The machine sometimes «hesitates»

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Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

The motherboard is an ATC-2000 from A-Trend, a now defunct
manufacturer.

The chipset is the 430HX from Intel.

The BIOS is an Award Modular BIOS v4.51 PG dated 07-26-96.

The hard disk is a Western Digital Caviar WD800 (80 GB).

The machine never fails to boot from the diskette.

Occasionally this system does not boot from the hard disk. It
displays:
«DISK BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER».

When it does so, neither Ctrl+Alt+Del, the reset button nor the power
switch cure the problem, until it boots!

When it boots from the hard disk, it works apparently flawlessly.

The hard disk does not seem to be the culprit because I get the same
result with a brand new Western Digital Caviar WD800 hard disk.

Even when the system does not boot from the hard disk, the BIOS «sees»
the
hard disk as a 8 GB hard disk which is OK given the BIOS limitations:
only hard disk controller data is involved here.

When it did not boot, I used disk analysis program to try to read
sectors. The
latter returns a 512-byte string of 0xFE. Why 0xFE rather than 0x00
or 0xFF? Can it give a clue?

Could the power supply be defective? I checked both the +5 V and the
+12 V and they are well within limits. Not having a storage
oscilloscope,
I have been unable to test the timing of the Power Good signal with
the above two supply lines.

Is there a major flaw in the 430HX chipset?

Could it be a BIOS bug? It would not initialize the IDE controllers
properly...

Thank you very much in advance.
--
Jean Castonguay
Électrocommande Pascal
 
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Guest

Guest
Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Jean Castonguay <jcastong@riq.qc.ca> wrote:
> The chipset is the 430HX from Intel.

On of the best ever made, but old.

> Occasionally this system does not boot from the hard disk.
> It displays:
> DISK BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER.

This msg is frequently seen on older mobos (like this one)
from a dying RTC/CMOS battery. It may be soldered on.
Otherwise, you may be looking at a flaky capacitor.

-- Robert
 
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Guest

Guest
Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Bitstring <IbxCuxQzw2Ms-pn2-4ldPjf7jKd4k@localhost>, from the wonderful
person Jean Castonguay <jcastong@riq.qc.ca> said
<snip problem symptoms>
>
>Could it be a BIOS bug? It would not initialize the IDE controllers
>properly...

Have you tried a different HDD cable? If different cables give the same
problem then it's probably the motherboard going flaky, on the way to
going dead completely. I doubt it is a BIOS bug (or any other kind of
software / firmware error), they tend to be rather more repeatable than
what you are reporting.

Given the age of this system, we already spent more money/electrons
trying to debug it than it is likely worth. 8<,

--
GSV Three Minds in a Can
Contact recommends the use of Firefox; SC recommends it at gunpoint.
 

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