Master on each IDE Port? Optical could be connected to Promise Card instead.
...

Here's my updated suggestion. Do not put only the optical drive on the Promise controller because it won't work. It needs at least a master HDD; found that out the hard way. So put your OS drive on the MB IDE controller as the master. Put your data drive on the promise controller as the master in IDE1. And put the optical drive on either promise controller IDE1 as slave or IDE2 as master. This will avoid the concern you have about 2 drives on one IDE bus.

I also suggested the CS vs. hard jump because that can change the effect - sometimes better, sometimes worse - your experience could vary. Also could depend on the IDE cables you are using.


mattrixx

join:2004-02-18
Orland Park, IL
I re positioned my O.S. drive from the Promise Card`s IDE1 to the Motherboard`s Primary IDE Port (still set as Master).
I then moved my Data drive from IDE2 on the Promise Card to IDE1 on the Promise Card (also set as Master). I left the Optical drive (set as Master) connected to the Motherboard`s Secondary IDE Port.

After checking and starting many times, I now believe the "restart" problem is fixed!
Thank you bbear2 for your help and insight into this "restart" issue.
I can now confidently proceed with my intentions for this ancient box.

I would like to max out the RAM to 4X1GB DDR 400, but it already has 4X512MB DDR400,
which would mean I`d have to sh*tcan all four (2 Crucial XMS kits) 512MB sticks!
Plus the DDR RAM is very expensive per GB! Oh well, it seems to run great as a Linux box as is!

n_w95482
Premium
join:2005-08-03
Ukiah, CA
Good to hear it's fixed . I've used a few similar Promise IDE cards at work but never had that issue with them. I didn't connect OS/boot drives to them so that may be why.

Depending on what chips are on those memory modules, they may get a decent price. There should be a sticker on them with a revision number and the rated timings. Match them up with this list. If they use Winbond BH-5 or Samsung TCCD, you're in luck. Just an idea if you REALLY want to go to 4 GB and recoup some of the cost .

It always makes me happy to see another Socket 939 machine doing useful stuff. I've become really attached to that platform, many good memories with it. I'm still using it for spare PC duties, although the rest of the hardware isn't exactly original.
--
KI6RIT

bbear2
Premium
join:2003-10-06
94045
kudos:5
Reviews:
·VOIPO
reply to mattrixx
said by mattrixx:

I re positioned my O.S. drive from the Promise Card`s IDE1 to the Motherboard`s Primary IDE Port (still set as Master).
I then moved my Data drive from IDE2 on the Promise Card to IDE1 on the Promise Card (also set as Master). I left the Optical drive (set as Master) connected to the Motherboard`s Secondary IDE Port.
...

I myself don't like mixing HDDs and optical drives on the same IDE channel because of potential performance impact. I don't have any specific evidence as such, but it's something I avoid nonetheless. Or if I do have to put them on the same IDE bus, then I combine the optical with an HDD that is not the main OS one.

said by mattrixx:

...

After checking and starting many times, I now believe the "restart" problem is fixed!
Thank you bbear2 for your help and insight into this "restart" issue.
I can now confidently proceed with my intentions for this ancient box.
...

You are most welcome. Glad my past leanings were of help.


mattrixx

join:2004-02-18
Orland Park, IL
reply to n_w95482
said by n_w95482:

Depending on what chips are on those memory modules, they may get a decent price. There should be a sticker on them with a revision number and the rated timings. Match them up with this list. If they use Winbond BH-5 or Samsung TCCD, you're in luck. Just an idea if you REALLY want to go to 4 GB and recoup some of the cos

I`m looking at one of my (4) sticks right now, and nothing on here matches your linked list!

First off these are TWO Dual Channel kits of 2X512MB Corsair XMS "Platinum" Series RAM (total 4) sticks. Each RAM stick have what appears to be a glued on(?) Heat Spreader.
On each Heat Spreader there is a sticker that says:

CMX512-3200C2PT XMS3202 v5.2
0626220-0
XMS3200 512MB 400MHz CL-2

No bigeee, but I thought I should respond to your reply.

n_w95482
Premium
join:2005-08-03
Ukiah, CA
It looks like those sticks use ProMOS chips, which are relatively conventional. Oh well, it was worth a try. For Linux, 2 GB should be plenty.
--
KI6RIT