Question Vintage PC turns on but no display ?

May 21, 2021
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I built a vintage pc as a hobby. Collected old components like Pentium 4 CPU, mainboard, HDD and DDR 1 memory, etc. When I plugged all components correctly and it's giving no display. I found out I'm using ddr 400mhz speed ram but board specification shows ddr 333mhz support is the maximum.

But it supposes to work in speed 333hz right? Does this sound more like a main board problem?
 
Usually the speed advertised is the maximum speed possible rather than the actual speed running. The modules should all run at a lower speed but I'm not sure since you didn't specify which motherboard you are using.

Did you hear any beeps from the BIOS? Did you connect a speaker?
 
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May 21, 2021
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Usually the speed advertised is the maximum speed possible rather than the actual speed running. The modules should all run at a lower speed but I'm not sure since you didn't specify which motherboard you are using.

Did you hear any beeps from the BIOS? Did you connect a speaker?
No any beep sound generating. It's intel d845gebv2
 

jasonf2

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I would exactly match chipset specs related to RAM for anything built in that era. Today the DDR standard has pretty much made RAM interchangeable and clock able as long as you stay in the PCxxx spec. Back in the Pentium era Intel was really bad about leveraging their leadership position to push proprietary technologies (like Rambus RIMMs) and even though they came back into DDR they really didn't want to and those chips were very picky. RAM was often not reverse compatible even though they were all pin compatible to the header (If I remember correctly for DDR it was a 184 with RIMMs being 182 pin header but it has been a really long time.) Intel was in a standing fight with a number of other CPU manufactures during that era (who all embraced the DDR standard) and you really had to know your specs and chipsets to purchase RAM back then because every new generation and chipset had a spec change.
 
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TommyTwoTone66

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No beeps, no display. Could be PSU could be motherboard. Both are very prone to failure on vintage systems, but motherboard is more likely.

On an old P4 board you would likely find brown goop seeping out of at least one capacitor on the mainboard:



In which case those capacitors need to be replaced or the motherboard will not turn on. About 15 minutes work with a soldering iron for each one if you know what you are doing. Much longer if you don't.

Does the PSU fan spin up at all when you power up the PC or just nothing?
 

TommyTwoTone66

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I would exactly match chipset specs related to RAM for anything built in that era. Today the DDR standard has pretty much made RAM interchangeable and clock able as long as you stay in the PCxxx spec. Back in the Pentium era Intel was really bad about leveraging their leadership position to push proprietary technologies (like Rambus RIMMs) and even though they came back into DDR they really didn't want to and those chips were very picky. RAM was often not reverse compatible even though they were all pin compatible to the header (If I remember correctly for DDR it was a 184 with RIMMs being 182 pin header but it has been a really long time.) Intel was in a standing fight with a number of other CPU manufactures during that era (who all embraced the DDR standard) and you really had to know your specs and chipsets to purchase RAM back then because every new generation and chipset had a spec change.
This is largely nonsense. One of the main features of DDR was to put an end to exactly this, and the DDR spec deliberately allowed for mismatched RAM, "wrong" speed RAM, mixed manufacturers, you name it. They specifically designed the DDR spec to make PC building more accessible to the lay person and flexible enough so that pretty much anything would work to some degree. As such, any DDR RAM will work in any DDR motherboard. It will automatically select the highest speed both the motherboard and memory module can operate at. The fact OP has put 400Mhz RAM in a 333Mhz slot makes no difference.

Yes, Intel tried to push other memory types to make their motherboards less compatible with AMD and Cyrix, but ultimately if the board has DDR slots, it conforms to the DDR standard which will work just fine with anything shaped like a DDR module.
 

TommyTwoTone66

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If there is a problem, the board can produce beep codes.
I don't know if you need a speaker, or if there is one there already.
That particular board has a non-removable solid speaker soldered directly to the PCB. So I'd bet that it's still there and working.

The fact that OP gets no beeps whatsoever precludes a memory, CPU or graphics issue. If it was the VGA cable or monitor then there would still be a beep, if it was anything other than motherboard failure (blown capacitor) or PSU failure then there would be a beep.
 
That particular board has a non-removable solid speaker soldered directly to the PCB. So I'd bet that it's still there and working.

The fact that OP gets no beeps whatsoever precludes a memory, CPU or graphics issue. If it was the VGA cable or monitor then there would still be a beep, if it was anything other than motherboard failure (blown capacitor) or PSU failure then there would be a beep.
Doesn't mean that the speaker still works...
But I do agree with your diagnosis, he should first check all connections and that the PSU is working.
 
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TommyTwoTone66

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Doesn't mean that the speaker still works...
But I do agree with your diagnosis, he should first check all connections and that the PSU is working.
It doesn’t, but those solid little piezoelectric units they used to solder on to motherboards are pretty indestructible. It’s just a solid lump with a hole in the top. I’ve had computers going back to the 80s where everything else in the system is dead or blown, but the little speaker unit still chirps away as if it was brand new.

They should make entire PCs out of whatever those speakers were made of, then nothing would ever break again!
 
May 21, 2021
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No beeps, no display. Could be PSU could be motherboard. Both are very prone to failure on vintage systems, but motherboard is more likely.

On an old P4 board you would likely find brown goop seeping out of at least one capacitor on the mainboard:



In which case those capacitors need to be replaced or the motherboard will not turn on. About 15 minutes work with a soldering iron for each one if you know what you are doing. Much longer if you don't.

Does the PSU fan spin up at all when you power up the PC or just nothing?
Hi, psu is new one and tested. It's working fine.

My motherboard has one blown capacitor, much like broken on top area!

Psu fan is spinning when power on.
 

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